The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra (2001)

Rating: B

Dir: Larry Blamire
Star: Fay Masterson, Andrew Parks, Susan McConnell, Larry Blamire

Poking fun at bad 50’s movies is hardly difficult, but Blaymire’s effort does it with more affection than expected. It’s all here: aliens, a mad scientist, mutants, animal-women, and some of the most deliciously over-written and over-delivered dialogue it’s been my pleasure to hear for a long time. Some sample lines:

  • “Looks like a perfect day for hunting space rocks, wouldn’t you say, Betty?”
  • “Sorry, sometimes my wife forgets that she is not an alien from outer space.”
  • “I’ve seen a bear do things, well…even things that even a bear wouldn’t do.” 

The plot, such as it is, concerns a meteor of “Atmospherium” – the aliens need it to power their crashed ship, the evil scientist wants to resurrect the titular skeleton, and the good scientist wants to stare at it through a microscope. It’s really at its best when going a step beyond its inspirations, such as the fabulous dinner party, where the non-human guests behave with increasing strangeness, yet are stoically ignored by the humans.

If the acting is spot-on, less successful are the attempts to recreate the crappy effects and action; there, we tend to get the joke in two seconds, yet the scene continues on, belabouring the point somewhat. Still, what works is often fabulous, and was good enough to fool our son – an MST3K fan – into believing this was the genuine article. Certainly, this is no less amusing than the real thing.