One of the most clever independent genre films made in the new millennium, Lost Skeleton of Cadavra is witty, smart, and creatively funny.
Larry Blamire has created a film that makes fun of science fiction while showing off his great directorial and acting talents. The rest of his cast is marvelously professional and funny as well. In fact, the two best things about this film are the script and the writing. (I wish I could say that about more indie genre films! It feels soooo good).
The film starts out with a very stuffy Dr. Paul Armstrong (Think the professor on Gilligan’s Island), portrayed by Larry Blamire, and his charmingly traditional wife Betty, played by Faye Masterson, traveling to a cabin in the “hills” so that Paul can do some “science” with rocks. What they don’t know is that at the same time, two aliens (portrayed by Susan McConnell and Andrew Parks) from the planet Marva land on earth, and find that their mutant has gotten loose. To make matters worse, they are out of something called “Atmospherium”, a substance that propels their ship. It’s also the substance that has landed on Earth from a meteor that Dr. Paul Armstrong has been studying. Meanwhile, evil Dr. Fleming (Brian Howe) is on his way to a cabin in those very same hills to resurrect the skeletal remains of an entity known as “the Lost Skeleton of Cadavra”. The only substance that can resurrect him? You guessed it! Atmospherium. The movie is a race for the atmospherium as alliances are formed, jokes are made, wit is thrown, and the viewer is laughing hysterically.
The dialogue in this film is a total mockery of the dry and stale language found in films like “The Day the Earth Stood Still” and “Plan 9 from Outer Space”. Delivering Lines with such grace and subtlety, the cast couldn’t be more perfect. When the lines have been so well written, it’s no surprise the ease with which they are delivered.
By using the same simple, cheesy props and camera work that made campy hits like Forbidden Planet and Star Trek big hits, Lost Skeleton has no shame. The set and the effects are perfect and fit right in with the rest of the film.
The mutant’s costume is a trouser and headdress two-piece ensemble, laughable, and yet, you can picture it straight out of something Roger Corman might have done. The sixties makeup on the lovely “Animala” (Jennifer Blaire) is reminiscent of I dream of Jeannie. Animala, by the way, happens to be a woman made up of “four different forest animals”. Don’t ask; it would spoil it if I told you, and it?s much funnier if you watch the film than hearing it here.
With such a great film and so little to criticize, it’s almost just enough that I recommend it with great confidence. There is no gore, no violence, and don’t expect any real scares. This movie is a sci-fi spoof: not a horror thriller. Do expect to laugh. Laugh in a very intelligent, sophisticated, and sarcastic way. I wouldn’t place it under the category of comedy, though. What has been created in Lost Skeleton is much to close to art and great film making to be called merely “comedy”.