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 »
England, 1795: the young Catherine has just married Charles Fengriffen and moves into his castle. She becomes the victim of an old curse that lays on the family. On her wedding night she is raped by a ghost and gets pregnant.
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
In the first minute, the gate to the graveyard is swinging wildly, but the trees and bushes all around are still. (One random twig is plying about...) The phrenologist shuts the gate firmly. In the next shot, the gate is still and ajar, but the trees and bushes are moving about as if 'blown'. See more »
"The Skull" definitely isn't on par with the other contemporary Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee pairings, from Hammer or Amicus or whatever other production studios, but it nevertheless remains an interesting and worthwhile slice of 60's Brit-horror. Freddie Francis was always one of the most gifted horror directors in Britain and provides the film with a continuously gloomy and sinister atmosphere. Moreover, he was an even more gifted cinematographer and assures a large number of inventive shots (like, for example, a point of view from inside the skull), while the always reliable Peter Cushing gives away a marvelous lead performance. However, the film specifically struggles with two major shortcomings, namely a) the fact that the script is based on a short story (by Robert Bloch) and it's not exactly fit for a long-feature film and b) the absence of an actual evil villain/monster of flesh and blood. Cushing depicts an avid collector of occult objects who obtains – illegally – the skull of the one and only Marquis de Sade. Fellow collector and former owner of the skull Christopher Lee attempts to warn his colleague about the mysterious and psychedelic forces homing inside the Marquis' skull, but naturally he doesn't listen. During the first two nights of the next new moon, however, he dramatically learns that the skull turns its owner into a helpless murder-committing marionette. I haven't read Bloch's short story, but I presume something went wrong during the processing into a movie screenplay, as there a few too many dull moments and a lack of clarity regarding the skull's incredible powers. The intro, a certain dream sequence and a few flashbacks are extraordinary (what is it with the English and foggy cemeteries). The climax is rather silly instead of frightening, with the skull floating around with the help of clearly noticeable strings as well as grotesque camera gestures and color patterns. Cushing and Lee obviously steal the show, but keep also an eye open for two genuine British cult heroes in minuscule roles: Michael Gough ("Horror Hospital") and Patrick Magee ("A Clockwork Orange").
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