Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb
This 1972 entry in the Hammer canon seems to owe more to the Carry On series than anything else. Somewhat adapted from a story by Bram Stoker, Margaret Fuchs (Valeire Leon) is given a ring by her archaeologist father which, through the magic of something or other, possesses her with the spirit of an evil Egyptian Princess. When Hammer get it right, they really get it right. At other times, they give us this.
Yes, there were troubles behind the scenes (Director Seth Holt sadly passed away before filming was complete), but the film must be taken for what it is. A rather boring affair that no manner of camp or irony will save. Carry On Screaming is literally better and scarier than this.
She-Wolf of London
Directed by Jean Yarbrough (Hillbillys in a Haunted House), She-Wolf of London is often grouped in with The Wolf Man franchise that saw Lon Chaney Jnr running around in a jumpsuit and furry mask. In actuality, She-Wolf of London is less about shape shifting horror and more about a young woman, Phyllis (June Lockhart) and mental health. Think of it as a hairier Yellow Wallpaper.
Despite the potential for a gothic thriller, Yarbrough hands in a limp soap opera that fades into nothing once it’s all over with. A large fault with the film is how it spells everything out within the first ten minutes, leaving the audience confident in how it’s all going to end. With nothing to engage us for the rest of the film’s short run time, She-Wolf of London drags on for what feels like an eternity. Best to avoid if you’re ever doing a Universal binge.
Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead
Two words: Troma Films. If you’ve seen anything from Lloyd Kauffman’s diseased stable, then you know what to expect. Tromaville’s Native American burial ground has been ploughed over to make way for a new fast food restaurant and its deceased inhabitants are none too pleased about it. Billed as a musical horror, Poultrygeist is almost hypnotic with its low budget, copious amounts of gore and toe tappers.
The ‘musical’ numbers stir up memories of Little Shop of Horrors and Meet the Feebles but are soon forgotten about in the last third of the film. However, it’s very hard to care in a film that seems to happily urinate in the wind with regards to convention. When the undead rise, the bucket of blood is somewhat diluted, in a good way, by jokes that remind us of Peter Jackson’s Braindead. It’s hard not to be swept along and giggle as a chicken zombie strips the flesh from its victim, acknowledging to a fellow fowl that it knows the skin is unhealthy for it. Definitely one of Troma’s better offerings.