The Skull


‘This isn’t just any skull…’ says seller Marco (Patrick Wymark) to potential buyer Christopher Maitland (Peter Cushing); it’s not even a Marks and Spencer skull, it’s the actual noggin of the Marquis de Sade himself, and no good can come of it being hawked around occult dealers in this initially sedate yet fairly engrossing Freddie Francis horror/thriller.

With a script by Amicus regular Milton Subotsky and based on a short story by Robert ‘Psycho’ Bloch, The Skull is a cut above the usual fare, with an unusual straight role for Christopher Lee, plus a perfect supporting cast including Patrick Mcgee, Michael Gough and Nigel Green. It’s quite tame by modern standards, but the quaintness is charming, and Francis whips things up to quite a frenzy by the end.

The art of this kind of gentleman’s horror film is long gone; The Skull popping up on mainstream streaming services is a nice reminder of the genre’s charms back in the day. Don’t expect exploding heads or much gore, but long drawing room conversations and extreme politeness are what you expect in a vintage 60’s horror with these actors involved, and that’s exactly what you get.

And according to Wikipedia, the actual skull of the Marquis is still unaccounted for to this day, so in the light of what happens to the esteemed gentlemen here, it’s probably best avoid any rash ebay purchases, as no refunds will be provided…


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  1. I was going to say that I had the skull on MY desk, but since Fraggle says she has it, obviously one of ours is a fraud. Since I bought mine off of ebay, with a money back guarantee, I’m betting mine is the real thing.

    And just in case there is any question of me being correct, well,
    Boba Fett!

    • You bought your actual skull off eBay? Does it match the one on your desk? What were you using to hold your brains in before you bought it?

      • Nope, they look totally different.
        I was using a big cereal bowl. But all the brain juice kept slopping out over the edges so I bought a skull to keep everything all nice and neat.

        • Don’t you have to go for a fitting? Or are skulls pretty much ‘one size fits all’ ?

    • No, alternative titles are Skulls, Skulls, Skulls . or Did you happen to see the most beautiful skull in the world?

      typo fixed, thanks!

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