The Skulls Trilogy gives us two discs containing the original film The Skulls(released Mar/00)on one,with Joshua Jackson as Lucas McNamara,Paul Walker as Caleb Mandrake,Hill Harper as Will Beckford,Leslie Bibb as Chloe Whitfield,Christopher McDonald as Martin Lombard,Steve Harris as Detective Sparrow,William Petersen as Senator Ames Levritt,Craig T. Nelson as Judge Litten Mandrake and others.Also there is Skulls 2(released April/02) with Robin Dunne,Ashley Cafagna-Tesoro,Nathan West,Lindy Booth and James Gallanders.The Skulls 3(released Mar/04)has Clare Kramer as Taylor Brooks,Bryce Johnson as Roger Lloyd,Barry Bostwick as Nathan Lloyd,Steve Braun as Brian Kelly,Karl Pruner as Martin Brooks,Dean McDermott as Det. Staynor,Maria del Mar as Det. Valdez,and Len Cariou as Dean Lawton.All three films were shot in and around Toronto,with the old U of T campus being prominent throughout.
The synopses of all three are basically the same.Some Ivy League and privileged students are tapped by a secret organization called the Skulls,to come join their club.However once a Skull,always a Skull;"a Skull above all others".Each film begins either right off or soon into the film,with the initiation of the tapped member(s).Eventually something will occur to make the newest member balk at their new found status,such as an initiation gone wrong and someone ending up dead.The Skulls usually take care of their own problems internally,but the protagonist is confused and conflicted;should he tell the police and risk getting kicked out of the Skulls or not?And can one trust the police as the locals have Skulls members within the police ranks? Of course we watch as the lead character wrestles with their conscience and in the end does the right thing.Skulls 3 even bows to the women's lib movement by having a woman challenge the Skulls rules to get herself initiated.Her father is also a Skull and his son,her brother,got killed during the Skull initiation(!).
It is all pretty patented,same old,same old stuff.The first movie had the best cast,but I found not necessarily the best film.All three are professionally done works and directed well,but the plots do not grab me in any sense of the word.I think this is the result of two things:a)The film is about privileged kids,and if you're going to do a film about those that have the world by the squirrely worlys,then you better have a hook to keep me interested;and none of these films have that,and b)there is no ultimate resolution to any of the films.Sure some individual Skull members get taken down and away,but in the end,this dysfunctional organization still stands to commit some other future criminal act.We could have Skulls ad infinitum if there was enough money in someone's very deep pockets to do it.But they would end up just as boring and unsatisfying as these,so why bother?
Technically speaking the films are in their original a/r of 1:78:1 and clear and crisp.There are a few extras on the first disc but the 2nd disc with the 2nd and 3rd installments don't have any.
All in all three quite ordinary and pedestrian films.There is nothing in any of these films to get excited about and nothing to hold your interest one iota.Give them a pass.