The Skulls Trilogy (Universal DVD)
Average: C Sound Average: C- Extras: C-
The Skulls: C
The Skulls II: C-
The Skulls III: C-
cow takes a few minutes and doesn’t cost a thing. Milking a crappy franchise apparently takes
three years and hundreds of thousands of dollars. The first Skulls
movie, based around the real-life Skull and Bones secret society, spawned two
direct-to-video sequels each more disappointing than the last. Why, five years after the third movie, Universal
decided they should release a trilogy set on DVD may be an even bigger mystery
than the Skulls themselves. These are
not movies that invoke nostalgia or fond memories. These are movies that make you wonder what
else you might have spent that $7 on nine years ago.
movie follows some promising young college student who gets “tapped” to join The Skulls, the super secret society
that everyone knows about. Each is lured
in with promises of money, power, and a really neat-o watch. But inevitably someone get killed and our
protagonists figure out that the secret, powerful, super-elite shadow
organization are in fact the bad guys.
movie at least had good production values, took the time to show off its
almost-too-picturesque sets, and boasted an impressive cast. Starring Joshua Jackson (The Mighty Ducks, Dawson’s Creek) and Paul Walker (The Fast and The Furious franchise) the
film also featured Craig T. Nelson (Coach, Poltergeist),
and William Peterson (CSI, To
Live & Die In L.A., Manhunter). The second film had no big names to speak of,
and the best the third could manage was Barry Bostwick, though fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer might
recognize Season Five’s Clare Kramer.
undoubtedly the first movie started with better picture and sound quality than
the two sequels, the scourge of a poorly authored DVD has put all three on an
equal plane of mediocrity. All three
films are presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 audio and anamorphic widescreen, the
first two with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio and the third with 1.75:1.
first film has any extras and they’re on about the same scale as the film.
There’s a making-of, a commentary track, cast biographies, and deleted scenes
with or without director commentary. The
most informative extra is the production notes, but requires reading long
blocks of on-screen text which honestly is the most annoying form that extra
features come in.
movie was bad and the sequels only get worse. The straight-to-video releases are so
derivative that they repeat certain plot points and tropes faithfully from
movie to movie. The reasoning seems to
be that if you liked the first, then you must like the next two so long as
they’re exactly the same. But it seems
Universal hasn’t realized yet that they’re still milking a cow that went dry
- Matthew Carrick