The Awakening (1980)

If you ever needed to see proof that even in the 1970s Hammer knew what they were doing, you don't need to look any further than this dull and uninspiring effort.

The Awakening, a mainly American effort which was filmed in Britain and utilised a mainly British cast, trawls through the same subject matter as Hammer's infinitely superior Blood From The Mummy's Tomb (Bram Stoker's novel Jewel Of Seven Stars), but the two films are incomparable.

The Awakening has an obviously huge budget, a massive star name (Charlton Heston, no less), and Egyptian scenes actually filmed in Egypt, (not a building site round the back of Shepperton Studios). Yet it's awful. Whereas Mummy’s Tomb had none of these things and is a great little film.

The Awakening is really not worth tracking down. For British horror completists, there’s the vaguely entertaining game of spotting character actors like Nadim "we need an Egyptian/Saudi Arabian/dodgy foreigner for this episode of The Professionals" Swahala and Miriam “we need a cheerful old boiler” Margoles knocking around in the background, but to be honest there are much better films in the British horror canon you should seek out first.

Charlton Heston is an archaeologist, and his daughter (Stephanie Zimbalist) is the reincarnation of an Egyptian queen. People around them die. The Omen does it so much better. Bloody hell, even Holocaust 2000 does.

Awakening, The (1980)

Director: Mike Newell Writer(s): Chris Bryant Clive Exton

Cast: Charlton Heston - Matthew Corbeck, Susannah York - Jane Turner, Jill Townsend - Anne Corbeck, Stephanie Zimbalist - Margaret Corbeck, Patrick Drury - Paul Whittier, Bruce Myers - Dr. Khalid, Nadim Sawalha - Dr. El Sadek, Ian McDiarmid - Dr. Richter, Ahmed Osman - Yussef, Miriam Margolyes - Dr. Kadira, Michael Mellinger - Hamid, Leonard Maguire - John Matthews, Ishia Bennison - Nurse, Madhav Sharma - Doctor, Michael Halphie - Doctor

Updated: February 10, 2010

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