|The Screaming Skull|
|Directed by:||Alex Nicol|
|Produced by:|| John Kneubuhl,|
T. Frank Woods
|Written by:||Budd Schulberg|
|Starring:|| John Hudson|
|Distributed by:||American International Pictures|
| Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about|
the entire movie.
Newlyweds Jenni and Eric return to the home of Eric and his now deceased first wife. At the home they meet Eric's friends, the Reverend and Mrs. Snow, as well as Mickey, the gardener.
During a visit from the local minister, Rev. Snow, and his wife, Jenni learns that Eric's late wife drowned in a lily pond behind the house. In a gesture of conciliation with Mickey, who was attached to Eric's late wife, she offers to place lilies on the grave of Eric's late wife, who is buried on the grounds.
Soon Jenni begins to believe the ghost of Eric's first wife is haunting her. She sees a skull in her dreams, and her fears become real when a skull rolls towards her on the living room carpet. She comes to believe she is being haunted by Eric's late wife's ghost. As the haunting continues Jenni begins to lose her mind, and Eric tells Rev. Snow that she may end up back in a sanatarium.
At first, Eric leads Jenni to believe it is Mickey who is tricking her into seeing the skull. But when they burn a picture of his first wife together, Jenni sees a skull in the ashes. Eric sees it, too, but tells her it's not there. Then he hides the skull in the lily pond. When he returns to retrieve it, it is gone.
Later, when Jenni is frightened again, she runs up the stairs to Eric, who tries to choke her to death. But she survives, and Eric, tormented and attacked by a screaming skull, runs screaming from the house and tumbles into the lily pond, drowning.
Jenni, who has gone insane, is rescued by Rev. Snow and his wife, who surmise that Eric may well have killed his first wife, too, and had been seeking his new wife's fortune by causing her to go insane.
Spoilers end here.
|John Hudson||Eric Whitlock|
|Peggy Webber||Jenni Whitlock|
|Russ Conway||Rev. Edward Snow|
|Tony Johnson||Mrs. Snow|
|Alex Nicol||Mickey, the gardener|
- The film opens with a promise by the studio to offer free burial services to anyone who dies of fright from watching it.
- Mickey, the gardener, is played by the director, Alex Nicol.
- It is believed that the film is based on Francis Marion Crawford's horror story of the same title, first published ca.1906.
- This was the last film to be featured (and mocked) on the cult TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000.
- ”The Screaming Skull" is a motion picture that reaches its climax in shocking horror. It's impact is so terrifying that it may have an unforeseen effect. It may *kill* you! Therefore, its producers feel they must assure free burial services to anyone who dies of fright while seeing the Screaming Skull." - The Narrator, from the opening.