The Mummy’s Shroud

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

A band of archaeologists have just uncovered the tomb of Kah-to-Bey, which marks one of the most important finds of all time. The tomb was well hidden and took a tough task to discover, but the team pushed ahead and reached their destination. Now the tomb has various artifacts and such, but the real find is the mummified remains of Kah-to-Bey, which should be worth a lot, both in terms of research and esteem among their peers. But of course, the tomb bears an ominous threat to those who disturb the setting and of course, the team ignores it and collects all that they can from the site. The team, led by Sir Basil Walden (Andre Morell) haul the mummy back to Cairo, where it is placed next to his former protector, Prem’s mummified remains. But when a mystical phrase is read from Kah-to-Bey’s shroud, the curse the team was warned against comes to life, which means serious trouble for them. The mummy seeks out those who moved his remains, leaving a path of dead bodies behind him as he moves. Can something be done to end this reign of terror, or will Kah-to-Bey only cease once all those team members have been killed?

Another volume in Anchor Bay’s Hammer Collection, The Mummy’s Shroud offers some terrific moments, but falls short of the material’s potential. I happen to love movies based on mummies, so I have a soft spot here, but even I have to admit this one just doesn’t hack it. I do like the basic premise and it sparks at times, but never gets enough steam to power through. I had hoped the reviews were wrong, as I would have loved another terrific mummy flick, but I was let down here. I don’t think Hammer fans and mummy lovers should skip over The Mummy’s Shroud though, as some moments are well worth a look in there. But I don’t think this is a must own title, as it lacks the total presence other mummy movies pack, including other Hammer produced releases. But I can’t recommend this one outside of genre lovers and even then, I think a rental will more than suffice. If you do like the film a lot though, this disc is more than worth the cash, so don’t hesitate to add it to your collection.

The director of The Mummy’s Shroud was John Gilling, who was no stranger to horror pictures and even worked on other Hammer productions. Although this picture turned out not so good, I don’t think Gilling is to blame, as he does instill some elements we expect from Hammer’s flicks. The film has an eerie atmosphere and some good visuals, but that wasn’t enough to save it from the dialogue heavy moments, which sink this film. I know dialogue is vital, but in this case, it overwhelms the rest of the picture and leaves minimal space for action or suspense. But again, I think Gilling’s direction is good, he is just unable to rescue the movie from all the slowness and dialogue. Other films directed by Gilling include The Reptile, The Flesh and The Fiends, The Gamma People, Vampire Over London, The Crimson Blade, and The Plague of The Zombies. The cast of the film includes Andre Morell (Barry Lyndon, Ben-Hur), Elizabeth Sellars (Three Cases of Murder, The Chalk Garden), David Buck (Deadfall, The Dark Crystal), John Phillips (The Dark Avenger, The Mouse on The Moon).

Video: How does it look?

The Mummy’s Shroud is presented in a 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. This is a nice treatment, but I think the image is a little soft at times, which causes me to lower the score a shade. But in most cases, the contrast is stark and dead on, which means shadows are well layered and detail is always strong. The colors keep on a natural track, but the browns and other earthy tones look terrific in this transfer. In the end, I am pleased with this presentation and even with the flaws, I think fans will be happy with this one also.

Audio: How does it sound?

This is a slow paced, dialogue driven picture and as such, the included mono track seems to cover all the bases. That is not to say this track is dynamic by any means, but it more than handles the needs of this very basic material. The music comes across in fine form, as do the sound effects and I heard to traces of distortion in the least, which is always good. I heard no errors with dialogue either, which is good since this film is fueled by the vocals and such. A pretty basic track that takes care of the needs, but the material doesn’t allow for much else.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes the film’s theatrical trailer, plus a combo trailer and some combo television spots, which make welcome inclusions here. The final supplement is a World of Hammer episode titled Mummies, Werewolves & The Living Dead, which is a nice piece, but I believe it was issued on a previous Hammer Collection disc. Even so, I am glad it was tacked on here, as it fits the feature very well and adds to the disc’s value.

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