Stuck in an unmarked Egyptian tomb, cursed for a crime of love and raised from the dead by the reading of an ancient scroll, Universal’s The Mummy leaves quite an impression. I may start with that incarnation, but the Mummy in all his (and upcoming her) forms is an easy favorite of mine. As played by the great Boris Karloff, he is a menacing and mysterious foe. I would be remiss if I also did not mention the stunning make-up work by Jack Pierce, that helped cement the character into the pantheon of monsters. The movie also had arguably the greatest movie poster ever created.
A highlight of other movies containing the Mummy would include the Hammer horror movie with Christopher Lee playing the monster, the 1999 adventure/action film directed by Stephen Sommers, and appearances in the Waxwork and Monster Squad movies. Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy is a light but fun entry as well.
As for literature appearances, I am mostly at a loss, which is a pity. I feel that the tropes of the Mummy are fit to be used in a bevy of eras and stories. I know only of the mummy in the excellent comic Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. Rectifying this sad situation, I have created a short story featuring a cowboy Mummy bounty hunter in the old west (which will someday be published in Emby Press’ Reconstructing the Monster anthology, whenever that is finally printed). More tales featuring my Mummy are forthcoming.
Let’s show some love to the Mummy, and bring new tales to life, cursed or not. Perhaps the upcoming new Universal movie featuring a female Mummy and Tom Cruise will ignite the imaginations anew and unwrap something ancient, dark and arcane in sand and blood.