A Victorian-age scientist returns to London with his paleontological bag-of-bones discovery from Papua New Guinea. Unfortunately, when exposed to water, flesh returns to the bones ... See full summary »
In the Nineteenth Century, in London, the psychologist Charles Marlowe researches a new drug capable to release inhibitions and uses his patients as guinea pigs. He discusses the principles... See full summary »
A collector of esoterica, Dr. Maitland, buys an unusual skull from his ordinary source of artifacts. The skull is what remains of marquis De Sade. Much too soon he discovers how the skull affects him: by turning him into a frenzied killer.Written by
Robert Bloch, who wrote the story on which this movie was based, wrote the novel on which Psycho (1960) was based. See more »
The table seen at the very end of the film that the skull sits on is different from the table it is on through the rest of the movie. The table seen in the ending has no pattern, just horizontal wood grains. The table seen earlier has a pattern of hexagons. See more »
Life after death for the Marquis de Sade....or at least for his skull
The Skull won't exactly knock you out of your seat with its brilliance, but despite that fact, it is still an enjoyable slice of British horror, with a number of things to recommend it for. Amicus may be better known for their omnibus films, and indeed this story does feel a little stretched over its 85 minute running time, but in spite of that; The Skull is undoubtedly one of the studio's better feature length efforts. The fact that Amicus have managed to get both Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee on board ensures interest from the beginning, and the plot isn't a let down. The Marquis de Sade isn't the most common horror figure, but nevertheless; this film focuses on his disembodied skull. Christopher Maitland is a collector of rare and occult items, and when his supplier; the dodgy Anthony Marco brings a skull to him one day; he is interested because it once belonged to the Marquis de Sade. When his friend, Sir Matthew Phillips, explains that the skull is dangerous, Maitland only becomes more intrigued. But he finds to his peril that skull is dangerous, as it leads its owner to kill...
Freddie Francis directed a number of films for both the big British studios, Hammer and Amicus, and it's not hard to see why he often gets hired as the quality of his direction is not too far behind heavyweights Terence Fisher and Roy Ward Baker. He's got a good creative partner in novelist Robert Bloch, who wrote the story 'The Skull of the Marquis de Sade', upon which this film is based - as well as the far better known novel 'Psycho'. This film doesn't feature a career best performance from either horror heavyweight, but Peter Cushing fits his role as the occult collector brilliantly, while Christopher Lee delivers his usual forceful, scene-stealing, method of acting. Patrick Wymark is also worth a mention, as he is given the most intriguing role in the piece as the slightly sleazy dealer. It has to be said that the first two thirds of the film are more interesting than the third one, which is a shame as the film seems to run out of steam before the end. However, The Skull is still an interesting little film, and I'm sure that fans of classic horror will find lots to like about it.
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