The Films of Kharis

My first exposure to mummy films came in the late fifties, when Sir Roger, our local Shock Theater host, aired some of them on his late night fright show. I was around four or five years old at the time, but I still remember how mesmerized I was by these films, especially The Mummy's Ghost with its downbeat ending. After the demise of Shock Theater, Chilly Billy appeared on the Pittsburgh air waves with Chiller Theater, but there was a long dry spell as far as mummy movies were concerned. For years, I waited through offerings like The Hypnotic Eye and Creature from the Haunted Sea, always hoping for a glimpse of Kharis. I'd scan the TV Guide listings every week, and enviously note that viewers in Cleveland, OH, were regularly viewing various mummy features. But it wasn't until the mid-sixties that the Universal Kharis series finally lumbered onto Chiller Theater.

The nights that mummy movies were on were always my favorites. I'd been fascinated by ancient Egypt practically since I was born, and had amassed a collection of Egyptian reproductions (e.g. statuettes of sphinxes, sacred cats, scarabs, etc.) which I'd place around the room before the movie was due to start. Then after lighting some incense and dimming the lights, I'd watch the film, surrounded by the mystic atmosphere of the Pharaohs. I can still see that room, bathed in the silvery glow from the television, with wispy clouds of incense drifting past shadowy statuettes of Isis and Osiris....

Below are some links to capsule reviews of the Kharis films from Universal Studio's website. All of them are now easily available on video cassettes. Thanks to VCR's, we no longer have to wait for the whims of television executives in order to see our favorite movies!

The Mummy's Hand

The Mummy's Tomb

The Mummy's Ghost

The Mummy's Curse


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