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The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra (2001)

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Gord Green
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Joined: 06 Oct 2014
Posts: 2958
Location: Buffalo, NY

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:10 am    Post subject: The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra (2001) Reply with quote

The best 50's Horror / Sci-Fi movie of all time wasn't seen until the early 2000's!

Inspired, inventive and funnier than it has a right to be, Larry Blamire's loopy spoof of 1950s bargain-basement sci-fi and horror knock-offs gets it right where so many well-meaning efforts go wrong.

Shot in Bronson Canyon, Calif., (as seen in the films of Roger Corman and countless episodes of "Star Trek") in dreary black and white and "the wonder of the screen: Skeletorama," Blamire's "The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra" captures the stupefyingly awkward yet idiotically banal dialogue, secondhand store sci-fi gadgetry and flat, mundane visual style so perfectly that it looks as if it escaped from the drive-ins of yesteryear.

In 1961, scientist Dr. Paul Armstrong (Larry Blamire) and his wife Betty (Fay Masterson) drive into the mountains.
Dr. Armstrong is searching for a meteorite that has fallen in the nearby woods, suspected to contain the rare element atmosphereum.

Another scientist in the area, Dr. Roger Fleming (Brian Howe) questions Ranger Brad (Dan Conroy) about Cadavra Cave, a site rumored to contain a "Lost Skeleton."
That evening, both the Armstrongs and Dr. Fleming observe another falling meteor.

A short time later a farmer (Robert Deveau), encountered by the Armstrongs on their way to the cabin, is mutilated by a mysterious beast.

The second meteorite is actually a spaceship carrying two aliens. Kro-Bar (Andrew Parks) and Lattis (Susan McConnell) who are from the planet Marva and are now stranded on Earth, in need of the element atmosphereum to repair their powerless ship.

The ship's pet mutant (Darren Reed) escapes from its cage while they are distracted.

The next day, Dr. Roger Fleming finds Cadavra Cave and locates the Lost Skeleton. The Skeleton commands Fleming to bring atmosphereum to return him to life.

Meanwhile, Dr. Armstrong and Betty venture into the woods, discovering the meteorite just outside Cadavra Cave. Dr. Fleming overhears them and plots to steal the meteorite from the pair.

Kro-Bar and Lattis also journey into the woods, locating the cabin with the meteorite. Using a device called the "transmutatron," they disguise themselves as "Earth people" and clumsily manage to talk their way into the cabin, having been mistaken for the property owners.

Not long after they arrive, Dr. Fleming discovers the aliens' transmutatron, left outside the cabin since it would ruin their disguise.

He uses it to create an ally for himself, the alluring Animala (Jennifer Blaire), created from four different animals.

After briefly teaching Animala the basics of human interaction, he leads her to the cabin and convinces the Armstrongs to invite him inside.

Soon it becomes clear to Lattis and Kro-Bar (calling themselves "Turgaso" and "Bammin" on Earth in an effort to pass as earth humans) that Fleming knows their secret.
They soon cooperate in stealing the meteorite, after Betty is psychically attacked by the Skeleton and Dr. Armstrong is entranced by Animala's dancing.

The evil scientist tricks the pair, however, and the Skeleton uses his mind powers to freeze the aliens in their tracks once Dr. Fleming has the meteorite. Dr. Fleming and Animala soon use the atmosphereum to resurrect the Skeleton.

Meanwhile, Betty, waiting for Dr. Armstrong to come back, encounters the Mutant, who appears to fall in love with her, but she is terrified and faints.

While Fleming and Animala are resurrecting the skeleton, Armstrong arrives and encounters the unfrozen aliens. They also find Betty, who has realized that the mutant has some sort of feelings for her.

After bonding over a meal, the four head off to try to obtain the meteorite before it can be used to resurrect the skeleton, but they are attacked by the Mutant. Dr. Armstrong is injured in the fight, but realizes that the monster does not want to harm Betty.

Armstrong and his wife return to the cabin to recover, while the aliens try to stop Fleming on their own. However, they are captured by the skeleton's mind powers, and forced to dance by his psychic powers.

The Skeleton uses his mental powers to force Lattis into becoming his bride, much to Kro-Bar's chagrin. The Skeleton mocks everyone, including Fleming, but keeps them in line with his telepathy.

When Armstrong sees what is going on, he comes up with a plan to get Betty to lure the Mutant to the wedding to disrupt it. After getting the Mutant to follow them, Armstrong and Betty attack Fleming and Animala. During the fight, the Skeleton kills Fleming after the latter is beaten by Armstrong.

The Mutant then arrives at the wedding and attacks the Skeleton, whose powers do not affect beings with as simple minds as the Mutant. They instead fight until the Skeleton is thrown over a cliff, smashing apart on impact.
The mutant then succumbs to its injuries and dies. Animala is turned back into the animals she originally was via the transmutatron.

The alien and human couples spout traditional homilies about different species working together in harmony, then go to retrieve the atmosphereum.

Adapted from an early silent film this version at least has sound!
The 20's version from youtube :

This film has spawned not only a fan club....

But also a Rocky Horror tradition of late Mid-night performances in full costume.

The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra is a 2001 independent science-fiction parody film directed by Larry Blamire. The film is a spoof of B movies released during the 1950s. The film was videotaped on a budget of less than US$100,000, and was converted to black-and-white film in post-production. Larry Blamire acted in and directed the film, wrote its screenplay, and provided the voice of the film's titular Skeleton. Jennifer Blaire, who performs Animala, is Blamire's wife.

(Some plot points adapted from Wikapedia)

The trailer for this movie is on Youtube here :

AND....A documentary on this film can be seen here :

There comes a time, thief, when gold loses its lustre, and the gems cease to sparkle, and the throne room becomes a prison; and all that is left is a father's love for his child.
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Space Sector Commander

Joined: 22 Aug 2015
Posts: 931
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting to see that Fay Masterson was involved in that movie. Wikipedia dates the movie as 2004, so it was one of four films she was in that year. She "is currently playing the role of ship's Chief Engineer, LCDR Andrea Garnett on TNT's The Last Ship," which perhaps takes its science fiction a bit more seriously.

Here's a recent picture of the lady, with one of her fans:

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Galactic Ambassador

Joined: 19 Sep 2014
Posts: 1872

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have this one in my DVD collection. The trailer on YouTube reminded me of some of the good writing...

"Aliens? Us? Is this one of your 'Earth jokes'?"

"From the company that gave you Zombies of Mora Tau and Lawrence of Arabia"

...or not...

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Quantum Engineer

Joined: 17 Jul 2015
Posts: 350

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those are very funny lines, Orzel. Another good one went something like,

"This could mean great advances in the field of
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Bud Brewster
Galactic Fleet Admiral (site admin)

Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 17290
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2024 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


What a terrific post, Gord! I've never seen this movie, and now I'm itchin' to do so. Thanks! Very Happy

Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)
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