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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 7 February 2009
firstly i have to say this about the film, the writing is second to none, the jokes and movie references come flying of the screen, the look and feel of the movie left me believing that if it was made in the 1950s it would be concidered the classic film of the decade.

like the new grindhouse movies it captured the genre it was paying tribute to in a mannor that treated the viewer as someone of intelligence, someone who will understand the in jokes, but they also give plenty of other references and things to enjoy even if you have never seen a b-movie before.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 11 February 2009
not much more can be said about this rules. if you grew up watching cheap b-movies, you'll get every joke, every subtlety and every nuance. it takes a lot of skill to act deliberately badly, and the script must have taken ages to perfect.

For fans of Ed Wood Jr.'s films
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on 31 October 2013
So far, the american Larry Blamire has completed five features, achieving in my opinion an admirable and likable body of work, beginning with the well-received Lost Skeleton Of Cadavra (2001). Of the four I have managed to see, each has the distinctive style of its writer-director-actor: genial and humane humour, consistently amusing parody of older genres, allied with use of an increasingly familiar stock company - all of whom seem to be enjoying themselves as much as director and audience.

Blamire writes, directs and frequently acts in his own films, his careful scripts reveling in non-sequiturs and deliberate longueurs whilst eschewing coarse dialogue. The surreal Trail Of The Screaming Forehead stands the most apart from its fellows I have seen, being made in colour, perhaps more expressly silly, with increased special effects work and the inclusion of special guest players (Dick Miller and Kevin McCarthy). Perhaps because of that, whilst still very amusing, it seems a little less characteristic and considered.

I think Blamire is an auteur to treasure, one who gives the art of parody back its name and quality - especially after the dismal, bigger-budgeted attempts of the likes of Jason Friedberg and the Wayans, directors who seem to have no affection for the films they imitate and always aim for the obvious. Their films are, arguably, hardly films at all - merely narrative clothes pegs on which to hang cheap laughs, slapdash and vulgar in equal measure, where Blamire is neither.

Speaking for myself, a sure-fire indication of a good parody is my willingness to revisit the work when the original joke has been seen and gone; this is true of most of Blamire's films, which grow more amusing and endearing upon re-acquaintance. And while the film types Blamire affectionately references have typically long since left our screen, I think his own work set around them remains fresh and original.

Lost Skeleton was the first I discovered and still has a special place in my affections; but there's not much between it and Dark And Stormy Night - the finest ensemble piece in Blamire's work. Only The Lost Skeleton Returns Again I think a slight disappointment - even though it too has its moments, if only because inevitably there's a sense of deja vu in any sequel of this sort while the narrative flow seems a little forced. (I hope to rent a copy of Johnny Slade's Greatest Hits (UK: Meet The Mobsters) soon, as that undoubtedly adds another dimension to Blamire's output albeit one far more commercial.)

Although the liking, or not, of any film is always a matter of taste, I would recommend a discovery of Blamire's small but extremely likeable oeuvre, filled with charming nonsense, endearing featured players, and quotable moments of dialogue, to anyone. In a world of CGI, bloated superstar egos and coarse humour passing as wit this all comes a pleasant discovery.

All of of the films I have seen and enjoyed have been with excellent picture quality and this current title is no exception.
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Corny, pretentious dialogue. Hokey special effects. Stereotypical characters. Inept pseudo-science. A lame plot full of holes.

So why even bother watching "Lost Skeleton of Cadavra"? Well, to start with, there's the fact that it's not a hokey sci-fi movie, but a clever, hilarious spoof of those old cheap movies made in the 1950s. It's gloriously pompous and idiotic, with some of the best/worst dialogue outside a Christopher Guest mockumentary. ("Why shake when we can touch other things... like lips.")

Scientist Paul Armstrong (Larry Blamire) and "scientist's wife" Betty (Fay Masterson) arrive at a rural area, looking for an asteroid made out of (I am NOT making this up) "atmosphereum." Little do they realize that evil Roger Fleming (Brian Howe) has found the Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, which needs atmosphereum to move, and subsequently conquer the world, yada yada.

To make matters worse, a pair of aliens have landed. Not only do they ALSO need atmosphereum, but they have let a lethal Mutant loose on the countryside. Both the aliens and Roger manage to infiltrate the Armstrong cabin to find atmosphereum. Now Betty and Paul must befriend the aliens, and stop the evil Skeleton and the killer Mutant.

The entire movie is mockingly affectionate of those old sci-fi movies -- it's even filmed in the same location as most of them. The costumes are cheap, the aliens are cheesy, and very few of the events make any logical sense. When the Armstrongs and aliens sit in a spaceship and drink "cranberroid" juice from decorative candleholders, the goofiness is officially complete.

Admittedly, the plot does slow down to a crawl in the middle, and seems to temporarily lose its way. But fortunately it's peppered with high-school special effects (check out the skeleton climbing down the rocks), ridiculous props (spot the caulk gun), and the giant fish-faced Mutant, who falls for the Earth girl. It's practically a checklist for old cliches.

And then there's the horrible dialogue. One clunky gem: "It is different, this 'Earth' as it is called. But then are we of the planet Marva -- as we call our planet -- not also strange and different to think planet and its people also?" The best plot twist would have to be the "Bride of the Lost Skeleton" scenes, which would have made a great title for the movie.

Director/writer/actor Larry Blamire is wonderfully emotionless as Paul, saying lines like "Betty, you know what this meteor could mean to science. It could mean actual advances in the field of science!" with a straight face. I certainly couldn't. He's solidly backed up by a cooing Fay Masterson, intentionally wooden Andrew Parks, and a goofily seductive Jennifer Blaire.

Made on a shoestring budget, with terrible effects and costumes and a clunky script, "Lost Skeleton of Cadavra" is a delicious little spoof. And don't forget the sequel, in which the Lost Skeleton returns again!
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VINE VOICEon 3 August 2013
Okay it is my fault for not reading reviews that said it was over the top hokey before watching the film. Little did I know that what was supposed to be a 50s spoof was just plain goofy as they tried too hard to be campy.

Unfortunately they try way too hard at this spoofing thing and it comes out ridiculously unfunny. However I am a brave soul so I went through the whole movie waiting for that little piece of redeeming social value. I even sat on my hands so I would not press the fast forward button.

They did include many of the proper characters such as Paul the scientist and Betty wife of scientist. Then there is the infamous Dr. Roger Fleming the mad scientist. Toss in aliens, a mutant, and a mysterious girl that know how to act with her tongue.

While most of the things that we here are clichés and purposely stilted dialogue every once in a while we catch a line from a famous movie. I am wondering how many lines I just did not realize were from famous movies? Such as when Kro-Bar (Andrew Parks) exclaims ""You know it's funny but in a strange way I feel almost at home here." well close to a enough to Forbidden planet.
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on 5 July 2012
The beauty of this film is that it walks the perfect line... deliciously goofy and ridiculous, but played with such serious and straight faces that you could almost (but not quite) believe the cast didn't know they're in a spoof. It pokes fun at many B movie conventions: the obvious use of stock footage, cheesy effects and models, silly costumes and props, alien invasions, rubber suited monsters, living skeletons. But as much as it mocks old scifi movies, it feels like the film makers have a genuine affection for them.

Don't expect "Airplane" or "Hot Shots" off-the-wall absurdity, it's not that kind of parody. This film plays it much straighter, but the wonderfully-written dialogue had me laughing out loud.

Funny enough for anyone, but definitely recommended to 50's and 60's scifi movie lovers.
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on 11 September 2012
If you are familiar with bad 50's sci-fi, know and love the format and feel you know what to expect, this can be gold. I suggest watching this [...] if you are undecided; it will tell you what you need to know as to whether you'll love or hate it.

For me, the pastiche was so loving and apt that I laughed...hard. There are a few quiet moments, mostly near the end [which is accurate to the original films but still unwelcome], but there were a number of times when we had to rewind the film for fear of missing other funnies in our laughter.

Watch the review and see for yourselves; the thing is so earnest, like the original 50s films, that I can't think ill of it.
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on 1 September 2012
I watched another Larry Blamire spoof some time ago, and hated it. I don't know why I subsequently decided to watch this, but I'm glad I did as it's utterly brilliant! Blamires, Fay Masterton and co. send up every trope of fifties Sci-fi imaginable, in a movie peopled by kooky aliens, unscrupulous treasure hunters, supercilious scientists and a mutant that would not have looked out of place in an early episode of Doctor Who. Whilst the concept would probably have suited a sketch-show format better, it manages to fill the 80 minute running time without quite running out of steam, and has some genuine laugh-out-loud moments as well as great comedy timing throughout.
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on 16 August 2014
Another good film from Blamire. I may have not enjoyed it as much as spooky night or forehead but that may be because I saw it third. It is though well done and another great combo of script and performance. There is a lot going on here: Blamire clearly puts a lot of work into something which is just supposed to be a zany comedy.
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on 19 July 2012
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