Posts Tagged ‘black and white’

The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra

November 14, 2008


What Is It?

“The movie makers say that they set out to make a parody of bad 1950’s B Sci Fi Movies. They go to say that way they have in fact made WAS a bad 1950’s B Sci Fi Movie. Made in 2001 this black and white film takes place in Cadavera Vallie in the 1950. A scientist and his wife have come to find Atmospherium! He only hopes his discovery of the rarest of materials will make advances in the field of Science, unlike the evil Dr. Roger Fleming. Dr Fleming has come to revive the Lost Skeleton of Cadavra and with him… Rule The World. The only glitch, the Skeleton needs Atmospherium to return to full power. Meanwhile, aliens Kro-Bar and Lattis have crash landed in the same Vallie. There violent mutant has escaped in the crash, and they can not repare there ship with out (you guessed it) Atmospherium!

How Was It?

It was just very funny. This is the kind of stupid movie with clever wit behind it. The actors brilliantly play bad actors. The sets and costumes are right out of a 1950’s craft store. The lines and situations just keep getting zanier. When in disguise, Kro-Bar is asked if he is really an Alien from outer space, commenting on the impossibility of such a suggestion he quickly retorts “Aliens? Us? Is this one of your Earth jokes?”

The skeleton is a lab prop that moves with visible strings and walks so close to other actors you would think he was tied to them, or being held up by them. Nothing is realistic, but everything is slyly funny. This movie constantly winks at the audience and lets them in on the joke the characters will never discover.

Is It Good For Kids?

There is a lot of discussion of “Horrible Mutilation” and monsters and skeletons. “Well again I didn’t mean to throw a damper. Believe me that’s the last thing I’d like to throw. I don’t want to throw anything at all really. But when folks are horribly mutilated, I feel it’s my job to tell others. We take our horrible mutilations seriously up in these parts.”  It is all very silly and the creatures themselves are purposely and obviously
fake. Still younger children will not “Get the Joke” and my be scared by the worried characters and people doing the patented 50’s shill scream as the camera shot movies menacingly toward them. did not bother reviewing this one, but the MPAA rating comes from the single two word euphemism for a donkey. Feeling that part of the Camp Charm of these films were there “Boy Scout” nature, they avoided anything racy. Though (Spoiler) when trying to lure the Mutant into a trap, the scientist’s wife does do some suto-sexy poses….

What About Spiritual Issues?

If this movie was at all serious, it would be crawling with spiritual issues. but since it removes us an extra degree by presenting all of the supernatural and alien activity as preposterously silly, it’s just all a big joke with no basses in reality. We are supposed to think “This would never happen” and “Even if these things were real it could never happen.” So as long as you are getting the joke, the movie is very benign spirituality. Though there is something satisfying about the line “Ranger Brad, I’m a scientist, I don’t believe in anything.” Though the good scientist does utter “May God have mercy on us all.” So maybe there is more spirtual going on that I give it credit for… maybe not..

What Is Your Recommendation?

If you have ever seen a 1950’s B Sci Fi Movie – or – You have already memorised all the lines from
Napoleon Dynamite … Then you should get some friends together, get the junk food, and Find the Lost Skeleton! How can you beat Betty rationalizing using herself as human bate for a monster with the line “Well, I suppose if I had wanted a safe life, I wouldn’t have married a man who studies rocks.”

Check out the trailor and other fun things at

It’s one of the few trailors that is right on the money.

Now we can all wait for The Lost Skeleton Returns Again

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (DVD)

October 24, 2008

What Is It?

This is the monster movie classic from 1941. It has a cast of big stars that your kids (and maybe you) will not recognize. The “Father of the Bride” Spencer Tracy plays the good doctor and the monster that haunts Ingrid Bergman & Lana Turner. It was directed by Victor Flemming after his 1939 hits “The Wizard of Oz” and “Gone With The Wind.” Shot in black and white, this film looks and sounds wonderful on the new “re-release” DVD that also includes the 1930’s version.

How Was It?

This was a good film, but I think I would have been more impressed in 1941. The story was strong and interesting. Unfortunately the pacing of the film is just a bit slow. Mr. Hyde becomes more “monstrous” as the film goes on. Each time he changes, it’s uglier. This is a poetic choice, but at the beginning, it’s hard to understand why Dr. Jekyll’s friends don’t see the amazing resemblance between him and Mr. Hyde.

Is It Good For Kids?

First of all, it is in Black and White. Most kids today have not been exposed to “good” black and white films, so most are turned off by it. Secondly, it is not as fast as most are used to. Finally, the issues are very heady. As “Mr Hyde”, he has weird fantasies that are decidedly adult in there symbolism. Then it is a monster move with murder, ugly creators, and screaming women. does not have a break down for this film.

How about Spiritual Issues?

This is one of the most exciting parts of the film. The film starts in a church and ends with a Psalm being recited. Dr. Jekyll is trying to control the sin nature of the human soul with chemicals instead of God. (This is clearly stated at the beginning of the film.) When the Doctor realizes that he has an evil nature that he can not control, he dedicates all his time to breaking the bond in his soul to separate out his warring factions. The result is the personification of both halves. He names his evil side Hyde (or Flesh) and becomes him to indulge in sin. The sin starts at fantasies and watching “daring” shows, but then escalates to full consummation of evil.  The problem of the soul is truly revealed when the Doctor decides to stop becoming Mr. Hyde, but then finds himself changing without the chemicals. He has not suppressed his evil, he has fed it, and now it is literally a Monster he can not control.

What Is Your Recommendation?

If you are willing to come back in film history, it is an interesting and fun movie. Here we see that trying to live your life separate from God produces monsters, and the monsters may be us.