A skull-shaped mask unearthed in the Amazon harbours a vengeful spirit in Skull: The Mask. At an archaeological dig in the Amazon, Galvani Volta (Guta Ruiz) acquires a skull mask, a Pre-Columbian artifact, which reportedly contains the spirit of Anhangá, the executioner of the god Tahawantinsupay. The mask is wanted by shady Sao Paulo museum curator Tack Waelder (Ivo Müller), but before he can get it, the mask comes to life and begins killing everyone it comes across. Possessing one of its victims, Skull (Rurik Jr.) goes on a murderous rampage and it is up to police officer Beatriz Obdias (Natallia Rodrigues) and the mask's guardian Manco Ramirez (Wilton Andrade) to stop the reign of terror.
Skull: The Mask is a Brazillian supernatural slasher film from writer/directors Armando Fonseca and Kapel Furman (Uptake Fear). The film kicks off with a 1944 prologue, depicting the attempt from a group of Nazis to harness the power of the Mask of Anhangá. Fast forward to the present day and Manco Ramirez, a descendent of one of the mask's guardians in the prologue, has been preparing for the eventual rise of Anhangá, with the help of local priest Padre Vasco Magno (Ricardo Gelli). Meanwhile, troubled police officer Beatriz Obdias' investigation of a local missing children's case is interrupted when bodies start turning up disembowelled with their hearts missing. Beatriz is personally recruited by Tack Waelder to recover the mask for him at all costs.
At the very least, Skull: The Mask is a film that will greatly satisfy gorehounds since the film is filled with quite well down practical effects. A nice added touch is how the titular villain, played by Brazilian wrestling champion Rurik Jr., becomes increasingly blood-soaked as the film progresses, making for a quite striking visual. However, the issue I have with Skull: The Mask is that even though the carnage is somewhat satisfying, the plot that accompanies it is quite lacking.
I was left scratching my head at the inciting incident for Skull: The Mask, where Lilah (Greta Antoine), the girlfriend of the archeologist who uncovers the mask, performs a black magic ritual totally out of the blue, resulting in the mask coming to like and leaving a bloody body count. In addition, the character of Beatriz Obdias isn't particularly a likable protagonist, who ends up working with Tack Waelder without questioning his motives, even if it is because she is being blackmailed with information about her dark past. The more relatable protagonist is Manco Ramirez, even though he is quite in over his head trying to stop Anhangá.
Ultimately, Skull: The Mask is a film that can be praised for its excellent practical gore effects, though is brought down by its subpar plot and anticlimatic conclusion.
Skull: The Mask premieres on May 27, 2021, on
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