Peter Cushing plays a demonologist who collects any items pertaining to the occult, witchcraft, devil worship, etc... This desire for the bizarre leads to his encounter with the skull of none other than the Marquis de Sade himself. This film produced by Amicus has a lot going for it. It has a good story by Robert Bloch as the basis for the script, some fine acting from Peter Cushing in the lead and Patrick Wymark as a disreputable salesman, good character roles by George Coulouris, Patrick Magee, Nigel Green, Michael Gough, and particularly Christopher Lee, some imaginative direction from Freddie Francis, and some very stylish set pieces and costumes. Francis has limited special effects at his disposal, and this is a minor distraction as in one scene you can clearly see wires carrying the skull and a book in the air. Francis also gives in too long I think to some dream sequences and other "are they real or not real" happenings with his camera predominating over long periods of silence. It works well at first, but it does grow stale with repeated use. The story and acting, however, greatly enhance the film and make me give it an easy recommendation.