B-movies fill El Jefe de Santo's heart with joy! The only thing that makes him happier is to make a zombie tap out or, perhaps, rescue an orphanage of lilttle ninos from certain destruction at the hands of Dracula. Sea monsters getting headscissor kicks are also nice. Right where was El Jefe de Santo? Si! B-movies! The Masked Wonder revels in their cheeseball dialogue, awful acting and downright deplorable technique. What follows are the chronicles of movies that are So Bad Yet So Good.
This installment is, I know, a bit late, but here it is nonetheless! Barreling down the cinematic highways at the speed of terror is a little film known as "The Screaming Skull".
What is there to say about this film other than it is mercifully short, and well, there are actually some interesting ideas behind it. It does lack in terms of special effects, budget, scripting and acting but man it sure makes up for it in skulls placed in unusual places!
So, to start off with we're greeted to the scene of a newly wed couple making their across the lawn to their home. Yes! The American dream! Ponds with lilypads! Frogs! Obelisks of the husband's first wife! Wait..
Yeah, the husband Eric (played by John Hudson) keeps not only an obelisk in the yard in memoriam to his dearly departed first wife but also has paintings and other various items still displayed within the large house. It is, aside from the other objects, rather bare. They'll have to sleep on cots their first night and even use a few candles. Oh my I think the mood has been set ladies and gentlemen.
Their time in paradise is soon broken when strange things begin to occur around the house. There are a few decent attempts at jump scares made here and there throughout the movie, though oddly enough the score (as cheesy as it was) set the mood quite well. This would rely on no gore, none of the modern day trappings we've grown accustomed to. This was, for all those who dare to watch it, a movie full of suspense! Suspensful skulls! They also scream!
The interesting ideas I mentioned earlier? Well, we soon find that the new wife, Jenni (played by Peggy Webber) spent some time in an asylum. This immediately casts doubt on her experiences with the skulls we've seen thus far. Could this all be just a horrible dream or hallucination young Jenni suffers from? Hmm..
Well, things continue to deteriorate as the gardener, Mickey, starts to behave rather strangely. He was rather attached to Eric's first wife Marion and, well, looks to be suspicious. Jenni wants to befriend the fellow but he doesn't appear responsive to it at first. Friendship eventually begins to bloom, though those damned skulls interrupt and then things really start to go nuts.
We also learn around this time that Jenni is rich. Interesting. Rich and possibly crazy. Eric, on the other hand, starts exhibiting some strange behavior of his own. He planted a skull in the fountain? Now wait a minute..is he behind all this? Is there some motive to drive Jenni mad even to the point of suicide ? How else could he get his hands on the money after all?
So, Jenni might be hallucinating that the skulls are there or maybe she isn't. Eric could be manipulating his wife so that he can get a crack at all that cheddar she's stackin' or maybe this is just a giant clusterfuck of a movie that, thankfully, has skulls that knock on the front door. Did I also mention that the dead wife's ghost is actually trying to torment Eric while he's trying to torment Jenni. What the fuck.
The budget was low for this film but it still delivered on skulls on shelves, skulls rolling through doors and eventually a skeletal wife in a sun dress! FUCK! That's some great skull-based action folks!
The screaming sounded more like a pterodactyl at times, but that was okay because this was so damn campy that I had a good ol' time watching Jenni run around like an idiot. Eric transforms into a homongous douche within about ten minutes time and Mickey, oh poor Mickey, he just wants his friend back.
The climax comes with yet another knock at the door, a scream from Jenni and a skull BITING THE SHIT OUT OF ERIC's NECK as in ripping his throat out. He is left floating in his own blood in the nearby pond while Jenni is clearly losing her mind. She ends up stroking the left-over remains of Marion. (Side note: The scene in which skeletal Marion appears is hilarious. Eric just throws a stool at it and, well, problem solved) The nearby neighbors/friends come over and spirit Jenni away. She has somehow made it out of the house of screaming skulls, fake and real, in one piece though her dick husband sure is dead. It's fine because he was a prick anyway.
So, this movie not only has great cheesy music, downright shitty special effects and acting that is best described as bad paired with dialogue that is sometimes tough to hear and is also bad. We've got a real winner here folks. DAMN this was bad, but man did I have fun watching it..!
Tune in next week! Same Bat Channel! Same Bat Time! I'll be taking a look at The Giant Claw. SPACE BUZZARDS, MATE. GET SOME.
Do you enjoy getting pummeled? Do you prefer to tap out like a sissy when El Jefe de Santo puts you into an Indian Death Lock? We shall be great friends then! If you want to just talk about this movie, though, leave a comment, email or hit him via Twitter.