The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

THE SCREAMING SKULL (1958) ** ½

Jenni (Peggy Webber from The Space Children) is fresh out of the nuthouse and tries to take it easy by getting married to Eric (John Hudson).  He brings her back to his house where his first wife was killed and slowly but surely Jenni starts to lose it; especially when the skull of Eric’s deceased wife starts popping up at the most inopportune times.  Is Jenni really going crazy, or is somebody trying to drive her insane?

 

Anyone with half a brain will be able to figure the whole thing out in no time flat.  I don’t think I’m giving anything away by saying that Eric is the one who is trying to make his wife die of fright.  Even though the outcome is a forgone conclusion, director Alex Nicol (who also co-stars as the dim-witted gardener Mickey) gets a lot of mileage out of the creepy half-empty house as well as the surprise appearances of the titular skull.  The final sequence in which Eric himself gets attacked by the vengeance seeking skull is particularly memorable.

 

The flick is more or less a predictable overlong episode of The Twilight Zone, but I still kinda dug it.  Webber is outstanding as the mentally unstable Jenni who has repeated nervous breakdowns throughout the second half of the film.  The flick also had a great promotional gimmick where the studio would buy audience members a free coffin if they died of fright while watching the movie (the opening scene features a coffin reserved “just for you” in case you die), that adds to the fun.

Tags: horror, mst3k, s
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