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
Michael Carreras (uncredited)
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
Distributed by Anglo-EMI Film Distributors Ltd.
MGM-EMI (UK)
American International Pictures (USA)
Release date
14 October 1971
Running time
94 min.
Country United Kingdom
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. Another film based on Stoker's The Jewel of Seven Stars, The Awakening, was released in 1980.

Plot[edit]

An expedition led by Professor Fuchs (Keir) locates the unmarked tomb of Tera (Leon) an evil Egyptian queen. A cabal of priests drugged her into a state of suspended animation and buried all of her evil relics with her. Fuchs is obsessed with Tera and takes her mummy and sarcophagus back to England, where he secretly recreates her tomb under his house. For days "before her birthday," his daughter Margaret (also Leon) - who bears an uncanny resemblance to Tera and was born at the instant they recited her name - has recurring nightmares. Fuchs gives her the old queen's ring and tells her to "wear it always." Of course, this only makes matters worse. Queen Tera's evil power begins to tempt Margaret, as she learns how she's feared by her father's former colleagues.

Margaret notices a man lurking in the vacant building across the street. He is Corbeck (Villiers), an expedition member who's now her father's rival. Corbeck wants to restore Tera to life and he persuades Margaret to help him gather the missing relics. The problem is, each time one is given up the person who'd held it dies. When they have all the relics, Corbeck, Margaret and Fuchs begin the ancient ritual to reawaken Tera. At the last moment Fuchs learns that the queen's revival will mean Margaret's death. Together Fuchs and Margaret overpower and kill Corbeck, as the house quakes above them. Queen Tera awakens and kills Fuchs, but not before Margaret stabs her. Margaret and Tera are grappling over an ancient dagger when the house finally collapses on them.

Later in the hospital, we see a woman whose face is wrapped in bandages. We're told she's the sole survivor, and that all the others in the Professor's basement were "crushed beyond recognition." The bandaged woman slowly opens her eyes and struggles to speak. But who is she, exactly - Margaret Fuchs or Queen Tera?

Production[edit]

Besides providing a rare leading role for Valerie Leon, the film is 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 the United States 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]