Even at their worst, Hammer films had an elusive quality which set them apart from their contemporaries and helped them stand the test of time.
The Mummy’s Shroud (1967) follows an archeological expedition that, in 1920, unearths the tomb of an ancient Egyptian child prince. Returning to Cairo, they display the remains in a museum along with the shroud which covered them. Unfortunately for the team, the descendants of the family given the task of guarding the prince’s tomb have awoken the mummy of the prince’s chief slave, who now wreaks a terrible revenge on the desecrators of his master’s resting place.
Though not one of the studio’s better efforts, The Mummy’s Shroud (rereleased in a digitally remastered format) still retains a quirky charm. One-dimensional sets, garish gore (with lashings of overtly fake blood) and a basic plot, however, make the production memorable for all the wrong reasons.
Hammer regulars, including director John Gilling and the ubiquitous character actor Michael Ripper (for once given more than a mere walk-on role), all do an admirable job, while Maggie Kimberly makes a delectable damsel in distress. The absence of the studio’s stalwarts Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, though—whose appearances could have given the film gravitas—is glaringly obvious. As a result, and despite the cast and crew’s best efforts, The Mummy’s Shroud is really nothing more than frightfully silly fun.
By Cleaver Patterson