3.8/10
3,024
119 user 33 critic

The Screaming Skull (1958)

Unrated | | Horror, Thriller | January 1958 (USA)
Trailer
2:00 | Trailer
A newly married couple arrives at the home of the husband's late wife, where the gardens have been maintained by a gardener faithful to the dead woman's memory. Soon, eerie events lead the new wife to think she's losing her mind.

Director:

Alex Nicol

Writer:

John Kneubuhl
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Hudson ... Eric Whitlock
Peggy Webber ... Jenni Whitlock
Russ Conway ... Rev. Edward Snow
Tony Johnson Tony Johnson ... Mrs. Snow
Alex Nicol ... Mickey
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Storyline

Newlyweds Eric and Jenni Whitlock retire to his desolate mansion, where Eric's first wife Marianne died from a mysterious freak accident. Jenni, who has a history of mental illness, begins to see strange things including a mysterious skull, which may or may not be a product of her imagination. Suspicion falls on Mickey, the estate's mentally challenged gardener, who was seemingly was very attached to his former mistress. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

WARNING!... This Ghost Will Haunt You Forever! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The death-mask on Marian's tombstone is a reproduction of the famous "l'Inconnue de la Seine", reputed to be the face of a young French suicide who, like the deceased wife in the film, died in the water. See more »

Goofs

Boom mic can be seen when Mickey is spying on Eric and Jenni at the beginning of the film. See more »

Quotes

Jenni Whitlock: Eric, when you found me, what else was there?
Eric Whitlock: What do you mean, 'What else?'
Jenni Whitlock: A skull?
See more »

Connections

Featured in True Blood: Release Me (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphonie Fantastique - Dream of a Witches' Sabbath
(uncredited)
Music by Hector Berlioz
See more »

User Reviews

GREAT horror flick
3 April 2002 | by stevenfallonnycSee all my reviews

I can't believe the low rating this great film has gotten!

I remember watching "The Screaming Skull" on the late show (when TV actually showed decent stuff) and it scared the living hell outta me. It disappeared from TV, and of course years later having found it on video, it's not gonna scare me under the covers but it's still one of the best and most clever horror films of the 50's.

The plot is good enough - the ghost of a man's first wife haunts his new wife in their super-large house. But the film has a lot of great horror elements that work in its favor - the big house, the creepy house grounds, the grave on the grounds, the path through the woods area, the "odd" person (the gardener), the howling wind, the noisy windows, the scary painting, and much more, especially the skull that keeps on showing up all over the place.

The husband is the guy who played the husband in "50-Foot Woman" and he's just as good here. All the other actors/characters are just fine (there aren't many as the whole film takes place at the house), especially Mickey the Gardener, who loved the first wife (as a friend) and still talks to her as if she was alive.

The whole film has great horror atmosphere, one of the best instances ever of such I believe. There are many genuinely creepy scenes in the film, with the topper being the final incredible sequence, especially when the husband hears the knock on the front door. The look on his face is absolutely priceless as he goes to answer the door. Even after seeing the film so many times, when that door knocks, and the husband's face shows pure fear because he probably knows what's behind it, and he slowly goes to answer it, still gives me shudders!

It's great that "The Screaming Skull" is on DVD. This film definitely deserves a lot better than the films it often gets lumped in with.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

January 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Screaming Skull See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Madera Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Ryder Sound Services)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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