Friday, 9 September 2011
Horror Hotel Cinema : The Screaming Skull (1958)
Tonight's show is a real treat, or a real trick. It's all a matter of perspective. I first caught THE SCREAMING SKULL when I was a very young kid. I caught a late night showing, while my parents slept. It scared the holy hell out of my younger self, as these things do to a kid with a susceptible imagination and no grasp of the line between fantasy and reality. Watching the film all these years later, (and yes, I have it on DVD), its a full on cheeseball fest of the highest order. And of course, that just makes it all the more adorable. I love these films. I always dreamt of drive-in's and 50's Americana as a boy. There's something effortlessly charming about these B-movies of old. In a sense, they capture a part of history that we'll never see come around again. White picket fences, wholesome ladies and solid male counterparts, (not this guy in tonight's film though, he comes off as a total dickhead!)
Now we all love the true classics from the first half of last century. Few would argue that THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE or THE UNINVITED are anything other than class works, but it takes a certain type of genre fan to see the true worth in the underdogs of yesteryear. The kind of people who revel in B-Cinema, and see its flaws as a virtue. I'm one of them, of course, and I'm positive many of you reading this will dig where I'm coming from.
THE SCREAMING SKULL comes across with the goods. It has overwrought acting, terrible special effects, badly drawn characters, a male lead who's unintentionally an absolute asshole and a limp wristed, whimpering female who most women will wanna kick in the teeth. Whats not to love?
And is all that's not got your nipples in a twist, its also got a SCREAMING SKULL floating around the place, freaking out the fuckers with a righteous anger!
So, sit back, relax and enjoy a poorly executed trip back to a finer, simpler time in the old US of A. And as to the question of whether this picture postcard version of America ever actually existed outside of the silver screen? Who gives a fuck, its cinema. Just watch it already....