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The Skulls (27-Mar-2000)

Director: Rob Cohen

Writer: John Pogue

Original Score by: Randy Edelman

Producers: Neal H. Moritz; John Pogue

Keywords: Thriller, Fraternity

A working-class Harvard student plunges down a terrifying rabbit hole when he joins a secretive campus fraternity.

ABSTRACT
Hard-working Luke McNamara is a top student at Harvard University, riding high on stellar academic credentials compensating for his working-class pedigree. Eager to earn admission into Harvard Law, Luke gladly accepts an invitation to join a secretive campus fraternity famous for fostering future world leaders and captains of industry known as "The Skulls", thinking it will improve his chances; his journalist roommate's suspicious suicide, however, drives him to risk his life uncovering a startling conspiracy hidden behind the secret society's closed doors.

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Malin Akerman
Actor
12-May-1978   The Heartbreak Kid
Nigel Bennett
Actor
19-Nov-1949   Lacroix on Forever Knight
Leslie Bibb
Actor
17-Nov-1974   Crossing Jordan
Hill Harper
Actor
17-May-1966   CSI: New York
Steve Harris
Actor
3-Dec-1965   The Practice
Joshua Jackson
Actor
11-Jun-1978   Pacey on Dawson's Creek
Christopher McDonald
Actor
15-Feb-1955   Happy Gilmore
Craig T. Nelson
Actor
4-Apr-1946   Coach Hayden Fox on Coach
William L. Petersen
Actor
21-Feb-1953   CSI, Manhunter
Paul Walker
Actor
12-Sep-1973 30-Nov-2013 2 Fast 2 Furious

CAST

Joshua Jackson   ...   Luke McNamara
Paul Walker   ...   Caleb Mandrake
Hill Harper   ...   Will Beckford
Leslie Bibb   ...   Chloe
Christopher McDonald   ...   Martin Lombard
Steve Harris   ...   Det. Sparrow
with
William L. Petersen   ...   Ames Levritt
David Asman   ...   Jason Pitcairn
Nigel Bennett   ...   Dr. Whitney
Andrew Kraulis   ...   McBride
Derek Aasland   ...   Sullivan
Jennifer Melino   ...   J. J.
and
Craig T. Nelson   ...   Litten Mandrake
Scott Gibson   ...   Travis Wheeler
Noah Danby   ...   Hugh Mauberson
Mak Fyfe   ...   Laurence Thorne
David Christo   ...   Shawn Packford
Shaw Madson   ...   Chad MacIntosh
Jesse Nilsson   ...   Kent Hodgins
Shawn Mathieson   ...   Jonathan Payne
Steven McCarthy   ...   Sweeney
Matt Taylor   ...   Medoc
Henry Alessandroni   ...   Strain
James Finnerty   ...   Preppy Freshman
Cyprian Lerch   ...   Student in Lunch Line
Dominic Kahn   ...   Regatta Judge
Ken Campbell   ...   Starting Judge
Pedro Salvín   ...   Lodge Butler
Derek Boyes   ...   Assistant District Attorney
Katherine Trowell   ...   Sanctuary Administrator
Connie Buell   ...   Waitress
Steve Richard   ...   Furniture Mover
Kevin Allen   ...   Sturtevant Security Guard
Paul Walker III   ...   Boxing Coach
Jason Knight   ...   Police Techie
Amanda Goundry   ...   Coed in Caleb's Car
Malin Akerman   ...   Coed in Caleb's Apartment

REVIEWS

Review by Walter Frith (posted on 8-Jun-2007)

'The Skulls' was such a disappointment. More than that it was appalling and downright destined for the 'Dawson's Creek' generation and no one else. In fact, this could have been a 'Dawson's Creek' episode where people would say: "Wow, how bizarre. I never thought I would ever see an episode like this".....much in the same way that fans of 'The X-Files' re-acted when they saw their first humour episode of the show.....the only difference is that 'The X-Files' is usually brilliant and is certainly landmark television. I wanted to see this film eagerly because, allegedly, it is based on fact, however loosely. It's an intriguing premise. A group of ivy league freshmen at a prestigious American university take a vow and become members of a secret society which amounts to little more than selling you soul to the devil. The cars, the cash, the women and the political connections make you almost untouchable. The seductive aspect of these creature comforts is stamped with a hot branding mark on your body in the form of a skull that makes you a distinct member of the society. There is also the hidden crypt where meetings take place, a wrist watch in the form of a skull and a code of conduct guide in the form of a pocketbook that you are to keep in your possession at all times. The movie alleges that three former presidents of the United States are members and the real life curiosity of the media prompted them to ask a former president and his son if they're former members. Joshua Jackson of television's 'Dawson's Creek' is Luke McNamara, a young man with a seemingly bright future who gets more than he bargains for when he joins a secret society with all the trappings mentioned in the above paragraph. Luke's closest friends in life are his girlfriend Chloe (Leslie Bibb) and his best buddy Will (Hill Harper). Luke makes friends and a fresh face in his life is Caleb Mandrake (Paul Walker). Caleb's father Judge Litten Mandrake (Craig T. Nelson) is a reigning power within the skulls and welcomes new members with the aid of Senator Ames Levritt (William Petersen) and the university provost, Lombard (Christopher McDonald). As I was watching this film I was reminded of how some film makers bite off more than they can chew. This film is the perfect Saturday night popcorn movie rental when it comes to home video where a group of teenage girls will gather around their television and swoon over the two young male leads. Fine, but what about something for the rest of us. This film is also unintentionally funny to the worst extent. It constantly looks like the actors are trying to pull off dramatic situations and they keep tripping over themselves and can't find the whirlwind of success in pulling it off. Director Rob Cohen who made a startlingly brilliant television movie for HBO in 1998 entitled 'The Rat Pack' which captured perfectly the lives of entertainers Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Peter Lawford, is at the head of 'The Skulls'. Cohen also made a fine bio pic of martial arts legend Bruce Lee in 1993 entitled 'Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story' and Cohen has a knack for capturing the nostalgia of a certain period with fluid filming and a brisk pace to shower audiences with entertainment. He should have seen the light at the end of the tunnel here. Writer John Pogue's screenplay is like a blister driving you mad. You keep hoping the pain will go away but it only gets worse. The climax tries to usher in an old fashioned way for gentlemen to settle their differences but you can rent Stanley Kubrick's 'Barry Lyndon' to see it done in a much better fashion. It's also a climax (again, unintentionally funny) where you don't care one bit about what happens to the characters. I was actually sitting there with my eyes closed and my hand in front of my face and glancing up every few seconds because it was so bad and now I guess I'll tell you how I REALLY felt about the movie! : - ) Oh, well, with a film this bad, we at least know that given the treatment by this motion picture that if this type of thing does exist in real life, we know the perpetrators are definitely safe! But there is no safe part of this movie which will make you attack the movie theatre's cashier in an attempt to get your money back. Visit FILM FOLLOW-UP by Walter Frith


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