synopsis / quotes

The whereabouts of the Bard’s skull has become the stuff of myth, folk tales and conspiracy theories. NUMBSKULL is a contemporary, compelling, dark and trippy film, a continuation of those myths. 

1616 Shakespeare died and was buried with a curse engraved on his tombstone, in Stratford upon Avon, merry England. 200 years later local myth has it that Shakespeare’s skull was stolen by 2 unlikely local lads, who after misfortunes abandon the skull in the crypt of their local church, now just a few miles out of UKs second largest city, Birmingham.

Forty years ago in their youth Spud and Nev hear of the myth of Shakespeare’s stolen skull and steal the Bard’s cursed skull for themselves. Now present day, the two old men agree to take the skull back to it’s resting place, with the encouragement of the mysterious ‘Dark Lady’. The curse of Shakespeare's skull still lives on as the two find out on their dark quest to return the skull to its proper resting place, but it soon becomes a living nightmare.

NUMBSKULL is made by Compact Cinema, a Birmingham based production company and was uniquely shot in the prime locations of the local myths. The stylised film is directed and shot by John Humphreys ( and starring first time actor Paul Murphy (Spud) and veteran actor David Squire (Nev). Made on a limited budget (tiny) it still manages to achieve super fine performances, original soundtrack and even fabulous CGI work in this dark and intriguing UK movie - NUMBSKULL.

The movie is obviously tinged with more than a little sadness as we all have suffered the loss of Paul Murphy early in 2016. Lets show him it meant something, give it a watch!

This is what has been said about NUMBSKULL:

'Original, thoughtful, elegiac, haunting and touching. 

With exquisitely judged performances the film's skilfully sustained mood will stay with me for quite some time'. 

Mark Radcliffe BBC Broadcaster

‘creative visuals, a mysterious back-story and atmospheric storytelling, Numbskull feels closer to celebrated classics like The Haunting (1963)’