The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra
2004
In this '50s sci-fi spoof, a meteor shower rains down a unique ore and a scientist discovers that a couple of stranded aliens need the mineral as fuel for their spaceship. But an evil scientist wants the ore for his own nefarious scheme.

Scott Hardie: “It ruled.”

Many major reviewers held it against the film that it was artificial camp, not the genuine article. Roger Ebert wrote that it "has been made by people who are trying to be bad, which by definition reveals that they are playing beneath their ability." I disagree. By all accounts, these seasoned actors had to work very hard to be this bad; nobody was slacking on the job with this film. This isn't a mockery of D-grade horror classics (though it makes plenty of jokes at their expense), it's obviously a loving recreation. There are two ways to judge the success of such an endeavor, whether it succeeds at its primary goal and whether it is still entertaining in the process, and in both regards I give it high marks.

Writer-director-star Larry Blamire is writing a love letter to the genre, and his lifelong viewing of awful flicks gives him an impressive vocabulary of clich├ęs and references and sight gags. Until its final act, the film also avoids the deadliest pitfall of the real thing, the listless tedium that makes watching it an ordeal. It simply doesn't let up with the gags, having one of the highest joke-per-minute rates outside of a David Zucker production, and that approach soon turns even its minor witticisms into hilarious zingers. Not everybody is wired to enjoy this kind of straight-faced goofiness, but I had to pause the movie to breathe I was laughing so hard. This is a strong recommendation for anyone in need of a solid farce.

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