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The Screaming Skull(1958, B&W)

Just re-watched The Screaming Skull (1958, B&W, Alex Nicol). Originally the first of a double feature with Terror from the Year 5000 and later shown on late-night television, The Screaming Skull is quite a movie to watch–including the introductory scene of a visitation with lit candles and flowers and an empty casket with a sign that reads "Reserved for You".

Of all the horror movies I’ve seen in my life, I’ve never encountered one with a word from the Producers assuring free burial services to anyone who watched their movie because of the possibility of dying from fright! The original score, by Ernest Gold, has an uncanny similarity to the music from Kubrik’s The Shining. As with most 50’s horror films, there are fairly straight forward special effects along with obvious symbolism in the characters (Reverend Snow, for example).

The newly married couple returns to Eric’s (the husband) home where his former wife (Marianne–made me think of stories from the Borely Rectory and the skull buried underneath the Rectory) was killed. Eric, trying to take advantage of his new wife’s fragile psychology and "great deal of wealth", uses a skull in various places of the empty house to send her back to the mental institution. The skull shows up multiple times, driving Jenny (the new wife) crazy–until the skull proves too much for Eric himself to control!

Some other interested facets of the movie are that the portrait of Marianne on her tomb in the movie is based of the famous french Inconnue de la Seine, a death mask of an unknown Sienese woman found dead in water (and Marianne also died by drowning). Enjoy the horror, and don’t forget about the free burial service!

Written by Mitchell Wells

Founder and Editor in Chief of Horror Society. Self proclaimed Horror Movie Freak, Tech Geek, love indie films and all around nice kinda guy!!