The Changing Face of Kharis

With each new installment of the Kharis series, the features of the mummy's
wrinkled face altered. The most obvious change occurred in the second
film, when Lon Chaney, Jr. inherited the role from Tom Tyler. But even
Chaney's make up and mask slowly transformed as the series progressed.
The photos below show this progression.

In The Mummy's Hand, Tom Tyler's make up was
more like the one Pierce had done for Karloff. In
this photo, we see both of the mummy's eyes. In the
film, both eyes were blacked out to more closely
imitate a real mummy's eyeless condition.

The Kharis concept used in
The Mummy's Tomb reflected the fiery
end which the mummy had encountered in the previous film. Chaney's Kharis
looks burnt and blackend by soot from the flames. Since Chaney disliked
the make up ordeal, Pierce also fashioned a rubber mask which was used
in the long shots. Above photo looks like the mask to me.

Probably in make up (rather than masked) for this publicity close up for
Mummy's Ghost
, Chaney's features are quite recognizable. However,
the immobility of the mummy's face throughout most of the film indicates
that the rubber mask was frequently used. In this film, Kharis begins
to appear lighter in color, perhaps in order to make him look
more "ghostly."

Clearly in a mask for this shot from
The Mummy's Curse, Kharis
seemed completely unexpressive throughout the film. In this
final installment of the series, the mummy's wrinkles appear
to be deeper, and he retained his over-all lighter coloration
from the previous film.


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