Hello everyone. For the sake of time, I'm going to condense these three movies into a single review. This is for the reason that the plots are very similar, and all three movies are rather short (about an hour a piece).
Off the success of The Wolfman and The Mummy's Hand, Universal Studios decided to add on to the series featuring the mummy, Kharis. These films: The Mummy's Tomb, The Mummy's Ghost, and The Mummy's Curse were released between 1942 and 1944, with the latter two both released in 1944, in July and December, respectively.
|Lon Chaney Jr. as Kharis|
In these 3 films, Kharis is portrayed by Lon Chaney Jr.. Although Chaney played Kharis on three occasions, he is noted for publicly stating that he loathed playing Kharis. Each day of filming involved sitting in the make-up room for up to 8 hours getting wrapped and transformed into the mummy by make-up legend Jack Pierce. The reason Chaney is not very recognizable in these movies is because, with the end of the old techniques drawing near, Chaney was given a rubber mask to wear for the longer shots in the films.
Some recurring people from the first Kharis movie, The Mummy's Hand, are Dick Foran reprising his role as Steve Banning (in The Mummy's Tomb only), and George Zucco, reprising his role as Andoheb in both Tomb and Ghost. Also, Wallace Ford is back as "Babe" Hanson, when he played "Babe" Jenson in the original Kharis film.
|Turhan Bey and Lon Chaney Jr.|
|Ramsay Ames plays Amina Mansori|
|Kharis carrying Amina|
The Mummy's Curse is the last film in the Kharis mummy saga. Also released in 1944, this film somehow takes places in the swamps of Louisiana. This change is given no explanation whatsoever, and it is one of my biggest criticisms. It is also stated that this film takes places "twenty-five years" after the events of The Mummy's Ghost, making the year 1995. Having lived through the 90's, I find it slightly amusing that, despite being 1995, everything still looks like it came from the 1940's.
|Virginia Christie as Ananka|
Anyway, this film begins with the mummies of Kharis and Ananka are discovered in a Louisiana swamp by a logging crew. Two representatives from the Scipp's Museum in Mapleton arrive to retrieve the mummies, Dr. James Halsey (played by Dennis Moore) and Dr. Ilzor Zandaab (Peter Coe). Zandaab is revealed to be a High Priest of Arkam, and meets with his follower Ragheb (Martin Kosleck) at a monastery, where the mummy of Kharis is being hidden. Zandaab explains the whole process of keeping Kharis alive (again). Meanwhile, Ananka (Virginia Christine) is awake and now appears to be young. She is found by Halsey, who finds her extensive knowledge of Ancient Egypt intriguing. Kharis, looking for Ananka, begins murdering people. Eventually, Halsey disappears and a friend Betty Walsh (Kay Harding), seeks Ragheb's assistance to find him. Ragheb becomes infatuated with Betty and plans to make her his bride. Zandaab finds out and demands the death of Betty Walsh, but is killed by Ragheb. Halsey finds them and struggles with Ragheb, before Kharis intervenes and attacks Ragheb for betraying his master. Kharis and Ragheb perish in a cell-like room when Kharis brings the walls down on top of them.
|The last time Chaney would play Kharis|
This movie was just bad. I almost couldn't sit through it. Between the random change in scenery to just the fact that Ananka would awaken in the swamp as a young woman while Kharis still remains a mummy, to the fact that many plot points happen yet again. It's safe to say that this film was just a vehicle for Universal Studios to bank on the name of Lon Chaney Jr. Other than that name, this movie is 100% not worth watching. I give it 1 out of 5.
Overall, this is a series that just made me mad to watch. These three films were made over a span of 3 or 4 years, and I don't understand how they could have been so careless with the series. Between the confusing storylines, the monotonously repetitive plot points/movie events, the random change in scenery, and a host of other problems, this series has to go down as one of the worst bunch of movies made by a major American studio. These three films definitely qualify for B-movie status. I give the series as a whole a 1.5 out of 5.