02 October 2014

The Screaming Skull (1958)
68 min.
Directed by Alex Nicol.
With John Hudson, Peggy Webber, Russ Conway, Tony Johnson, Alex Nicol.
An interesting little find.

Eric and Jenni Whitlock (Hudson, Webber) are newlyweds who have arrived at Eric's mansion and are prepared to settle down and begin their lives together.

Actually, it's not "Eric's" mansion - the place belonged to his previous wife who's now deceased.

Such a setup isn't good for fragile-tempered Jenni, however.

Soon, she comes to believe she's being haunted by the ghost of the first Mrs. Whitlock. She hears strange sounds in the hallways. Sees floating skulls chasing her about the house. Windows banging for no reason.

Is Jenni losing her mind?

Or is someone trying to drive her crazy?

With a tagline that screamed: "FREE!! We guarantee to bury you without charge if you die of fright during SCREAMING SKULL!", you'd be forgiven if you mistook this for another William Castle gimmick film.

But the earnest atmospherics, and perfectly ambiguous ending set this one apart.

No, it's not a masterpiece. But it's classic late '50s matinee fun.

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