|Tera in her sarcophagus|
An archaeological team unearths an ancient tomb in Egypt, in which resides the body of a priestess. The decision to disturb the tomb has dire results even before they take relics – the wife of Fuchs (Andrew Keir) dies giving birth to the couple’s daughter, Margaret, at the same time the discovery is made. Years later, Margaret (Valerie Leon) is the mirror image of Tera (Leon again), the Egyptian priestess, whose perfectly preserved remains lie in a sarcophagus in Fuchs’ basement, a recreation of the tomb. Margaret’s birthday is looming, and it’s the ideal time for Tera’s resurrection, her lost soul collecting her purloined relics, as well as the lives of the people who are holding them.
|This tomb doesn't look inviting.|
This relentlessly spooky ambiance comes through characters and performances as well. Dandridge (Hugh Burden) is petrified when he sees the grown Margaret, before the audience knows the full story of Tera (“It was her… She who has no name”). Corbeck (James Villiers) is hiding in a seemingly abandoned house across the street from Fuchs. Helen (Rosalie Crutchley), working as a fortune teller, sees a foreboding image of the seven stars (the same seven that form the Big Dipper). Director Holt also gives life to the inanimate relics by way of shadows and their mere presence when people are attacked by something unseen. Even the recurrent image of Tera is chilling, despite spending most of the film lying in a sarcophagus, eyes closed and looking very much dead.
|She's tall, too.|
|Corbeck's hiding place.|
|Alleys: Just as spooky as tombs.|
This post is part of the Hammer Halloween Blogathon hosted by the Classic Film & TV Café. Click here view the complete blogathon schedule.