The Mummy’s Hand

BearManor. (Scripts from the Crypt, Bk. 13). Jun. 2023. 301p. ISBN 9798887711980. pap. $42. FILM
Universal Pictures successfully turned Dracula and Frankenstein into film franchises, but 1932’s The Mummy brought a decisive end to actor Boris Karloff’s reanimated Imhotep. Eager for another movie monster series, Universal distributed 1940’s The Mummy’s Hand with cowboy actor Tom Tyler as the man in bandages. Weaver (Sardonicus) and others lovingly heckle the film, setting the tone with a quote from costar Peggy Moran calling the movie “lousy.” Certainly, the film makes interesting choices, such as waiting 40 minutes into a 67-minute movie to reanimate the mummy. Universal also squeezed an impressive amount of continuity errors and plot holes into such a short runtime. However, it did launch a new mummy series and reused impressive sets, stock footage, and recycled film scores to great effect. The original script and Weaver’s amusing editorializing on the production comprise most of the book. Actor bios and surveys of the mummy in films (including an extensive review of the silent era) round it out. The book is also lavishly illustrated with crisp black-and-white images.
VERDICT Often as quirky as the movie it documents, this entry in the “Scripts from the Crypt” series is a great look at a B-horror film.
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