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Blood From The Mummy’s Tomb

In honor of the Olympics opening in London, today’s Trillion Dollar Movie is Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb, the most original of the four mummy movies produced by that bastion of British cinema, Hammer Films. The 1971 release is adapted from Bram Stoker’s novel Jewel of the Seven Stars, which also served as the source for The Awakening, starring Charlton Heston.

Valerie Leon

Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb differs markedly from your run-of-the-mill mummy movie, starting with the title character, the Egyptian sorceress Queen Tera. She’s never wrapped in linen swathings, but instead wears a trifling, chain-metal outfit even more revealing than Princess Leia’s bikini. All the better to show off the voluptuous charms of Valerie Leon, a James Bond Girl from The Spy Who Loved Me, who plays dual roles as Tera and as Margaret Fuchs, an Egyptologist’s daughter possessed by the evil spirit of the sorceress. One note: Leon did have a nudity clause, though, so in the fleeting scene where you catch a flash of Margaret’s tush, that’s a body double!

It’s an elaborate thriller, full of star-crossed secret cults, madmen, some blood-tingling gore and even hints of incestuous necrophilia. Peter Cushing originally was supposed to play Professor Fuchs, but left the cast after his longtime wife died. Misfortune struck again when director Seth Holt succumbed to a heart attack a week before the production wrapped.  Perhaps the film should have been renamed Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, but it holds together quite well, even after all the setbacks. Enjoy, and return next Friday for another Trillion ($) Movie.

UPDATE: The full movie has been removed from YouTube. Until or unless it’s reposted, here is the trailer.

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