After three films behind them, Hammer would release the fourth and final picture dealing with the subject of mummies in 1971 and it would be with a breath of fresh air as gone were the bandaged and shambling corpses to be replaced by a perfectly preserved goddess and a tale of reincarnation and possession. Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb was fairly different as a whole yet it would still feature some of the same tropes that all of the previous mummy movies would. One of the better changes to take place would be that of a woman taking the lead of the film as well as the mummy itself being a woman this time around, though in this case, mummy might be an inaccurate word as she is unlike all of the mummies we have seen before.
Taking said lead would be Valerie Leon, a woman who had been in numerous Carry On films and here she gets to shine as both Queen Tera and the daughter of archaeologist Julian Fuchs. Both women look identical. Somehow, Julian who had discovered the body of Queen Tera in Egypt along with his crew manages to get her back to England and into a secret shrine in his basement. Soon afterwards, Margaret, his daughter, starts to have strange dreams and eventually realizes that she is being possessed and that Tera wishes to live again. With the help of a man named Corbeck, Margaret/Tera kills all of the surviving members of the expedition and with the scroll of life, begin the process to bring Tera back to the land of the living.
While the film was plagued with many problems during its production, the loss of Peter Cushing as its star and the sudden death of its director Seth Holt, it managed to be a very engaging, if slightly slowly-paced picture. There is a lot of blood to be found at times as the Tera-possessed Margaret goes about her business and horror fans should find it quite fulfilling in that respect. Leon is gorgeous and proves that she is more than just her good looks with the role, delivering a performance better than many of the women that have graced Hammer’s movies. At times, the film feels almost surreal, maybe because of the dream sequences or perhaps due to the picture having that 1970s sheen about it or even a combination of the two. Whatever the case, it pulls you in and when paired with Leon’s stunning beauty and the horror that takes place, you cannot help but find yourself entranced by it all. A few problems the film might have had, but in the end, it worked itself out and what we ended up with was a very captivating film, the best one since the original vehicle from 1959.
The rest of the cast was good including Andrew Keir as Leon’s father and the cinematography by Arthur Grant was mesmerizing at times even though most of the film took place in one centralized location. The movie is quite eerie at times with its themes of reincarnation, life, death and even incest and for those looking for a mummy film unlike any other; this would definitely fit the bill. Slick and stylish, Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb might have been the last picture to feature such a creature, in a minimal and slightly different way, but it went out as a memorable one.