The Mummy is a film written and directed in 1999 by Stephen Sommers and starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz, with Arnold Vosloo as the reanimated mummy of the title. The movie features dialogues in ancient Egyptian language with the assistance of a professional Egyptologist.
It is a loose remake of The Mummy (1932), which starred Boris Karloff as The Mummy.
The Mummy does not take place at the famed Giza pyramids where several Old Kingdom Egyptian kings (Egyptian monarchs were not yet called pharaohs) were buried. Instead most of the action takes place in the fictitious Hamunaptra - the "City of the Dead" that lies "deep into the desert" beyond Thebes that has buried treasure that the characters soon come to find.
In 2001 a sequel was made, entitled The Mummy Returns.
The movie was novelized by Max Allan Collins. Collins novelized the sequel as well.
Tagline: The sands will rise. The heavens will part. The power will be unleashed.
The film begins in 1290 BC. The character who will become The Mummy of the title is a traitorous high priest named Imhotep (Vosloo). He has an affair with the mistress of King Seti I, Anck-su-namun (named after the historical queen Ankhesenamun and no other man was allowed to touch her. In Thebes, when the king discovers the lovers, he is killed by both of them. Anck-su-namun then kills herself, intending for Imhotep to later resurrect her. (This event is played again in the sequel.)
After Anck-su-namun's interment, Imhotep breaks into the crypt and steals her corpse. He and his priests then flee through the night across the desert to Hamunaptra, the city of the dead, where they commence the resurrection ceremony. However, they are caught by Seti's guards before the ritual can be completed. Anck-su-namun's soul is thus sent back to the Underworld.
As punishment for this sacrilege, Imhotep's priests are mummified alive and Imhotep himself is forced to endure the curse of Hom Dai: Imhotep's tongue is cut out and he is buried alive, wrapped like a dead mummy, along with a swarm of flesh-eating scarabs. The horror of the ritual is that it grants immortality but not invulnerability, so that, unlike his priests, he is unable to die and must endure the agony of his wounds for all time. Imhotep is buried under high security, sealed away in a locked sarcophagus below the statue of the Egyptian funerary god Anubis, and kept under strict surveillance by the descendants of Seti's palace guards. If he were ever to be released, the Powers that made him immortal would allow him to unleash a wave of destruction and death.
Three thousand years later (actually 3,213 years), in 1923, Richard "Rick" O'Connell (Fraser), an American serving in the French Foreign Legion, barely survives a battle at the ruins of Hamunaptra, his Arab enemies fleeing from the cursed statue of Anubis.
Three years after this, Cairo librarian and aspiring Egyptologist Evelyn Carnahan (Weisz) and her bumbling brother Jonathan (Hannah) contact Rick while he is imprisoned and sentenced to be hanged. When he reveals that he knows the location of Hamunaptra, and the treasure of past pharaohs that it contains, Evelyn bargains for his life. He is then recruited into an expedition that quickly becomes a race against another group. This latter is composed of Americans, who are being led by Beni Gabor, an old army colleague of Rick's who has a person by the name of Beni, (another aquaintance of Rick's) who knows the way to the aforementioned ruins of Hamunaptra.
Both groups trying to reach Hamunaptra are attacked by members of a secret society, lead by Ardeth Bey (Oded Fehr), devoted to making sure the creature never awakens. However, both groups make it to the city nonetheless, where everyone excavates old artifacts in search for the Book of the Dead. While exploring the city they come across several traps, such as parastic beetles that are hidden in hollow golden beetles, and pressurized salt acid.
Rick as he kills Imhotep.Evelyn "borrows" the book and reads a page of the Egyptian language. Imhotep is accidentally released by this and begins killing the Americans, due to the fact that they opened the box which played a part in the curse by holding the sacred canopic jars. Beni survives a meeting with Imhotep by pledging allegiance to him and helps Imhotep later track down the Americans. Imhotep eventually brings the Ten Plagues of Egypt and captures Evelyn, intending to use her to resurrect his long-dead lover, Anck-su-namun. Rick and Jonathan rescue Evelyn and thwart Imhotep's resurrection attempt. Evelyn reads from the golden book of Amun-Ra, which takes The Mummy's immortality, after which Rick kills his mortal body by impaling him in the belly with an arabian scimitar.
As they are leaving Hamunaptra, Beni falls behind to plunder the treasures of the lost city and is trapped by a swarm of flesh-eating scarabs. The heroes ride off into the sunset on camels, as yet unaware that their saddlebags are packed with treasures Beni looted earlier.
Spoilers end here.
Book of Amun-Ra
The book of Amon-Ra, also called The Book of the Living, is a fictional book seen in both "Mummy" films. It is made completely of gold and it "takes life away" - in the film it is used to make Imhotep mortal, apparently by sending his soul to the underworld. It was found in the base of the statue of Horus. During the collapse of Hamunaptra it was dropped and lost. It bears similarities to the non-fictional Book of the Dead and, in The Mummy Returns, is used to bring the dead back to the land of the living .
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