Film: The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra
"I sleep now."
Dr. Fleming: Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a skeleton to bring to life!
Skeleton: (in a distant cave) THAT WOULD BE ME.
A 2001 Affectionate Parody
of campy 1950s B Movies
, complete with nonsensical plot, stilted acting and cheap Special Effects
. Directed by, written by and starring Larry Blamire.
The plot revolves around Dr. Paul Armstrong (a man OF SCIENCE), Dr.
Roger Fleming (a man OF EVIL), and Kro-Bar and Lattis (aliens FROM OUTER SPACE), all of whom wish to acquire the rare radioactive element "atmosphereum
" for various reasons: to do science,
to revive a mysterious lost skeleton
and to power their spaceship,
respectively. A mutant (WHO KILLS FOR KICKS!) and a petting zoo person
factor in here somehow also.
In 2008 a sequel The Lost Skeleton Returns Again
was made by Blamire, this time in the style of a 1960's color cheapie; it was released on DVD in August, 2010.
This movie provides examples of:
- Agent Scully: Dr. Fleming is a scientist; he doesn't believe in anything.
- Affectionate Parody: The movie was clearly made in good fun.
- Aliens Speaking English: And in true 50s B-movie style, they don't even try explaining it.
- And Now You Must Marry Me: The Skeleton declares that he will marry the alien woman Lattis and tries to have a wedding ceremony.
- Antagonist Title
- Bad Bad Acting: Everyone. Dan Conroy, the actor who played Ranger Brad, plays his character as though he were an actual park ranger who got talked into playing a role in the movie because he had his own costume.
- Bad Boss: The Skeleton.
- Bears Are Bad News: "I've seen bears do things that even a bear wouldn't do."
- Beast and Beauty / Mars Needs Women: The Mutant is smitten by Betty. The Skeleton decides to marry Lattis.
- Between My Legs: A bizarre and very brief example, when Betty has to Show Some Leg.
- Big "NO!": Twice. First, from Lattis when the Skeleton decides to marry her. Second, from the Skeleton himself upon defeat.
- Brainwashed: The Skeleton, Animala and the aliens can all do this to people.
- Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Used inconsistently. Cranberries on the planet Marva are "cranberroids", cherries are "linbooba", but grapes are just grapes.
- Catch Phrase: Seems like it's a day for Catch Phrases! Oh well.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Not in the film's final cut, but the actor in the Mutant costume swore up a storm during his fight with the skeleton.
- Compelling Voice: The Skeleton, used on Kro-Bar.
- Contemplate Our Navels: After their Heel-Face Turn, Kro-Bar and Lattis invite the Armstrongs over for dinner, and discuss the differences between Earth and the planet Marva, even though a mutant (WHO KILLS FOR KICKS) and an evil skeleton are running around.
- Deadpan Snarker: The Skeleton.
- Deliberately Monochrome
- Dem Bones
- Department of Redundancy Department: As sayeth the Skeleton: "When I am brought to life, together you and I will rule the world together!"
- Disney Villain Death: At the end of their fight, the mutant throws the Skeleton over a cliff. When it hits the ground, it breaks up into its component bones.
- Easily Forgiven: The Mutant (even though he KILLS FOR KICKS)
- The End... Or Is It?: Parodied.
THE END? OR IS IT? ISN'T IT MORE LIKE A KIND OF BEGINNING IN A WAY? LIKE A NEW BEGINNING? FOR EVERYONE? HM... I WONDER... OH WELL.
- Evil Laugh: Dr Fleming, when he finds the Skeleton. Also an Overly Long Gag.
- The Fifties
- Fighting from the Inside: Kro-Bar against the Skeleton's Compelling Voice... though not very effectively.
Skeleton: YOU WILL AND YOU'LL LIKE IT!
Kro-Bar: I won't like it!
- For SCIENCE!: Paul's motivation in locating the atmosphereum.
- For the Evulz: Dr. Fleming never gives any reason at all for wanting to resurrect the Lost Skeleton, so this trope seems to be his only motivation.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!
Dr. Paul Armstrong: Now for the love of Mike, will someone please explain what the heck is going on here?
- Green Rocks: That rarest of all metals, atmosphereum, which can do such things as fuel spaceships and bring magical skeletons back to life.
- Housewife: Betty, to ridiculous degree as it's almost all she ever talks about.
- Hugh Mann
Lattis: I certainly am a normal earth female. Isn't that right, my little space comet?
- Human Aliens: Kro-Bar and Lattis.
- Informed Attribute: Animala is said to be a person-shaped mix of four different animals, but is not even a Little Bit Beastly outside acting like an... animal. At the end, these are revealed to be a fox, two ferrets, and a squirrel.
- Paul Armstrong and Roger Fleming are both scientists. Paul spends a couple scenes staring into a microscope (and doing other things that could be called experimentation by someone feeling charitable), but otherwise seems more interested in discussing what a scientist's life is like than doing anything scientific. Roger doesn't even do that much, as the actor puts it, he spends all day laughing in a cave. In one scene he does have what appears to be a child's chemistry set laid out on the floor of the cave, though he doesn't actually do anything with it.
- Large Ham: Andrew Parks decided to play Kro-Bar as though he thought it was the role of a lifetime. There's also a lot of Eros in there.
- Leave the Camera Running / Padding: A requirement for a film spoofing 50s B-movies. Though they purposely made the padding funny, unlike the movies they're referencing.
- Ms. Fanservice: Animala. Rowr.
- People in Rubber Suits: The mutant.
- People Jars: Averted by the ethical principles of Science!
Skeleton: You must find the atmosphereum.
Animala: Amish Terrarium. Must find Amish terrarium.
Dr. Paul Armstrong: I don't understand. Why does she need an Amish terrarium?
Betty Armstrong: Don't the Amish live in open air, like us?
Dr. Paul Armstrong: Of course, Betty, it's absurd. Putting the Amish in glass cases would be inhumane.
- Phlebotinum: Atmospherium. It can power a spaceship, resurrect skeletons, and presumably other things.
- Retraux: Made to look like a movie from the 1950s.
- Say My Name: "Paul? Paul? Paul!? PAUL!?!"
- Screaming Woman
- Shaped Like Itself: Everyone talks like this:
Dr. Armstrong: Do you realize what this meteor could mean to science? If we find it, and it's real, it could mean a lot. It could mean actual advances in the field of science.
- Show Some Leg: Betty draws the mutant to the Skeleton's wedding to Lattis this way.
- Space Clothes. And Spock Speak.
- Stylistic Suck: Everything about the film, from the script to the acting, was done in the style of low budget 50s genre films. Even minor gaffes, flubbed lines, and inconsistencies were deliberately added, to the point that it's impossible to tell if a mistake was done on purpose or not.
- Sue Donym: Nearly half the cast takes on a pseudonym at one point. Dr. Roger Fleming becomes Rudolph Jaber (even though he doesn't need to), Animala becomes Pammy Jaber (even though she's just been named "Animala" simultaneously, and it would have been easier just to name her "Pammy"), Kro-Bar becomes Bammin Taylor, and Lattis becomes Turgaso Taylor.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial:
Kro-Bar: I'm sorry, my wife sometimes forgets that she is not a space alien.
- Tempting Fate: Ranger Brad, who gets killed moments after warning everyone about the horribly mutilated farmer that had been found earlier.
Ranger Brad: Say, I must be crazy walking around in these woods at night with a horrible mutilation practically around the corner. Oh well.
- Very False Advertising: The trailer.
Years in the making — on the world's most spectacular locations! A cast of thousands! A cost of millions!
- Well, the locations part wasn't totally off. Bronson Canyon is a pretty well-known place...to movie buffs. Hell, most of the film's budget went to getting the rights to film there.
- Weirdness Censor: During the Armstrongs' first interactions with the aliens and Animala, Paul refers to their guests as "odd ducks," after witnessing actions that would have most people calling for the police within seconds.
The Lost Skeleton Returns Again
- Confusing Multiple Negatives
- Deliberately Monochrome: The first part of the movie, as if only a black and white print could be found.
- Dem Bones: The Skeleton is now only a skull, much to his annoyance. He can levitate however.
- Department of Redundancy Department: The title.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Armstrong after becoming disillusioned with Science.
- Economy Cast: The Cantaloupe Tribe, all three of them. When you can see them at all (they're very good at hiding).
- Everything's Better With Trilobites
- Evil Chancellor: Averted, although the character of Bentivegitantus was made to be a tongue-in-cheek reference to this trope.
- Evil Twin: Inverted in Peter Fleming's case. He's good, and hoping to clear the name of his villainous brother Roger, but the Skeleton is controlling him too.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin
Bartender: Si, I know a gringo. We call him...the Man in the Corner. (indicates man sitting in the corner of the bar)
- Flying Saucer: Kro-Bar and Lattis upgrade from their previous rocketship.
- Green Rocks: This time it's Jerranium 90.
- Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist: Kro-Bar's attempt at 'normal' human dress in the jungle. Which, being that it's Kro-Bar, this is the most normal part of his disguise.
- Hollywood Tone-Deaf: "Fleeeeeming, Fleeeeeming..." According to the commentary, the only direction Blamire gave for the "song" was "Don't do what anyone else is doing."
- Hypocritical Humor: Armstrong is now disillusioned with Science after a colleague took credit for the discovery of a new metal and named it after himself (Armstrong had planned to name it after himself!)
- Identical Brother: As well as Peter Fleming, they also encounter Ranger Brad's twin brother, Jungle Brad.
Paul: Wait, you're twins, and you're both named Brad?
Jungle Brad: We have different last names.
- It's the Journey That Counts: Subverted, since it turns out that Animala had the Jerranium 90 all along.
- Jaws First Person Perspective: We get to see a monster sneak up and attack Jungle Brad, the same way the mutant snuck up on Ranger Brad. He even shrieks the exact same way. In a massive subversion, Jungle Brad is not only perfectly unharmed, but he was able to correctly identify the creature and warn people NOT to act like he did, or they'll get killed.
- Jungle Japes
- MacGuffin: The Dalp of Anacrab.
- Ms. Fanservice: Animala returns. Rowr. Again.
- Negated Moment of Awesome: The Skeleton charges towards the Cantaloupe Monster declaring this will be "THE BATTLE OF THE CENTURY!" only to be instantly crushed. Likewise Chinfa's dance is built up as something flamboyant, but it consists of tiny hip twitches.
- Nice Hat: The Cantaloupe People. Guess what they wear on their heads.
- Overly Long Gag:
- The "show me your card slowwwwwly" scene.
- Lattis and Kro-bar mourning. Eventually the cast joins them.
- Chinfa's failure to understand double negatives.
- Bentivegitantus' speech.
Bentivegitantus: But my Queen, was it not foretold in the Time of the Coming of the Other Ones, when the… The thing with the… That other thing came to pass… When it was… Lo, heed the warnings, that the Outsiders, lest they… When they come to… And it is! Lo! Seize them! That they… I swear, when the moon has… Infidels! For was it not the great… Are you heedless of the power of the… Behold! It is the… A wrath upon you all, that the… Mighty is the… For it is… Know this! By the time the… For it is written that… Dare you violate… The forbidden… Parts!? I have spoken.
Chinfa: Your words are well chosen, Bentivegitantus.
- People in Rubber Suits: Two this time. The gralmanopidon and the dreaded Magraclop.
- The Pollyanna: Betty
- Retraux: Meant to look like a studio B-Movie of The Sixties, as opposed to the independent cheapy-look of Cadavra.
- Redemption Equals Death: Peter Fleming, now free of the skull's influence, saves Lattis from a Man-Eating Plant but is fatally injured.
- That Makes Me Feel Angry: Paul Armstrong is very bitter in this movie. You know this, because he helpfully informs you that he's filled with bitterness every time he opens his mouth.
- Took a Level in Badass: Animala first seems to be her usual ditzy self, but then it's revealed to be an act when she abandons the Skeleton after it keeps insulting her, cheerfully saying "Bye bye!" Unsurprisingly, the commentary notes that the audience at the premiere cheered wildly.
- Weirdness Censor: Still in place for the Armstrongs, who recognize Animala, but as "Pammy," and think Peter Fleming is "Rudolf Yaber," not the evil Dr. Roger Fleming who used that as his Sue Donym.
- You Look Familiar: All the actors from the first movie turn up again.