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 Britishhorror, with a number of things to recommend it for. Amicus may bebetter known for their omnibus films, and indeed this story does feel alittle stretched over its 85 minute running time, but in spite of that;The Skull is undoubtedly one of the studio's better feature lengthefforts. The fact that Amicus have managed to get both Peter Cushingand Christopher Lee on board ensures interest from the beginning, andthe plot isn't a let down. The Marquis de Sade isn't the most commonhorror figure, but nevertheless; this film focuses on his disembodiedskull. Christopher Maitland is a collector of rare and occult items,and when his supplier; the dodgy Anthony Marco brings a skull to himone day; he is interested because it once belonged to the Marquis deSade. When his friend, Sir Matthew Phillips, explains that the skull isdangerous, Maitland only becomes more intrigued. But he finds to hisperil that skull is dangerous, as it leads its owner to kill...<br><br>Freddie Francis directed a number of films for both the big Britishstudios, Hammer and Amicus, and it's not hard to see why he often getshired as the quality of his direction is not too far behindheavyweights Terence Fisher and Roy Ward Baker. He's got a goodcreative partner in novelist Robert Bloch, who wrote the story 'TheSkull of the Marquis de Sade', upon which this film is based - as wellas the far better known novel 'Psycho'. This film doesn't feature acareer best performance from either horror heavyweight, but PeterCushing fits his role as the occult collector brilliantly, whileChristopher Lee delivers his usual forceful, scene-stealing, method ofacting. Patrick Wymark is also worth a mention, as he is given the mostintriguing role in the piece as the slightly sleazy dealer. It has tobe said that the first two thirds of the film are more interesting thanthe third one, which is a shame as the film seems to run out of steambefore 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 aboutit.
Horror / Thriller
Horror / Thriller
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.
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