The Mummy (1932)

My Instagram Post 14 October 2019

Big thanks to Svengoolie for showing this classic smack in the middle of my horror month. You really can’t go wrong in any way with a Universal monster movie. And something I’m noticing in watching them this year is the number of them that are pre-code (that is the era from the 20s until the enforcement of the Motion Picture Production Code in mid-1934). It’s something I’d never really thought about before, but I think these classics were well-served by the less restricted filmmaking of this era. What first caught my eye was Zita Johann’s Priestess of Isis costume – you wouldn’t see anything like that by decade’s end.

It’s hard for me to determine whether I love 30s movies because of Universal horrors, or that Universal horrors reinforce my love, but it doesn’t really matter. There’s a lot here to love, too. Not just bias-cut gowns and gorgeous day suits, but also the incredible Boris Karloff who spends less time at the titular mummy, and more as Ardath Bay, a distinctly creepy dude with a odd power over lovely Zita. There are lot parallels here with Dracula (1931), from the Bey character to Edward Van Sloan in a Van Helsing-like role again, to professional mannequin David Manners, a hero as ineffectual as usual. #Svengoolie’s presentation was top-notch as well; great trivia (my favorite part), snappy song, ridiculous parodies. What a fun Saturday night.