5.5/10
270
11 user 23 critic

Night of the Skull (1974)

La noche de los asesinos (original title)
Horror mystery about the residents of a Louisiana castle who are being murdered by a masked killer. When the family arrives for the reading of Marion's will, his wife is strapped to the ... See full summary »

Director:

Jesús Franco

Writers:

Jesús Franco (as James P. Johnson), Edgar Allan Poe (story "The Cat and the Canary")
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alberto Dalbés ... Major Oliver Brooks
Evelyne Scott Evelyne Scott ... Lady Marta Tobias
William Berger ... Baron Simon Tobias
Maribel Hidalgo ... Lady Cecilia Marian
Lina Romay ... Rita Derian
Vicente Roca Vicente Roca ... Inspector Bore
Yelena Samarina ... Deborah Potts
Antonio Mayans ... Alfred Marian
Ángel Menéndez Ángel Menéndez ... Lord Archibald Marian (as Ángel Meléndez)
Luis Barboo ... Rufus
Swan Heinze Swan Heinze ... Mairu
José María Palacios José María Palacios
P. Martínez P. Martínez
Eduardo Puceiro Eduardo Puceiro
Ricardo Vázquez Ricardo Vázquez
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Storyline

Horror mystery about the residents of a Louisiana castle who are being murdered by a masked killer. When the family arrives for the reading of Marion's will, his wife is strapped to the face of a cliff and drowned by the tide. More murders follow, and as Inspector Bore (Vicente Roca) investigates, he discovers some dark secrets in the family's past. Written by Ørnås

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Genres:

Crime | Horror | Mystery

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Edgar Wallace was not credited in this movie. But in an interview with a fan, director Jesús Franco admitted that he used one of Wallace's novels for this movie. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Shaun of the Dead (2004) See more »

User Reviews

 
NIGHT OF THE SKULL (Jesus Franco, 1973) **1/2
13 October 2006 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

This is a rare example of a period giallo, and an interesting one; not tremendously suspenseful and quite predictable in the long run, but certainly enjoyable along the way (with welcome touches of humor from time to time). It was supposedly adapted from John Willard's "The Cat And The Canary", erroneously attributed to Edgar Allan Poe on the credit titles (though this was probably done strictly for commercial purposes!).

The pace is somewhat lethargic but the atmosphere is well enough caught, accentuated by a slightly unnerving score, frenzied cross-cutting and some weird images (the assassin's 'costume' itself and the first claustrophobic murder). The casting is effective, though I wasn't familiar with too many of the actors: from Lina Romay and Antonio Mayans as the young couple to the various conniving members of the family (including William Berger) and various other interlopers (like the Police Chief who always forgets to pick up his sombrero when he leaves, and Franco himself as a drunken 'lawyer'). This is my first Lina Romay film: frankly she seems so young it's hard to believe she would soon be appearing in films that would border on the hardcore (this film's only perverse erotic charge is delivered by the scene where the sleeping Romay, nude of course, is beaten up by her tipsy and jealous step-mother with a belt)!

The concept of a series of murder methods lifted from a passage in the Apocalypse is an interesting one, though the death-by-fire itself is pretty unconvincingly staged. All things considered, a minor Franco but one I wouldn't mind revisiting in future.


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Details

Country:

Spain

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

8 November 1976 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Im Schatten des Mörders See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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