CFF 2020: SKULL Delivers Practical Gore and Splatter in Spades

Gorehounds and splatter fiends gather around, your next midnight movie awaits! Hailing from Sao Paulo, Brazil – Skull: The Mask of Ahanga is ready to drench your screens red with intestinal estrangulation, beheadings, ritual murder, and a retractable cleaver massacre! In a display of practical effects and gore galore,Skull will be sure to have you howling as demonic realms are crossed and people open boxes they shouldn’t to unleash a nightmare onto the streets of Sao Paulo.

Caught into the mix is a cast of three protagonists, all of whom are chasing the unearthed mask of an ancient Inca spirit named Ahanga.  The trouble begins when archaeologist Galvina (Guta Ruiz) brings a mysterious box home from her work in Columbia. Though she insists her girlfriend not open it due to it’s rare nature and an important client’s wishes, the box tempts and Galvina’s girlfriend cannot resist. She opens the box to reveal a peculiar artifact, an ancient skull. Unable to resist, the girlfriend invokes the artifact with incantation and suddenly finds herself transported to another dimension. After making contact with the demon force, her chest rips open and Galivina finds her partner gored on the floor the next morning only to suffer a similar fate.

News of a ritualistic murder hits the headlines attracting the attention of a controversial police officer named Beatriz (Nattallia Rodrigues), a religious guerrilla named Manco (Tristan Aronovich) and the wealthy investor Mr. Tack (Ivo Muller). While Beatriz is merely out to do her job and clean her name with a good clean case for her record, she soon finds herself in for more than she bargained for as murders continue to pile up and other interests begin to interfere. Mr. Tack offers her private work and extra assistance to recover the artifact, though she’s too proud to accept the help until a man named Manco becomes her main suspect. Having been charged as apart of a secret society to protect the world from an ancient demon named Ahanga, Manco begins to follow the cases closely despite the warnings of his priest that such delusions are dangerous. That is until all three stand face to face with the demon Ahanga in a final brutal showdown.

Oh, and there’s also some other subplot thrown in there about children being abducted for Mr. Tack and his mask. Unfortunately, while it’s filled with interesting twists and connections the story of Skull takes a lot of unnecessary effort in it’s world building and becomes a bit distracted when it attempts to tie in the drama with the gore-gag set ups. 

For the most part it’s a demon on the loose killing people and that’s perfectly fine! The amount of kills, practical effect work and demon blood lust provide plenty of splatter to cover up the rougher areas of the plot. Hearts are torn, chest cavities ripped apart, intestines spewed and guts flail as a possessed mask from another dimension runs amok in a rampage of violence across the streets of Sao Paulo. Who wouldn’t sit through five or so minutes of plot device dialogue for that?!

Jon Chamis
Black Soul / Metallic Heart
Jon Chamis is a screenwriter from Vermont whose fascinated by all films weird, horrific and macabre. From praising Bergman to defending Rob Zombie's Halloween, Jon likes to explore any artist striving to push boundaries and can be found in the parking lot before any matinee showing of a new release. You can catch him over at Letterboxd to chat about film.
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