With Lon Chaney portraying The Mummy for the last time, and with no name actors for support, "The Mummy's Curse" is the least noteworthy of the Mummy sequels, but you know what - it's a blast! Let's start with the chronology; originally "The Mummy" starring Boris Karloff was set in 1932, the year of it's release, reinforced by the second expedition to Egypt by the Whemple's at which time they discovered the tomb of Anck-Es-En-Amon, Imhoteps' lost love of 3700 years prior. The first sequel, "The Mummy's Hand" is also chronologically coherent, set in 1940. But then it gets interesting; "The Mummy's Tomb" takes place some thirty years following the events of "Hand", with "The Mummy's Ghost" somewhat after. Now we learn that "The Mummy's Curse" occurs an additional twenty five years after "Ghost". If you're doing the math, we're now into 1995!
Now we're into the locale; "Ghost" ended with Kharis and Ananka lost in a Massachusetts swamp, Ananka's beauty having withered into an ages old hag before the waters of the swamp claimed the two lovebirds. Now we've shifted to the Louisiana bayou country and the site of an industrial project - "The devil's on the loose and he's dancin' with the mummy!" We're signaled to the emergence of the Kharis legend by the first appearance of a dead body, but has anyone noticed that the laborer Antoine died with a knife in his back? Kharis always did his dirty work with his left hand, leaving bandage mold behind on the neck of his victims.
I must say though, the resurrection of Princess Ananka was inspired and a classic piece of work, as she slowly and gradually crawls out of the dirt of the swamp, her twenty five year old mud pack having worked wonders for her complexion - and all without benefit of a tana leaf brew! Speaking of which, the tana leaf legacy gets a slight reworking in this film as well, it takes three leaves to keep Kharis' heart beating and nine to give him life and movement.
As Ananka, Virginia Christine is a quick study, note that in all the Mummy films, none of the victims ever figured it out like Ananka - RUN AWAY FROM THE MONSTER! Hey, how great would it have been though, when Dr. Halsey (Dennis Moore) and Betty Walsh (Kay Harding), discover the collapsed Ananka on the side of a swamp road(?) and the creature not far behind in pursuit, if The Mummy had actually overcome the scientist, picked up Ananka and drove away in the car? It would not have been any zanier than the actual outcome.
Finally, is it possible that Egyptian high priests just have no self discipline? George Zucco's Andoheb, Turhan Bey's Mehemet, John Carradine's Yousef, and now Martin Kosleck's Ragheb falls under the spell of a pretty woman, all breaking their vows to deliver Kharis and Ananka to their final resting place.
Eventually, Lon Chaney's Kharis creates his own undoing, destroying the monastery where Ananka's sarcophagus is held, with the rubble of the building crashing down on top of him. But it was with a sense of "It's not too late to do this at least one more time" that I viewed the ending, Kharis has gotten out of a lot tougher scrapes than this one.
If you can't tell by now, my sarcasm for the Mummy series is done tongue in cheek, because the films are a blast and a sheer joy for lovers of old classic horror. While the original "Mummy" deserves it's place in the Universal pantheon of terrific characters along with Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Wolfman, the sequel Mummy's are best enjoyed on a somewhat different level, one that requires a stronger disengagement from reality and definitely allowing a chuckle or two.