CREEPY CLASSICS presents...
Every weekend we're watching movies together...whether you're in Pennsylvania USA, or Sydney Australia. It's a throwback! Back to the days when you had the anticipation for waiting till the weekend to see the classic horror or science fiction film that was listed in the TV Guide. The plan is to watch a movie at 7:30PM on Saturday night in your own time zone. Or, if you can't Saturday night...anytime during the weekend. Then, we'll all get together and e-mail our thoughts on the film...a few paragraphs...or simply a sentence if you'd like. They after-viewing reviews appear first on our Creepy Classics/Monster Bash News Page. See the latest thoughts posted by viewers ther now.
Concept submitted by Mike Adams of Cartaret, New Jeresey.
Don't have the movie of the week? Order it right now from Creepy Classics for fast delivery!
Creepy Classics Movie Night Reviews
The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake
RECENT SATURDAY'S MOVIE:Saturday May 19, 2012 - MOVIE - Thriller "FOUR SKULLS OF JONATHAN DRAKE" (1959) Stars Henry Daniell, Eduard Franz, Valerie French and Grant Richards. Daniell steals the show as a mad, revenge-seeking voodoo priest. He sets loose an evil native spirit-zombie to do his blood-thirsty work. A top-notch effort on a low budget with the eerie-quality and "needle-to-the-top" shocker ending that has staying power, years after viewing. This is the stuff that rivited this eleven-year-old back in 1970! Never forgot it. Suggested by David Peel, Wichita, KS.
I was able to view this on the actual Saturday Night sync-up night this past Saturday with fellow Monster Bash staffer Ted Lewczyk. We watched the nice clean print from the Midnite Movies MGM DVD.
Now first, let me say I definitely have a great memory of seeing this for the first time back in the late 60s or early 70s on Jeepers Creepers on channel 5 out of NYC (WNEW) at noon on a Saturday. I was out playing with the neighborhood kids that Saturday morning, but rushed back on my green banana-boat seat bike to see it! It was the time that I would clothes-pin playing cards to the front of my bike, so it would "rat-a-tat" like a motorbike against the front spokes. Was glad I got back to see this movie. FOUR SKULLS was an all out grue fest made for a twelve-year-old imagination.
Looking back at the big picture, there was something brewing in 1959. It was the year that things got really gruesome in horror movies. I don't mean the high gloss gore of CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN and the other quality Hammer films that pre-dated 1959...I mean the lower budget, "seedy" kind of feeling that was bubbling in some black-and-white lower budget fare. There was THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE, A BUCKET OF BLOOD, HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL. THE HIDEOUS SUN DEMON, HORRORS OF SPIDER ISLAND....a grittier grue for movies. THE FOUR SKULLS OF JONATHAN DRAKE may have been the most gruesome and downright unsavory at times!
The film's got the great classical actor Henry Daniell (wonder what he was thinking when he was making this?!) of THE BODY SNATCHER (1945) fame. A supernatural Indian mummy-ghost. Lots of shrunken heads and three skulls as Henry is on the hunt for number four! Ted noticed that they seemed to use the same car a lot. The sets, many stage bound, are cheap looking, but somehow the whole movie still has enough going on to pull it off.
Some people might hate it, and that's okay, but I really like this creepy thing from the tail end of he 1950s.
-Ron Adams, Ligonier, PA
I'm watching SvenGoolie host "Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake" (link above) Today/Friday, May 18th, 2012 on an ol' vhs tape from the July 15th, 1995 broadcast on "SvenGOOLie"!
-David "The Rock" Nelson, Des Plaines, IL
Attached is an ad for the Chicago-land showing of the "The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake"
Above: Gruseome boiling head in THE FOUR SKULLS OF JONATHAN DRAKE and the Romero-like INVISIBLE INVADERS.
Great choice for a Saturday night! ...and yes this movie was ahead of it's time and you had the feeling that movies were going to change. Even the 'b' movie that I saw with it was wild. It was 'invisible Invaders' which was, in my opinion, the prototype for 'Carnival of Souls' & 'Night of the Living Dead'....this movie even reused the 'It', as in 'Terror from Beyond Space' costume. Both movies, what a matinee that was, I was 10, I'll never forget them!
Frank Nicoletti, Flushing, NY
Another great pick for Saturday night! Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake is a great 50s horror classic. I really liked the look of Paul Wexler as Zuti, with sewed up lips and the great knife that flops around like its rubber. The move also contains some great character actors like Paul Cavanaugh, Edward Franz and of course Henry Daniell. Is it just me or could you see George Zucco in Daniell's part if this movie was made ten years earlier? Midnite Movies gives a great print of this one along with a fun second feature of Voodoo Island. I enjoyed this one alot!
Justin, I put a link up to the trailer below this thread. You can see the rubber knife in the trailer too! -Ron
The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake is one of those movies that you don't think of too often, but when it does ( for whatever reason) pop into one's mind, it's usually recalled with some fondness. Although it really isn't considered a classic, most people seem to have a bit of a favorable opinion of this movie, and it's easy to see why. The plot, involving a voodoo curse is one that's been rehashed far too many times to mention, but it's always good for a few more miles. The true star of the movie is the Indian Zutai, with his sewn lips and deadly blade ( that looks pretty darn rubbery at the climax) he provides a few tense moments.
For years and years I saw his picture in books, where he holds the head of Drake's brother Kenneth, and I wondered what his story was. Somehow I never managed to catch this movie on TV. It wasn't until the very first Chiller Convention that I was able to obtain a lousy copy of it on VHS. Fortunately it has been given a better release on DVD. Looking at the movie, it seems to play out more like an episode of Thriller, probably due to it's budget, and short running time. Also, it does seem to wrap up pretty neatly in a hurry. The last shot of Henry Daniel laying there with his "secret" exposed is unsettling. Maybe because I wonder what old Henry was thinking when he found out what he would have to endure in the makeup dept.
Above: Henry Daniell from THE BODY SNATCHER (1945) as Boris Karloff needles him.
This role, for Henry, was a far cry from his literary and intelligent role in Val Lewton's The Body Snatcher. I imagine that thought ran through his head a few times. Still, it's always a pleasure to see the man do his part. One thing that gave me a laugh with this past viewing, was the repeated shot of the car going up that driveway, to the front door. It never occurred to me before what a busy driveway that was. Also, was it mentioned that Jonathan and Kenneth were twins? If so, I must have missed it. The curse was always carried out on the victims 60th birthday....no? We see Kenneth get it, and then only a few days later it's John's turn. Did I miss something, or was this just a major plot hole that was the result of careless writing. Anyway, "The Four Skulls" is by no means a classic, but it is an enjoyable movie that I should think of more often. Thanks for reminding me Mr. Peel.
-Mike Adams, Little Known Extra in LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK, Carteret, NJ
Don't have this one? Get it at Creepy Classics in the Complete DVD Catalog.
SATURDAY NIGHT/WEEKEND SYNC-UP. DETAILS BY CLICKING HERE.
Add your comments and thoughts about THE FOUR SKULLS OF JONATHAN DRAKE!