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Thursday, 3 October 2013

The Mummy

With Halloween Approaching I figured I should do more Horror Genre films.   Since I already did the original Universal Trio, I thought I would go for the lesser and more known ones.  The Mummy, much like the Wolfman, was not based on a Novel.  However in this case it's a per se, because it shares a striking resemblance to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Ring of Thoth.  Much like the other Universal monsters, This Egyptian Horror has it's fair share of giant legacy, from the 1932 movie starring Frankenstein himself Boris Karloff, in a dual role this time.  He not only plays the titular Mummy, but a character named Ardath Bay.  Among it's legacy was the well known remake trilogy Starring Brenden Fraser and Darkman's second actor Arnold Vosloo. So it's twice Vosloo is in bandages, but I'll get to Darkman soon enough.

The story goes like so.  Imhotep, a high priest of Ancient Egypt was mummified alive whilst trying to use a magic scroll to resurrect his diseased lover, Ankh-es-en-amon.  In the present 1932, he is dug up and accidentally revived by a group of Archeologists.  The resurrected Imhotep sets out to finish the job by finding and killing his reincarnated lover in the form of Helen Grosvenor  so both would be immortal bride and groom. 

Now for the fun part.  Could It Exist In Real Life?

First Mummies in general.  They do exists.  Mummification is a process in which the corpse is prepared for passage into the afterlife.  It's not just Egypt though,  various mummies exist throughout all over the world.  Even our modern funeral practices are a form of Mummification one way or another.  As for mummifying them alive, that's impossible as being mummified is basically like being dissected.  If one were alive during the process, all they would have to do is take out a vital organ and your dead.  This was where the remake was more realistic in the terms.  While being mummified alive as punishment is next to impossible,  being buried alive is a different story.  In Ancient Egypt, if you committed a serious crime, among most punishments, you could get buried alive.  Odds are this is what happened to Karloff and Vosloo's Imhotep.

Second the, Scroll of Thoth.  This exists, but it's also known by another name.  The book of the dead.  An Egyptian Funerary Text that contains various magic spells.  No I am not just talking about the one in the remake either.  This Particular one was Ancient Egypt's equivalent to the holy bible as much of their passages involved safe passage to the afterlife, judgment to those being punished. and preservation of corpses.  Unlike the movie's examples which claim only one exist, there are various incarnations of this book.  Some of which actually carved on the tombs themselves.

Last but not least,  does Imhotep exist?  Yes, but unlike the way he's portrayed in the movies, he is not evil.  He is not even a priest.  This particular Imhotep is actually one of the world's first engineers, architects and physicians. He designed the Pyramid of Pharaoh Djoser and was one of the first builders to make use of Columns.  When I was a kid I watched the remakes and when I heard this guy existed I was scared shitless.  All I could think of was "Holy shit this guy is real he's gonna come back from the dead and kill us all!!!"  But when I found out what he was really about I have an odd respect for him.  However much of the movie version exists through him in a certain point of view.  There were cults dedicated to him.  Imagine that scene in the remake where all the people mentally enslaved are chanting the name.  That practically fucking happened.

However Imhotep wasn't the only inspiration for this Titular Mummy.  As I mentioned in my Indiana Jones Analysis, there was an archeological group lead by Howard Carter.  They were the ones who dug up Tutankhamen aka King Tut.  The titular curse of that dig was another main inspiration for this movie.  So odds are Imhotep could really be Tut and simply posed as the well known Architect or the real Imhotep went nuts.

As usual debate, argue and let me know what I missed.  Stay Tuned For More and Beware the Mummy's Curse. Imhotep.....Imhotep.....Imhotep......

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