Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, The

Reviewed By Elaine Perrone
Posted 07/15/04 22:48:36

"Ed Wood would have loved this, and so did I!"
4 stars (Worth A Look)

The only thing that might have added to my enjoyment of The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra would be to have seen it clad in my jammies in the back seat of a '57 Chevy, with a tinny speaker hanging from the window. Even without the drive-in setting, Larry Blamire's goofy and affectionate parody of all those "B" sci-fi and horror films from the 1950s captures perfectly their look, sound, and feel, in all their radiant cheesiness.

Lost Skeleton has everything: The deliciously trite dialog and wooden acting, the ham-fisted editing, the dreary black-and-white photography in remote locations, and the hilarious dimestore props and bargain basement sets that are the hallmarks of the classics of this beloved genre.

Set in and around Lake Arrowhead and Bronson Canyon, CA, the same locales utilized in many of the originals, Lost Skeleton opens with Dr. Paul Armstrong (Blamire) and his wife Betty (Fay Masterson) setting out for a cabin in the wilderness (she in a crinoline skirt, pearls, and pumps), where the doctor intends to search for a fallen meteor containing "atmospherium," a substance that he expects to contribute to "...actual advances in the field of science."

Meanwhile, evil scientist and rival Dr. Roger Fleming (Brian Howe) conducts his own search for the atmospherium, which he needs to re-animate the Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, with whom he intends to rule the world.

Still elsewhere, travelers from the planet of Marva, Lattis and Kro-Bar (Susan McConnell, Andrew Parks), who have crash-landed in Cadavra with their mutant pet in tow, embark on a search for the atmospherium that they need to get their craft spaceborne again.

When the mutant escapes, trouble ensues.

The final character in this dizzy, dazzling romp is Animala (Jennifer Blaire), the creation of The Evil Dr. Fleming, who uses the Marvans' handy Transmutatron (a caulking gun, standing in) to transform four forest creatures into a subterfuge wife, and boy, can she dance!

Yes, it is every bit as stupid as it sounds, and yes, I loved it! Amidst all the insipid rom-coms and teen flicks that clog the multiplexes in the early months of the year, who knew that the breakout star of February-March 2004 would be a retro med-school bag o' bones with a smart mouth and visible hinges?

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