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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

  

 Directed by Michael Carreras

UK 1964

 

Greedy American Alexander King (Fred Clark) makes an excursion to Egypt, where he hopes that archaeologist Sir Giles Dalrymple (Jack Gwillim) and young assistant John Bray (Ronald Howard) can help him unearth ancient treasures. But they eventually run into Adam Beauchamp (Terence Morgan), an accursed man with a long family history of hauntings. Adam's mere presence is enough to awaken mummy Ra-Antef (Dickie Owen), putting the entire expedition in grave danger.

***

When Hammer Films first set out to remake the great horror stories of the 1930s, the producers of those classics, Universal Pictures, threatened to sue to prevent them from using anything in the original movies. The threat was first raised over The Curse of Frankenstein (1957). Hammer got around it by sticking solely to material from Mary Shelley's source novel, which was in the public domain, and nothing from the 1931 Boris Karloff film version. Likewise, when the studio made its first vampire remake, Horror of Dracula (1958), the script had to be adapted exclusively from Bram Stoker's novel and contain no element introduced in Universal's 1931 film starring Bela Lugosi. By the time of The Mummy (1959), Hammer had reached an official agreement with Universal to remake their horror movies, allowing the use of the original title and certain characters; this was a lucky break, since there was no source novel. The names, however, among them Stephen Banning, Kharis the Mummy, Joseph Whemple, and Princess Ananka, came from both the 1932 version starring Boris Karloff (as the Mummy Imhotep) and Universal's own reworking of their original material, released as The Mummy's Hand (1940). Confused yet? Well, The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb (1964) won't clear any of that up, since the Mummy here is Ra-Antef and none of the other characters from Hammer's first entry in the series appear.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

 


 

 

Posters

Theatrical Releases: 1958 - 1964

DVD Reviews

Comparison:

 

Sony (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Mill Creek Entertainment - Region 'A' - Blu-ray vs. Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

Box Covers

 

  

 

  

  

 

 

 

 

Distribution Sony - Region 1 - NTSC Mill Creek Entertainment - Region 'A' - Blu-ray Indicator - Region FREE' - Blu-ray
  1.35;1 / 1.78 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.14 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,146,896,627 bytes

Feature: 10,380,029,952 bytes 

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 16.00 Mbps

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,757,215,856 bytes

Feature: 23,523,604,032 bytes 

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Time: 1:20:06 1:20:15.185 1:20:13.683

Bitrate:

DVD of The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb

Blu-ray of Mill Creek's The Curse of the Mummy Tomb

Bitrate: Indicator Blu-ray of  The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb

Audio English (original mono) Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit

Subtitles English, None None English (SDH), None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Sony

Aspect Ratio:
All Original Aspect Ratios - 2:35:1 for The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (1960) + The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb (1964)
1:66:1 for The Gorgon (1964) + Scream of Fear (1961)

Edition Details:
trailers


DVD Release Date: October 14th, 2008

One Keep Case
Chapters: 12 X 4

Release Information:
Studio: Mill Creek
 

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,146,896,627 bytes

Revenge Feature: 11,634,223,104 bytes

Curse Feature: 10,380,029,952 bytes 

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 16.00 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

• None

Blu-ray Release Date: September 6th, 2016
Standard
Blu-ray Case

Chapters: 4 + 4

 

Release Information:
Studio: Indicator
 

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,757,215,856 bytes

Feature: 23,523,604,032 bytes 

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

• Blood and Bandages: Inside ‘The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb’ (13:05)
• Hammer’s Women: Jeanne Roland (2017): Diabolique magazine’s editor-in-chief Kat Ellinger offers an appreciation of the Burmese-born actor’s short career (10:55)
• Interview with Michael McStay (2017): the British film and TV actor looks back at his time working for Hammer (5:59)
• The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb Super 8 Version: original cut-down home cinema presentation (6:54)
• Interview with Composer Carlo Martelli on The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb (4:12)
• Trailer (3:01)
• Image Gallery (2:01)

Blu-ray Release Date: October 30th, 2017
Custom
Blu-ray Case

Chapters: 10

 

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray October 17':

The Indicator is part of their 4 Blu-ray set of Hammer Volume One: Fear Warning with Maniac, The Gorgon, The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb and Fanatic.

Mill Creek's 2016, Blu-ray transfer is even less competition than The Gorgon. Indicator's new 1080P is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate (more than 2 X that of the Mill Creek.) Generally the Mill Creek looks dull, faded and greenish beside the much stronger Indicator. Nu'ff said.

Indicator use an uncompressed linear PCM mono track (24-bit) - also a notable improvement over the Mill Creek lossy audio transfer. A solid score by Carlo Martelli (Do You Know This Voice, The Lost Continent, Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarecrow) adding some sarcophagus-atmospheric tension. The indicator add optional English (SDH) subtitles and their Blu-ray disc  package is Region FREE - playable worldwide.

Blood and Bandages: Inside ‘The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb’ is another new documentary running just over 13-minutes - documenting much of the film's production evolution. Hammer’s Women Jeanne Roland is a 2017 piece with Diabolique magazine’s editor-in-chief Kat Ellinger offering an appreciation of the Burmese-born actor’s short career for 11-minutes. Wonderful information. There is a 6-minute interview with Michael McStay - the British film and TV actor who looks back at his time working for Hammer. The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb Super 8 Version has the 7-minute original cut-down home cinema presentation looking decidedly weak but nostalgic. There is an interview with composer Carlo Martelli on The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb for a short 4-minutes, a trailer and image gallery. The full package has four box set exclusive booklets with new essays, contemporary reviews, historic articles, and full film credits. This edition is limited to 6,000 copies.

Indicator continue their high caliber work in a flawless package of a classic Hammer 'Mummy' film. I'm in nirvana!

***

ADDITION: Mill Creek - Region 'A' - Blu-ray September 16': Like Hammer Film Double Feature - The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll & The Gorgon (compared HERE), Mill Creek's 2016 Blu-ray transfer is also technically underwhelming - the two features share a single-layered Blu-ray disc supporting a modest bitrate (16 Mbps) and only lossy audio (no improvement). There are no extras and no optional subtitles. To be fair The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb does, visually, look better than the old DVD. We lose the orangey-ness of the SD flesh tones and film textures, on both titles, look sweet.

We only compared The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb, part of the old Sony DVD set - reviewed HERE, to this Blu-ray. We are anxious to obtain and review Universal's 2016 Hammer Horror 8-Film Blu-ray Collection.

Big bonus here, though, is the price. Fans should probably nab it - for me the inclusion of Revenge of Frankenstein in 1080P was appreciated as I really like this particular Hammer film. Fans should nab this at the low price.

***

ON THE DVD Boxset: Much in the vein of Sony's Icons of Horror - Boris Karloff or Sam Katzman collections, the four feature films of this boxset are shared, two each on two dual-layered, progressive DVDs with all 4 widescreen features being anamorphically enhanced. All have original aspect ratios - 2:35:1 for The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (1960) + The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb (1964), 1:66:1 for The Gorgon (1964) + Scream of Fear (1961). Each disc is coded for Region 1 in the NTSC standard. They have original mono audio (or 2.0 channel stereo) and the dialogue is supported by optional English subtitles. The 2 DVDs are housed in one keep cases and they are not sold separately at this time. I believe these particular NTSC editions can only be obtained in Sony's Icons of Horror - Hammer Films collection at present.

Image quality: The three color features look quite strong and fairly consistent. Scream of Fear seems the weak link with a strange softness at times that may very well be part of the original presentation. But the prevalent noise I'm sure is nt and contrast can be a bit muddy. I have no adamantly strong complaints with the way these, essentially single-layered, transfers look as my expectations were not astronomic.  There is some minor digital noise throughout but, except for Scream of Fear, nothing distracting. There are no overt damage marks - just some minor light speckles here and there. I think the captures below give a fair representation of how the DVD package looks. They are certainly very watchable.

Audio was acceptable if unremarkable. It was consistent and clear enough and the dialogue is supported with optional English subtitles.

 

Unfortunately there are no extras save some trailers which are both intense and amusing!

 

I love sinking into these genre efforts - no matter the 'cheese factor' - Hammer always had a slight edge in quality over a lot of similar, more exploitation based, horror films. This package is fun but I'd recommend Universal's The Hammer Horror Collection over it by a mile (8 super Hammer Horrors in one package for about $2 each). Still for new fodder, I immersed myself in this one and admit to enjoyment. Fans have an idea what they are in for - and this package shouldn't disappoint despite the lack of supplements. The Gorgon was especially pretty cool!

Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus


Disc 2

 

Mill Creek - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 

Indicator - Region FREE' - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample - (no subtitles offered on the Mill Creek Blu-ray)

 

1) Sony (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Mill Creek - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Screen Captures

1) Sony (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Mill Creek - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Sony (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Mill Creek - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Sony (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Mill Creek - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Mill Creek - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Mill Creek - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

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