The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra
Film review by: Witney Seibold
I have a horrible confession to make. I talk during movies.
Not loudly, mind you. I don’t shout advice to people on the screen, nor do I converse about subjects unrelated to the film, nor do I chat on my cellular telephone. I don’t own a cellular telephone. But I am guilty of making snide cracks under my breath to friends and mocking the subtle flaws in the filmmaking (I blame “MST3K”). Luckily, I have a just seen a film in which it is perfectly appropriate to talk, giggle, and even make the occasional snide comment: “The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra.” Not because it’s bad in itself, mind you. There are few films I would encourage people talk through, no matter how bad they are (but there are a few). No. “Lost Skeleton,” a send-up/homage/recreation of the worst of the Z-grade rubbery-monster flicks of the 1950s, wants us to laugh with it.
The story: Dr. Paul Armstrong (writer/director Larry Blamire, every bit the white milquetoast hero) is out in the country with his wife Betty (real-life wife Fay Masterson) hunting down a landed meteor he suspects may be made of “atmospherium.” Nearby, a pair of crashed aliens in crumply silver outfits (Andrew Parks and Susan McConnell) must find some atmospherium to repair their ship and recapture their escaped pet mutant. Meanwhile, the evil and beefy Dr. Roger Fleming (Brian Howe) wants to find atmospherium in order to reawaken the horrifying (and psychic) Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. But not before using the aliens’ transmutatron to transform some woodland creatures into the lithe Animala (Jennifer Blaire).
It’s as fun as it sounds. Every scrap of bad acting, bad dialogue, and crappy rubber costumes you remember from films like “Plan 9 from Outer Space,” “The Creeping Terror,” and “It Conquered the World” is lovingly exhumed and re-performed by the filmmakers. It’s very knowing and just ironic enough. The film is hardly perfect; a good deal of the humor is forced. But it’s amusing enough, and perfect for slinging your leg over the seat in front of you, and guffawing along with a large group of friends.
Included: Ub Iwerks’ “Skeleton Frolic.” See any film with a cartoon short.