The Screaming Skull (1958)

Distributed by American International Pictures, The Screaming Skull was part of double features with Earth vs. the Spider or Terror from the Year 5000. It was the first movie that Alex Nicol directed, as he was tired of the roles he was being offered. He also made Three Came Back and Point of Terror.

In case you were worried about the contents of this movie, it starts with an open coffin and a narrator explaining that the end of this movie is so terrifying that it may kill you, while reassuring you that should you die of fright, your burial will be paid for by the film’s producers. I would assume that this contract is now null and void, so you should watch this movie with caution*.

Jenni and Eric are newly married, but this isn’t Eric’s first time at the altar. His first wife died when she slipped and hit her head on the edge of a decorative pond. If that doesn’t seem weird enough, Jenni has just gotten out of an asylum after the death of her parents. Her very rich parents.

Mickey (Nicol) the gardener was childhood friends with Eric’s first wife, whose ghost may haunt the home. Also, perhaps even more strange is the fact that she looks just like Jenni’s mother. Jenni demands that the portrait of the dead woman be burned and when that happens, it leaves behind a skull.

This would be a good time to leave if you were her, because that ghost — and the fact that her husband is gaslighting her — are both absolutely real.

The cast members for this movie were each paid $1000 as well as the promise that a share of the profits would be shared. As you can imagine, no one was paid any more than that first grand.

*When William Castle did the same publicity stunt for Macabre, he actually paid for this insurance. Nicol did not.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.