The Skull (1965)

THE SKULL (1965)
Article #515 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 8-12-2002
Posting date: 1-5-2003

A collector of sinister arcana comes under the influence of the evil skull of the Marquis de Sade.

Amicus, Freddie Francis, Robert Bloch; the last time I found these names in close juxtaposition was in the regrettable THE DEADLY BEES; this one is far better. Granted, this one has a few other benefits, such as Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Patrick Wymark, and in smaller roles, Michael Gough, George Coulouris, Nigel Green and Patrick Magee. The first three-quarters of the movie bides its time in order to create atmosphere for the last twenty minutes, which in and of itself feels like a good segment of a horror anthology, and for the most part it works. It’s not perfect, though; though the camera shots that seem to take place from a point of view inside the skull is a clever idea, it is used a few too many times and loses its effectiveness, and they would have been better off omitting all shots of the skull floating in the air, as these scenes are not only a little bit silly, but a) it’s a lot more jarring to see the skull appear suddenly in a different place than it was before without any hint of transition, and b) you can see the strings. Not bad, but could have been even better.

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