The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
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All Critics (7)
| Fresh (2)
| Rotten (5)
| DVD (1)
A rather dull affair with many scenes directly lifted from earlier Mummy films.
The first Universal mummy movie that's not really worth it.
A B-programmer sequel and how come no one ever thinks to just outrun that slow-moving, one-armed stalker!
The Mummy's Tomb is perhaps the most economical film Universal ever turned out.
I know mummies are supposed to be dusty, but...
This sequel of a sequel dilutes the earlier film's successful formula of comedy, adventure and action.
Shambling briskly toward Z-Moviedom, this Hand follow-up finds the Mummy in America and horror fans filing for the door. Of the two preceding chapters, The Mummy's Hand shouldn't have been the one to receive a sequel...but it strangely and sadly does. In this proto-slasher film that brings the 'story' stateside, some much-needed humor goes the way of the Sphinx and the Mummy becomes a molasses-slow forebear to Jason Vorhees or Michael Myers.
In this unrated continuation of the Universal horror series, a high priest (George Zucco) travels to America with the living mummy Kharis (Lon Chaney, Jr.) to kill all those who had desecrated the tomb of the Egyptian princess Ananka 30 years earlier.
From what brainless depth do the screenwriters keep dredging up these crazy cultists willing to enact revenge using a murderous rag doll? Someway somehow, a Canadian actor (George Zucco) assumes this role in the form of a racist Egyptian caricature. The leads from the preceding chapter return, only this time in poor elderly make-up so that their characters can get unceremoniously bumped off one-by-one. What? It doesn't count as spoilers if the script is awful, does it?
Bottom line: Grave Mistake
In reality 2 years have passed, but in the plot of this sequel, 30 years have supposedly passed. It would be hell trying to form some continuity on a timeline for this franchise. Steve Banning is back home in Massachusetts with his family, including his son (Hubbard) and his son's fiance (Knox). He spends about 10 minutes (out of about a one hour run time) retelling the plot of the previous mummy film. The ancient Egyptian scenes with Karloff's back and Tyler's face are recycled again too. Then we learn that Andoheb didn't really die. He passes on the responsibilities of the high priests of Arkan to Mehemet Bey (played by Turhan Bey, which is a stage name). And Kharis, as all the undead monsters of Universal prove, never really dies. Bey takes Kharis by ship to get revenge on the Banning family in Massachusetts. This is the first of three times Lon Chaney Jr. would play the Mummy. Chaney Jr. solidifies the mummy's one weak arm (unless he's carrying away a woman) and one dragging leg, as well as only one eye. Bey, as the new high priest character, looks like he holds promise. At Bey's command the mummy causes havoc in the small New England town. Despite how slowly he moves, the sheriff, the younger Dr. Banning, and the townspeople can only seem to spot the mummy's shadow as bodies start piling up. Babe Hanson isn't dead yet either. He comes to town trying to get people to believe in the supernatural monster he and Banning helped release. Ultimately the high priest falls for Dr. Banning's fiance. This is a standard character flaw in high priests of Arkan, I guess. Again the mummy doesn't get the girl, but at least there are better pyrotechnic effects in the end.
Squeezing tears from a nickel Universal refits another Mummy sequel, this one with the name recognition factor of Lon Chaney as the resurrected living dead. The action happens in Massachusetts which one would believe would be the high point in this, yet the closing minutes do attain some redemption for this hapless knockoff.
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