- Entertainment and Media
Movie Review: The Screaming Skull is Coming for You!
The Screaming Skull
Plot Overview: The young bride moved in with her new husband to his big, old house. She had a history of depression and mental illness and was intimidated by a portrait of her husband's first wife. Not to give it away, but there's a confusion on what is real and what is not. Other characters are a minister and his wife who are sympathetic to the wife, and an odd young gardener with a mod haircut who worshipped the first wife who died.
My Grownup Conclusion: If you like good-bad horror movies you'll like this.
Hope you enjoyed the reviews and my story. If you become intrigued, I dare you to get this movie and watch it in the dark, in the night with popcorn and a pal. Make sure there is space behind the couch for hiding.
Note: I can't believe I still have the drawings! Found them in my childhood papers. See below.
The Following Story is True
"Oooooh! The screaming skull is coming to GET YOU!!," said my 8 year old self to my 6 year old sister as we watched the Screaming Skull movie while peeking out from behind the couch. Consequently, this made her go tell Mom and I justifiably got in TROUBLE. Actually my young uncle who was 9 and visiting us at the time (my mom's baby brother) was teasing her too and got in trouble as well. Evil kid minds think alike.
We later made a trip to a family reunion at the old farmhouse in Virginia and stayed a wonderful, fun week. One night, my uncle and I started teasing my sister about screaming skulls again during the spooky, quiet country twilight. Now we got in even BIGGER TROUBLE. At the end of our punishment (a-hem, the old fashioned way), my parents had us draw pictures of the whole family happy and healthy with the screaming skulls being buried by a bulldozer. We presented it to my little sister, signed a truce, and told her the screaming skull is gone and will bother her no more. See the pictures below.
Review by the current me: I saw the film again this year. Yes, the effects are pretty bad. There's a bubbling pond of dry ice with a skull bobbing around. The skull showing up at the house scares the living daylights out of the heroine of the story. Later in the move, I could almost see the prop wheels for the mannequin with a skull face that's wearing a hat and long dress. It turns into a skull in the air, starts screaming like a banshee and chases the husband. But it still was fun to watch.
Review by the 8 year old me (based on my memories): This is a very scary movie. The skull lady coming out of the pond is really scary. She flies so fast through the air that you can't get away. She looks like she's coming out of the TV. The husband seems kind of mean. The wife is a nice lady but seems very weak. The gardener was weird but kind of cute and I think he is the Russian guy in the Man from U.N.C.L.E show [he wasn't]. I would give this a good rating but watch it during the day.
So bad its good!
Photo GalleryClick thumbnail to view full-size
Reflections on Horror
Our concept of 'scary' in film has evolved from the earlier days of cinema. What scared me as a child doesn't have the same impact to my own children. They saw a part of The Screaming Skull and basically laughed. Also, I think, a lot of the thrillers that ended up on the TV's of the sixties, were the cheaper movies and not as well made. My teens don't have the patience to wade through these movies.
I've noticed the modern pacing is different too. Many modern films seem all action. Sometimes there is lack of character development and realistic dialogue, causing me to lose interest. Some noted exceptions are films by Christopher Nolan and Wes Anderson.
On the other hand, some of the old classics like Frankenstein and Dracula cause my kids to lose interest by the slow rudimentary pacing. They are missing out because these films succeed where The Giant Leach Woman fails. They tell a great story.