Tuesday, 30 March 2010

The Mummy!

I watch for Foundry things on eBay although so many come through its pretty much a matter of luck as to whether you spot anything interesting. A couple of months ago I was watching one of the Foundry mummies but missed it so was pleased to win this one last week. It wouldn't involve a great effort in the way of a paint job, especially as it had already been undercoated, so I sat down and did it in one sitting.

I now need to think of some way to use him. I have some pulp rules somewhere (.45 Adventure, I think) and also have a book of scenarios from TVAG, but can't find any of them at present!

Jane Webb wrote a story in 1827, The Mummy! A Tale of the Twenty-Second Century, which was the first to feature the concept of a re-animated mummy. The mummy is brought back to life tjhrough the use of electricity as in film versions of Frankenstein. Although in Mary Shelley's original book the creature was animated through chemical means. Edgar Allen Poe's Some Words with a Mummy (1845), also has a electricity-revived mummy. There were other stories about mummies (not necessarily re-animated ones) during the latter half of the nineteenth century as discoveries by archaeologists in inspired more interest in the subject of Egyptology and Thos Cook's Nile cruises enabled ever greater numbers of tourists to see the sights themselves.

It was Arthur Conan-Doyle in his story Lot No 249 (1892) who introduced the concept of the re-animated, avenging mummy so popular in twentieth century films. The most influential being Universal's The Mummy (1940) starring Boris Karloff. Although it wasn't based on a book it used elements from many of the previous century's stories in its script. This was re-made, of course as The Mummy (1999) with Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz.

Rachel Weisz gets a nasty shock in The Mummy (1999)

In fact, the only mummy film to have actually been based directly on a novel is Hammer's Blood from the Mummy's Tomb (1971), re-made as The Awakening in 1980. Both these films were based on Bram Stoker's Jewel of the Seven Stars (1903).

The latter novel had such a gruesome ending that when a second edition was published in 1912 Stoker was told that he would have to write a different ending. This more upbeat final chapter was then used in all subsequent editions until Penguin restored it in their 2008 version.

The magnificent Valerie Leon in Hammer's Blood from the Mummy's Tomb (1971)

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