The Screaming Skull (1958)

After killing his rich wife Mariam by staging an accident where she ended up drowning in a pond at the Whitlock Estate Eric Whitlock, John Hudson, realized that he jumped the gun by taking out Mariam before she she could leave a will. Thus tying up all her money and holdings and only leaving him the mansion with almost nothing in it.

Eric didn’t waste any time and quickly married sweet and pretty Jenni, Peggy Webber, who’s even more loaded, in money not booze, then his late wife Mariam. Jenni is also very emotional and erratic since she was a little girl. Having seen her parents drown before her eyes Jenni always felt guilty by not being able to save them. Since her parents tragic deaths her mental capacity deteriorated so much that she was committed to a sanitarium from where she was released just before she married Eric.

Knowing that Jenni is very suicidal Eric plans to drive her to kill herself by planting a plastic skull in various parts of the mansion. After Jenni is gone, by killing herself, Eric can grab all her money which he’s having trouble grabbing from his first wife Mariam. This guy, Eric, is nuts, when you see how Jenni looks you would want to grab her not any of her money. With Eric, being her husband, grabbing Jenni isn’t a crime but murdering her is.

Eric’s plan is working to perfection as Jenni is slowing losing her mind and being driven to kill herself but there’s just one hitch, the gardener Micky, Alex Nicol. Being very friendly with Jenni, in a brotherly-like way, who reminds him of Mariam Mickey spoils everything that Eric had planned for her by finding the skull that Eric had hidden in the pond and then hiding it in a flower-pot in the greenhouse.

Nothing that Eric can do in slapping Mickey around would have him reveal where the skull is, it seems that Mickey thinks that the skull is that of his dead friend Mariam. Eric thus changes his plan, was he that cheap that he had no money to buy an new plastic skull?, to drive Jenni to kill herself but to do the job himself. Unknown to him he had awaken the ghost of Mariam and she has some unfinished business to take care of with him.

Trying to copy the great William Castle the movie “The Screaming Skull” starts off with a warning to the audience that in case you drop dead from fight watching the movie the makers of “The Screaming Skull” will pay for your funeral expenses. Your told just leave the name and address of somebody that the theater can get in touch with to identify your body.

What would have been far more helpful was for the theater to give everyone seeing the movie “The Screaming Skull” a bottle off No-Doz extra strength to keep them awake long enough to see the movies ear-splitting and mind-numbing ending.