The Mummy Strikes
THE MUMMY STRIKES (1943)
Notes: Paramount. Animated.
Story: Jay Morton
Directed: I. Sparber
Animation: Myron Waldman, Graham Place
Based on Superman Comics by Jerome Siegel andJoe Shuster
Summary: Harmonicminor noodlings in a museum lead to the corpse of Dr. Jordan,an expert in hieroglyphics, and a syringe. His assistant, JaneHogan, is tried and convicted of murder. Dr. Wilson of the EgyptianMuseum calls Clark Kent with new evidence. Feigning a doctor’sappointment, Clark leaves, but Lois Lane smells a story and follows.
Wilson reads the tablet Jordan had discovered,containing a secret curse: “He who disturbs the eternal sleepof King Tush will perish.” Among the museum’s catacombs ofthe XVIIIth and XXth dynasties, Wilson tells Clark Kent the historyof a sickly 12-year-old Egyptian king whose father’s guards hadsworn to protect. When the young king died, the guards had drunkpoison in order to accompany and protect him in the afterlife.Jordan, after rebuilding the discovered catacombs within the museumand working in “frenzied secrecy,” thought he had foundan “ancient and mystic formula” and had duplicated a”fluid of life.” He innoculated the guard mummies, butwhen approaching the sarcophagus of King Tush, a poison needle,booby-trapped within the sarcophagus, was actually the cause Jordan’sdeath.
Light from the Tush amulet reflects onto theamulets of the giant guard mummies, who come to life and breaktheir wraps. When they are about to throw Lois and Wilson intoflames, Superman sends them hurling into stone columns.
Jane Hogan is set free. Kent asks Lois Lanewho told her he was at the museum. She holds up bandaged arms:”My mummy done told me.”
Commentary: The piece is cursory: lengthy but superficial premise, and aquick violent resolution. The persistent indecision about whetherthe key Egyptological horror is the idea of the wrapped mummyor a reanimation of the dead (since the guards’ wraps fall off)registers here. The one raise of the brow is occasioned by thechoice of the name King Tush!