Hammer's Mummy Rises Again

For showtimes, click here. 

After successfully adapting Frankenstein and Dracula, Hammer Studios turned to another legendary monster: the mummy. Their first film, The Mummy, was released in 1959 and featured Christopher Lee as the title character. It was another major success for the studio, even surpassing the box office of Horror of Dracula.

The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb hoped to build on the success and featured a new mummy with a terrible secret.

1. The screenwriter used a pseudonym.

The script is credited to Henry Younger, a pseudonym for… Michael Carreras, the director! He also wrote Prehistoric Women under the same name and The Lost Continent under another pseudonym, "Michael Nash." Carreras was the son of James Carreras, who ran Hammer studio. Michael directed and wrote several features for the studio, including One Million Years B.C. – another hit for Hammer.

2. There used to be a giant mummy.

The original script called for a gigantic mummy. The 20-foot monster would have gone wild in the streets of Cairo. Financial constraints killed the idea though. After all, the budget was only 103 thousand pounds, and they only had 30 days to film. However, if you want to see what could have been, the movie's poster shows an image of the giant mummy.

3. The mummy got hurt.

Dickie Owen, who played the mummy, had quite a mishap. When they filmed in the sewers, he accidently fell into the water, and the wet mummy wrappings almost made him drown. A stuntman replaced him to finish shooting the scene. While the design for the mummy was essentially similar to the version Christopher Lee used in the proceeding film, the big difference was in its eyes. Roy Ashton, the makeup artist, said, “I modeled much bigger temples and cheeks but followed much the same procedure as in the Chris Lee version. The artist’s eyes must be able to negotiate his surroundings.”