Release Date: October 14th, 1971 (UK)
Directed by: Seth Holt, Michael Carreras (uncredited)
Written by: Christopher Wicking
Based on: The Jewel of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker
Music by: Tristram Cary
Cast: Valerie Leon, Andrew Keir, Mark Edwards, James Villiers, Hugh Burden, Aubrey Morris
EMI Films, Hammer Films, American International Pictures, 94 Minutes
“The meek shall not inherit the earth. They can’t be trusted with it.” – Corbeck
Out of the four Mummy movies made by Hammer Films, this one is the most original and least derivative of the two Mummy sequels before it.
While this was an adaptation of The Jewel of Seven Stars, a classic Bram Stoker novel, it was set in contemporary times, giving it a fresh, modern feel. Well, at least in 1971.
This was also probably done to make the film’s production cheaper and I’m sure that it succeeded, as Hammer would follow this up by making two modern Dracula films, as well as a few other flicks set in the 1970s.
Additionally, it differs from the other three films in that the mummy in this picture is a woman. A very, very beautiful and alluring woman, mind you. Valerie Leon, in fact, and if you’ve never seen her in Zeta One, you haven’t truly lived.
Anyway, I like this film simply because it isn’t just a copy of a copy of a copy. It tried something new and I feel like it succeeded in spite of its limitations and faults.
It’s definitely entertaining if you’re a fan of classic Hammer horror and beautiful babes.
I also dig that they adapted a Bram Stoker story that wasn’t Dracula, which is really the only book that Stoker is known for by modern audiences. While The Jewel of Seven Stars isn’t as iconic as Dracula, it’s still a cool story and it helped pave the way for mummy horror before feature length movies were even made.
The acting is pretty average and I’d say it’s what you would expect from a Hammer picture. This one doesn’t have any of the iconic Hammer actors in it but the cast still holds their own.
I thought that this did pretty well with the flashback sequences, tying our female lead back to her previous life as an Egyptian queen. Also, the look of Egypt in this film was otherworldly and kind of cool. I know that the look of outdoor Egypt in this was a byproduct of a low budget but the director made the most out of it and I thought the look worked quite well.
In the end, the Hammer Mummy movies aren’t as beloved as the Dracula and Frankenstein ones but they’re still a lot of fun and still feel like genuine, stylish Hammer pictures.
Pairs well with: the other Hammer Mummy pictures.