The Skull

1965

Horror / Thriller

6
IMDb Rating 6.4

Synopsis


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1.58G
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PG
English
23.976 (23976/1000) FPS /
83 min
P/S 0 / 0
1.00G
1280x544
PG
English
23.976 (23976/1000) FPS /
83 min
P/S 0 / 0

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by The_Void 7/10

The Skull won&#39;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&#39;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&#39;t a let down. The Marquis de Sade isn&#39;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&#39;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&#39;s got a goodcreative partner in novelist Robert Bloch, who wrote the story &#39;TheSkull of the Marquis de Sade&#39;, upon which this film is based - as wellas the far better known novel &#39;Psycho&#39;. This film doesn&#39;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&#39;m sure that fans of classic horror will find lots to like aboutit.

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Reviewed by MARIO GAUCI ([email protected]) 7/10

This was among the first vintage horror films I recall watching, but ittook me this long to re-acquaint myself with it (after I had foolishlyabandoned the prospect of a second viewing as part of a late-nightItalian TV program hosted by two amiable ghouls &#150; the same thing wouldalso happen with Hammer&#39;s FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL[1974], which I then had to wait some 13 years to catch up with!).<br><br>Anyay, though the film&#39;s premise, in itself, is rather daft &#150; that of ahost of antiquarians being &#39;possessed&#39; by the skull of the Marquis DeSade &#150; the result is very stylish and altogether one of Hammer rivalAmicus&#39; most satisfying outings. Apart from director Francis, the menbehind Amicus &#150; Max J. Rosenberg and Milton Subotsky (the latter alsoscripted, from a story by Robert Bloch of PSYCHO [1960] fame) &#150; againrecruited Hammer&#39;s two most popular stars, Peter Cushing andChristopher Lee, for this production. As ever, they play extremely welloff each other &#150; even if Lee, ostensibly, is only a &quot;Guest Star&quot; &#150;delivering typically committed performances: Cushing has fun actingcrazy &#150; under the influence of the skull &#150; towards the end (and alsoduring a surreal nightmare sequence in which he&#39;s forcefully takenbefore a judge who promptly hands him a gun to play at RussianRoulette!), whereas Lee gives surprising poignancy to his role.Supporting them is a splendid cast indeed &#150; led by Patrick Wymark, whoactually matches the stars with his seedy supplier of generally weirdartifacts, and the brief (albeit equally welcome) presence of the likesof George Coulouris, Michael Gough, Nigel Green and Patrick Magee!<br><br>While Francis creates wonderful atmosphere via the cinematography(particularly when shooting through the skull&#39;s eyehole) and the setdesign (the film starts off as a period piece but then reverts to amodern-day setting for the central plot line), I do feel that thepossibilities presented by the nonetheless intriguing theme areregrettably constrained by censorship and budgetary restrictions &#150; sothat the Marquis De Sade&#39;s legacy seems somehow to have been mixed upwith that of Jack The Ripper! In any case, THE SKULL is generallyconsidered nowadays as Francis&#39; best directorial effort &#150; though Ipersonally feel NIGHTMARE (1964), THE PSYCHOPATH (1966) and THECREEPING FLESH (1973) to be superior to it&#133;

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Reviewed by marquis de cinema

Plays on the imagination of the viewer with some psychological suspense andterror. Peter Cushing is good in the role of Dr. Maitland. Its too badthat Christopher Lee does not have a much more substantial role in TheSkull(1965). The Skull(1965) is a chilling feature that is based on theRobert Bloch short story, THE SKULL OF THE MARQUIS DE SADE. The directionby Freddie Francis is one of his most skillful in a non Hammer motionpicture. Nigel Green and Patrick Magee do a fine job in their supportingroles.

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