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In an Egyptian bazaar, Steve (Dick Foran) & Babe (Wallace Ford)
find an ancient vase, & since Steve happens to be an archeologist, he
soon figures it shows the way to an ancient tomb ... when he visits the
local institute for Egyptology though, its head scientist Andoheb (George
Zucco) claims it to be a fake, even if the head of the Cairo museum Dr.
Petrie (Charles Trowbridge) is certain of its authencity.
Steve, Babe & Doctor Petrie then decide to mount an expedition to
where their vase points on their own, problem is they got no money. Step
in the Great Solvani (Cecil Kellaway), a stage magician whom Steve &
babe convince over quite a bit of alcohol that the expedition is a sound
investment - much to the dismay of his daughter Marta (Peggy Moran), who
believes Steve & Babe to be con-men.
Soon the expedition has reached its destination though, & indeed,
once there they find a tomb, if not the tomb of queen Ananka, as they had
Why though, you may ask, has Andoheb insisted the vase was a fake ?
Easy, because he is in secret the highpriest of Karnak who guards the
mummy of Kharis (Tom Tyler), a former highpriest at queen Ananka's court
who was secretly in love with Ananka & after her death tried to revive
her with fluid from tana leaves ... but before he could do so, he was
caught by the palace guards & condemned to be buried alive & kept
alive in his immured state for all eternity with the help of the fluid of
the tana leaves he wanted to awaken Ananka with ...
Of course, Steve & company open Kharis the mummy's grave, which
infuriates Andoheb, who then uses the mummy to kill the participants of
the expedition, simply by putting phioles of the tana fluid in their tents
one at a time, & the mummy, by now addictecd to the stuff, will kill
anyone who blocks his way to the fluid ...
Then, for some/no reason, Andoheb changes his plans, has Solvani's
daughter Marta (who has since, need I say it, fallen in love with Steve)
abducted by the mummy to ananka's secret temple, & plans to, with the
help of the tana leaves, give both her & himself eternal life, so they
can ... well, be together (not that she is too crazy about the idea. But
by now Steve & company have found the way to the temple themselves,
can throw Andoheb down a cliff & burn both the mummy & the tana
leaves. Marta, of course is saved from the terrible fate of eternal life,
& it's only a question of time before she will mary Steve.
Of course, The Mummy's Hand is a far cry from Universal's
classic horrors from the early 1930's, it's rather a run-of-the-mill
b-picture profiting from the fame of its more famous predecessors. That's
not to say The Mummy's Hand is without its charms though, it has
that certain carelessness that makes many 1940's B-horrors so endearing:
The desert you would expect in Egypt looks concpiciously like the North
American plains, where camels look pretty much ot of place (but are still
there), Ananka's secret temple, from the outside, looks (& certainly
was) not of Egyptian but of Middle to North American origin (while the
inside looks ery Egyptian), & the story doesn't even try to make too
much sense. In other words, you might hate the film for these reasons, you
might love it, you might love to hate or hate to love it.