The Mummy’s Hand: Here Comes Kharis

By  | 

The Mummy’s Hand is a solid adventure that has many light-hearted, humorous moments which is unusual for a Universal horror movie of the 30’s and 40’s.

This isn’t really a sequel to Universal’s MUMMY, which starred Boris Karlof as the Mummy Imhotep, but a start of a new series with the mummy Kharis played by Tom Tyler. In the original MUMMY, Imhotep was only in the bandages at the start of the movie, while the rest of the time he walked around in Egyptian clothes and only his dry, wrinkled face gave any indication of his age. Unfortunately for Kharis, he isn’t as powerful as Imhotep, so he’s covered in bandages throughout the movie and has an awful limp and frail arm to contend with, not to mention his dependency on Tanna leaves, which keep him alive and are controlled by the high Priest.

How did Kharis end up as a mummy? Over 3000 thousand years ago, the love of his life, Princes Tanaka, dies, breaking his heart and causing him to defy the gods and all authority by stealing the precious Tanna leaves which he would use to resurrect her. Before he can do this, he’s caught, captured and buried alive as punishment. The high priest places him in a tomb close to Princess Ananka and plans to use him as a protector if anyone tries to defile her burial site. They keep him alive by burning 3 Tanna leaves every full moon and if they need him to act out some horrid deed, they burn 9. This Priesthood survives through the ages as generation passes onto generation the knowledge of Kharis and the Tanna leaves, up unto modern time.

Stephen Banning, an Indian Jones type character, along with his sidekick Babe Hanson are on the hunt of Princess Ananka’s tomb. Along the way they pick up the Magician Mr. Solvani who finances the expedition and his daughter Marta Solvani. Dr. Petrie joins them with a group of Egyptian workers. Little do they know the danger they face as the high priest awakens Kharis to destroy these infidels.

What I liked about the movie were the rich characters that brought a lot of humor to the story, which is atypical of many of the horror films of this time: Stephen Banning is the macho leader; Babe Hanson, his partner, is a loud-mouth, jokester who makes light of most situations; The Magician, Mr. Solvani, is an older gentleman who is always performing his magic tricks; and Marta Solvani doesn’t trust Banning at first, but slowly falls in love. It’s a lively crowd which makes the movie all the more enjoyable.

One other note, the high Priest’s duty is to use Kharis to protect the tomb of Princes Aanaka, but his lust for Marta clouds his mission. He uses Kharis to capture Marta for his wife, with the plans of making her and himself immortal with the Tanna leaves.

By Clint Romag

You must be logged in to post a comment Login