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 »
Sir Christopher Lee stars in the Amicus production of "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", where the names have been changed to Dr. Marlowe and Mr. Blake. Lee as Dr. Marlowe ... See full summary »
In 18th-century England, the Royal Crown sends Royal Navy Captain Collier and his crew to investigate reports of illegal smuggling and bootlegging in a coastal town where locals believe in Marsh Phantoms.
Peter Graham Scott
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
The heirs of Donatien Alphonse François de Sade pressed charges to prevent any use of his name on the advertising material. The changes on posters and lobby cards were made at the last minute by sticking the new title "Le Crâne Maléfique" (meaning "The Evil Skull") on top of the former, "Les forfaits du Marquis de Sade" (meaning "the Infamies of Marquis de Sade"). Only on that condition this movie could finally be released in the French territories. 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 »
On paper, the 1965 Amicus production "The Skull" would seem to be a surefire winner. Based on a story by Robert "Psycho" Bloch, directed by horror veteran Freddie Francis, starring British horror icons Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, and featuring such sterling character actors as Michael Gough, Nigel Green, Patrick Wymark and Jill Bennett, it would seem like a can't-miss proposition. While the film is undeniably fun, however, it somehow falls short of greatness. In it, Cushing plays an occult investigator who comes into possession of the 150-year-old, particularly nasty-looking skull of the notorious libertine the Marquis de Sade, and comes under the influence of its baleful and hypnotic powers. (Indeed, it's more like the skull has come into possession of him!) The film features strikingly handsome sets, a justly celebrated and Kafkaesque dream sequence, stylish direction from Francis (dig those skull's head POV shots!), and, near the picture's end, a very interesting and suspenseful 20-minute segment largely devoid of dialogue. While some viewers have complained of visible strings attached to the levitating skull, that really didn't bother me (a single wire is barely visible for perhaps two seconds); what did vex me is that we never learn of the skull's evil doings between the time of its disinterment and its modern-day shenanigans. It MUST have been up to something during those 150 years, right? The film also seems a bit tentative in that it never lets Cushing become truly possessed and crazed; how much better the picture would have been if ol' Pete really went on a tear! Still, watching Cushing and Lee together has long been one of the supreme pleasures of horror cinema, and this little movie does have its winning ways. It's no "Creeping Flesh" or "Horror Express," but still most enjoyable.
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