Review Date: July 26, 2000
Released by: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Release date: 7/25/2000
Region 1, NTSC
Widescreen 1.66:1 | 16x9: Yes
Anchor Bay delivers another Hammer film in their Hammer Collection series. This time we're taking a look at The Mummy's Shroud, released in 1967 by Hammer Studios. Lets take a closer look at the DVD release of The Mummy's Shroud.
2000 B.C., Egypt - The Pharaoh (Bruno Barnabe) of Egypt at long lasts has a son, an heir to his throne. Sadly, his wife dies shortly after the baby's birth. Little does the Pharaoh know that his younger brother is building up a secret army against him to overthrow his rule and murder Kah-to-Bey, the baby who would some day be the successor to the throne. Years later the secret army finally attacks, killing the Pharaoh. Kah-to-Bey (Toolsie Persaud) escapes with some servants into the desert. Short on water and food, they don't make it very far before servants begin to die. They head toward's Kah-to-Bey's last resting place (his tomb), knowing that he's also soon to die. As he lay dying Kah-to-Bey gives the "Royal Seal of Pharaoh's" (a necklace of sorts) to his last servant. When Kah-to-Bey finally dies the servant covers his body with the sacred shroud.
1920, Egypt - A group of archaeologists sets out on an expedition to find the tomb of Kah-to-Bey, financed by the wealthy industrialist Stanley Preston (John Phillips). Their return was over a month late and fears began building that the party had perished. Stanley's son, Paul (David Buck), was also on the expedition. Stanley travels to Egypt to build more search crews to find the missing archaeologists. When pressured by the press and his wife he finally agrees to join one of the search crews. The missing archaeologists are soon discovered by Stanley's search party. They have good news for the search party. They have found the tomb of Kah-to-Bey, but with the discovery came a warning. While searching for the tomb they met Hasmid (Roger Delgado), keeper of the tomb. He warns them that "death awaits all who disturb the resting place of Kah-to-Bey". They disregard the warning and soon find the tomb. After much work the tomb is finally opened and a number of the archaeologists enter for further exploration.
The body of Kah-to-Bey, along with the sacred shroud, are taken from the tomb and brought back to Cairo. There the body is joined with the mummified remains of Prem, his last living servant. Hasmid follows them back to Cairo, where he reads the hieroglyphic off Kah-to-Bey's shroud. The mummy Prem awakes from the dead to seek out revenge to all who have entered Kah-to-Bey's tomb. Some of the archaeologists that entered the tomb are found dead. The remainder of them must find the secret to the mummy's shroud to stop Hasmid and the mummy before it's too late.
I didn't enjoy the The Mummy's Shroud much. It's a bit of a bore, having such a slow pace. When the mummy does come around he's not all that scary. He looks way too human for one thing. Personally, I think they should've put someone a bit skinnier in that mummy outfit. A mummy is, after all, supposed to be a body that is a few thousand years old. And what type of mummy outfit is that? It looked like some sort of body suit, which isn't very effective. The character development was weak, so you don't end up getting fond of any characters and end up not caring when they die. A not-very-scary mummy, weak character development and a slow moving story make The Mummy's Shroud the only Hammer film I've seen that I didn't somewhat enjoy watching. After doing some exploring on the film over the Internet I found out, not surprisingly, that the film was shot on an extremely low budget. This definitely shows during the film (e.g. Mummy costume doesn't look very good, lack of actors in the opening battle scene, cheap looking props) and it adds to the film's faults.
Anchor Bay presents The Mummy's Shroud in an anamorphic 1.66:1 widescreen transfer. The image quality on this one is quite good. Only a handful of scenes showed any signs of grain, which was very light. The transfer is very sharp and detailed with fairly strong colors given the age and budget of the film. There were some specks here and there, along with a few small print blemishes, but nothing major and they're hardly noticeable. Flesh tones appeared accurate and well balanced. I did not see any signs of pixelation. Anchor Bay definitely did a nice job on this transfer, scoring a B+ for image quality.
The Mummy's Shroud is presented in Dolby Digital mono sound. Sound was crisp and clear with no distortion heard. Definitely an adequate sound presentation on this DVD.
Anchor Bay went light with extras but there is a nice one presented on this DVD. The exclusive World of Hammer episode titled Mummies, Werewolves & The Living Dead. It's really just a long commercial for Hammer films, but it's nice to see various scenes from the Hammer films that are related to mummies, werewolves and the living dead, especially if you haven't seen the films before. Hammer's The Mummy looked pretty good to me. It has to be better than The Mummy's Shroud.
Also included is a theatrical trailer, a combo theatrical trailer and 20 & 60 second TV spots with Frankenstein Created Woman. Definitely a fair amount of extras that are enjoyable to go through.
Great audio/video and good extras don't make up for the weak plot in The Mummy's Shroud. Still, no doubt a lot of Hammer fans want to build up the entire Hammer collection onto DVD. And for those who fall into that category, or for those who actually enjoyed the film, Anchor Bay presents a great DVD here and at a good price for only $29.98. All others may want to rent it first to see if it suits their tastes.
Movie - D-
Image Quality - B
Sound - A-
Supplements - N/A
- Running time - 1 hour 30 minutes
- Not Rated
- 1 Disc
- Chapter stops
- Dolby Digital Mono
- Exclusive World of Hammer episode titled Mummies, Werewolves & The Living Dead
- Theatrical trailer
- Combo theatrical trailer
- 20 & 60 second TV spots with Frankenstein Created Woman