The Mummy [Boris Karloff] - ???
The first Universal monster movie I both did and didn't really like. It's a rehash of Dracula with Bela Lugosi. The Van Helsing character is rehashed. Mina, John Harker, and Doctor Seward are all rehashed.
Inhotep - Dracula
Helen - Mina
Dr. Muller - Van Helsing
Frank - Harker
Sir Joseph - Doctor Seward
The movie is more Egyptian, and Imhotep is actually more powerful than Dracula in some ways, but the basic plot is the same. If The Mummy had come first, perhaps Imhotep would be the more menacing figure. I don't think so. There is something in Boris Karloff's wrinkled face that conveys a sense of ancient evil really well, and the acting is great, but the similarities to Dracula make me feel rather...like the movie is lazy. Then there is the beautiful cinematography, the expansive sets and costume design for ancient Egypt, the wonderful heroine, and truly menacing atmosphere. Gods come to life, and it's a really neat effect. I'm torn on this one. There's a lot of good, but I can't decide if it serves to be lazy or to make an existing story better in a new setting.
The Mummy [Brendan Frasier] - ???/10
A movie that not only manages to pay homage to the original in a respectful way, but it evolves the story into something a bit more unique. The Mummy in Karl Freund's version had a great backstory, but this was marred by the rehash it was taking place in. Many lines in this movie are ripped straight from the Karloff one. It also borrows various elements from various people who were attached to the project: zombie mummies from Romero and juicy bloody regeneration from Barker- and added them to the original's concept. This all services to re-invigorate the story. However, the movie takes place in the backdrop of a cheesy pulp action movie. I like Brendan Frasier, I LOVE pulp adventures, and I LOVE this movie, but comparing to the original, this one feels much less poetic. It's definitely respectful, however. So how do they fare?
The new one has the better monster and better story....but the older one has the better tone. Using what this movie created, and sticking to the dark, poetic feeling of the original, a movie with a pure sense of dread could be made. Even so, I appreciate both films for what they are, and enjoy both, although I enjoy the new one just a little bit more.
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Last edited by Secret Fawful; 09/16/2012 at 02:21 am.