Murder (and spoilers) Ahead!!!
The Mummy’s Shroud
While most of the tomb raiders’ deaths at the hands of dear Mummy are horrible enough, Harry Newton’s provokes additional stomach somersaults thanks to the Mummy’s decision to smash a vat of photographic acid over him… before leaving him to burn to death in his own red room. Now that’s a Kodak moment!
Abby makes quick work of Owen’s playground tormentors in this cathartic, beautiful, and above all bloody climax.
All the more shocking because our mind is left to fill in the grisly details, Joey’s retelling of the day Suzie died is a masterclass in cinematic restraint.
Deaths by arson, self-fenestration and jumping in front of a moving train are all horrible enough, but these are (pun alert!) child’s play when compared with the Woman in Black’s lye poisoning scene. As the first death Arthur Kipps witnesses himself (watching helplessly as a young girl lies in his arms coughing up blood until she dies), this sets a horribly ominous tone for the rest of the film.
There are a number of reasons why Klove’s dispatch of Alan Kent is more gruesome than any of those at the hands of the Count himself: the calm, methodical butchery displayed by the creepy servant as he strings Kent upside down to bleed him dry; the slow, dreadful timpani beating over an otherwise deadly quiet scene; the audience’s knowledge that a worried Helen is waiting upstairs for a husband who’ll never return.
But Alan’s death was more than just a stand-alone shock: it helped modernise the franchise for the meaner tastes of the late 1960s, and showed that- for sheer monstrosity- the Count (and his servant) could stand toe-to-toe with anyone!
Two Hollywood icons. One intense rivalry.
How to be bad?
Through its 295 films and TV episodes Hammer has created monsters, cavemen, castles and crypts. But what if the world was actually like a Hammer film?
From Bond to Wallace…