1920 and an archeological expedition has unearthed the tomb of an ancient Egyptian child prince. Taking the remains back to Cairo they are put on display in a museum along with the shroud which was covering them. Unfortunately for the misfortunate team the descendants of a family who were given the task of guarding the prince’s tomb, have awoken the mummy of the prince’s chief slave who now wreaks a terrible revenge on the desecrators of his master’s resting place.
Being honest The Mummy’s Shroud is cheesy in every way imaginable. One-dimensional sets, garish gore – the lashings of blood in particular have an overtly fake appearance – and a basic plot, make the production memorable for all the wrong reasons. Despite having Hammer stalwarts like John Gilling directing, Anthony Hinds writing the story (with Gilling) and Bernard Robinson behind the production designer, the film as a whole lacks the style and sharpness of the studio’s earlier productions. Hammer regulars André Morell and Michael Ripper (for once given more than a mere walk on role) do an admirable job as members of the ill-fated expedition whilst Maggie Kimberly more than competently fulfils her role as the required damsel in distress. However the absence of Peter Cushing or Christopher Lee, whose appearance would probably have given the film a saving gravitas but whose presence in Hammer’s films were becoming less frequent by the late 60s, is glaringly obvious.
That said the film is fun. Even at their worst Hammer’s films had something special about them, an elusive quality which set them apart from all others and has helped them stand the test of time. By no means a classic The Mummy’s Shroud retains a quirky, ‘wooden’, charm which is still appealing over 40 years later.