While The Mummy’s Tomb added Lon Chaney Jr, to the cast of the series, The Mummy’s Ghost added another horror icon into the mix in the form of John Carradine. Already a veteran of a number of horror films, Carradine would go on to play Dracula in Universal’s House of Dracula and House of Frankenstein. Carradine plays Yousef Bey, the latest High Priest of Karnak which is renamed here to Arkam.
The Mummy’s Ghost takes place just a few years after the events in The Mummy’s Tomb. In Egypt, High Priest Andoheb (George Zucco again) is still kicking believe it or not and passes on the duties to Yousef Bey. He instructs Bey to travel to Mapleton, MA to retrieve the Kharis and the body of Ananka and return them to Egypt.
Kharis breaks into a museum to steal Ananka’s mummified body but it disintegrates. Bey realizes that Ananka has been reincarnated into a new form, that of local woman Amina Mansori (Ames). Kharis kills a security guard and escapes into the night with Bey. Professor Norman realizes the mummy is once again on the loose from the telltale sign of mold left on his victims.
Amina/Ananka falls into a trance when she sees Kharis and the mummy carries her away. He takes her to Bey but the Priest becomes infatuated with the woman and seeks to keep her for himself by having her drinking the magical tana leaves, sending Kharis into a rage. When we last see Kharis, he is carrying the body of Amina which ages rapidly until it is nothing but a mummy again, into a nearby swamp and disappearing.
If you have been watching any of the Mummy sequels you know that they fall into a very simple plot formula. The High Priest of Karnak/Arkam uses the tana leaves to restore Kharis to life to find the body of Ananka, killing anyone stupid enough to get in his way with each film ending with the mummy’s apparent death.
The Mummy’s Ghost is no better but no worse than the previous entries. The movie came out just a month after the D-Day Invasion so World War II was still going strong although victory would be soon in sight. This type of fun, brainless, escapist entertainment was the order of the day and the public could not get enough of Universal’s monsters. The studio churned out nearly one monster/horror film a month from 1944 – 1945 to satisfy the appetites of their fans.
Although Zita Johann (The Mummy, 1932) was beautiful, the series had no more gorgeous female lead than the radiant Ramsay Ames, a “B” movie actress and pin-up queen of the 1940s. So if nothing else, The Mummy’s Ghost had great eye candy. Universal knew its audience if nothing else and knew how long they could keep them watching, thus all of the Mummy sequels clock in at just over an hour in length.