Blood from the Mummy's Tomb

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Blood from the Mummy's Tomb
Bloodmummytomb.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Seth Holt
Produced by Howard Brandy
Written by Christopher Wicking
Starring Valerie Leon
Andrew Keir
Mark Edwards
James Villiers
Hugh Burden
Aubrey Morris
Music by Tristram Cary
Cinematography Arthur Grant
Edited by Peter Weatherly
Production
  company
EMI-Elstree
Hammer Film Productions
Distributed by Anglo-EMI Film Distributors Ltd.
MGM-EMI (UK)
American International Pictures (USA)
Release date(s) 14 October 1971
Running time 94 min
Country UK
Language English
Budget £200,000

Blood from the Mummy's Tomb is a 1971 British film starring Andrew Keir, Valerie Leon, and James Villiers. This was director Seth Holt's final film, and was loosely adapted from Bram Stoker's novel The Jewel of Seven Stars.[1] The film was released as the support feature to Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde.

Plot[edit]

An expedition led by British archeologist Professor Fuchs (Keir) attempts to locate the cursed tomb of an evil Egyptian princess. Her body is found to be perfectly preserved. Fuchs becomes obsessed by Princess Tera's beauty and takes the body and sarcophagus back to London, building a secret shrine in his basement. Not long after, his daughter Margaret (Leon), who bears an uncanny resemblance to the princess, starts to experience strange dreams. A sinister man, who only she seems to notice, watches her from the derelict house across the road. Margaret begins to wonder if she's going mad, and starts experiencing wild personality changes. Soon the evil will of Tera, reaching up through the house, begins to periodically take over Margaret's mind and body. The strange man is revealed as Corbeck (Villiers), one of the expedition members, who is working to restore Tera to life and a new reign of terror, and with his help Margaret kills the other desecrators of Tera's tomb, and everyone that stands in her way. Corbeck, Margaret and her increasingly unhinged father start the ritual to awaken the princess. Professor Fuchs finally sees sense and convinces her to stop the ritual; together they overpower and kill Corbeck. Tera awakes, and in the attempt to stop Tera, the Professor is killed. After a long struggle, Margaret stabs Tera in the heart, but Tera continues to struggle. Both appear to be unconscious, when the tomb-like shrine collapses, as if by earthquake. Later, in the hospital, we see a woman wrapped in bandages. We are told that the woman is the only survivor, with all of the others crushed beyond recognition. In the end, we see the woman open her eyes, and appear to struggle to speak. We are left unsure if the woman is Margaret or Tera.

Production[edit]

Besides providing a rare leading role for Valerie Leon, the film is particularly notable for its troubled production. Peter Cushing was cast in the film and completed one day's filming before leaving the production after his wife was diagnosed with emphysema. Cushing was replaced by Andrew Keir.[2] The R1 DVD of the film released in America by Anchor Bay Entertainment contains still photographs of Cushing's day on the production. Director Seth Holt died of a heart attack five weeks into the six week shoot, collapsing into cast member Aubrey Morris's arms and dying on set.[2] Michael Carreras directed the final week's filming.

According to the book Hammer, House of Horror: Behind the Screams by Howard Maxford, the budget for the film was £200,000.[3]

The film was shot at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire.

Cast[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Allmovie's review of the film was favourable, commending its "glamorous style" and "creepy atmosphere".[4] Blood from the Mummy's Tomb currently holds an average three star rating (5.8/10) on IMDb.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gary A. Smith, The American International Pictures Video Guide, McFarland 2009 p 28
  2. ^ a b Gaughan, Gavin (6 February 2009). "Guardian, 6th February, 2009". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  3. ^ Maxford, Howard, Hammer, House of Horror:Behind the Screams, B. T. Batsford Ltd, 1996, ISBN 0-7134-7768-7
  4. ^ Brian J. Dillard. "Blood From the Mummy's Tomb - Review". Allmovie. Retrieved 8 July 2012. 

External links[edit]