Dr Christopher Maitland (Peter Cushing) is a collector of the unusual especially those which have a bit of legend about them, often buying these objects from Anthony Marco (Patrick Wymark). It is Marco who shows up at Maitland's home late one night with a book about the marquis De Sade which is bound in skin and then returns the next night with what he claims is the skull of the marquis De Sade. But not long after obtaining the skull Dr. Maitland finds himself changing has he starts to turn in to a psychotic killer.
As a movie fan I have a lot of respect for both Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee with both being masters of their craft. But at the same time I have to admit that some of their much loved horror movies leave me a little bored. Sadly "The Skull" is one of those movies which is nicely put together with a good look and nice performances but fails to draw me in to the story and drama surrounding what happens to those who come in to the possession of the skull of the marquis De Sade. As I have mentioned before maybe it is simply an age thing as my introduction to horror movies were those of the late 70s and 80s with those which came before than generally not delivering the horror I expect.
But as I said "The Skull" is nicely put together so we get mystery, murder and madness as we watch how Maitland changes due to the skull with strange things happening which terrify him whilst not abating his curiosity. And whilst I said that the horror in "The Skull" is not my sort of thing, when you have bodies falling from behind closed doors it does have a general sense of danger. In truth I reckon "The Skull" would be a great movie to be remade in a way which incorporated modern horror techniques to inject some life in to it.
What this all boils down to is that "The Skull" is a classic Amicus, Cushing, Lee horror movie from a bygone era. But you need to really be a fan of this era of horror movie to enjoy this one as otherwise it might come across like it isn't really going anywhere.