Dracula vs. The Mummy

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Johnny Angell, May 18, 2017 at 7:43 PM.

  1. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I'm putting this is the blu ray forum since we have new blu ray releases of the Dracula and Mummy films. Over the years I think I've seen most of the Universal Dracula and Mummy films of old. It seems to me that Universal treated Dracula with much more respect than they did with the Mummy.

    The Mummy films are mostly pretty bad. I've watched part of The Mummy's Hand and it confirms my memory of these films. Poorly scripted, casted, directed, and low productions values. Some of the Egyptian settings look suspiciously like the shrub covered hills of Southern California.

    I don't recall a good Mummy film after the Karloff version.

    Maybe the Universal execs thought like I sometimes do: as monsters go, The Mummy is pretty lame (irony intended). I guy on crutches could outrun the guy. His vocabulary is poor. How hard can it be to make a good Mummy costume? Apparently pretty hard after seeing some of the costumes made after the first film.

    I'm just saying the mummy sequels seem to be nothing more than blatant cash grabs.
     
  2. B-ROLL

    B-ROLL Screenwriter

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    Based on the title for the thread I thought for a moment I thought this would be a new WB movie ... :(

    I liked the Mummy movies better ... cheap sets and all ... :cool:
     
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  3. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    It's heresy but I prefer the Mummy sequels to the original. I love seeing Lon Chaney shambling along choking unsuspecting guys.
     
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  4. 4 May 18, 2017 at 11:28 PM
    Last edited: May 18, 2017 at 11:34 PM
    Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    Some Universal Mummy Facts:

    - The only classic Universal Monster from the 1930s-40s to never be in the same film as any of the other classic Universal Monsters during that period.

    - The opening music for THE MUMMY (1932) is the SAME opening music for DRACULA (1931). The only difference is the music stops just before the last faded note that can be heard on the latter.

    - The first Universal Monster to sport bandages. The Invisible Man would also do so about a year later.

    - Boris Karloff's second major Monster portrayal after his breakout role as Frankenstein's Monster the year before.

    - The Universal Monster with the longest gap between its inaugural Feature and its first sequel, with the first released on December 22, 1932, and the second on September 20, 1940. Three more would be released by the end of 1944, with THE MUMMY'S CURSE being issued 12 years to the day after the first!

    CHEERS! :)
     
  5. John Hermes

    John Hermes Screenwriter

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    Ditto.
     
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  6. John Hermes

    John Hermes Screenwriter

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    My favorite mummy film is Hammer's 1959 The Mummy. Christopher Lee's mummy is much more menacing and quick moving.
     
  7. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    That Mummy film set in Mississippi was totally from hunger. The black guy in that movie was pretty embarrassing too. How does that one look on the new set? The French blu-ray of that one was really rough with splices, dirt, weave, the works.
     
  8. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    Many zombies have this problem, too. But zombies attack en masse, can spread their condition to others, and are eager to eat your brains. Also, you need to go to great lengths to trigger the wrath of the Mummy. Zombies are much more self-starting and service-oriented and will gladly come to you. No tomb-raiding required! Now doesn't that help you get to sleep easier at night?
     
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  9. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    Then again, the Crypt Keeper seemed to get around pretty well … and a mummy was his mommy.
     
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  10. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    For me, the Mummy wins hands down. I think the old stagey Dracula is laughable these days (whereas Frankenstein is as powerful as it's ever been), & the sequels are nothing to write home about (I can't remember a thing about them, although I'll probably buy the Dracula set to see them). There's just something about ancient tombs & mummies, of course the sequels aren't as good as the hypnotic original, but The Mummy's Hand is a lot of fun if you're in the mood, & it did set the template for all the Mummy films that followed. Here's what I posted a while back in the Mummy Legacy thread:
    "Yes, of the three cheapo sequels, Ghost is my favourite, it's creepy & not afraid to not have a happy ending (I'll say no more). I like Curse, & the unearthed princess coming to life with sunlight is one of the strangest scenes of the series. I think Tomb is a bore, but it is short, I'd think 45-50 minutes of original material when you take out all the flashbacks, but I will look at them all in order: Tomb - Ghost - Curse."

    The three cheapo sequels really are cheap, but, Mummy's Tomb apart, are a lot of fun, I hope my US set arrives today, I know some people in the UK got theirs yesterday.
     
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  11. J. Casey

    J. Casey Stunt Coordinator
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    I like all of the Universal Monsters, but I like the Mummy films better than the Dracula films. Don't know why, but that's the way it's always been for me!
     
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  12. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I can watch the Mummy sequels and enjoy them, as bad movies. Last night when Finished The Mummy's Hand I noticed a glaring continuity error. Late in the film when the bad guy is shot and tumbles down the steps, he begins with his normal, thinning grey hair. Cut and he's tumbling down the steps and his hair is fuller and very dark. Cut and he reaches the bottom and hair back to thin and grey.

    Ya gotta watch these movies knowing you're not getting a classic, just a movie bad enough to be fun.
     
  13. Jason_V

    Jason_V Producer

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    It's been years since I've seen any of the sequels (the original two film Universal DVD editions), but I agree and disagree with you, Johnny.

    Sure, these were made "cheap": based on Google, the first cost just under $200k; the second less than half that amount. That original budget equates to about $3 million now. That is a "cheap" big movie. So yeah, I would expect shortcuts and reuse of music, sets, actors, etc. like Tony said. I don't consider that a hallmark of a bad film. I consider that economical for the time and standard.

    Now, here's the thing. Most entertainment outside of its era looks bad because we're looking at it with hindsight. Superman (1978) is loved by audiences and critics per Rotten Tomatoes and THAT feels dated. I can laugh my way through that movie...but I don't. It comes down to whether or not I allow myself to get immersed in the universe or not. It's harder for movies almost 100 years old, though not impossible.

    By default, the Mummy character has its own set of limitations and the human characters have to be fairly stupid to get caught. How many times, though, do we yell at a character in a TV show or movie NOT to do something because we know how it will end...but they do it anyway? It's the same thing for me.
     
  14. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    Yes, the Lon Chaney mummy is in a right old state, he hobbles along dragging his bad leg, only has one workable arm, anyone who can't get away from him really does deserve to die. He spends a lot of the time carrying an unconscious woman, but you never see him pick her up...because he can't. They only needed to have something in the script about giving him extra tanna leaves to cure him, but for some reason they never do.
     
  15. smithbrad

    smithbrad Screenwriter

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    I also prefer the Mummy movies to the Dracula movies, even the sequels. I own the Dracula movies to have the complete Universal set. I find the first Dracula movie to be okay, probably has to do with being done in 1931 and lack of music to accompany the mood. Really didn't find "Son" all that appealing, but recall "Daughter" as being pretty good.

    While the first Mummy movie is the most intelligent of them, there is very little mummy action. From what i recall of the sequels, they follow more of the "Creature" movie concept where the Mummy is a major factor terrorizing people. I recall liking three of the four Mummy sequels much better than Dracula or the Dracula sequels.
     
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  16. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Cinematographer

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    And that is an excerpt from Act II of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake." It was Universal using those classics in many of their Monster films that helped me develop a love for Classical music at a young age.
     
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  17. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Cinematographer

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    Add me to the camp of "I prefer The Mummy films to the Dracula films." While I truly love the 1931 Dracula, I'm not that much of a fan of the sequels. I generally like them but don't watch them often. But when it comes to the Mummy sequels, I pretty much like them all with the first being my overall favorite. The Mummy films are the Universal series I watch with the most frequency. Part of it is because they are not diluted by appearances of the other "Big Three." While those multi-monster movies can be fun they just don't hold up as well, at least for me, as the Mummy sequels. The main exceptions are the Frankenstein sequels which don't have appearances by the others but I usually limit those to the Karloff films as I'm not that fond of Lon Chaney as The Monster. He does a good job - but he just doesn't "look" right.

    The Mummy's Hand is pretty much a remake of The Mummy with The Mummy's Tomb, The Mummy's Ghost, and The Mummy's Curse being sequels to "Hand." There's no true sequel to The Mummy. I also really like all of the Hammer Mummy films - actually just about any film that features a Mummy.

    I've always been rather annoyed by the significant use of footage from the prior films in the first couple of reels of ...Curse. You almost don't need to see any of them as their stories are pretty much shown in a "Reader's Digest" version. It really makes this one feel cheap (it was). I try to distance this one from viewings of the other films because of the stock footage.
     
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  18. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Nice to see some Mummy love from people.
     
  19. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    I find myself curious about THE MUMMY'S CURSE (1944), if mainly because of the reported subpar quality of its previous Elephant Films Blu-ray incarnation. So far, I've read one post about it not being quite as good visually as the other Mummy sequels on the new discs.

    Any thoughts?

    CHEERS! :)
     
  20. WilliamMcK

    WilliamMcK Second Unit

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    Don't we really love these movies because of the memories we hold so dear of the weekend "Creature Features" that aired across North America on local TV stations? Ages 6-12 are not going to care about the scripts or even the cheapo budgets (at least not kids in the 1950s, 60s and 70s). That said, I was also partial to the Universal Mummy series as a kid... more so than Dracula, but less so than Frankenstein, The Wolfman, or The Invisible Man. It's a treat to see all of these movies lovingly restored and looking better than they ever did on channel 11, etc.
     
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