Short and Mummyriffit today, and off tomorrow. But there are motels! At least three.

Like I said: vacation week.



Now, we return to Mummyism, as part of our annual October salute to the classc Universal monster movies.


Turhan Bey - the Man of Mystery - ended his career on "Babylon 5," believe it or not. His career petered out at the end of the 40s - one role in a 1953 movie - then a string of TV shows in the ninties, a half-century after this movie was made. In between? He returned to his native Austria, to pursue a career as a commercial photorapher.

He had a fling with Lana Turner, but who didn't.

Anyway. Considering the lowered standards and expectations of the series, Mummy #3 is quite watchable, for several reasons.



Oooh, Lon Chaney! Perfect role for him, because he can shuffle along as if he's full of hooc. But here's the other reason:



Elyse Knox. From all accounts, a pip of a gal. She didn't have the longest career, but that seemed fine with her. She married Tom Harmon, football hero, and they had three kids - including Mark Harmon, who's still on TV today.

We open with this old fella telling a tale of his adventurin' days . . .



Remember him from last week?



That's right: he was the hero in the "Mummy's Hand," from a few years earlier. Dick Foran. His dad was a US Senator from New Jersey. He didn't have a big blazing career, but he kept his hand in various projects. One of the most curious was "O.K. Crackerberry."



No doubt there are lyrics; you can tell where someone's supposed to sing O - K - Crackerby.

I believe he uses the word "grip" for a suitcase, a term no longer in use, except by me.

Here’s a segment of the first ep, which has Mr. Moran. The premise: Crackerby is wealthy. Incredibly so. Powerful beyond belief - but consistently underestimated and marginalized because of his Down-Home Ways. Which aren’t very downhome at all, aside from a twang.



Supposedly a famous bomb, but just judging from the credits I can’t see how it’s worse than any of the other slack-witted laff-track shows of the time. Interesting lineage: Cleveland Amory, the TV critic for TV Guide, was involved.

Cleveland Amory was buried next to his cat.




Anyway. In the two-shot above, you see Dick's sidekick from the previous movie, Babe. He shows up, too:



Yes, that's how we expected funny old Babe to age: glasses on a string. Here's the thing: the movie pretends that the adventures of the previous movie took place 30 years ago, instead of four. That's some serious retcon work. They could get away with it, because the previous movie had been out of the theater for a few years, and no one could hold them accountable for rewriting the backstory.

Which leads to a rather unnerving development:



Murdered? In the placid little town where the adventurer has retired? By whom?



Right. The Mummy is brought to small-town America, and gets his strangle on. He not only kills Babe, he kills the hero of the previous movie, the adventurer. So it's the "Aliens 3" of Universal Horror movies, completely ruining the light 'n' bouncy feel you took away from the previous installment.

As the genre requires, a young lovely must be put in peril in the last reel. So:



There's not a frame in the movie where she's not luminously gorgeous.

Since it's a Universal horror film, the Villagers are assembled, and burn something down.




At least until the next one.







New Motels! See you around.










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