Movie Fan Man: Cinema Connoisseur

Traditional, Artsy, Genre-Within-Genre: A Little Something for Everyone

The Top Ten Mummy Kills

by Tony Nash

(All opinions are of the author alone)

(Spoilers ahead)

Hello to my followers, those I’m following, and all curious visitors. With the Euro Witches & Madmen Halloween Special finished, I was racking my brain with what to do for Monday before the final Wednesday post, and I found something I’m sure will be fascinating. On both YouTube and WordPress I’ve seen people discussing their favorite Slasher kills, and normally I stear clear of such lists because I tend to have trouble narrowing stuff down, but here I’m making an exception because I’m sticking to the four Mummy films made by Hammer studios. While the Universal Mummy films and the Mummy films starring Brendan Frasher are cool, the death scenes are either too ordinary or too fantasique, Hammer’s scenes often being creative and/or set perfectly to the right mood or tone.

 

10. Joseph Whemple (Raymond Huntley) in The Mummy (1959)

While a good music cue adds to the overall effect of the scene’s scare and eerie factor, the strangulation scene happens just way too fast. Mr. Huntley doesn’t even get the opportunity to show being scarred a Mummy has come back to life and is killed too fast.

9. Stephen Banning (Felix Aylmer) in The Mummy (1959)

The head of the expedition responsible for the resurrection of a murderous Mummy should usually have a befitting death scene, and while Mr. Banning is certainly given such, nothing extra ordinary happens. While the asylum strangulation scene most likely offered inspiration for many an 80’s Slasher film, that the character forgets an important item that would’ve helped his son find his killers leaves the scene a little cold.

8. Stanley Preston (John Philips) in The Mummy’s Shroud (1967)

When the man responsible for the archeological expedition also happens to be the most unlikable jerk on screen, his death scene would certainly be one that would leave audiences actually cheering the Mummy snuffed him out. Audiences most certainly aren’t sad to see the character of Preston get killed, but that all he gets is his head bashed into the side of a wall is a little subpar and maybe a little underwhelming for the slick dirty dealings he pulled. John Philips still plays the scene well either way, and his getting spit on at the end adds a little.

7. Hashmi Bey (George Pastell) in The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb (1964)

Now what makes this scene interesting is that the victim actually asks to be killed. Bey is a loyal subject of Egypt and feels so traitorous in helping the British foreigners defile the tombs of the Pharaohs that he chooses to have his family become synonymous with dirt and suffer a painful death. The Mummy gets quite unique with his style of execution by using his foot to crush Bey’s head and neck. A well done and welcome different scene.

6. Mr. Longbarrow (Michael Ripper) in The Mummy’s Shroud (1967)

What makes this kill scene a bit more tragic than the rest on the list is that the fellow getting killed was truly a victim of circumstances. Longbarrow’s only connection to the tomb is his being the secretary of the man financing the expedition. The Mummy gets really physical with Michael Ripper’s character and wraps him up in his bedsheets, then promptly throws him out of a window where his skull smashes on the ground. Ripper gives quite the good death scene ravings as he shouts for help and begs for mercy.

5. Adam Beauchamp/Prince Beal (Terence Morgan) in The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb (1964)

What happens when you learn the guy you thought was the brooding anti-hero of the film turns out to be the Mummy’s evil brother who was cursed to live forever for the act of fratricide? One of the better climaxes to a well paced and generally entertaining movie. The revelation does come out of left field, but does make sense when audiences learn the whole story of The Mummy’s death. Terence Morgan’s character was the only one in the franchise to suffer death via being held down and drowned by a Mummy, which did prove to be very inventive and interesting.

4. Sir Basil Walden (Andre Morell) in The Mummy’s Shroud (1967)

Veteran British character actor Andre Morell gets to be the first victim of the third film in The Mummy franchise. His death scene is the earliest instance in the genre of the Mummy crushing someone’s head with its bare hands. The camera beginning with Morell’s head being grasped and then panning up as The Mummy slowly and methodically squeezes the head to mush is very effective as it leaves audiences wondering how terrible the end result was of such a death.

3. Sir Giles Dalrymple (Jack Gwillim) in The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb (1964)

This scene is one of the more chilling deaths within the franchise. Like with the Andre Morell, the actual kill is never seen, but the implication is just as frightening. The Sir Giles character suffers death by bludgeoning with a statue. That the film music just stops as does actor Gwillim’s cries for help after the first blow and all that’s heard for the next three strikes is the Mummy’s unearthly breathing is truly unsettling and effective.

2. (Multiple ties) Geoffrey Danbridge (Hugh Burden), Helen Dickerson (Rosalie Crutchley), Prof. Berigan (George Clourouris), and the Three Priests (Unnamed Extras) in Blood From the Mummy’s Tomb) (1971)

Whew, talk about true powers of darkness at work in this one. Director Seth Holt mixed unique editing and camera angles as he shows the members of an expedition being killed one by one by supernatural means with throat wounds similar to that of jackal bites. Probably the most eerie kills in any Mummy style film.

1. Mehemet Bey (George Pastell) in The Mummy (1959)

Yes ladies and gents, this is my all time favorite kill in Hammer’s Mummy franchise. The Religious Zealot determined to uphold the curse of his native land ends up having the tables turned on him. Not realizing the hero’s wife bears a striking resemblance to the ancient princess he is to protect, the evil Bey suffers a quite painful death of having his back broken and his spine severed. Quite an ironic ending for the man who wanted to destroy the foreign infidels who he believed had no respect for his land and culture.

I hope this list matches the quality of other lists elsewhere and that everyone found it interesting.

All images are courtesy of Google.com/Google Images and their respective owners

Please check out my reviews in my Halloween section for more in depth looks at the films

 

 

Filed under: Film: Special Topics, Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: