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The Lost Skeleton Of Cadavra (2004)
Writer and director: Larry Blamire
review by Michael McCarty
The 1950-1961 period was the golden era for low-budget grade-Z science fiction movies. With a lot of heart and ambition but not so much talent - young filmmakers would create such B-movie cult classics as Plan Nine From Outer Space, Robot Monster, and Attack Of The Crab People. With no name actors, a cameraman and a few thousand bucks, independent studios would venture off to Bronson Canyon, California to make a quickie cheapie sci-fi horror picture.
The Lost Skeleton Of Cadavra is a re-creation of those cheesy pictures of yesteryear. I had to check the DVD cover twice to make sure this film wasn't made in the 1950s - it has the look, lighting, production-value and tacky props from that time. The movie was done totally in the spirit of that era - the script was written in five days, the film was filmed in ten days and the whole thing cost less than $100,000 - probably the whole budget for Spider Man 2's catering bill.
The story is about a quirk couple, the Armstrongs - he is the scientist, she is the Betty Crocker-like wife (played by Fay Masterton) who discover a meteor that crashes nearby with high levels of "that rarest of all radioactive elements - atmosphereum" - Dr Armstrong (Larry Blamire) says. Mad scientist in need of a bad shave, Dr Fleming (Brian Howe) also wants the atmosphereum so he can bring the lost skeleton of Cadavra to life, and then rule the world. As it turns out an alien couple from the planet of Marva also need the atmosphereum for the ship to return home. The plot thickens when the aliens' mutant monster escapes. Then Dr Fleming transfers four different animals into one human female the sexy Animala (Jennifer Blaire), who charms with her cat-like manners.
The film has several funny lines, all delivered in deadpan style:
"Betty, you know what this meteor will mean to science - it could mean actual advancements in the field of science." - Dr Armstrong.
"Meow." - Animala.
"Aliens, us? Is this one of your Earth jokes?" - alien Kro-Bar (Andrew Parks) pretending to be human.
"You don't know the lost skeleton of Cadavra, but you will, you will." - Dr Fleming.
"I have risen." - The Skeleton.
There is plenty of rolling comedy with such sci-fi silliness as the skeleton crawling up the side of the mountain with wires showing all over the place, the bad dancing of the aliens and the unbridled passion purring and licking of Animala. Filmed in 'Skeletorama' this DVD is a laugh riot and, at the same time, a tribute to all those clunker sci-fi flicks from the 1950s and early 1960s.
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