Pharaoh’s Curse (1957) Finally on DVD
Okay, so here’s the deal: about three or four thousand years ago an Egyptian pharaoh wrote a letter to his high priest instructing him to put a curse on the pharaoh’s tomb to discourage grave robbers. Fast forward to 1902 Cairo, and Egyptians are cutting British soldiers’ tongues out and feeding them to “animals” while the soldiers are forced to watch. Amidst the revolutionary atmosphere and widespread violence, a rich American decides to defile the ancient tomb of a pharaoh. Guess which pharaoh.
Pharaoh’s Curse is the relentlessly dumb account of British Captain Storm’s (Mark Dana who sometimes seems to be channeling Cary Grant) encounter with the plundering, rich, American adventurer, Robert Quentin (George N. Neise). Captain Storm is accompanied by two soldiers (there was a labor shortage, what with all the Englishmen’s tongues being cut out) and Sylvia Quentin (Diane Brewster), wife of the adventuring American; Quentin has an international crew comprised of a silent Egyptian, a doctor (“a man of science”), an artist, a hieroglyphics translator, and a few other adventurers. On their trek across the desert (“the long way”), Storm’s entourage is joined by a strange, young, allegedly beautiful, Egyptian woman, Simira (Ziva Shapir, aka Ziva Rodann) who has mastered the art of sitting still in trees and staring off into the distance.
Tragedy befalls the group trudging across the desert when one of their mules mysteriously disappears, their water supply mysteriously dries up, their medical kit mysteriously goes missing, and Mrs. Quentin is bitten by the only scorpion in all of Egypt (or at least the only one in Pharaoh’s Curse). They arrive at Quentin’s camp just as he and his pals open a crypt in the spotless tomb. At some time in history this particular tomb (not a pyramid) must have been featured in Better Tombs and Gardens, because it is immaculate; the murals look like they were just applied with tempera, there is not a speck of dust nor a crack in any of the walls (apparently Egypt is not subject to gravity or mass wasting), and no spider has found it a cozy place to spin a web.Continued on the next page