Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: Pharaoh’s Curse (1957)

Poster art for Pharaoh's Curse (1957)Pharaoh’s Curse (1957) by #LeeSholem
#MarkDana #ZivaRodann #DianeBrewster

Archaeologists open a tomb in the Valley of the Kings and feel a mummy’s wrath.


“A blood-lusting mummy that kills for a cat goddess!

“Unleashing 4,000 years of horror upon this century!”


When I was a kid, I loved movies about mummies, and curses, and mummy’s curses. There was something I found really scary about the idea of being “cursed” if you made the mistake of opening a mummy’s tomb. I saw several movies about this kind of thing. I’m not even sure what they were now (I suspect that one of them might have been The Awakening (1980), and I’m pretty sure I saw The Curse of King Tut’s Tomb (1980), which was made for TV, but other than that, it’s a bit of blur to me) – but one thing I am sure of is that none of them was Pharaoh’s Curse (1957). 

I had never heard of Pharaoh’s Curse until I stumbled upon it last week. As such, I knew I had to check it out. It turns out that it was originally released as part of a double bill with Voodoo Island (1957), which I wrote about a while back. The plot goes something like this:

Captain Storm, played by Mark Dana (who appeared in a bunch of forgettable movies and TV shows), is assigned to travel into the valley of the kings to stop the members of an unauthorized expedition from exploring the tomb of Rahateb. He is also told that he must escort the wife of the leader of the expedition to their camp. Along the way, they meet a strange woman named Simira who may be a cat, or a goddess, or an undead mummy – or maybe just a strange woman. She may or may not be working against them (bringing a curse down on their heads, perhaps?). She claims that they must hurry to the camp to prevent disaster, but when they arrive, it seems to be too late. The expedition has opened a mummy’s tomb and unleashed a curse of some sort.

I’m not going to pretend that I understood everything that was happening in Pharaoh’s Curse. I was pretty tired when I watched it, so I may have missed a few of the finer points of the plot. But still, I found to be pretty entertaining – and more than acceptable as a way to pass 66 minutes late at night. It certainly nowhere near as good as The Mummy (1932)  – which I think is one of the great horror films of the 1930s – or even any of its slightly unrelated sequels (The Mummy’s Hand (1940), The Mummy’s Tomb (1942), etc.). I suspect it’s not even as good as The Curse of King Tut’s Tomb (1980) – which scared the crap out of me when I was 9 or 10 (but perhaps I need to see it again to find out how good it REALLY is). 

Pharaoh’s Curse (1957) is non-essential #NotQuiteClassicCinema that is ultimately fairly forgettable. It’s entertaining enough to pass 66 minutes if there’s nothing better on, but it’s not going to the highlight of any movie marathon (unless you’re screening some pretty abysmal movies, in which case, Pharaoh’s Curse will be a pleasant surprise). If you love movies about mummies, or curses, or mummy’s curses, why not give it a shot? It won’t be the worst movie you’ve ever screened on a #FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn.