The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra: a review

Ever seen a cheesy sci-fi movie? Bad special effects, horrendous script, bizarre characters and virtually no discernible plot whatsoever? If you had a laugh, you might just love this film.

Some films are made without the director intending it to be enjoyed purely because it’s just that bad. The Room and Troll 2 are great examples – those involved think it’s a masterpiece. Those watching think it’s the funniest failure they’ve ever had the pleasure of not managing to quite sit through.

However, some films take it upon themselves to be deliberately cheesy. Films made by directors with a sense of humour. Films that will make you chuckle at their sharp satire of Hollywood and its constant overflow of low-quality movies that seep out around the big releases. Films, perhaps, like The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, which has made it to DVD after a ten-year waiting period.

Crash-landing aliens, foreboding log cabins in the middle of nowhere, broken soundtrack incorporation, a troubled scientist unleashing a talking skeleton who could bring about the apocalypse, a mutant on the lose, Animala, the half-animal half-human woman who happens to enjoy a beatnik lifestyle – there isn’t much this film isn’t taking the whizz out of from the get-go.

I suppose that’s one of the main advantages of this film – there’s never any fuss about whether or not this is actually going to be good, because its sole intention is to be as enjoyably bad as possible without actually falling into the dangerous territory of, well, just being bad. There’s something almost adorable about their arts and crafts spaceship, or their romantic allusions to “touching other things, like… the lips”, and the wilful ignorance and almost self-aware nature of the ridiculously clichéd characters.

It’s also been a while since I’ve seen a film in black and white, and it must be said, it really helps you appreciate how much more difficult it is to communicate anything remotely otherworldly. Avatar‘s Pandorans must look the same shade as someone with a deep tan in greyscale, and it’s a credit to writer and director Larry Blamire that everything looks odd enough to still stand out despite the old school approach to modern cinematography.

“Quaint” is definitely a word that springs to mind when watching this film. It’s old, comfortable, and it’s not a film you’d realistically need to watch from the start. Although I recommend giving this your full attention, as the plot is so surreally funny that if you don’t focuss throughout the 90-minute train-wreck of a narrative, you’ll miss out on some genius tangential storytelling.

It’s stupid. It’s weird. It’s completely awful. But please, get ten friends, a lot of pizza, or booze, or whatever brings you to gatherings in terms of consumables leading to social interaction on a grand scale, and stick it on. People go to see The Room in large groups, much akin to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, because it’s something you can enjoy as a mob of film fans. This is another such film, so don’t let it slip through your fingers.

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Rating: 2.0/5 (1 vote cast)
The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra: a review, 2.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating