Archive for the mummy Category

AWESOME-tober-fest 2016: The Mummy: Dark Resurrection (2007)

Posted in books, Genres, horror, monsters, movies, mummy, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , on October 5, 2016 by Paxton

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Back in 2006-2007, Universal Studios commissioned a series of novels that would update their classic monsters in a series of more adult horror tales that also worked as sequels to the classic movies. I discussed one of these books back in 2010 for my werewolf AWESOME-tober-fest (The Wolf Man: Hunter’s Moon by Michael Jan Friedman). Today, I’ll talk about another one, The Mummy: Dark Resurrection by Michael Paine.

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While I didn’t like The Wolf Man novel, I thought it had potential, so I picked up this Mummy book hoping it would do a little more with the subject. Did it?  Let’s see.

First of all, it’s really tough to place the book in the mummy movie timeline.  I assume it is a sequel to the very first movie from 1932 with Boris Karloff as Karloff’s character, Ardath Bey, is the main antagonist.  But no other characters from any of the Mummy movies either show up or are even mentioned in any way.  Plus, many of the characters that do appear in this book are given a backstory that sound similar to people in the original mummy franchise which just confuses the entire issue.

The book’s protagonist is Josh Brandt, a rich guy from a rich family who funds an archaeological dig that is trying to find the tomb of Ankh-es-en-Amun, the betrothed of Imhotep.  It is revealed that Brandt’s father and grandfather both funded digs for the exact same tomb and both men were lost and presumed dead while at the dig site.  When the current dig seemingly discovers the tomb’s entrance, strange things start happening to the Brandt family and a mysterious stranger, Ardath Bey, seems to be at the center of it all.

Like I said, Brandt’s father and grandfather’s disappearance is a big part of the back story.  And the way it’s written, it feels like those two men’s stories would have been told previously, like in a mummy movie.  But there are no Brandts in any of the previous movies, which confuses me.  Plus there’s no mention of any previous dealings with Ardath Bey by characters in the book.  I guess this story is just continuing many years later with no other links to the movies except Ardath Bey.

The book is written competently, but antagonist Ardath Bey isn’t utilized enough.  Josh, his crazy family and the supernatural events that happen to that family’s members are the focus of the book with Ardath Bey showing up once or twice menacingly and then again at the end to wrap things up.

Honestly, it was kind of a struggle to finish the book.  Part of my problem could be that I’m not a huge fan of “the mummy” as a monster since it’s so similar to zombies (which we know I don’t like). Also, for a “mummy book”, there’s a surprising lack of mummies in it.  Bey seems to possess the power to make recently dead bodies come to life and kill, which he does throughout the book, but those are zombies, not mummies.  Ancient Egyptian mummies are practically non-existent in this story.

Put all of that together and I can’t say I really recommend this book unless you are already a fan of mummies.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2016: The Ring of Thoth (1890) – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Posted in books, Classic literature, Halloween, holiday, monsters, mummy with tags , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2016 by Paxton

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Here we are! Day 1 of AWESOME-tober-fest! Welcome to my daily celebration of all things spooky. As you can tell, my theme this month is “mummies”! So I’ll be looking at books, comics, movies and TV shows that feature mummies. It should be a lot of fun. Today, we’ll start with a short story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

In 1890, Cornhill Magazine published a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle short story called The Ring of Thoth.

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While this story has a mummy in it, it isn’t technically a “mummy story” like you’d expect. However, it has elements in the story that will clearly influence mummy movies in the many years to come afterwards.

The story is about an Egyptology student who falls asleep in The Louve and winds up locked in overnight and witnesses a bizarre sight.  The overnight caretaker unwraps one of the mummies from the collection, embraces and kisses it, then rummages through some of the jewelry in the Egyptian collection clearly looking for something.  The student is discovered in hiding and the strange looking caretaker reveals his story about living in ancient Egypt, discovering a long living chemical serum and losing the love of his life to a plague.

This story is short, obviously, and very concise with much of the backstory filled in by exposition from the museum’s overnight caretaker.  However, the way the story is written you feel a sense of wonder at the caretaker’s tale as well as a sense of urgency at what he plans to do that very evening.  These two things make the story breeze by.  It’s also interesting and it keeps you reading along with its fantastical story ideas.  Plus, as I mentioned, there are elements within the story that have clearly influenced many successor mummy movies but also the original Karloff Mummy movie.

First of all, the strange looking caretaker, Sosra, is described as being a very tanned and overly wrinkled person.  Someone with much wisdom and experience in his eyes.  From the description, I immediately got an image of Karloff in his Ardath Bey disguise from The Mummy.  There’s even a scene in which Sosra threatens the protagonist with a knife, much like in the picture below.

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Second, the trinket that Sosra is looking for is the title bearing The Ring of Thoth. Thoth is the God of Knowledge in ancient Egyptian culture. His name would be used in countless mummy movies, however, this story would be one of the first. Universal’s The Mummy used it as well in describing, not a ring, but a scroll.

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Like I said, while this story doesn’t necessarily involve a reanimated mummy it does carry several things that would influence mummy stories and movies in the years to come. Including a story Doyle would write just two years later called Lot 249.

Overall, this is a really enjoyable, short read.  The timeline is very compact and you feel like there is some urgency in the main characters.  It keeps the action moving along despite that the majority of the story involves backstory exposition.  This is definitely a recommend.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2016 is near!

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, monsters, movies, mummy, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2016 by Paxton

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It’s early September. The days are growing short. The spooky season is fast approaching. Some, like my good friends Matt and Jay, have already begun. It’s Countdown to Halloween time!

And yes, I’ll be doing AWESOME-tober-fest this year.  And my theme will be The Mummy!  So expect to see lots of ancient, bandage wrapped awesomeness popping up here starting, officially, on Monday Oct 3.  I’ll be covering lots of pop culture mummy things like books, comics, movies and even a few cartoons!  So mark your calendar, starting Monday October 3 I’ll be redressing the Cavalcade for the entire month of October and starting daily weekday updates featuring The Mummy!  Plus a few other surprises.

And I guarantee you, at some point during AWESOME-tober-fest, the below cartoon depiction of Alcatraz Island will show up.

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