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The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake 1959 NR CC


Available on Prime
(42) IMDb 5.8/10
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A centuries-old voodoo curse includes decapitation and the shrinking of the victim's head.

Eduard Franz, Valerie French
1 hour, 11 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Mystery, Horror
Director Edward L. Cahn
Starring Eduard Franz, Valerie French
Supporting actors Grant Richards, Henry Daniell, Lumsden Hare, Frank Gerstle, Paul Wexler, Howard Wendell, Paul Cavanagh, Jonathan Hole, Bert Stevens, Arthur Tovey
Studio MGM
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Parker Benchley VINE VOICE on September 22, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Once upon a time, way back in the years B.C. (before cable), television stations used to run old horror movies on Saturday nights under the name "Chiller Theater." Yeah, they were "B" movies, but we as children found them scary and fascinating. Now these films find themselves an endangered species. Stations simply don't run them anymore, even in this age of cable where we supposedly get to choose from 100 plus channels. What we're not told is that the broadcast stations dropped late night old movies in favor of the infomercial, which means that the only refuge for old time psychotronic fans is the DVD.

MGM has done all us fans a favor by releasing "Voodoo Island" and The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake" as a double feature. These two favorite films from the "Chiller" days have fallen into oblivion and it is nice to see them resurrected in DVD format. Granted, these are not lost classics in ant sense except the psychotronic, but they are worth the time of any horror film buff.

The first film, "Voodoo Island," has Boris Karloff in fine form as a scientific investigator called in by wealthy industrialist Elisha Cook, Jr. to examine strange happenings on a Pacific Island. So far, so good, but Boris soon discovers a voodoo cult (in the Pacific, no less) with some man-eating plants thrown in for good measure. The plot breaks down shortly after this discovery as the explorers use that old time-tested blueprint to get them all killed - Let's Split Up.

Produced by Howard W. Koch of "Airplane" fame, "Voodoo Island" looks like it's off the coast of New Jersey rather than in the Pacific. Still, Boris and Elisha maintain their dignity throughout, helped by a fine performance from Beverly Tyler.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Stanley Runk VINE VOICE on October 1, 2005
Format: DVD
Who will escape from Voodoo Island? If the maneating plants don't kill them first, the boredom will. Yes, Voodoo Island is rather dull. I certainly don't set my standards too high when dealing with old B pictures, but a B film director has accomplished something rather rare when he makes a schlock picture that's not even mildly amusing. The film has a pretty short running time, and our cast doesn't even get to the island till about 40-45 minutes through the film. Alot of dilly-dallying up to that point. Karloff gives a good performance as a skeptic who likes to debunk superstitious theories, but he really can't even save this film. The natives on this island are about as threatening as the three stooges, and you don't see hardly enough of the maneating plants which are the only interesting thing in the film. It's very anticlimatic as well. Don't read any further if you honestly want to keep the ending of Voodoo Island a surprise. The civilization on this island purposely turned it's back on the rest of the world and wants to keep the island and it's people a secret. Is there a big showdown between Karloff and the chief? No. Karloff says, "Don't worry, we won't tell anyone" and the chief says, "Oh, alright, you can all go". That's the end to the terror and menace of Voodoo Island.

The Four Skins Of Jonathan Drake is naturally the better film of the two. It concerns a curse killing off the men of the Drake family, and the last man, Jonathan's attempts to stop it. The witchdoctor(a native Indian's body with a white man's head) and his assistant(a guy who looks like he tried to swallow a sneaker and has the laces hanging out of his mouth) try to get their hands on the slippery Jonathan Drake. Lots of cool shrunken heads in this one.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Patrick W. Crabtree VINE VOICE on December 17, 2007
Format: DVD
First of all, this is NOT a 2-disc set like it states in the data relating to this film, so don't be expecting that -- both movies are on one disc (one movie on each side) which is fine with me since they are both of very high quality.

If you're a cult film junkie like myself, you'll find that both of these films are a superb treat, "Voodoo Island" being slightly the better of the two. I'll address that one first:

This is a very well-shot B&W film with Boris Karloff radiating at its very center, only in this movie he does NOT play a monster. It was this film that showed me what a very fine actor Karloff really was. He plays a fairly genteel, but rugged, TV show personality who's investigating why a guy turned into a zombie on Voodoo Island, in the South Pacific (actually, shot in Hawaii). A developer wants to build a resort hotel there and he employs the hard-hitting Karloff to clear the way.

You'll see some other familiar cult film faces in this fine movie -- Elisha Cook, Jr., who played the strange little guy (homeowner) in the 1958 version of "House on Haunted Hill", (another awesome movie!), also does an equally fine job in this film. You'll similarly enjoy the man-eating (well... woman-eating) plants on Voodoo Island -- in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way, they're to die for!

And the grande coup for me was when, to my joy, I discovered that Les Baxter ("The Pit and the Pendulum," "Tales of Terror," and "The Raven", all AIP films), did the filmscore for this one. It's one of my very favorites, being of the atmospheric late 50s/early 60s-type of "atmospheric jungle score.
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