Mummy Mania #3: The Mummy's Tomb (1942)
Like The Mummy's Hand, the film that preceded it, The Mummy's Tomb is the continuing story of Kharis: secret lover, night owl, maniac on the dance floor, and tool of his master, a high priest with a penchant for the tana leaves that give Kharis immortal power. Three leaves give life, nine leaves give him motivation. Ten leaves would be too many. Eleven is right out.
It almost seems like an afterthought on the part of the filmmakers, but this movie takes place THIRTY YEARS after the previous one (which would techincally place this movie in the 1970s). That's thirty years since Dick Foran's archaeologist, Dr. Banning, and Wallace Ford, his wisecracking sidekick, defeated Kharis in Cairo. In case we forgot what that actually looked like, the movie spends literally ten minutes (of a 60-minute running time) showing us footage of the previous film. What we discover is that Foran is now an elderly guy with gray hair (he's wearing semi-convincing old age makeup) and that his pistol packin' mama from the previous film, Marta (Peggy Moran) has shuffled off this mortal coil and joined the choir invisible. What no one expects is for another "High Priest of Karnak" (Turhan Bey, The Amazing Mr. X, looking very Lando) to transport a revived Kharis to America so he can take revenge on every single person that desecrated the temple thirty years ago. Let me say that again. A high priest sends The Mummy to America to kill all the people from the previous movie. Why did it take thirty years to hatch this plot? Why does Turhan Bey care about something he wasn't even around for? Why isn't Kharis a bunch of ashes? Who cares! There's a mummy loose in the city of Mapleton! Run for your lives!
In the mummy suit this time is Lon Chaney Jr, The Wolf Man himself. Over the course of the 1940s, Chaney got to play quite a bit in the Universal Monster sandbox, starring as three of the big monsters (he was also Dracula...I mean Alucard....in Son of Dracula). It doesn't really matter to me that Chaney is in the suit, though. It's kind of a thankless role, as you can't see anything of the person inside and there's not much of a performance happening. I guess it's cool to know, and knowing is half the battle.
The Mummy Mania Series
Mummy Mania #1: The Mummy (1932)
Mummy Mania #2: The Mummy's Hand (1940)
Mummy Mania #4: The Mummy's Ghost (1944)
Mummy Mania #5: The Mummy's Curse (1944)
Mummy Mania #6: Abbott and Costello Meet The Mummy (1955)