Universal's The Mummy vs. Hammer's The Mummy

Discussion in 'Classic' started by Anthropophagus, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. Anthropophagus

    Anthropophagus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2004
    Messages:
    4,046
    Likes Received:
    383
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Canada
    Just re-watched the Hammer version last night, what a creepy and atmospheric film, probably my favorite mummy film. I prefer the Hammer version over Universal's by far, the latter just seems to shamble along at a snails pace.
    Christopher Lee made an imposing mummy, and Cushing was excellent as usual too.
    Everyone's thoughts?
     
  2. Christ75

    Christ75 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    I agree.

    Like Dracula, I prefer the Hammer version of The Mummy. I like the atmosphere, the gothic desing, the story, the actors ...
     
  3. Erick H.

    Erick H. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    Messages:
    9,400
    Likes Received:
    134
    Trophy Points:
    63
    They are apples to oranges to me,the Universal film is more of a mood piece,the Hammer is more visceral.I enjoy both though I personally like the Hammer one more.
     
  4. Cooperkill

    Cooperkill Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    The Hammer one, by far. Not only did it actually have a mummy for more than two minutes, but what he did was (like you said) incredibly creepy.
     
  5. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    Messages:
    7,918
    Likes Received:
    670
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Illinois
    Nah, I like Universal's better. Karloff is able to conjure up a very different sort of presence compared to Bela Lugosi in Dracula with essentially the same plot. Zita Johann is memorizing. Edward Van Sloan is often overlooked but he is essential to this picture. Karl Freund was a master and made an especially great opening.

    Although I think Peter Cushing was good (as always) in Hammer's Mummy the rest of it is too much like the Universal Mummy sequels; only in color. Just a lot more of the same in my eyes. The original Mummy is a very different beast from the rest of the franchise and much more horror oriented than simply violent action.
     
  6. Copyboy

    Copyboy Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Messages:
    992
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    As much as I love Karloff and generally prefer watching him over watching Lee, this is the one Hammer film I prefer to the Universal original. Love the score too.
     
  7. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2005
    Messages:
    1,804
    Likes Received:
    342
    Trophy Points:
    83
    The Mummy is the one instance where I'd give Hammer a clear advantage over Universal. I admire Universal's The Mummy. But I don't really enjoy it aside from the nifty resurrection scene. Karloff is great as always. But there's something stodgy and dull about the film. I certainly appreciate the artistry involved. But I find almost all of Universal's other films more involving.

    Hammer's version definitely aims lower. But it succeeds as entertainment. The pace is snappy. Lee makes an imposing mummy. And Cushing a compelling hero--as always. It probably helps that it meets the expectations of a typical mummy film a lot better than Universal's version too.
     
  8. Shannafey

    Shannafey Don't Monkey With Me!

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    6,941
    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    South Florida, But Far from the Hell that is Miami
    I dislike the Universal Mummy. Boring film. I've never seen the Hammer version, but it is actually on my DVR, since I had a ton of stations for a while, do to a Comcast error and recorded a ton of stuff including that one!
     
  9. spawningblue

    spawningblue Deadite

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2004
    Messages:
    5,069
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    I actually like all of Hammer's versions better with the one exception being the Wolf Man. How come Hammer never did a Creature from the Black Lagoon?
     
  10. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2005
    Messages:
    1,804
    Likes Received:
    342
    Trophy Points:
    83
    I'd assume it has to do with copyright laws and the fact that the Creature himself was Universal's invention. Creature wasn't released until 1954--not long before the Hammer cycle. And he wasn't inspired by mythology or literature (like Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Mummy). So there was no source material independent of the film itself.
     
  11. dave13

    dave13 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Messages:
    5,478
    Likes Received:
    474
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    its been a few years since i watched the universal mummy, but i watched the hammer one this evening, and it's true that it's a really great film. the opening egypt scene, the extended flashback, and the fights between cushing and lee are all great. in particular i enjoyed cushing in it. his character has more depth than the sociopathic baron frankenstein or the crusading van helsing. in this he's the central character, not the villain or the wise sage, and he really draws a lot of our sympathy. lee too, is great, although with less to do. he certainly shines in his scenes in the flashback, and he adds a lot of personality (as much as one can) through the makeup as kharis. i dunno if i could ever bring myself to say i like it more than the universal, but i'd say of the three remakes that star cushing and lee, this one probably comes closest to topping the original.
     
  12. Darga

    Darga Narcissistic Personality

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    1,488
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    I definitely prefer the Hammer one, but I haven't seen the Universal original since I was a kid. Perhaps it's time to revisit.
     
  13. Jeremy

    Jeremy Closet SCREAM fan

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2000
    Messages:
    899
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm not so sure that copyright itself was the obstacle, as Hammer did enter into a deal with Universal Studios for the use of some of their intellectual property, hence the Frankenstein monster in EVIL OF FRANKENSTEIN bearing a striking resemblance to the Universal monster (as opposed to the Christopher Lee monster) and the mixing and matching of elements from the Universal MUMMY films into the '59 remake. But as you say, CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON came out just a few years before the start of the Hammer cycle, and by the time that a remake started to feel warranted (which turned out to be the early 80's when they first started talking about it) Hammer had ceased operations. Interestingly, Nigel Kneale, the creator of QUATERMASS and a periodic Hammer collaborator, did do a script for a remake if I recall.
     
  14. Marshall Crist

    Marshall Crist New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2010
    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I respect the 1932 MUMMY, and Hammer's MUMMY is one of the few early Hammers that do anything for me, but for me it is truly all about Kharis, particularly the incarnation chubbily portrayed by Lon Chaney, Jr.
     

Share This Page