The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake Reviews

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bbcfloridabound
Super Reviewer
½ February 24, 2009
First time I saw this was when it was shown on WPIX or WOR when I lived out on the Island. Came on late night on Chiller Theatre, man how I used to love to stay up and watch that program. This movie is pretty cool, a family has a curse on them, and Jonathan is the last brother alive and his skull is needed to complete the curse. It seems shrunken heads keep popping up in this movie. Jonathan shows up in South America to help his brother only to find his brother is dead. Unknowing to anyone at the time a South American Indian whose lips are sealed shut with a sneaker lace stuck him in the neck with a poison Bamboo Knife,(yea go figure on that one). Anyway at the funeral Jonathan wants the coffin open, and wham when its open the old brother is missing his head. Now there is a Witch Doctor running around posing as a doctor, again not know to use is that he is a witch doctor who has a white man's head on a Black Man's Body, hence the witch doctor. And that?s who is trying to complete the curse, and who is shrinking heads. The detective running around is about as smart as a box of cheerio?s. All in all it was an enjoyable B&W film, I'd like to give it 3 1/2 stars, they just don't make them like this anymore. Its added to the collection.
½ March 17, 2014
The mystery is rather bland, and there aren't much to the thrills. The characters are decent, but their performances don't add anything unique. Some interesting and fun moments.
½ September 30, 2013
Where has this movie been all my life? Cracking little late 1950's horror with some genuine chilling moments. Always loved the all too rare stories about head shrinkers and this little known movie is a hidden gem.
½ June 4, 2006
The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake
Starring: Grant Richards, Eduard Franz, Valerie French, and Paul Wexler
Director: Edward L. Cahn


A strange curse has plagued the weathly Drake family for the past 200 years: Male members die of heart attacks around their 60th birthdays, but also see their heads mysterious vanish. Their fleshless skulls always appear shortly after the funeral, however. Now, the curse is about to claim the final male of the Drake family, Jonathan, (Franz), but his daughter Alison (French) and no-nonsense police detective Jeff Rowan (Richards) are on the path to find the flesh-and-blood culprits behind the curse.

"The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake" is a creepy little movie that features headhunting undead, strange family curses, and a villain with a startling secret. It suffers from pacing that's a bit too slow and some redundant plot elements. It also has a couple of misguided attempts at evoking horror--scenes that would have been GREAT if they didn't seem to rely on a "surprise" that even the most inattentive viewer is already aware of. On the upside, the film does a nice job of telling the story of the police detective and scientist who discover that they are not dealing with a common murderer, and the climax is extremely well-done.

This is one of those movies I feel could do with a remake. It's story has lots of potential that I think could be fully exploited if produced by a quality crew and good actors with today's sensibilities.
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