Silly horror movie about ancient curses, shrunken heads and sewn up lips.
Jonathan Drake (Eduard Franz) is haunted by visions of skulls. It happens whenever he holds on to a shrunken head. He gets a message that his brother Ken wants to see him. The family curse takes care of Ken before he can get there.
The dearth is judged a heart attack. He’s the third Drake to die at age sixty. Jonathan and his daughter Alison (Valerie French) arrive just in time for the closed coffin funeral. The night before Dr.Emil Zurich sent his trusty Indian companion Zutai to the house to get Ken’s head. Jonathan insist on opening the coffin. Just as he thought, Ken has lost his head.
Dr.Zurich is busy shrinking it and saying Jonathan’s death will end the curse. What’s it to him? Zati just stands there waiting to go again. He can’t speak because his lips are sealed…really sealed. They’ve been sewn shut in some ancient ritual.
Jonathan takes Alison to the family vault. He says her great grandfather, a sea captain, was in the Amazon. The Swiss agent for his company was captured by Indians. Captain Drake got there too late to save him. He and his men killed every male in the village…except the witch doctor. He managed to escape long enough to put a curse on the Drake family. In a closet in the vault are two skulls, the Captain’s and Jonathan’s father.
Local copper Lt.Jeff Rowan investigates. Time for Zutai to get back to work. He sneaks into Jonathan’s bedroom and puts a knife to his throat. That knocks him out. Just as he’s about to take his head the butler comes in with a glass of warm milk. Maybe the milk scared him but Zutai ducks out the window.
Dr.Bradfield thinks Jonathan is dead. But wait. The wound in Jonathan’s neck has traces of curare. (If I had a dime for every time that poison has been used in a mystery or horror story I could have retired before I was born). Jeff and Alison go to the family vault and now there are three skulls in the closet. Further investigation finds that they have identical fingerprints on them even though over a hundred years separates them.
Will Jonathan be able to keep his head while those around him are losing theirs? Who cares?