It's always gratifying to see a sequel learn from the mistakes of its predecessor.Not many films manage to do that, so kudos to Harold Young and everyone else behind the follow up to The Mummy's Hand.
That's not to say this is a great film, far from it. The dialogue is lousy, the acting practically non-existent and for a 60 minute film, is spending the first 10 ten minutes recapping the last one really such a good idea?
But at least it gives us straightaway what the previous Mummy entry took 40 minutes to do - some actual Mummy action. (Spoilers abound from now on, for those who care about such things in a cheap-o throwaway Universal monster flick). It turns that out George Zucco's mysterious priest from The Mummy's Hand is alive and well, and dispatches Karis (Lon Chaney in some effective make up) to America to kill those who defiled his tomb 30 years ago.
The notion of the Mummy slowly stalking its prey and strangling them while they remain petrified to the spot is still an inherently stupid one, but at least here it happens so often that the film is rarely boring. Instead, it's much more bloodthirsty than the previous entry and it deserves credit for killing off every returning cast member - quite a ballsy move that I approve of.
There's a great moment of unintentional humour when a bad guy is killed by a member of the public with barely a shrug from anyone - apparently it's OK to kill people who haven't been proved guilty of anything as long as they're foreign. Dodgy racial politics aside, there's actually some skill behind the camera here. It looks genuinely creepy at times, and Young makes good use of the dark, creepy shadows of the estate where the principal characters gathered, as they try to figure out why elderly members of their family are being bumped off mysteriously. It's this skill that makes the fiery climax of the film genuinely quite impressive.Look, it's nowhere near a forgotten classic. But considering what came before it, it's the Citizen Kane of mummy movies.