Kharis & The High Priest of Karnak in...
The Curse of the Dead Batteries!
Well...you're only one more click away from seeing my frightful encounter with Kharis! Although my son Max (who is an acolyte priest-in-training here at the Hill of the Seven Jackals) had the digital camera ready to snap images of me, the mummy, and Ron Adams' lovely wife, Ursula, onstage at this year's Monster Bash, the batteries succumbed to the curse of the pharaohs when the moment for picture-taking finally arrived! "Oh, Amen-Re, truly thy wrath is far reaching." Luckily, however, other shots were taken. And once the gun-play ended, some people even took photographs which now appear on the official Monster Bash website. You can see them (and photos of all the other great Bash activities) by clicking the following link to one of the Monster Bash website's "Scrapbooks" of Monster Memories below. While you're there, check out the other Bash pages, and learn all about this wonderful horror fan extravaganza.
Go To The Monster Bash 2003 Scrapbook!
Scroll through the images to see exciting shots
of the mummy in action at the Bash!
Now that you've seen the photos, here's some background data. I've been to every Monster Bash since this great event began, but this year's was the best one ever for me. Ron Adams, the Mastermind Behind the Bash, asked me to introduce the Kharis films which were being shown as part of the 2003 convention's mummy theme. Ham that I am, I jumped at the chance to be the High Priest on stage at the Bash. I was so excited by the project that I even loaned my mummy case for use as a prop. Several days before the Bash began, Ron, his wife Ursula, their daughter, and a mob of Bash Buddies arrived at the Hill of the Seven Jackals to pick up the life-size Egyptian coffin (they left their torches, clubs, and baying bloodhounds at home, thanks be to the gods of Egypt!) My neighbors cast bewildered looks (but no stones this time) as the heavy coffin was carried out of my abode and loaded into a van. There's a great shot on the Scrapbook page linked to above which shows Ron and a friend carrying the mummy case into the main lobby of the Butler Day's Inn Conference Center, where the Bash was held again this year.
The Bash kicked off on Friday, June 20'th, and I appeared, bedecked in my new red velvet fez, to give a brief introduction to The Mummy's Hand. Later, at ten-o'clock that night, I stepped onstage again to introduce The Mummy's Tomb, an ancient box filled with tana leaves clutched in my hands. I had vowed to be a good priest at the Bash this year. I had promised myself and every one of the Seven Jackals that I would not succumb to the temptations of the flesh and falter from the path decreed by the ancient gods of Egypt. But as I scanned the multitude of infidels before me, I noticed one person who seemed strangely different from the rest. As I continued to explain the power of the tana leaves to the cursed unbelievers, my eyes kept inadvertently moving back to this beautiful female being. Where had I seen her before? Why did she seem so strangely familiar, so irresistibly compelling? As her eyes caught mine, a twinge of distant recognition wracked my very soul. Her long, dark hair; her far-off, mysterious gaze; her alluring Egyptian eyes with their sad, haunted look....Yes! She was the one I'd secretly longed for all my life here in the lonely tombs of Egypt! She was....Shirley Kramer from Beemer's Lounge in McKeesport! No! Wait a minute...
Suddenly, the mysterious woman rose to her feet and proceeded toward the stage. She walked slowly, almost like a hypnotized zombie, just as Shirley had walked after her sixth Long Island Iced Tea at Beemer's. But then her lips parted and uttered a name: "Kharis!" she moaned, over and over, and I knew that the reincarnation of Ananka stood onstage beside me! My heart raced, and I repeated my vows in silent frustration as the gorgeous Egyptian princess came within reach. I struggled with all my will against the forbidden human passions ignited by the sight of Ananka herself. I thought of my vows. I thought of the wrath of Kharis. I thought, "Oh, what the hell!" and said, "I'll show you my camel if you'd like a little hump!"
Just as that suave, irresistible pick-up line left my lips, I was startled by the sound of the door bursting open behind me. I turned in horror and saw an enraged Kharis approaching, his one good eye glaring with anger, his hand upraised and ready for strangling! Ananka screamed and fled! "I'm sorry, Kharis!" I pleaded, realizing that my flirtatious behavior had awakened bitter memories of past betrayals in the withered heart of the mummy. "I'm faithful to you! I was only kidding! I'm not like Mehemet Bey, Youssef Bey, or Bill Clinton-Bey! Please forgive me, Kharis!" My cries for mercy were ignored, and I felt the hand of the mummy grab my throat and squeeze...
It was a blast putting on this little drama for the assembled Bashers. Ron Adams' lovely wife, Ursula, portrayed the reincarnated princess Ananka, and the man beneath the bandages was the stalwart Mark Statler. He'd undergone a makeup ordeal at the talented (taloned?) hands of Ron Chamberlain which began late that afternoon and lasted many hours. Mark endured like a true horror film fan, and never once uttered a complaint. After all the photos were taken, I assumed he would be in a rush to remove the full-body make up. But Mark surprised everybody by staying in costume for quite some time, and even commented that he felt a little sad at the thought of getting unwrapped!
The Bash will present the next two films in the mummy series next year (The Mummy's Ghost and The Mummy's Curse.) Ron has just emailed to ask if I'd like to introduce these great movies again at the next Bash. My answer, naturally, is, "Of curse I would! I'd be honored to!"
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