The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra (2001)
Article 5730 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Larry Blamire
Featuring Larry Blamire, Fay Masterson, Brian Howe
What it is: No-budget 50s Scifi thriller parody
Three groups of people struggle with each other to obtain a meteor made of atmospherium; a dedicated scientist and his wife, an evil scientist intent on resurrecting a skeleton, and two stranded space aliens.
One of the pitfalls of trying to make a purposely bad movie for comic purposes is that it can end up being tacky, exploitational and/or unfocused. Not so this little gem. By keeping his attention focused on creating a specific type of bad film (no-budget SF thrillers from the fifties), he manages to capture a very specific cinematic style as well as keeping the movie disciplined; it never spirals out of control. Furthermore, Blamire has a keen ear for dialogue, and he does an amazing job of capturing the clumsy goofiness found in the dialogue of Edward D. Wood Jr. The end result is a movie that to my eyes, ranks as one of the funniest movie parodies since Mel Brooks gave us YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. Wonderful “bad” acting abounds, with Andrew Parks and Susan McConnell my personal favorites as the hapless space aliens trying to pretend they’re earthlings. The only real problem I have with the movie is that it drags a bit during the final third of the movie, which gives me the feeling that it was padded out a bit to make its length acceptable to modern audiences; it really should only run about 75 minutes rather than an hour and a half. Still, I can forgive that, since the middle third of the movie in which all the major characters meet in a cabin in the woods is one of the funniest stretches of cinematic fun I’ve ever seen. Quite simply, I love this movie.