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July 6, 2004

{     The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra     }    

My love for badfilm runs strong and true, so when I heard about director Larry Blamire's attempt to ressurect every bad sci-fi and horror film cliche and roll them all into one huge trainwreck of a film, I got a little excited. I have an appreciation for 50's and 60's schlock that borders on fetishistic. It stopped being a "dig me digging how bad this is" thing a long time ago and I now tend to focus more on the details- character archetypes, dialogue and the plot threads these films promote. After a lengthy wait from the film's debut on the convention circuit a couple of years ago to it's eventual DVD distribution by Sony last month, I can now enjoy The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra from the comfort and privacy of my own home. And it was worth the wait, this film does not disappoint. Let me clarify that statement though: This is no highbrow post-modern take on the genre. There is no commentary on the irony of directorial intent versus cheesy pop-culture appreciation. It does not transcend the genre of badfilm, it merely does an excellent job of typifying it. It seems a lot of folks were hoping that this film would reach beyond its subject matter to make some overarching point about concept vs. execution, or the exploitative nature of mass-marketed low-budget film, but at the end of the day this is just another really good really awful movie. Perhaps Blamire knew the folly of trying to outdo Tim Burton's masterful look at the career of Ed Wood Jr., preferring instead to make a film that flattered through imitation as opposed to the tribute-in-film that is Ed Wood. Given that the original pitch for the film included marketing it as a recently unearthed original piece of schlock, I think it's safe to give Blamire the benefit of the doubt, and to enjoy the film for what it is instead of pining for something that it is not. The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra is a ridiculous amount of fun, and since it so carefully brings to the screen the classic badfilm archetypes, you can read your own analysis into it and contextualize it however you want. Or you can just point out the intentionally overlooked special effects flaws and the on-purpose bad acting, and have just as great a time. Of particular interest to me were some of the DVD extras- the film's trailer is edited to resemble the era it imitates, and is a minor work of art in and of itself. My favorite extra comes in the form of "Skelectibles"- a peek at a whole bevvy of hypothetical products inspired by the film, from model kits to glassware and trading cards. You can check most of this out on the official movie site, which may be a bit wonky since Sony took over and ceased updating it.

     » Grab it for under 20 bones, with no shipping!
     » Peep the trailer and other goodies at the official movie site!

Comments

ah, so it was good... can't wait to see it and i'm pleased you enjoyed it...

Posted by: stace at July 7, 2004 1:02 AM

"rauwer!"

Posted by: paul at August 5, 2004 7:20 AM

Damn, i came here to make the "Rauwer" comment, but someone already beat me to it... I guess I'm just not as witty and original as I had thought, because I had thought that I was witty, and even rather original, however it appears that my wits and originality are now lacking. Witty. Original. Witty. Original. I know nothing of these things.

Posted by: Shane Bryant at August 5, 2004 6:16 PM
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