It’s Only a Chest. No Harm Ever Came From Opening A Chest. Yeah, Right, And No Harm Ever Came From Reading A Book. You Remember How That One Went?: The Mummy Returns (2001)

It’s only a chest. No harm ever came from opening a chest. Yeah, right, and no harm ever came from reading a book. You remember how that one went?

As I mentioned in my previous post of The Mummy (1999), I love The Mummy (1932), as Boris Karloff is an amazing actor; but these remakes starring Fraser are also some of my favorites! Who can resist this man:

And I wasn’t the only own who enjoyed the (1999) film, this sequel was greenlit by Universal the morning after The Mummy (1999) opened in May 1999.

While I love the first film, I have seen the sequel more times than I can count. When Hollywood Video (remember that rental place?) went out of business I scored a copy of The Mummy Returns, and would watch it over and over. In fact I’ve seen this film so many times it’s permanently burned in my mind.

I just love this movie. Brendan Fraser at his finest and hottest. Why can’t I find my own one of him?

But enough fangirling, let’s get on to the review!

The film starts off in the past with Ardeth Bay narrating a past event that will be impacting our future story.

In 3067 BC, the Scorpion King was trying to conquer the world, but was defeated and exiled to the desert of Ahm Shere. The Scorpion King doesn’t take defeat lightly, and sells his soul to Anubis in order to vanquish his enemies. He defeats them , but when he completes everything he is taken to the underworld…but that’s not the end of the story. It is said that one day he will rise again and whoever defeats him will control his army and send them to hell or control them.

Fast forward to 1933, and the O’Connell are doing well for themselves. They had all that treasure that Benni put on the camels, Rick and Evie were married, they have become famous in their field and are asked to excavate all kinds of places, and they have an adorable precocious son, Alex. If you think about it too hard you realize that Alex is too old to fit the timeline, but the director didn’t want to work with a baby, I get it.

They are going through some ancient ruins when Evie has a weird vision/long asleep memory and is transported back to the time of Imhotep. She sees herself as Princess Neferteri fighting Anck-su-namun. In the vision/memory she sees herself losing but granted her father’s head of security while Anck-su-namun is to wed her father. This is where the backstory connects to the one we had in the previous film, as Anck-su-namun does not want to marry the Pharoah but loves Imhotep; although you can’t say no to Pharoah. Hence the whole adultry, murdered Pharoah, Suicide of Anck-su-namun, and Imhotep’s burial.

We are all caught up now!

Rachel Weisz and Patricia Velasquez trained for five months for their fight scene. They did the fight without any stunt women. Amazing!

Evie is confused, and Rick shrugs it off; even though her memory helps her figure out where the bracelet of Anubis is. They are up against some other people searching for the bracket but the are washed away by the Nile, as removing the braclet triggers a booby trap. Rick and Evie are saved when Alex accidentally knocks the pillars over and keeps them from drowning. The scene is very reminiscent of when Evie knocked over all the bookcases in the first film.

While the O’Connells head home we shift to Egypt where Meela Nais (Patricia Velazquez) is searching for Imhotep. She believes she is the reincarnation of Anuck-su-mun (and is played by the same actress), wokring with Mr. Halez, Lock-Nah, and a whole cult who wants to awaken Imhotep so he can defeat the Scorpion King. They discover him and the Book of Life, planning to awaken him, when they are interrupted by our earlier thieves who let them know they lost the bracelet, but they know where it’s going.

After their trip, the O’Connell trio they return home where things go from 0-100

  • Rick wants to relax but Evie wants to go on a new dig site.
  • Jonathan is having a party with a show girl and pretending that the O’Connell house is his when Meela Nais comes in with mercenaries who rough Jonathan up thinking he is Rick. They also threaten to kill him
  • Rick enters the room and starts fighting, joined by Ardeth Bay who has come as he discovered that they found the bracelet of Anubis and has been watching the cult
  • Alex puts the bracelet of Anubis on and cannot take it off, hiding a statue in the box instead
  • Evie is captured and taken away

Our guys head after them, discovering the cult is working out of the British Museum to rescue her with Arderth giving Rick, Alex, and Jonathan a brief rundown on what’s happening. He’s worried about the cult using the bracelet to discover the Scorpion King’s pyramid, but Alex reveals he has it. This does not turn out to be good news:

Ardeth Bay: [To Alex] By putting this on, you have started a chain reaction that could bring about the next apocalypse. [Alex gasps]

Rick: [to Ardeth] You, lighten up. [to Alex] You, big trouble. [to Jonathan] You, get in the car.

Ardeth Bay: I am sorry if I alarmed your son, but you must understand, now that the bracelet is on his wrist, we have only seven days before the Scorpion King awakens.

Rick: We? What we?

Ardeth Bay: If he is not killed, he will raise the Army of Anubis.

Jonathan: I take it that’s not a good thing?

Rick: Oh, he’ll wipe out the world.

Jonathan: Ah, the old “wipe out the world” ploy.

On the way to the museum, Ardeth Bay notices a tattoo on Rick’s arm. He asks about it and Rick can’t remember when he got it, he’s had it as long as he can remember believing it was given to him when he lived in the orphanage in Egypt. Ardeth believes it was fate that brought them all together as it is a mark of the magi. Rick however, doesn’t even believe him.

I’m done (from Mean Girls)

Back at the museum, the cultists begin their ritual to awaken Imhotep, although he’s not in his full form. Remember he needs to consume three people who open his chest in order to achieve full immortal on Earth status. Most important thing I learned from The Mummy (1999), you should always have a cat around.

Rick and Ardeth watch the cultists to find their opening, while Jonathan and Alex wait in the car. I love how Jonathan hasn’t changed and is basically on the same maturity level as Alex.

Meela had brought Evelyn to Imhotep as a gift as she knows their history. Weird, but whatever. They were going to kill her by throwing her in a fire pit but that’s when our man, Rick comes storming in and saves the day.

What a man!!!!

A fight ensues when Imhotep being a poor sport as he awakens his priestly mummies to attack them.

Our hero’s find and opening and flee where they then have to ride a double decker bus to safety. Why a bus and not Rick’s car? Well while they were waiting Jonathan broke the key and they had to find alternative transportation. This is such a great scene as we have them speeding through London being followed by mummies.

After they defeat the mummies they think they are in the clear, but Alex is kidnapped by Lock-Nah who figured out Alex had the bracelet. Evie and Rick are both heartbroken, but Ardeth tells them that no harm can come to Alex while he wears the bracelet. It is little comfort to them as their son has been KIDNAPPED! They decide to follow and try to save their son, joined by Ardeth and Jonathan. Rick gets them a ride on his old friend’s Izzy’s dirigible, bribing him with Jonathan’s gold staff as their last adventure made him extremely hesitant to join them.

Meanwhile Meela is excited for Imhotep and her’s relationship, but at the same time she is still disgusted by his mummified appearance. Imhotep uses his powers to change her perception of how he looks to her and again I’m like ew. He probably has bed breath and is all gooey- icky.

Imhotep and his group are ready to head out, using Alex and the bracelet as a guide. Alex is very stubborn and intends to not help them get to the Scorpion King’s oasis, however, Imhotep reveals to him that if he fails to make it to the pyramid by the time the sun rises on the eighth day he will die. Alex is definitely on board to make sure they get there in time, but that isn’t the only business that Imhotep needs to settle. The thieves from earlier who failed to get the bracelet have continued to cause problems, they put them on one of the train cars with Imhotep’s ceremonial jars and of course they open them and are consumed.

Imhotep is has fully regenerated and while Alex tries to flee, Imhotep captures him and discovers the next leg of the journey as the bracelet reveals it all.

While at their break Imhotep puts Meela in a trance to have her remember her “previous life” as Anuk-su-mun. Him doing so also puts Evie in a trance. Both relive the backstory we saw in the previous film. Imhotep and Anuck-su-mun in love, killing the pharaoh, etc. Evie becomes so overcome when seeing it that she almost falls out of the dirigible. Again Ardeth insists that Rick and Evie are fated together and he to protect her.

Imhotep has decided that the “reincarnated” version of Anuck-su-mun is cool and all but he wants the real thing. He kill’s her and uses the book of the dead to bring Anuck-su-mun back to life and continue on their trip in mummy bliss.

By the time the O’Connell dirigible gets there the group is gone, but Alex has left a clue for them continuing this every leg of the trip.

Lock-Nah hates Alex and can’t wait until they can be rid of him, and in his hatred has been carefully watching him. He’s noticed Alex going off on his own a lot and discovers that he has been leaving secret clues. Imhotep uses his powers to create a massive tidal wave with his face to attack them. Just like in the previous film when he made the sandstorm. After they get hit, Alex thinks his family is dead.

However you can’t kill the O’Connells (maybe Jonathan) but Rick and Evie are too tough to kill. They leave Izzy to try and fix the dirigible while they head to the Scorpion King’s oasis. It won’t be easy though as the pyramid is protects by mummified pgymies. They have to outsmart them and get to the pyramid before they die. I really like this scene as this is one of the few times we see Jonathan acting responsible. Evie and Jonathan provide cover while Rick and Ardeth take off for the lryamjd, she asking Jonathan to make her proud and keep her family safe.

Evelyn: Jonathan?

Jonathan: Yes?

Evelyn: That’s my husband and my son down there. Make me proud.

Jonathan: Today’s that day, Evy.

The cult members are all killed by the pygmies and Hafez loses his hand when he sacrifices it trying to get in the pyramid. After they finish fighting the pygmies, they think everything is done, however Alex reveals that he need to get the key to the pyramid before the sun rises or else he’s toast.

What else?

Rick runs with him and looks hotter than ever, there’s nothing like a hit dad. They barely make it time and are followed by Jonathan and Evelyn. The reunion is not long as Anuck-su-mun comes and stabs Evelyn, killing her.

What, that’s not right. She can’t die. She’s obviously going to wake up.

They can’t fool me

She doesn’t wake up…

Where is everyone?

Noooooooo!

The first time I watched this I was in shock over it as I couldn’t believe she died! What!! What!?!

What else?

Everyone is heartbroken over Evie’s death. Rick could care less about Imhotep’s and the Scorpion King, only wanting to defeat them because of what they did to his wife.

Imhotep is fully focused on his mission, but when he goes to approach the scorpion king he loses all his powers as only a moral can approach him. Anuck-Su-Mun wants Imhotep to give up and just have them live their lives, but he tells her that if he dies to just being him back with the book of life .

Rick has made his way to Imhotep and the two fight, even though Imhotep’s has awakened the Scorpion King.

Basically Rick right now.

Jonathan tries to help grieving Alex, when Alex remembers that they can bring his mom back with the Book of Life. The two plot to steal it from Anuck-Su-Mun, with Jonathan challenging her to a fight in order to “teach her a lesson”. While the two fight, Alex tries to read the spell, but has trouble with one of the symbols. However, Uncle Jonathan is able to tell him the word as it is the same one he struggled with in The Mummy (1999). Alex resurrects his mom just in time as Anuck-su-min is about to kill Jonathan. Don’t mess with Evie:

The Scoroion King has woken up and is played by Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson in his first film role. No one liked the way they made him look and I have to admit even for early CGI it is bad. It turns out that it was a rush job and was only completed eight days before the film’s release. Explains a lot.

Imhotep is a coward and tells the Scorpion King that it was Rick who awoke him and wanted to fight him. Rick tries to battle him, but it is no easy feat. However, he sees a picture on the walls that shows a person with the same tattoo as him defeating the scorpion king with the staff they gave to Izzy, and was stolen back by Jonathan. Rick decides he is a believer in fate after all.

Rick yells at Jonathan to throw the staff, Jonathan does but Imhotep interferes. However Imhotep may be cool and all, but he has got nothing on my man Rick who also intercepts the staff and uses it to kill the Scorpion King and send all his army back to hell.

What a man!

By doing this everything starts to suck back into the pit just like in Jumanji and both Rick and Imhotep are getting trapped in the vortex as well. Rick sees Evie and yells at her to go, but she refuses to listen and pulls him to safety. Imhotep calls out to Anuck-su-min who refuses to help, running away. He falls in the pit and dies, she also being killed by being eaten by scarab beetles.

The O’Connells clan are looking like they are done for, but then Izzy swoops in and saves the day with his dirigible. Jonathan sticky fingers snags a gorgeous pyramid that was on top of the pyramid and covered in precious stones; he and Izzy argue while the O’Connells are happy to be back together.

And that ends The Mummy Returns (2001), one of my favorite movies and one I highly recommend.

For more on The Mummy series, go to The Book of the Dead? Are You Sure You Want to Be Playing Around With This Thing? It’s Just a Book. No Harm Ever Came From… Reading a Book.: The Mummy (1999)

For more mummy movies, go to Welcome to a New World of Gods and Monsters: The Mummy (2017)

For more Rachel Weisz, go to I Was Here For A Moment. And Then I Was Gone: The Lovely Bones (2009)

For more sequels, go to Mysterious Things Have Happened. A Murder in the Village…They Probably Think You, Like Your Father, Have Created Another Monster…: Son of Frankenstein (1939)

The Book of the Dead? Are You Sure You Want to Be Playing Around With This Thing? It’s Just a Book. No Harm Ever Came From… Reading a Book.: The Mummy (1999)

The Book of the Dead? Are you sure you want to be playing around with this thing? It’s just a book. No harm ever came from… reading a book.

I love The Mummy (1932), Boris Karloff is an amazing actor.

And you all know that I don’t like remakes…usually. There are always exceptions, such as this film.

First of all what I think works in this film’s favor is that there is no actual source material. material. The original Mummy was based on the discovery of King Tut‘s tomb and the controversy over “his curse”. It is the only one of the Universal Classic Horror Collection that is not based off of legend, myth, or classical fiction; but was created all on its own. Because of that it is open to a variety of interpretations, allowing the remake to be just as good as the original.

I remember when this movie first came out, I was seven years old and saw trailers on TV and every where. I loved anything with Brendan Fraser (still do).

Look at this man

I didn’t see it in theaters as my mother was afraid it might be too scary for me. I actually first watched the film at SEARS, when my parents were shopping for an appliance. After we both saw scenes from the film, my mom and I had to watch it and rented it from Hollywood Video.

And of course we would also rent the second film when it come out, The Mummy Returns. I also watched The Scorpion King, The Mummy Dragon Empire (not that good), and The Mummy (2017) {extremely terrible}.

I just love this movie. Brendan Fraser at his finest and hottest. Why can’t I find my own one of him?

But enough fangirling, let’s get on to the review!

Anck-su-namun is the mistress/concubine to the Pharaoh and has a love affair with the priest Imhotep (fun fact he was named after an architect of the Stepped Pyramids of Djoser). The pharaoh discovers this and condemns them both to death. Anck-su-namun kills the pharaoh and then herself, in order to save Imhotep.

Imhotep steals her body and tried to bring her back but is stopped befor he could complete the ritual. Instead he is buried alive with scarab beetles. And a curse that he will one day rise again.

Fast forward thousand of years and we have the foreign legion storming through Hamunaptra, the City of the Dead. Something comes (our mummy) that destroys everything with only two survivors. One of which is our very hunky Brendan Fraser as Rick O’Connell. I could just watch him do literally anything for days.

Soooo cute!!!!

Fast forward a few more years to 1923. Tons of treasures have been found by archeologists and everyone is convening in Egypt to dig and make the next big discovery.

At the library, Evelyn “Evie” Carnahan (Rachel Weisz) dreams of being more than just a librarian, she wants to make the next great discovery too! Unfortunately, she often causes trouble as seen when she knocks all the bookshelves over and creates a giant mess of mixed up books. The head of the library is so mad at Evie he wishes for plagues, locusts, flies, etc rather than more of her. Oops, better watch what you say say!

I understand his anger as not only is she lucky she didn’t knock a torch down and burn the whole library (Library of Alexandria Part II), but now they have to go back and reshelve everything.

Speaking of a fire torches, what kind of library would use that when the possibility for it burning everything down is so high.

While Evie is cleaning up her brother Jonathan visits, who is always getting into trouble with some money making scheme and dig. As I said before, Evie wants to become a real “archeologist”, so when her brother shows her his latest acquisition, she is happily surprised to see it is something real! It appears to be a puzzle box with a map to the lost city of Hamunaptra, the City of the Dead. She shows it to her boss who sets it on fire. They save most of it, but are missing a part, all is lost!!! Now why would her boss do that?

However, it turns out that Jonathan did not dig it up but stole it from someone. They go to find the man, and hopefully answers, which leads them to a jail where Rick O’ Connell, is being held. I know she found him in jail, but I don’t care. I would be just as into him as she is, especially after that kiss.

In order to save Rick and find Hamunaptra, they need to free him. Evie tries her best negotiation skills and is finally able to talk the jailer into letting Rick go for 25% of whatever they find.

The next day they meet up and go on their cruise down the river and also discover that they have some competitors. Some Americans who have also hired a man who has been there before.

Hmm…

Unbeknownst to all on the ship a group of Bedouin row to the boat and sneak on.

On the ship Rick and Evie talk and my friend and I would always say this is one is the sexiest scene not meant to be sexy. Brendan Fraser with his sleeves rolled up, gun hostlers, and unrolling his weapon (No innuendo intended). What a fine looking man, no wonder Evie can’t resist him.

Evie can’t stop thinking of the kiss and just has to know why Rick kissed her. She asks him and is expecting something sweet and romantic but all he says is basically, you were there.

He literally could have said anything else and it would have been better.

Seriously!

The Bedouin start causing issues on the ship as they want to stop them from continuing on their trip. I love how Jonathan comes running in and gets the key, knocking the Bedouin guy over. Jonathan is basically Shaggy Rogers with nicer clothes and a British accent.

All our characters make it out okay, with Rick, Evie, and Jonathan ending up on the correct side of the river. They later have to get camels and new clothes, with Evie’s new look causing Rick to give her second, third, fourth, etc glances.

They reach Hamanuptra, but aren’t able to go right away as the sun has to be just right. The two parties race to be the first ones. At one end of the city, the group of Americans are digging in the wrong area, while Evie leads them to the book of Amun-Ra using mirrors.

Rick has completely fallen in love with Evie and steals tools for her to properly dig. Aw what thoughtful gift.

How sweet!

When both find the best place to dig and start in on each other with guns blazing. Before we have a shootout at Hamanuptra, Evie convinces Rick to let it go as there are other places to dig. He immediately listens, what a gentleman.

Evie and her group are trying to get under Anubis and Rick listens to her talk and is interested in everything she says. This is the type of man I need. One who likes listening to me talk about books, history, and art.

Soooo cute!!!!

Their jailer partner has scored some beautiful beetles, lapis lazuli, but they turn out to wake up and attack him.

That night they both groups are attacked by the Bedouin and join forces to try and stay safe. Rick finds it odd that they would be after them as they don’t value riches the same way. Hmm? Evie and Rick stay up practice fighting in case another situation comes up.

Evie and Rick have such a cute scene together as she has been drinking and is really open about what she is feeling. I also like how when she tries to kiss him and passes out he just leaves her alone, such a gentlemen.

In this scene we also learn that Evie and Jonathan are biracial, and as a biracial kid growing up with not a lot of biracial characters on the screen, that’s just another reason why I loved this film.

The “Americans” have found a sealed chest tha has a curse laid upon it. They don’t care about curses and open it anyway. They also find the book of the dead and the organ bottles (although these were just ceremonial as they buried the mummy alive.) The Book of the Dead brings people to life, while the Book of Life sends them to their death.

That’s not good.

Back over at our party’s camp they find Imhotep and all are surprise to discover he hasn’t been decomposing as he is still, as Rick puts it, “juicy”.

That evening all are resting when Evie decides to steal The Book of the Dead and take a look at it, after all it was their spot they were digging in that the other group stole. Rick isn’t so sure, but as a librarian Evie assured him “no harm ever comes from reading a book”. But just as she says that a big giant spooky gust of wind blows-if I was me I would have stopped right there as I have seen enough movies and read enough books to know, something bad is going to happen.

She should not have done that.

She also reads it out loud which I never would have done but in done it in my head keeping the curse from being enacted, but unfortunately she was kind of trying to impress Rick and instead leashed a horror into their world.

He attacks them all and of course the one with the glasses dad is the first to be attacked. The mummy Imhotep takes his eyes which is really odd as he has the worst of the lot (being the only one who wears glasses) like I would have taken a different organ. I bet he has nice inner organs that would be a better choice. And again, man the person with glasses is the one who further loses his sight. Poor guy.

Scarab beetles come shooting out and our team finds themselves running in fear for their lives. Evie ends up activating a secret passageway and finding our eyeless American and mummy.

Imhotep calls her Anck-su-namun and decides to use her body to resurrect his lost love.

Rick and Konathan are trying to find her when a bunch of scary beetles attack. They run and luckily Rick finds Evie and the mummy, shooting him with a shotgun.

On their way out they are run into the Bedouins who warn them of the evil they released. They encourage them to leave as they will try to hunt him down, although Rick is certain he killed him. Unfortunately, no mortal weapons will work on him.

Back in the fort Rick wants to Evie and him to leave, but she wants to save the world. Rick gives Evie an ultimatum, but she chooses the world over him. Meanwhile, the other solider who survived and was leading the Americans, Benny” has been employed by Imhotep, and seeks out those who opened the chest to continue the stealing of the organs.

And while that is happening, Imhotep has also released the curse of the mummy awakening, it being the 10 plagues of Egypt. The water turning to blood, hail, fire form the sky, etc. it’s an interesting choice as the plagues of Egypt are so powerful and easy to visualize; along with the fact that Universal made The Ten Commandments and has it in their repertoire. As a lore choice though, this is odd as God choose the plagues specifically to show his power over the Egyptian gods and every plague is specific to counter one of their gods. So it seems odd that something that was used to refute the Egyptian gods is being used by a priest who worships those gods.

The mummy attacks Evie and all seems it might be lost as nothing works, however a cat comes and scares him away. See cats are always good to have around.

Evie needs answers and goes to see her old boss who turns out to be a member of the secret society who is dedicated to keeping Imhotep from ever awaking. He tells them that until Imhotep has consumed all the people who opens the chest he will fear cats and they can be used to stop him.

The professor also reveals that Imhotep needs a human sacrifice in order to bring his lady love back to life. They decide they need to find the Americans as Imhotep is hunting them down; along with to protecting them and Evie. Rick leaves the Americans he has already found and Evie together, while he searches for the remaining one, the Professor. Meanwhile the glasses guy is dead. Rick finds the professor too late as well.

The rest of the American group isn’t long for this world as they make terrible decisions. Imhotep goes after Evie by turning himself into sand and trying to seduce her, but Rick saves the day by bringing in a cat. See cats are super important, everyone should have one just in case.

The remaining players regroup as they have a new idea. Find the Book of Life and send Imhotep away. They head to the Museum of Antiquities to discover where the book of life could be hidden, but as they are searching for answers, Imhotep approaches with a zombie army.

Zombies from Night of the Living Dead

While the zombies converge on them, Jonathan leaves the others to the researching while he tries to get their getaway car ready, pretending to be a zombie. Jonathan is like a live action Scooby-Doo character.

They try to get away but the zombie army is too much. They are out of options and Evie goes off with Imhotep after he promises to let her friends go. But of course he reneges on his promise, seriously Evie that never works. Good thing Rick is there as he spots the sewer and uses it as an escape route. Jonathan worries about his sister, but Rick promises he will get her back. Of course, that’s his lady love.

How sweet!

The remaining group finds Rick’s old friend and pilot Winston who has hated retired life, wishing he died in the glory of war like his contemporaries. They recruit him and head to Hamunaptra to try and save Evie.

Imhotep spots the plane and creates a giant sandstorm with his face in it. This scene is awesome and the first one I ever saw, making me desperate to watch the film. In order to save her group, Evie takes one for the team and kisses Imhotep to distract him.

All I can think is, he probably has really bad breath .

Winston dies, getting exactly what he wanted: going out in a blaze of glory. The rest of our adventurers get to the city and start digging for the book of life to stop him. Of course Imhotep can’t have that and they have to try and battle scarab beetles, Imhotep’s mummified priests, and more. These last scenes are fantastic as the action is great and the CGI/animatronics are still really really good.

They find the book and it’s up to Jonathan, who only had a mild interest in his Egyptian roots to save them as he needs to speak the words. While he’s trying to remember everything, Imhotep has begun the ritual to bring his love back. Rick tried to help Evie and distract Imhotep, using an awesome sword he discovered that can hurt mummies.

Jonathan tried to stop the mummy and accidentally awakens more mummies, and if that wasn’t enough drama, Anuk-Su-Mun attacks Evie. There is a lot happening and the only one who can fix everything is not that reliable Jonathan.

Being biracial myself I really have always love this movie for showing biracial characters and I really like this scene with Jonathan struggling with speaking Egyptian. I can easily relate as my Spanish is okay, but when I’m stressed or in a new situation my mind will go blank.

From Clueless

Thanks to Evie’s help he is able to figure out the last word and ends the ritual.

Imhotep tries to kill Jonathan, but Rick saves him with his sword. Imhotep focuses on Rick so much he doesn’t even feel the lift that Jonathan does, making him able to steal the key, open the book to the page needed, and take away Imhotep’s immortality with Rick ending him.

Benni I has found the treasure room and been loading up all the camels to take them with him, but unfortunately due to his greed he takes more than he should engages the self destruct button of the pyramid. Our trio runs away, and are even nice enough to try and save the traitorous coward, but it is no use. Everything collapses and closes.

Our group get on the camels and discover they have all kinds of riches, but Rick and Evie don’t care as they found something more important, each other.

How sweet!
1999themummy

And that ends The Mummy, one fantastic movie I highly recommend.

For more on The Mummy (1999), go to Heaven on Earth: 13 of the Best Fictional Libraries

For more mummy movies, go to Welcome to a New World of Gods and Monsters: The Mummy (2017)

For more Rachel Weisz, go to I Was Here For A Moment. And Then I Was Gone: The Lovely Bones (2009)

For more remakes, go to I’m Not Special, I’m a Monster!: Firestarter (2022)

Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)

Since the death of Jonathan Harker Count Dracula the propagator of this unspeakable evil has disappeared. He must be found and destroyed!

So typically when I begin Horrorfest I always start and end with a movie I love. As my drama teacher always said “you want to start and end hot. The middle can be a failure but you want them going in to love it, and exiting to love it.”

This year I had a really hard time choosing a film to start with. I really wanted to do something from the 1940s, like Rebecca, The Phantom of the Opera (starring Claude Raines), or The Return of the Vampire, etc- but this year the pick needs to be from the 1950s. I also really wanted to start off with a Gothic film to honor Catherine Morland.

Eventually I decided on Horror of Dracula, as the Christopher Lee & Peter Cushing films are iconic, gothic, and not the classic classic monster films-but are Classic monster films.

This was called Dracula in England, but in the US it had to be changed to the Horror of Dracula as they still showed Dracula (1931) in theaters.

The only thing it, I have ever seen it before.

In fact don’t think I’ve reviewed any Hammer films yet, I didn’t grow up watching them but the classic universal films instead. I hope this goes well!

So as the film begins the credits rolls, and as I look at them I notice in the credits Michael Gough. I feel like I saw that name recently in something I watched…

Hmm…

I know he played Mr. Bennet in  version of Pride and Prejudice, but that’s not what I’m thinking of. Then it hits me! He’s Alfred in Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, and Batman and Robin. 

Anyways, we see a crypt! As we zoom into the tomb we spot a tomb and the coffin of Dracula!

But then blood squirts on it-weird.

We then move to the diary of Jonathan Harker. It is May 3, 1885. A carriage brings Jonathan to Castle Dracula as Jonathan narrates. He is going to see Dracula as he wants to make good money to marry his fiance.

Majorly

Yes, it turns out that this is not like the original novel, but that Jonathan has come to the Castle under false pretenses. He’s there for another plan-to hunt slay Dracula.

You could say he is Harker the Vampire Slayer!

The castle seemed fine in the warm afternoon sun, normal except no birds. Now I’m not a fan of birds, you know-but even I know thats not good.

That is not good,

The house is nice but I wish it was in black and white. It’s not so creepy when you see it in color, especially all the bright red. I mean look how creepy this is:

And then Dracula is not even there to greet him! What, no awesome scene?!?

So if you have been following me for a while, you know how I feel about remakes and sequels:

And so far I’m not liking the changes.

I’m not happy

Jonathan does find a note from Dracula, after all he is a gentleman:

My Dear Harker,

I am sorry I was unable to meet you. Eat well, make yourself comfortable.

Dracula

Jonathan eats and it actually reminds me of Beauty and the Beast, the original fairytale when he is left a note by the castle owner.

As he looks around the castle he meets a beautiful woman who begs him to take her awry from here. Jonathan introduces himself as the librarian come to catalog Dracula’s books. In this Jonathan is a librarian and not solicitor/real estate agent? I know I should be upset at the change but all I can think is that I’ll be able to add another library to my list.

So the woman runs off when Dracula (Christopher Lee) comes. This portrayal of Dracula is very interesting-he seems normal, and a regular guy. He is helpful by picking up his luggage and shows him to his room, him a count! I have to admit I like his portrayal. It’s not Lugosi, but its not bad.

I mean when Lugosi entered the room, you were instantly freaked out as something was not quite right in the castle. With Lee, nothing seems off about him. He is polite, kind-the perfect employer. It is a nice way to lull you in (I mean it is Dracula, I know he’s bad).

Dracula shows Harker to his room and leaves, as he has to go out of town. Harker starts  unpacking and the first thing he puts out is a picture of Mina, aw!

Dracula return to give him a key to the library, when he spots a picture of Harker’s fiancé, Lucy?? LUCY!!!

What’s the heck?

It’s supposed to be MINA!!! Ugh

Ugh! You can’t even get the names right.

After Dracula leaves, Harker sees his room is locked and he cant get out!!!

Harker starts to write in his journal-it’s weird because obviously something is not right in this home, but you still trust Dracula as Christopher Lee plays him so open.

Hmm…

That night Harker is drowsing when something is at his door. He can see the handle twisting! When he checks it he sees that it is unlocked so he walks out and downstairs to the library. There he finds the woman who begs him to help her!

Jonathan Harker: You make it very difficult for me. After all, I’m a guest here. If I’m to help you, I must have a reason.

Woman: A reason! You ask for a reason? Is it not reason enough that he locks me up in this house, holds me against my will? You can have no idea what an evil man he is… or of the terrible things he does!

He questions her more, but she can tell him nothing. Now this is very well done. I mean, like I said in the 1931 version Dracula is creepy from the beginning. In this, Dracula has bee so open and kind so when she says he’s evil you kind of feel unsure what to believe, as what she said and what we have seem of him don’t match up. (Except for you know, he’s Dracula)

Harker promises to help her and hugs her to comfort her, when she then goes right for his neck. She bites him, but Harker is saved when Dracula storms into the room.

That is not good,

Dracula and his Vampire bride fight with each other, as she wants Jonathan and Dracula wants him to be let alone. Harker tries to help her, while Dracula throws him off choking him until he is knocked out.

Ouch

He then carries his bride off through a secret door in the library bookshelves.

The next morning Harker wakes up in his room The door is locked from the utside and he cant get out. Was it all a dream?

Hmmm

No, he has the bite marks with bright red blood on his neck. Yeah the blood doesn’t look right. I think this would have been better in black and white.

He pulls his journal out of the chest of draws (which is pretty cool, it has all these different sizes on it.) He writes that he has become a victim of Dracula and prays that he will not become one of them and that if he fails, someone with the knowledge to do what is necessary will release his soul.

He decides to do what he has set out to do. He’s on a search to find the resting place of Dracula and destroy him!

He hides his journal in a hedge and then goes looking for Dracula’s tomb. As he walks around the set, it reminds me of the Dr. Jekyll and the Werewolf film I watched last year.

Harker finds the tomb, the girl is there as well. He unrolls his package which holds a stake and mallet to put the girl out of her misery. He should have done Dracula first instead of the girl so she wouldn’t wake him up. Dumb.

Night falls and the woman’s screams awaken Dracula. The girl turns into an old lady as she is now dead. Harker turns to stake Dracula, but he is GONE!!!

Bad things happen when you don’t listen

Always do the Prince of Darkness first boy. Who mentored you??

Seriously

Wait a sec…they aren’t going to kill Harker are they? The scene fades out so I am not sure if they locked him up in the tomb, or if Dracula killed him.

Hmm…

Back in the village pub a man walks in with aristocratic features and fancy gentlemen clothes who asks about Mr. Harker. It is Dr. Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) who questions the pub owners but they claim to know nothing.

The pub owner warns Van Helsing to get out of these strange parts, but Van Helsing won’t give up. The waitress, however, takes pity on him and Harker and gives Van Helsing the Harker’s diary that was found.

Van Helsing goes up to Dracula’s castle and sees a black hearse carriage carrying off a white coffin. This is obviously Dracula taking off.

Van Helsing goes into the castle searching for Harker, but finds him nowhere. He does find his room which has ben horribly disturbed. And the picture of Lucy  (it should be MINA), is gone! Oh no-Dracula took it! That means he has some nefarious purposes!

Oh no!

Van Helsing finds the tomb and steps inside. The dead female vampire is there, and Harker!???!! He’s a  vapmire?!!!!!! vampire???!!!!!! (sorry I was in such shock I couldn’t spell)

WHATTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But, but, but the story! What’s going to happen?

What’s going on?

Aww, Van Helsing picks up the stake and mallet and has to take care of his friend. That’s heartbreaking.

Van Helsing returns to tell Lucy that Harker died, but she is ill so he meets with her brother Arthur Holmwood (Michael Gough) and Mina (Melissa Stribling). Arthur doesn’t believe him-he finds everything suspicious. He is angry as they should have been told sooner.

Now this seems odd to me. Grief makes you angry, I know, but he seems to extra hate him. Van Helsing gives them the death certificate and is sent out.

Arthur’s wife tries to calm him down and they go to see Lucy. Poor Lucy! She has been ill and can’t wait for Jonathan to return. But he won’t be.

So when I was watching this I began counting off all the things they changed in this film. But I guess if they were competing with Dracula (1931) and Return of Dracula (1958), you want to do something new.

After Mina and Arthur leave, Lucy gets up. Is she faking being ill?

Nope!

Lucy goes to her window and opens the door, allowing the wind and leaves in. She then takes off her cross necklace, NOOOO don’t do that! And then waits in bed for her vampire lover.

Van Helsing is going through Harker’s diary while listening to his notes on killing vampires.This listening to his list is mostly for us-1) They can’t handle light, they can’t go out, 2) Garlic, they can’t stand it, and 3) The crucifix, the crucifix protects the human being but reveals the vampire or the vampire victim.

Van Helsing is determined to go and find & destroy Dracula!

Meanwhile, Dracul at this moment is with Lucy in her bed. He pulls up his cape and fade out.

That is not good,

Dr. Seward has been trying to help but is puzzled by why she is getting sicker. They think it is just anemia, and all I can think is too bad women wore such high collars or else they would spot the fang marks.

Mina Holmwood goes to see Van Helsing and confides her worries about Lucy. She was afflicted 10 days ago, the same time when Jonathan died…

Van Helsing goes to see Lucy, and spots the wounds on her neck right away. Mina noticed the wounds on the neck too, but thought she was stung by something.

Van Helsing tells Mina to leave the windows shut at night and to put Garlic flowers at the window and by her bed. He warns Mina to do what he says or else Lucy will die.

Lucy, however, doesn’t want them and begs the housekeepr Gerta to remove the flowers and to open the windows, and of course Gerta listens, NOOOOOO!!!

The next day Lucy is dead. Gerta admits she opened the widow and took the plants away. Arthur, however, doesn’t blame her. Instead he blames Van Helsing as he can’t stand him. But why blame Van Helsing? If anything, why not blame the doctor who was supposed to be treating them?

Van Helsing gives Arthur the diary to read so he can know the truth, and walks out.

That night the couple is grieving when a policeman comes with Tonya, Gerda’s daughter. Tonya tell Mina that Lucy was walking with her and then someone came and she took off.

That night arthur goes to the crypt and Lucy is GONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gasp!

So this movie has strayed heavily from the book and I have no clue what will happen next, beside of course Dracula and Van Helsing will eventually fight.

That night Tonya goes off with Lucy, who called to her. Lucy has giant fangs, but Tonya doesn’t see them. Arthur goes looking around, confused Then spots Lucy with Tonya. I like how she glides-unearthly walking.

Lucy tries to get Arthur, but Van Helsing is there! He puts the cross on Lucy’s forehead and it burns her. She runs into the crypt, with Arthur following. Van Helsing gives Tonya his coat and the crucifix as he goes after Arthur.

Van Helsing wants to let Lucy roam free to find Dracula, but Arthur won’t have that. So Van Helsing sends Tonya home with Arthur and then when he returns Van Helsing prepares to make sure she will not walk again but rest.

Arthur: [Van Helsing prepares to stake Lucy] Is there no other way? It’s horrible.

Doctor Van Helsing: Please try and understand this is not Lucy the sister you loved. It’s only a shell possessed and corrupted by the evil of Dracula. To liberate her soul and give her peace we must destroy that shell for all time. Believe me there is no other way.

So vampires are supposed to be staled through the heart, but here he does it under her left breast.

robinhoodSheriffofnottinghamhmm

Poor Arthur hes traumatized by the screams of his sister.

So now that he does not have a bride, Dracula will be on the hunt for another.

Dracula

Arthur reads Harker’s diary and decides to join Van Helsing to stop the evil. The first thing they need to do is find Dracula. The vampire must rest in his own soil during the day. They must travel to the border to discover where the coffin was going.

ThinkingHmmwriting

Hmm…

They leave Mina alone as they travel off.  Poor Mina. I hope Dracula doesn’t come after her.

Later that evening, long after the men have left a boy comes to the l door with a message-Arthur  says to go to 49 Fredricks Street. Okay I actually am not sure what street he said and I couldn’t find it online, but that’s what it sounded to me. Uh, oh. We know it not the guys, that means it must be:

Dracula

So over at Customs on the border, Van Helsing  is arguing with the clerk, but Arthur has had enough of that and  just bribes him.

ShutUpTake MY Money

49 Fredricks Street! Oh no, the same address given to Mina! The mortician’s address! The perfect place to hide a coffin.

Under Capricorn Aah oh no ugh

Oh no!

Mina searches for Arthur, which really shouldn’t she be more suspicious? Why would her husband send her to a mortuary? Especially one that is closed? She  searches the mortuary and finds the coffin, Dracula poking out.

Dracula

Arthur and Van Helsing return home but Mina isn’t there. They find her, but she’s pale, not herself, and covering her neck! She must have been bitten too.

1Star-Wars-Luke-NOOO-Not-my-father

The two go to the morticians but the coffin is GONE!!!!!!!!!!!

1Star-Wars-Luke-NOOO-Not-my-father

They return to the house unsure where he went. He could be anywhere.

Mina questions them but they tell her nothing! Jerks, maybe if you gave her the whle story she wouldn’t have been running to mortuaries and getting bit.

MeanGirls I know right!

Arthur is worried and gives her a cross to wear, but when she touches it she faints! It leaves a burn mark in her hand-she has been bit.

Arhthur is angry, but this time at himself.  He knows he should have listened to Van Helsing. They decide to leave her alone and watch for Dracula. That night they wait and watch.

That night all is quiet, so when they head indoors to check on Mina they are shocked to find her dead!

OMG gasp

What they be killing everybody! I am super into this movie and have no clue where it is going next!

Oh no, she’s still okay, they give her a blood transfusion.

You know for a Dracula movie, we don’t sped a lot of time with Dracula. It’s very different, but not in a bad way, as we focus on Ven Helsing and Dracula becomes more shadowy and unknown. He only talks to Jonathan Harker in this making it only a few lines of dialogue. Although I definitely prefer that over Dracula 2000.

I hate that movie.

After the transfusion Van Helsing makes Arthur go downstairs to get something to drink. Didn’t he just HAVE a transfusion-have Gerda fetch him some, or you go get him something. He should not be walking.

Both the men are shocked how Dracula could have gotten in, they were watching all the entrances and never spotted him. Arthur is convinced he can shape-shift, but Van Helsing assures him that is not the answer. Then what is?

Hmmm

They ask Gerda to fetch another bottle of wine, but she refuses as she doesn’t want to go down the the cellar, Mina told her not to. The answer hits Van Helsing and he goes  running down there and finds the coffin, BUT ITS EMPTY!!!! Dracla has outsmarted them, he’s awake and he’s trapped Van Helsing in!

Arthur gets Van Helsing out but they are too late as Dracula has carried Mina off!

Vn Helsing knows they have him on the run and with them having his coffin, the only Dracula can go is home to his castle they are off!

Back at the castle, Dracula digs a grave for Mina and throws her in, like she’s a doll, even though she’s still alive, Arthur and Helsing get there just in time.

This film really gets you going!

Dracula goes running up the stair followed by Helsing. But the house is vast with many nooks and crannies and secret passage ways. Sidenote: Except for the vampire trying to make you undead, this would be an awesome place to live!

Anyways, Helsing finds him and Dracula starts choking him. Helsing passes out!

And Dracula is going to bit him but, oh no Helsing faked it. The music is pumping along to bring the excitement as Helsing runs for the curtains and pulls them aside-causing the sun to come in and Dracula to turn to dust!  Dracula tries to stop him, but Van Helsing makes a crucifix out of candlesticks and stops him.

Ew, thisscene is great and crazy, like Indiana Jones.

With the vampire that turned her dead, Mina is back to normal. And the evil is dead.

or is it? I know the DVD I rented from the library has four Dracula films so he must come back. You can’t kill evil after all…

So what’d I think? I really liked it! You know me, I’m not one for you know remakes, but I enjoyed this a lot.

It strayed heavily from the book. But I guess with something that has been around a while and remade constantly you have to do something to make it surprising. I actually liked how we focused so much on Van Helsing, and I liked Michael Gough assisting as Arthur. 

I’m interested in watching the other films but I won’t be reviewing them this Horrorfest, I already have the whole month planned out.

It wouldn’t be Horrorfest without our facebook banner:

So this kicks off the beginning of Horrorfest ViII. I hope you enjoy it and the spooks, thrills, and chills that are to come.

For more Dracula adaptations, go to Dracula. Not Myth, Nor Ravings of a Mad Irish Novelist, Oh No, He’s Real: Dracula 2000 (2000)

For more vampires, go to I’d Risk My Life to Save Yours: Earshot, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1999)

For more Van Helsing, go to I Bid You Welcome: Dracula (1931)

For more Peter Cushing, go to One of Our Guests is a Werewolf, I Know It.: The Beast Must Die (1974)

For more remakes, go to Did the Niece Poison Mrs. Harlowe?: The House of the Arrow (1953)

Or adieu in this case!

Did the Niece Poison Mrs. Harlowe?: The House of the Arrow (1953)

Did the niece poison Mrs. Harlowe?

So I have been wanting to watch this movie Gosford Park for a while and when I saw it was returned to the library-I was so excited! Unfortunately, it was dirty and would not play for me.

I didn’t have any other movie planned and decided to fill the place I would choose something that was on my Amazon Prime queue suggested list.

So this movie is based off a book and is the second remake, (3rd version of the story) filmed in and by a production crew in England.

On with the review!

The story takes place in France, the old stately Lady Harlowe, has just died. Her brother-in-law, Boris Waberski, thinks that he will inherit everything- he has even borrowed against his future gains-but to everyone’s surprise-the money is left to her adopted niece-Betty Harlowe!

Boris becomes so angry he accuses Betty of murdering his sister-in-law. They have the body exhumed and it turns out that she was poisoned.

Uh oh

Betty’s friend, Ann Upcott, is worried and sends to England for help. Jim Frobisher arrives to investigate, aiding the very intelligent and top french detective, Inspector Hanaud.

I found the story very boring

Meh.

And the inspector a complete rip off Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot in The Mysterious Affair at Styles. You have the accented inspector-“the greatest mind in the world” and an old manor house with a “locked room mystery” and puzzles. Except Poirot was much better.

I think it was incredibly boring and that the characters were just too bland. Skip the film if I were you.

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to Did the Niece Poison Mrs. Harlowe?: The House of the Arrow (1953)

For more private investigators, go to The Murderer is Never the One You Initially Suspect: Crooked House (2017)

For more remakes, go to Welcome to a New World of Gods and Monsters: The Mummy (2017)

Working My Way Back to You

Working My Way Back to You by The Spinners

This has always been one of my favorite songs. It is one that I love to listen to over and over again. Back in 2010, 2011, & 2013 I used to play it so much, I would annoy my roommates.

I think they were happy when I moved on to something else.

Finally!

So the song is about a guy who hurt his girlfriend-most likely cheating on her

And emotionally abusing her

Jerk

So she left:

After she’s gone, he realizes his love and is remorseful-works on himself and sets on winning her back.

Aw! How sweet!

We don’t know how it turns out. Does she forgive him? Or is she too hurt that it is done? It’s up to you to decide that.

It was written by Sandy Linzer and Denny Rendall and first recorded by Franki Valli & The Four Seasons in the 1960s. Now you all know I LOVE The Four Seasons.

They are amazing:

But I prefer The Spinners version.

Help me! I’m confused!

I know me, me, preferring a remake over the original.

So the lyrics are the same:

I’ll be working my way back to you, babe, with a burning love inside
Yeah, I’m working my way back to you, babe, and the happiness that died
I let it get away
(Been payin’ ev’ry day)
When you were so in love with me, I played around like I was free
Thought I could have my cake and eat it too, but how I cried over losin’ you
See me down and out, but I ain’t about to go living my life without you
For every day I made you cry
I’ll pay and girl, till the day that I die
I’ll keep working my way back to you, babe, with a burning love inside
Yeah, I’m working my way back to you, babe, and the happiness that died
I let it get away
(Been payin’ ev’ry day)
Oh, I used to love to make you cry
It made me feel like a man inside
If I’d been a man in reality, you’d be here, babe, lovin’ me
Now my nights are long and lonely, and I ain’t too strong, babe
I just miss you so
Girl, but you’re too proud, and you won’t give in
But when I think about all I could win
I’ll keep working my way back to you, babe, with a burning love inside
Yeah, I’m working my way back to you, babe, and the happiness that died
I let it get away
(Been payin’ ev’ry day)
My road is kind alone
I just gotta get back home
I’m really sorry for acting that way
I’m really sorry
Oh little girl I’m really sorry
For telling you lies for so long
Oh please forgive girl
Come on (give me a chance)
Won’t you forgive me, girl
Hey (let’s have romance)
Ooh, forgive me, girl (let’s try again)
Come on, forgive me, girl
I want you over and over
And over and over again
I’ll keep working my way back to you, babe
With a burning love inside
Yeah, I’m working my way back to you, babe
And the happiness that died
I let it get away
(Been paying every day)
I’ll keep working my way back to you, babe
But it is how it is sung/played. I don’t know, for some reason I believe the lead singer is heartbroken in The Spinners version. And I love the part when he sings the last part-it just feels so real and I like the part he kinda sings/cry of anguish.
What do you think?
For more of my favorite songs, go to Darcy’s ’80’s Power Song
For more on Franki Valli & The Four Seasons, go to The Strange Case of a Fangirl and Her Fandoms