Thursday, March 31, 2022

The Mummy Through a “Kid’s” Eyes

Besides giving up on these black and white films completely, real mummies- like in museums- give Anabelle the willies. Therefore, not only was there no way she was going to watch this classic, but she skipped out on the Brendan Frasier trilogy as well. 
This is a shame, as those are a total hoot. 

I never saw the third one before…
Was not expecting Yeti.
Any-hoo, on to the original!

Most references to Mummy films are all about the later ones with Kharis as the slowly shambling fully wrapped monster. 

The 1932 classic is far better. 

Karloff only looks like "a mummy" when first discovered, then he's in old ageish makeup that still looks creepy but very human. Its almost a remake of Dracula, (including back story elements similar to the Coppola version) but with Boris Karloff in the lead and Egyptian instead of Transylvanian trappings.  It's obvious I like this one, as I went out of my way to find more pictures than for most of these.

As usual if the comment is only me, I didn’t say it aloud. Rather, it’s a bit of trivia or an observation I thought was cool.
Also, equally as usual, Rosa was being patient with my fascination about old movies and watched while reading, then got more into the story as it passed. 
(Because, the good ones are that well made.)

Here we go.
On the hapless Ralph being left alone and told not to open the mystery box:
Rosa- “He’s going to open it.”
“There he goes.” *repeated multiple times*
*The box is opened*
“What the heck is that? A paper?”
Me- “The Scroll of Thoth that raises the dead. 
You know...the one the entire introduction scene was about.”
Rosa- “Ah.” *goes back to reading*
On the mummy opening an eye when the scroll is read:
Me*thoughts*- Man! That is outstanding make up work, Jack Peirce was a genius.”
Rosa*out loud—ignoring her reading*- “Uh oh!”
On the ten year flash forward:
Me*thoughts*- "That was really subtle. There’s no title card and no caption, but the film lets you know ten years have passed through the dialogue. No studio would risk that the audience could pay attention that well today."
On Ardeth Bay’s arrival:
Rosa- “He’s the Mummy!”
On the use of incidental music:
Me- “This is right between Dracula and Frankenstein (1931) that had no incidental music and King Kong (1933)which is the first film with a full score. Even the little bits here and there helps the mood a great deal.”
Rosa- *exudes patience about my obsession with random useless trivia*
On the abruptness of Helen and Frank’s kiss when he’s talking about taking care of her fairly shortly after a first meeting:
Rosa- “Um…That’s very weird.”
On the pacing of 1930’s films when Pearson is meticulously trying to put the scroll in the fireplace before Ardeth Bay puts a long distance Egyptian whammy on him:
Rosa- “Well, burn it already!”
On Helen’s unflappably accepting her past life and the creepy looking Ardeth Bay:
Rosa- “She’s so calm in front of a Mummy. ‘ Hey! Let’s chat Mummy!’”
On Ardeth Bay using his scrying pool to see other characters:
Rosa- “How can he see that?”
Me- “He’s watching The Mummy on TV.”
*Ardeth gives Pearson heart failure with mystic hand gestures*
Rosa- “Uh oh. He’s twiddling his fingers at him.”
On Muller realizing Ardeth’s servant replaced the scroll with newspaper in the fire:
Rosa- “Finally!!!!  You can see the difference!”
On Ardeth showing Helen the Scrying Pool:
Rosa- “They’re going to in the Jacuzzi.”
Me- “It’s a scrying pool.”
Rosa- “Yeah, scrubbing bubbles in the Jacuzzi.”
*Ardeth calls up images of Ancient Egypt.”
Rosa- “Oh look, they’re showing another movie in the Jacuzzi.”
On the Ancient Egypt flashback visions:
Me *thoughts*- “It’s a silent movie, the frame rate, the music, all of it. Audiences back then would be completely used to them, so that’s how they illustrated a magical film within a film. That’s very clever.”
On everyone getting upset that Helen got out of bed and dressed when she was convalescing:
Rosa- “They think she’s too weak and frail to put makeup on?”
*mimes lifting arm to apply eye shadow and drops it dramatically* “oooh.”
Me- “It was the Thirties.”
Rosa- “Oh yeah.”
On Helen suddenly wearing Princess Ankh-Esen-Amun's (definitely pre Hays Code) outfit in the presence of Ardeth Bey (Imhotep):
Rosa- “Who changed her?”
Me- “Who else is there?”
Rosa- “Ew.”
On Helen finally reacting in terror to the Mummy:
Rosa- “Oh, NOW she screams.”
*mimes fainting dramatically*
Imhotep explains that he has to kill her to bring her back like him:
Rosa- “Uh oh!” *repeated a lot*
On Imhotep’s stone dagger:
Rosa- “It doesn’t have a point. It looks more like a spoon.”
*yelling* “SPOOOOOOOOOON!”
On the effect of repeatedly having Imhotep stare directly at the camera with hypnotic light up eyes:
Rosa- “He’s very scary.”
Me- “He’s Boris Karloff, that’s his job.”

On Ankh-Esen-Amun remembering her past life and calling upon Isis to strike down the scroll, and therefore Imhotep:
Me *thoughts*- "Good thing she did that, all the men in this film are completely useless, even the guy who played Van Helsing."
*Later learning*
"Huh, the male lead was the same from Dracula too, amazing I didn't notice since Johnathan Harker was also useless."
On Princess Ankh-Esen-Amun’s headdress:
*The film is over and we are now watching the menu clips on a loop to discuss this, adding a comment each time the scene passes*
Me- “There’s a chicken on her head.”
Rosa- “No, it was a snake.”
Me- “Look on the sides, it has wings.”
Rosa- “Those aren’t wings.”
Me- “See, it has wings,"
Me- "... and a tail. Maybe it’s a turkey.”
Rosa- “It’s still a snake head."
Rosa- "It’s a snurkey.”

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