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Doctor Who: Mummy on the Orient Express (Review)

“You know, Doctor, I can’t tell if you’re ingenious or just incredibly arrogant.”

“On a good day, I’m both.”

Mummy on the Orient Express is Doctor Who in a blender. It’s classic period piece, genre pastiche and science-fiction spectacle, mixed with a healthy dose of creature feature horror and a solid development of the themes running through the eighth season so far. It’s clever, witty and energetic. The episode is a delight from beginning to end, beating out Robot of Sherwood and Time Heist to claim the title of the year’s best “romp” – as you might expect from a story that is a Hammer Horror murder on the Orient Express in Space.

doctorwho-mummyontheorientexpress8

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Non-Review Review: The Monster Squad

The Monster Squad is an affectionate celebration of the monster movies of yesteryear, written from the point of view of a generation that grew up with the Universal Horror monsters. When Dracula conspires with his monstrous brethren to conquer the world, it’s up to a gang of plucky kids and their knowledge of horror movie tropes and clichés to stop the lord of the vampires from swaying the balance of good and evil once and for all. It’s an understandably cheesy celebration of those old monster movies, one that benefits from never taking itself or its subject matter to seriously. However, there’s a deep and abiding affection to be found in The Monster Squad, a polite and endearing salute to the iconic monsters of the thirties (through the fifties) from a generation that has its own scary subjects to worry about.

Staying under wraps…

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Non-Review Review: The Mummy (1932)

The Mummy is often unfairly dismissed as an inferior attempt to emulate the success of Dracula. It’s from the same writer, John L. Balderston, and the credits are even set to the same music – the powerful Swan Lake theme that opened that other iconic horror. I’d argue that the influence of Frankenstein can also be keenly felt on the picture, and not just in its leading actor. However, I think The Mummy is often unfairly overlooked when examining the Universal Monster Movies, playing more like a creepy existential romantic epic than a conventional creature feature horror film.

He needs his beauty sleep…

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Non-Review Review: The Mummy Returns

I will confess that I enjoyed The Mummy for what it was. It wasn’t ground-breaking or revolutionary, but it was a nice attempt to resurrect the old Universal Monster Movie for modern audiences, with Raiders of the Lost Ark providing a rather clear inspiration. Perhaps part of the appeal was novelty, as we hadn’t seen an old-style monster movie like that in quite some time. I remember being somewhat disappointed on seeing the second film in cinemas, feeling like it just didn’t measure up to the solidly entertaining original. Having caught it again this weekend, I find I’m in firm agreement with my younger self.

I'll stick my neck out and admit I enjoyed the first film...

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