Sub-themes of the mummy seem accidentally manifested
in what could have been artsy ways. Andoheb clearly
died in the previous film, yet has been "resurrected"
here (where he dies again but will appear in the next
film, The Mummy's Ghost). Banning and Babe have been
aged, so longevity, and even the dead wife, could have
resonated but don't, and the time lapse is never justified
or explained. The juxtaposition of a mummy shuffling
around in New England ought to inspire a frisson of
inappropriateness, but the town is too horrifyingly
homey, so complacent that hardly anyone ever bothers
catching a glimpse of this lumberer. No one is ever
even upset about any of the deaths of members of their
own families. Ultimately, no one cares.
'I didn't like the part at all,' Chaney told writer
Ron Haydock during the mid-1960s. 'There wasn't anything
you could do with the Mummy. You just got into the make-up
and bandages and walked around dragging you leg. I liked
playing the Wolf Man a lot better, and making those
Inner Sanctum films. You had a chance to do some acting,
and you had dialogue. All they ever wanted the Mummy
to do was put his hand way out in front of him and then
grab somebody, and start strangling him'"
Even though I distinctly remember the "contract"
in the previous film, The Mummy's Hand, sporting a May
12th 1940 date, this 1942 film supposedly takes up the
story 30 years later (and believe me, this is not 1970!).
Stephen Banning is an old moron now, without much more
dignity than himself as a young moron. He sanctimoniously
narrates the story of the discovery of Kharis, with
the help of bountiful scenes from the previous movie,
to his son John, John's girlfriend Isobel, his own sister
Jane (Mary Gordon, who played Mrs. Hudson in the Basil
Rathbone Sherlock Holmes films), and a couple others.
Banning claims his realization of the crucial secret
passage came from potsherds, covering up the fact that
these particular map skills actually came off an amulet
on the person of the beggar he shot to death. He ends
by saying they brought back the remains of Princess
Ananka, and Marta (whom he married and now survives),
but not the mummy.
The usual stuff takes place as it does in all of these
wonderful movies and the mob approaches. The mob pursues
Kharis to the Banning home. He zips up the trellis,
knocks John down the stairs and then onto a bed while
torches fly about. Isobel escapes down the trellis,
some shots distract Kharis, everyone gets away, and
the mummy is consumed in flames (again).
The newspapers announce "Reign of Terror Ends in
Flames," and "Romance Scores Triumph Over
Terror Reign," and people throw confetti on John
and Isobel. No one has anything to say.