The Awakening

1980, Movie, R, 102 mins

Review

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Archeologist Matthew Corbeck (Charlton Heston), obsessed with the legend of Egyptian princess Kara--who was forced into an incestuous affair with her father and later killed him--travels to the Middle East to uncover her tomb. Disregarding the curse associated with the legend, Corbeck pillages the burial site and brings the loot back to a London museum, unaware that his daughter was born at the very moment he broke the seal on Kara's tomb. After a quick 18 years fly by, Corbeck's daughter, Margaret (Stephanie Zimbalist), becomes possessed by the long-dormant spirit of Kara and the bodies start to pile up. Adapted from Bram Stoker's novel The Jewel of the Seven Stars (which also inspired Hammer's BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY'S TOMB), THE AWAKENING attempts to revive the mummy film while at the same time emulating the kind of goriness made popular by THE OMEN. Although given a big-budget production with excellent set design, gorgeous cinematography by veteran Jack Cardiff (a Michael Powell fave), and a first-rate musical score, the film is predictable, unrelentingly dull, and padded with tedious Egyptian travelog footage. Heston, in his only horror film, gives a rather ridiculous impersonation of a British scientist; Zimbalist, however, imbues her character with an eerie quality that, when combined with the incestuous theme, suggests that the film could have been a disturbing horror story in different hands. leave a comment

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