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Saturday, May 29, 2021

Review: Skull: The Mask

Director: Armando Fonseca and Kapel Furman

Screenplay: Armando Fonseca and Kapel Furman

Year: 2021

A mask used for rituals to the gods in Pre-Columbian times reaches the city of Sao Paulo. Already in the city, the mask appropriates the body of a person and begins a killing spree. Now it is in the hands of a detective and some people who know about the legend of the mask to stop the massacre.

From Brazil comes “Skull: The Mask” or “Skull: A Mask of Anhangá” in its original title, which has made its arrival in Shudder. With a style that pays homage to the B-series slashers of the 1980s, this film promises violence and blood without respite. Slasher fans of this time must be licking their lips, but I must warn you that it has several problems.

On the positive side, the directors and writers of “Skull: The Mask”, Armando Fonseca and Kapel Furman (“Uptake Fear”), know what they want to present: a violent and bloody film, where the villain and the special effects stand out. If that's what you're looking for, this movie delivers it in spurts, with several scenes of explicit violence that include skin and gut removals, dismemberment, and lots and lots of blood. The great special effects contrast with the poor action scenes, which give an idea of ​​the film’s budget.

The aspect of the villain is another aspect in favor, with an imposing and intimidating presence. It should not be surprising that the actor who played this character, Rurik Jr., is a professional wrestler, as he uses different moves characteristic of this sport in his arsenal of violence. Both for his excessive violence and his appearance, this villain could have established himself as an iconic one with a cult fan base, but the poor story and production value do not allow it.

The movie’s plot and characters are part of the downside, compromising the enjoyment of the film for those looking for more than just violence and blood. The protagonist, the detective Beatriz Obdias, played by Natallia Rodrigues ("The Awakener"), is too weak, poorly represented, and poorly developed, who we do not understand the reason for her actions and that we do not care much about her future. Also, the beginning, where we know the background of the mask and the outcome, is extremely weak, especially the final confrontation that does not go according to the carnage and grandeur of the villain throughout the film.

"Skull: The Mask" is a fun 80s-style slasher if you focus only on violence and practical effects. On the other hand, the development of the story and the characters leaves much to be desired. It is only recommended for fans of B-series slashers who are only interested in killing and don't mind that the story is just an excuse to propel it.

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