Episode 49: Alternate Movie Posters for ‘The Mummy’
Il-wey! Recently I came across an alternative movie post for The Mummy (1932) which made me curious to see what other alternative posters artists had created in commemoration of mummies in film. Here are my top five in no particular order:
Like the original movie poster, Ansin incorporated many images from the film into a visually pleasing collage in front of the mummy with outstretched arms. In the background, Karloff’s eyes capture and mesmerizes the audience. The red tones are set off by the cream oval and the sepia and grey panels containing hieroglyphs. There are a number of juxtaposed images: Imhotep and the subservient Nubian on the left side is balanced by a desperate Frank clinging to a detached Helen. Further up are Ardeth Bey in his “modern” attire vs. Helen in a “traditional” ancient Egyptian costume. Both are confident and look at the viewer. Ansin includes credits below the collage, completing this poster that evokes the late 1920s art deco design.
Delort focused on the mummy in this poster. The highlights of the mummy’s face and linings are exquisitely set off by the shading techniques on the face and linens. One can almost feel the breeze that plays with the tattered ancient linens. The iconic scroll flutters in the lower left corner of the poster while Delort’s lettering is gracefully illuminated by an offscreen light source.
Durieux beautifully hooked onto the love story between Helen and Ardeth Bey. As fans probably remember, Helen was drawn into a hypnotic trance the first time she met Ardeth – an eerie and tense moment. Durieux actually combines elements from various scenes, such as the knife that Ardeth was going to use to kill Helen and the lamps that he used in the Cairo Museum when reading from the Scroll of Thoth. The Cairo cityscape peeks through the temple arch featuring an ancient Egyptian couple facing each other, which echo Helen and Ardeth. The title and accompanying shadow mirror the opening credits title.
Whalen took a minimalist approach, keying in on very specific iconography from the film: Karloff’s profile and his haunting eyes. He added the pyramids from the opening credits and gave a nod to Universal’s bill for Karloff: Karloff the Uncanny. The artist references to the year of the film as well as the producer, Carl Laemmle. The title is juxtaposed with a looming sarcophagus on the left side of the landscape oriented poster.
Artist 4gottenlore from Deviantart reimaged Ardeth Bey with his arms crossed at his chest. Ardeth is in deep shadow and there is just a slight sepia blush to Ardeth’s clothing and the title centered above him. His body dissipates into the smoke that is drifting into frame. In the background is a wall of hieroglyphs, muted and barely visible.
What’s your favorite alternative film poster for Karloff’s The Mummy and/or any of the mummy films over the past decades? Please share a link to the poster in the comments below!