I keep telling myself that I have to keep up with the classic horror films. Just like my sister tells herself that reading the classics is something she must do. Just like all of us feel that because something is so old, it has to be brilliant and in turn---a masterpiece. But why don't more people address the fact that just because a movie is old, doesn't mean it's necessarily a great film?
Sometimes I think about 70 years into the future and the possibility that kids then will think that "old" movies are all highly regarded as masterpieces. Will we see intellectual types touting Wild Things as a landmark in psycho sexual thrillers? Will kids be bragging about their vintage Blu-ray copy of Freddy Got Fingered or maybe discussing the thematic importance of Battle Los Angeles? I shudder at the thought . I even shudder at the thought of The Social Network one day being referred to as a classic film. Isn't it scary? It's terrifying!
At any rate, my blatant disregard for the Universal horror classics has meant a lot of mean stares getting sent my way. After not loving Dracula or maybe even calling it overrated, I realized that most people have an instant defense mechanism built in for when people attempt to raise eyebrows at classic films. I always ask these people in my head, do you really believe it is a masterpiece? Or do you just think you have to believe that it is? Granted the majority of people while not necessarily equating it to masterpiece level do love it simply for the impact it made on the genre. This I can agree with for obvious vampire obsessed reasons. But then this idea brings me to The Mummy.
When talking about the Monster Squad once, I made light of the fact that Dracula picked a few of the worst possible monsters he could to populate his bad boys club--namely The Mummy who can barely out walk a gimpy pigeon and who can be turned to dust in seconds.
Plus--he's not even very scary...okay well, he's a little scary in his more skeleton-like state but overall, he's not utilized much is he? When I made these claims however, a few people protested the lack of scare by bringing up Boris Karloff in The Mummy. Could it be that at one point, mummies were a scary monster? This I had to see.
As it turns out, Boris Karloff in my opinion is not scary or terribly great as a mummy. To me he is Frankenstein and as far away from looking Egyptian as possible. To top it all off however, the actual mummification of Boris Karloff is over almost as quickly as it began. For those brief moments where his eyes flutter open and his bandages brush over the young and annoying archaelogists hand, we do feel at least some kind of fear. But then what? Then we catch a quick glimpse of a strand of bandage as it goes out the door and 10 years later, Boris Karloff returns rejuvenated into a presentable if not very wrinkly Egyptian man, and the movie morphs into a Dracula infused love story. Once again, the actual mummy aspect is not utilized properly!
This bothers me immensely for some reason because The Mummy is no longer really the mummy. He is now, a tragic love story. I want the thrills. I want the breathtaking power that Frankenstein evokes. Is this maybe why, mummies never really caught on as staples in horror culture? Is this why we don't have a mummy craze like we have a werewolf and vampire craze? I bet it is. Which of course prompts me to revisit my previous claim; mummies are still not very scary to me but I want them to be. I so badly do. I want them to be fearsome. I want to see blood seep through bandages. I want evil curses to be flying out at people left and right. I want mummies to actually threaten some damage! I think it's time for a mummy rebirth. Who's with me?
And in case you haven't figured it out by now, I don't think very highly of The Mummy. I didn't even finish it actually which obviously begs the question of whether or not I reserve the right to say bad things about the film but it is my blog and all so I win. It has a few moments of intrigue but overall an improper use of mummies me thinks. And Boris Karloff is still just playing Frankenstein only with some heavy eye makeup. Sorry dude.