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Screaming Skull

71 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Peggy Weber, William Hudson. A woman is nearly driven mad by images of a spectral skull, and her husband might know more than he admits. 1958/b&w/68 min/NR.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Russ Conway, William Hudson, John Hudson, Toni Johnson, David McCallum
  • Directors: Alex Nicol
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Alpha Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 21, 2003
  • Run Time: 68 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000087F1Z
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,026 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mark Norvell on February 20, 2003
Format: DVD
You know, I like this little shocker and don't understand why there isn't a better print of it around. It's rather spooky and quite effective. The story concerns a husband bringing his new bride home to his family estate. She's recently out of a mental hospital due to the shock of her parents' accidental drownings. He's a widower and the shadow of his former wife {whom he's killed) hangs over everything. The bride (Peggy Webber, later a "Dragnet" regular on TV) is now rich from her inheritance and the husband tries to drive her insane and/or to suicide to get the money. He plants a skull everywhere trying to scare her and the screeching of his late wife's peacocks that still roam the grounds of the estate add to the spookiness. The screeching of the peacocks is used to emulate screams that Webber thinks is the skull screaming. But the estates' looney gardner (who loved the late wife) is on to everything and has a skull of his own that he keeps hidden in a murky fountain. Just as Webber has screamed herself into a near catatonic state from fright, the ghost of the late wife shows up to exact revenge. This sequence is handled very well as the specter is dressed in a flowing gardening dress and big hat with a skull for a face. It floats out of the greenhouse (her favorite place as she loved flowers) and chases Webber down the garden path and into the house---at night of course and very effective. It's all very low budget but well done in b&w with creepy music and a good performance from Webber. The estate is properly run down and gothic looking and shadows are used to good effect. I hope to see a decent print of this one day. I'd love to own it.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By musiclover13 VINE VOICE on May 15, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I first discovered "The Screaming Skull" while watching Mystery Science Theater 3000. I immediately thought the film seemed interesting, so when the chance arose to purchase the film, I took advantage of the opportunity.
"The Screaming Skull" is about a newlywed couple who come to live in an old vacant house that is owned by the husband after his previous wife mysteriously died. At night a skull haunts the wife all throughout the house. Convinced it's her husband's dead wife trying to scare her, she is viewed as crazy - she had already spent some time in a mental hospital after witnessing the drowning of her parents.
Although the budget is low and the film seems to drag at times, it's good for the fact that it really tried to build suspense and give the audience an interesting story to follow. There are a few twists in the movie that you may figure out early on, but that's the fun of the movie. You also have to laugh at the fact that at the beginning of the movie, the producers announce that they will provide free burial services to those who die of fright while watching "The Screaming Skull".
I would definitely recommend this film to people who love old horror B-movies. This is one the few that will leave you thoroughly entertained!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Lonnie E. Holder HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 30, 2007
Format: DVD
Eric and Jenni Whitlock are newlyweds, moving into the home that Eric shared with his recently deceased wife Mary. Jenni has issues that stem from seeing her parents drown, but I suspicion that Jenni has a lot more issues than just that. After all, who else saw the bouncing skull?

Jenni (and we) get to see the skull in various places on the property. We also get to see other eerie things happening, all supposedly caused by deceased wife Mary. However, if you pay attention and use a little deductive reasoning, you can figure out much of what is going on long before the movie reveals what is happening - except for the supernatural parts, of course.

I thought the director plotted this movie well. The plot is borrowed from other films that rely less on the supernatural aspects of the plot, but this film also uses those supernatural aspects to create an ending that varies from other, similar films. I am unable to point to a place in the movie where I was frightened, but there are a couple of scenes that I thought were a little spooky.

The picture and sound were reasonably good, though I am unable to tell whether they have been restored using the best available modern standards. I suspect not.

This movie tries very hard to take itself seriously, and other than the campy beginning (if you are frightened to death by the movie they have a coffin reserved for you) the movie is played as a reasonably straightforward horror story. If you like movies that use a supposedly haunted house and combine supernatural and natural aspects in the plot, then you may enjoy this movie. A couple of things moderately surprised me enough to give this film a mild recommendation for those viewers who like movies of this type.

Good luck!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By GODFREY H. on May 13, 2004
Format: DVD
This is an endearing , odd little film directed by industry workhorse Alex Nicol who died recently at the grand old age of 85, and who gave himself the role of the grief-struck gardener Mickey in "Screaming Skull". Smart move; he's the most interesting character in the flick. I remember being scared by the trailer and even the poster when this movie first came out, but then I was 7 years old and a good, lurid poster could scare the bejayzuss out of me. The movie is cheap, moody, and the spare unadorned settings (I should think the peacocks and the flowerpots in the greenhouse took up most of the film's budget)
somehow work to create a sense of jagged paranoia, although you'd think the new bride would be a tad suspicious that her new hubby can't seem to get the electricity turned on in the dark mansion he's brought her to, and she has to manage with the light of one (!) sputtering candle by which to read her Henry James. And it's a mark of the movie's quirkiness that her bedtime reading is Henry James, and not ... well, given the era, Erskine Caldwell...
however, what should at worst be a guilty pleasure and at best a treasured item in your genre DVD collection, is sabotaged by the awful quality of the print. Alpha Video are very hit and miss, for instance their "Brain that Wouldn't Die" and "Killer Shrews" are not half bad, quite crisp with good sound, whereas "Night of the Blood Beast" is a scratchy splotchy mess, and "Hercules Unchained" has great chunks of the movie missing. But if you're keen to have a copy of some rare items, AV are often acceptable given the attractive packaging and LOW prices. In the case of "Screaming Skull", however, they frankly have a lot of nerve charging ANYTHING for the DVD.
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