This weeks #MONSTERMONDAY features not so much a body or person, but a head! The SKULL, of the Marquis de Sade to be exact! Amicus films, THE SKULL produced in 1965 starred another teaming of Peter with Christopher Lee, who were supported by the superb casting of Patrick Wymark, Nigel Green, Patrick Magee and Jill Bennett. In recent times, the cranked up suspense and lush photography has enjoyed a remastering on blu ray, unfortunately the 'clean-up' of the print reveals not only the finer framed details, but also the 'strings' that suspend the floating skull of the title! Having said that, the Skull's suspense and menace, still delivers unnerving chills some 50 years on...and makes it more than worthy of being our nominated Monster this Monday.... The Skull.thumbs UP or DOWN?
Peter Cushing and Jill Bennett in Le Crane Malefique - The skull from Amicus films directed by Freddie Francis. This FRENCH lobby card carries the proof of a replacement paper sticker, that has been placed over the original title in French. The heirs of Donatien Alphonse François de Sade pressed charges to prevent any use of his name on the advertising material. The changes on posters and lobby-cards were made at the very last minute by gluing a paper sticker with the new title "Le Crâne Maléfique" (meaning "The Evil Skull") on top of the former, "Les forfaits du Marquis de Sade" (meaning "the Infamies of Marquis de Sade"). Only on that condition the film could finally be released in the French territory.
For many years, the director of Amicus films, THE SKULL starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, insisted that the impressive 'dream sequence' that takes place in the film with Peter Cushing, was entirely improvised on the day of shooting, on the studio floor. Here we present , from our collection, two pages from director's Freddie Francis personal script of The Skull. Page 21 describes 'Scene 12A Int Library Night' and gives detail of a MONTAGE SEQUENCE 'almost Dreamlike'... to the right of the page, in Francis own handwriting is an annotation note which says, 'OLD FASHION DREAM TRICK', which throws some doubt on Francis story. Throughout interviews in later times, Francis expressed his irritation with producer Milton Subotsky, and his habit of presenting Francis with incomplete scripts. This FINAL DRAFT shows clearly that a dream sequence was indeed included in the final vision of the script and that before shooting commence, Francis had also identified the style and technique that would be needed.
The Peter Cushing Appreciation Society is based in the UK but truly is an international group of fans, friends and admirers of the work of actor Peter Cushing. Established in 1956, PCAS is celebrating its 60 year this year. From its humble beginings as a newsletter and journal managed by Ms Gladys Fletcher until 1979, when it became a journal and audio tape service. The development of the audio tape show, was a forerunner of the todays PODCASTS, which was recorded in the style of a radio show, including interviews, competitions, sketches and features. The PCAS Sound Mag, later branched out into a spin off club and it's own following called The Black Box Club. Now both PCAS and the BLACKBOXCLUB enjoy a very popular presence on the internet and across many media platforms and social network sites. The PETER CUSHING APPRECIATION SOCIETY FACEBOOK FAN PAGE AND our WEBSITE are UPDATED SEVERAL TIMES DAILY.