Ep 1.5 The Mummy (1932)

We bid you welcome to Universal Monsters Cast, where your horror hosts – Gillman Joel, Dr. Shock and Wolfman Josh – regularly brave discussions of many a monstrous thing, with a special focus on the Universal Monsters, both the classic films and the emerging Dark Universe.

Season 1. Episode 5. In this episode we are joined by special guest The Bride (better known as Station! from The Sci-Fi Podcast) for our review of The Mummy (1932). In the first four episodes, we discussed all of the news surrounding Universal’s Dark Universe and reviewed the 2017 film The Mummy. We’ll come back around to what we think the future may hold for the Dark Universe when the Blu-Ray for The Mummy (2017) is released in September, but for now we’ll be going back to some classic monster movies, beginning with our review of The Mummy (1932)!


[ 00:00:00 ] I. Intro

– Welcome, The Bride!
– Discussing our histories with (and nostalgia for) The Mummy

The Bride and her Monster.

[ 00:00:00 ] II. Feature Review – The Mummy (1932)

Ratings and Recommendations
The Bride: 8.5 / Watch it!
Dr. Shock: 9 / Must see
Wolfman Josh: 7.5 / Must see
Gillman Joel: 7.5 / Rent it

Universal studio still of Boris Karloff and Jack Pierce.

[ 02:09:45 ] VII. Wrap up / Plugs 

The Bride’s Links:
Liz covers all things science fiction at The Sci-Fi Podcast
Liz has an upcoming appearance on Geek Cast Live
Follow Liz on Twitter @lizreadscomics

Incredible alternative fan poster by illustrator Martin Ansin for Mondo.


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Reference articles for this episode:

The Mummy Composer Brian Tyler Gets Deep About Film’s Score
by Jon Burlingame for Variety

Music for the Monsters: Universal Picture’s Horror Film Scores of the Thirties
by William Rosar

The Mummy (USA, 1932)
entry on Horrorpedia

The Bride’s Links:
Liz covers all things science fiction at The Sci-Fi Podcast
Liz recently appeared on Geek Cast Live
Follow Liz on Twitter @LizReadsComics

Gillman Joel’s links:
Joel covers retro movies at Retro Movie Geek
Follow @RetroMovieGeek on Twitter
Join the RMG Facebook Group
Joel used to cover forgotten flix at Forgotten Flix Remembers

Wolfman Josh’s links:
Follow Josh on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @IcarusArts
Josh covers horror movies on HorrorMoviePodcast.com
Josh covers streaming online movies on MovieStreamCast.com
Follow MSC on Twitter @MovieStreamCast
Like MSC on Facebook

Dr. Shock’s links:
Dave writes daily movie reviews on DVDinfatuation.com
Follow Dave on Twitter @DVDinfatuation
Like Dave’s DVD Infatuation on Facebook
Dave podcasts about horror movies on Horror Movie Podcast and Land of the Creeps
You can read all of Dave’s “Universal Horror” written reviews (HERE) at DVDinfatuation.com

UMC Producer and Composer Kagan Breitenbach’s links:
Check out Kagan’s music at KaganBreitenbach.com
Subscribe to Kagan’s YouTube Channel QuartetMacbre
Follow Kagan on Twitter @KRBrietenbach

A very hairy Wolfman gets his mummy on.

12 thoughts on “Ep 1.5 The Mummy (1932)

  1. Out of all of the main Universal Monster movies, The Mummy is the one I have the strongest negative feelings on. Even for a movie I’ve criticized a lot, Creature from the Black Lagoon, my only real issue is that it drags on too much. There’s value in the Creature, even if I don’t think it was ever realized.

    1932’s The Mummy though? For me personally, it holds zero value. It’s far too similar to Dracula, that I’m left wondering why I’m not just watching Dracula instead. The lack of a wrapped up Mummy makes me wonder why I’m not watching The Mummy’s Hand. I am left so bored by The Mummy.

    Personally, I strongly disagree that The Mummy’s Hand is a remake of The Mummy. They’re both movies with mummies. That’s about where the similarities end. The Mummy’s Hand has a different looking mummy, tone is lighter, the objective is different, and it feels like its own film rather than being a cheaper version of a previous movie. To me, The Mummy is nothing more than Werewolf of London, but forced into being seen as a classic over The Mummy’s Hand. The Mummy’s Hand is the one I feel should be included in that amazing Universal Monsters Blu-ray and The Mummy treated as a bonus (Like Werewolf of London) where it’s interesting to see this earlier monster movie before they realized how to make a great mummy film (Just as they created the perfect werewolf – The Wolf Man).

    With my most recent rewatch, I gave The Mummy a 4/10.

    I await the tomatoes thrown my way.

    • It’s interesting to say that you “strongly disagree” thatThe Mummy’s hand retreads The Mummy. Werewolf of London is probably the wrong example for me because I enjoy it. She-Wolf of London and I get comparison. I don’t know about “forced” but you make an interesting point about The Mummy being the classic when it is arguably the lesser film. Why would that be? It is the simplicity of the title. It’s declaring itself as the definitive version. I think it’s likely it has most to do with Boris Karloff. He’s a legend and his talent is on display here. The mummies to follow aren’t given the same depth of character. They aren’t parts for actors. At the time, and in this series of films, that makes them much less iconic. Maybe.

      I’m looking forward to watching and reviewing The Mummy’s Hand (and the other films) in such quick succession, but I have really enjoyed the experience of spending so much time with this film, the others aside.

      What I don’t get is the “zero value” comment. It’s still a rich cinematic experience, in my opinion. As the horror fan you are, I think it’s a surprising argument. Does Dawn of the Dead have zero value bc it comes after Night of the Living Dead or because it is followed by Return of the Living Dead exists? We don’t say that about Halloween vs Friday the 13th vs My Bloody Valentine.

    • Hey Sal! I can appreciate that you have negative feelings about The Mummy 1932. I think in comparison to films like Frankenstein and Dracula, The Mummy is definitely slow, and not as entirely original.

      However, saying it holds zero value is pretty dismissive. I think there was a lot of great discussion about Freund’s unique German expressionist cinematography and blocking style. Also, I’d argue the make-up, though we see very little of it, is superior to the monster effects in Dracula. And most importantly, if you listened to the music section you’ll know this film holds immense value in the evolution of film music and is a crucial part of the birth of the first horror film score.

      While it’s certainly not the most entertaining of the classical universal monster films, it’s still worth watching and firmly belongs with the original Universal Monster films. For the record, I too give it about a 7.5/10

  2. Loved the music segment! (Enjoyed the rest, too). I used to watch these old movies on channel 5. I prefer the lumbering bandage guy, but love all these monsters and am really enjoying your podcast.

    • Thanks for the kind words Scarlet!

      I agree, I am looking forward to discussing the films where we have more of the lumbering bandage guy, but this the ’32 film is definitely ripe for good discussion.

    • I loved the music segment too, Kagan! Thanks for not dumbing it down. Great job and a shout-out to the phrygian dominant scale! It is the fifth mode from the harmonic minor scale, hence the name “dominant.” Or it’s a phrygian scale with a major 3rd.
      1, b2, 3, 4, 5, b6, b7, 8

      Also Kagan, thanks for the music comparison between the 1932 and 2017 Mummy. That really helps my appreciation for Brian Tyler’s score and his attention to the original Universal Films.

  3. Has anyone seen the trailer for The Shape of Water? I think this is the “Universal Monsters” film Guillermo was probably told he’d never direct, but decided to do it anyway. It looks great and I can’t wait to see what the film offers besides what we got in the trailer. Visually, it’s stunning to say the least, but that was to be expected, so there’s at least that.

    • I have not watched it yet. I’m a little trailer-averse to films that I know I’m definitely going to watch. But of course we are digging deep into the Dark Universe trailers and so maybe dissecting The Shape of Water has some value as well. I’ve been thinking a lot about the gothic romance of Crimson Peak. It’s such a Universal Monsters movie. I can imagine his Dracula being very similar. I really hope that he hasn’t been told that he can’t direct one of these films. I really want to see it happen. But I do love the idea of him just making his own, iconic films in the style of those classics that he loves so much. Almost like Baby Driver to Ant-Man. The version of these franchise characters that he wanted to explore wasn’t going to get made so he just did an original character and story within the world he was imagining.

  4. Hahaha! I totally agree with you Gillman Joel. The commentary by film historian Paul Jensen is pretty dry but occasionally he gives some interesting facts. His description of the scene where the mummy comes to life always cracks me up.

    “Then Freund cuts to a close-up of the mummy. We see it’s eyes open slightly. Then he tilts down to the arms as they slowly unfold.”


  5. This episode was so good, everyone! A real credit to The Mummy (1932). And wow, Dave was on fire. I think The Bride put it best when she said, “Holy schnikes, man, you know your stuff!”

    Liz, great picture up above of you and Mattroid. I have those same bats on your wall that I got from target a few years ago.

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