There are–in my mind–three kinds of film parodies. The first are soulless cash grabs. Stuff like most of the Scary Movie franchise, Date Movie, Vampires Suck… really, anything by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. The second are shameless knock-offs. Stretching the definition a bit, but these include Doctor Mordrid, Atlantic Rim, and most of the movies made by The Asylum that aren’t Syfy original movies. And the last are made by people who actually enjoyed the source material: Galaxy Quest, Young Frankenstein, and The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, a movie Movie Night adores.
The Lost Skeleton is a parody of sci-fi B-movies of the 1950’s, down to being black and white. Very niche, I know, but it makes up for it by being hilarious. We follow Dr. Paul Armstrong (played by writer/director Mr. Larry Blamire), a scientist (“meteographer”) who is here to do some science for the benefit of science. He and his wife are looking for atmospherium, the unobtanium of the movie. But a pair of aliens–from space!–are also looking for atmospherium, as well as an evil scientist and his… “pet,” I guess, named Animala, who is actually four woodland animals shapeshifted into a person. When the Skeleton rises, all hell breaks loose. Or, at least as much hell as you can break on a $40,000 budget.
I love this movie, and was so glad that I found it. The first time I heard about was a clip used in, if I remember correctly, a Lindsay Ellis video. Regardless of whoever referenced The Lost Skeleton, it was just a simple clip: the sinister scientist saying to Ranger Brad, “I’m a scientist; I don’t believe in anything!” And I had to know more. Some googling revealed the source, and I vividly remember Movie Night laughing so much while watching it. I highly recommend watching it.
And if you’re a huge nerd like me, there’s more! Larry Blamire worked with Onyx Path Publishing to make They Came From Beneath the Sea!, a role-playing game that parodies sci-fi B-movies of the 1950’s. Shocking, I know. I missed the Kickstarter so I can’t tell you how the game actually plays, but it should be available to the public in a month or so. If you watch The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra and crave more, maybe check out the tangentially related RPG!
Oh, and also check out the sequel that I’ll be talking about tomorrow.
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