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Film / The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake

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The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake is a 1959 horror film directed by Edward L. Cahn and starring Eduard Franz, Valerie French, Grant Richards, and Henry Daniell.

In 1873, an explorer named Wilfred Drake massacred an Ecuadorian tribe to avenge a fallen member of his party. However, the tribe's witch doctor survived, and teaming up with the resurrected friend of Drake, placed a revenge curse on the family that each male member will die when they turn 60. Fast-forward to the modern day, and only one male Drake is left. Lucky, a detective is on the case, and out to stop the killings at any cost.

This film contains examples of:

  • Big Bad: Dr. Emil Zurich is responsible for the Drakes' curse.
  • Genuine Human Hide: Zutai wears sandals of human skin.
  • Mighty Whitey: Villainous example. Despite it being his tribe that was massacred and he who cast the curse on the family, Zutai is but The Dragon to Dr. Emil Zurich, whose death was the motivation for the massacre in the first place and is only in the picture because higher powers forced him to.
  • Miles to Go Before I Sleep: The baddies can't die until they kill all the men of the Drake family.
  • Our Souls Are Different: These are bound to witch doctors when a shrunken head is made, and can be sent in skull form to torment people.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: These are created by voodoo curses and can't rest until their purpose is fulfilled.
  • The Paralyzer: Zutai uses curare to kill his victims via total paralysis.
  • Predecessor Villain: Captain Wilfred Drake's genocide of a South American tribe is the entire reason why his family is cursed. However, he's long dead by the film's start.
  • Revenant Zombie: The zombies in this universe are men made immortal by magic, who see their mouths shut to prove the point.
  • Shrunken Head: The villains make these out of their victims' heads.
  • The X of Y