A good friend sent my son a movie for his birthday a while back, and it has become a cult favorite in our house, which means that it passes this important Good Movie Test; that we have all begun to quote the dialogue liberally in our daily conversation.
The movie is The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, a tasty and twisted spoof of every low-budget Sci-Fi flick you ever wasted a late night on. It calls to mind gems like Plan 9 From Outer Space or Creature From The Black Lagoon.
The key to the entire plot lies in the mysterious element called atmospherium, a substance so rare and powerful that it draws together all the main characters who pursue it for various ends; the advancement of Science®, world domination, survival and greed among them.
A strange meteor has fallen, and Dr. Paul Armstrong, Scientist® (Larry Blamire), accompanied by his hapless wife, Betty (Fay Masterson), are on its trail, hoping to find within it traces of the elusive atmospherium for Science and the betterment of mankind. All Dr. Armstrong seems to talk about is being a scientist®, and all his wife seems to talk about is being a scientist's wife. He is a dashing, rolled-up-sleeves sort of scientist, and she wears the same dress, pearls and heels through the whole movie, even in the woods.
The aliens, Kro-Bar (Andrew Parks) and his wife Lattis (Susan McConnell), crash land on Earth when their rocket ship runs out of its exotic and powerful fuel... atmospherium! Against astronomical odds, they happen to crash very near to the location of the strange meteor! They wear silver lamé space suits, talk in stilted English and are clearly superior to humans in every way... or are they?
Then, we have the power mad Dr. Roger Fleming (Brian Howe), who seeks the atmospherium only as a means of fully awakening and animating the most mind-warping evil terror on Earth - The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra! With the power of the evil skeleton, Fleming can rule the world!
Throw in the sultry and dangerous Animala, whose very existence breaks all the rules of nature (Jennifer Blaire), a hideous, three-eyed mutant alien monster, a forest ranger and a farmer and you have the entire cast.
The action is filmed in California's notorious Bronson Canyon, birthplace of such classics as Attack of the Crab Monsters and Teenagers from Outer Space.
I can't tell you how things play out (and does it really matter?). Suffice to say that, if you are a fan of classic science fiction movies, and if your mind survives the onslaught of horror, it will be well worth your time to watch.