Doris V. Sutherland is a UK-based author who frequently writes on the subjects of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. She has contributed articles to Amazing Stories, Women Write About Comics, Ms En Scene, and Belladonna, and her fiction includes the comic book Midnight Widows and Doctor Who tie-in material for Big Finish.
Released in 1932, The Mummy moved Universal horror away from the Gothic Europe of Dracula and Frankenstein and into a land of deserts, pyramids, and long-lost tombs. In doing so the film continued a tradition of horror fiction that is almost as old as the Western pursuit of Egyptology, as numerous European and American authors from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries had portrayed Egypt as a place of mystery and magic. This book examines the roots of The Mummy. It shows how the film shares many of its motifs with the work of writers such as Bram Stoker, Arthur Conan Doyle, and H. Rider Haggard, whose tales of living mummies, immortal sorcerers, and Egyptian mysticism bear strong resemblances to Universal’s movie. In addition, the book discusses how The Mummy drew upon a contemporary vogue for all things ancient Egyptian: the tomb of Tutankhamun was discovered the decade before the film was released, prompting sensationalistic rumors of a curse. This is the story of what happened when Hollywood horror went to Egypt.