Abject fan of the old Hammer Horror movies that I am, I was thrilled to see this bit from the 1959 version of The Mummy. Our hero, John Banning (played by the always wonderful Peter Cushing), has gone to the home of the suspected villain, Mehemet Bey (George Pastell), to see if this recent arrival from Egypt is the person who dispatched the Mummy (Christopher Lee) to kill his father and uncle, and attempt to kill him. The way he chooses to probe for clues is to talk to Bey about … religion. And by golly, he sounds just like me. Bey gives the usual theistic excuses: but people are devoted to him! You just can’t comprehend the god! You don’t know anything about him! And then come the threats. It’s very familiar.
Obviously, the apologist for religion turns out to be the murderous master of the Mummy. The rest of the movie involves a beautiful young woman who is the spittin’ image of the dead Egyptian priestess the Mummy loved, slow motion chases through a swamp (they at least set it up early that the hero is partially lame, so it almost makes sense that the lumbering Lee and limping Cushing are in a fair race), and big guns.
While Cushing’s sneering dismissal of foolish religion does remind me of me, I’m pleased to say that none of my critics have yet managed to reanimate a dead guy and send his plodding corpse my way. They’re welcome to try, and mummies are especially welcome—they never seem to be particularly effective, you know.