Saturday, February 21, 2009

Trailer Trash XXXV: The Screaming Skull (1958)

"The tortured ghost who claimed vengeance in the bride's bedroom!"

Quick summary: Ex-wife dies in freak accident. Man takes new wife to site of the accident on their honeymoon. (Worst. Honeymoon. Ever.) New wife is haunted by ghost of dead wife. Or is she? That's The Screaming Skull in a nutshell.

The title of this movie reminds me of one of Jack Handey's Deep Thoughts passages:
If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.
... which, in turn, makes me think of a much scarier version of this movie, where it's just shots of various skulls backed by a soundtrack of people screaming at the top of their lungs. That'd make me jump, at least the first few times.

You know, you could make any movie at least a bit scary with random quick cuts to skulls and screaming. (Something like this old YouTube video, actually.) This would even work for old movies. Take Casablanca:

Rick: If that plane leaves the ground and you're not with him, you'll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your -


See what I mean? Terrifying, right??

On to the trailer silliness:

Did people usually die during scary movies in the 50s? I'm curious if anyone was ever able to cash in on that free burial. And I'm glad they specify that the death had to be from fright. I'd hate to think very old, stingy people would go see it to save a few dollars on funerals.

1950s Guy #1: "Have you heard of that movie Screaming Skull?"
1950s Guy #2: "Yeah, I think so. Isn't that movie where old people go to die?"

I wonder if that offer still stands? Is there an expiration date? I can't see anyone dying of fright during this movie in this day and age, but I wouldn't rule out Death by Boredom.

"See! The revisionization of a woman scorned! See! The vengeful violence of the undead!"

Trailer Trash is a weekly tribute to oddball, cheesy and often just plain terrible movie trailers. Writers: These movies got made... so can yours! You can read through our archive by clicking here.

1 comment:

Cliff said...

Except for that super hokey beginning (and an equally cheesy end, by the way), this is actually not that bad.