The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra (2001) Poster

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bmcdannell19 January 2005
It was my turn to pick up a couple of rental movies last night, and when I saw the cover art, complete with the "Filmed in Skeletorama!" proclamation, I just couldn't resist. Upon my return, the wife sez, "What did you get?" "The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra" sez I. She looked askance at me. She continued to look askance until about five minutes into the movie, by which time she had resorted to laughing herself to tears. As a quick summary of our take on the movie, the wife, who has never been a cheesy 50s scifi movie fan nor an MST2 or 3K fan, wants to buy a copy for our very own.

I've read most of the comments, and those few who didn't much care for this offering really seem to miss the point. The first thing we wondered was how difficult it must have been for competent, perhaps extremely talented actors to revert to consistently and truly bad acting. Our second thought was that however difficult it was, they must have had a heckuva blast doing it. Some reviewers complained of dull passages and of sections of dialogue that went on too long or were over done. Of course! But if ya didn't get, well, I guess ya just didn't get it.

The faithfulness to the 50s look and feel was wonderfully done, with the only exception - in my opinion - being the skeleton's smart-assishness. Evil creatures in the referenced genre were unfailingly pompous, but they weren't smart-assed. A couple of high points for me that I didn't see anyone mention: the stock nature footage of the squirrels, with the same footage run twice back to back of course; the mutator/caulking gun and the chest-high shots of the skeleton leading Animala and the mad scientist through the canyon all had us in stitches. Special thanks to those responsible for choosing to shoot in Bronson Canyon, which really should be declared the nation's first cheesy historic landmark.

Guess I'd better go now - I'm a bit thirsty (tip tip tip tip tip) and need to tend to my Amish terrarium.

P.S. If you get the DVD, please take the time to view the special features - and also go to the website to check out the memorabilia - it's wonderful!
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This One Took Me Back
LomzaLady21 September 2005
I really liked this movie, and I think those of us old enough to remember the awful sci-fi films shown on TV on the weekends (in the afternoons and, especially, late at night, when the TV stations figured no one sane or sober was watching) can really appreciate the satire. Dialog isn't the only thing that is parodied, although the purposely stilted, strained dialog here is very funny. I also enjoy the clunky editing - the long close-ups, the awkward reaction shots - as well as the claustrophobic scenery and the props that look like whatever happened to be in someone's garage at the time. The people who made this film have apparently seen and studied many of these old sci-fi/horror films, and have made an affectionate and accurate send-up of the genre. Lack of subtlety was a hallmark of such films, and the makers here get it just right.
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Oh yeah, he's a scientist…
conkeestador21 July 2004
`Betty, you know what this meteor could mean to science. It could mean actual advances in the field of science'. I laughed so hard my teeth hurt. Unfortunately, the world is full of knuckle dragging mouth breathers who are not capable of appreciating fine parody. If you are a knuckle dragging mouth breather (or a big Ashton Kutcher fan) you are going to hate this movie.

Be warned, there are gigantic plot holes. The acting is wooden to say the least. The special effects are not at all special and look like they could have been done by a 10 year old. All of the clichés are covered. The woman runs around in high heels and faints at the first sign of danger. There is an evil scientist, aliens (from another planet), a mutant, and a skeleton. And let's not forget Animala (rowrr). Made up of four woodland creatures, she steals the show. In short, it is an incredibly accurate and funny send-up of 50's drive-in movies.

I recommend it to those with a more advanced sense of humor.
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Hugely entertaining film for low-budget classic sci-fi and humor fans
apkat2 August 2004
10/10 rating

Lost Skeleton of Cadavra is a remarkable little film that recreates the look and feel of old low-budget black and white sci fi films, but it has a refreshing spirit all its own that is smart and silly at the same time. You've never seen a film like this before. It's the best new film I've seen in years.

Lost Skeleton is fun in its own right because it takes the archetypes of sci fi and its cliché's and mixes them together to make something that is more entertaining than straight parody.

Those who look at Lost Skeleton as only parody or a recreation of old movies are missing Blamire's unique accomplishment. It's a mixture of late 50's pompousness and innocence with modern perspective and grace.

Done in good taste that reflects the boy-scout best of the 50's genre, the movie is unlike anything else that Hollywood or indies are putting out. It's refreshing, inviting, friendly, goofy, and true to a singular vision.

I've seen it now with four different small audiences, and for the most part everyone has enjoyed it immensely. You need to view this film with a group to get the most out of it--it's easily the most quotable movie I've ever seen. Blamire's sense of those delightfully absurd pitfalls many sci-fi writers have fallen into time and again is uncanny. Halfway between Shakespeare and Ed Wood, almost every line of dialogue is a wooden comic gem laced with a sense of sweetness rather than mean-spiritedness. It's hard to tell where the parody ends and the celebration of these loftily ambitious lines begins.

This makes the film a joy to watch again and again. Blamire is hitting something deeper than a stiff sci-fi parody, and his touch makes this a much greater film than on the surface it has any right to be.

I predict that Lost Skeleton will go the way of Young Frankenstein and establish itself as a comedy classic over the next couple of decades. It's just that good. Perhaps indescribably good, but I did my best.
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Brilliant and terrible at the same time
Dr_Herbert_West8 January 2006
That's what it was supposed to be and that's what it succeeds at. As a die hard fan of B- movies from the 50s, I felt like I could have made this movie, but I wouldn't have done as good a job. With a microbudget and a script written in five days, the filmmakers had all the right ingredients for a delightful send up.

The cheesy dialogue and deliberately awkward moments are true gems and it is obvious that this is a real labor of love, a collaborative effort between a group of friends who just wanted to make something fun.

No pretensions, no car chases, no show-offy special effects, no Hollywood celebrities chewing the scenery and trying to make themselves look sexy all the time. This film is an example of the kind of movies made by fans for the fans, with no kowtowing to political correctness, celebrity egos, or the lowest common denominator.

If you love Ed Wood, Robot Monster and Catwomen on the Moon, this film will split your sides with laughter. If not, I implore you to cast aside Lindsey Lohan and Ashton Kutcher for an afternoon and try something new.
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Charles Herold (cherold)22 December 2004
Dead-on spoof of bad b movies is just done so perfectly. Close ups are too close, edits are too slow, minor points are hammered home. It's as though the director has seen every bad movie every made and crammed them all into this one movie. He doesn't go for cheap laughs like technical screwups, it's actually the equivalent of a relatively well made grade z horror movie. It plays it all straight, although the movie will occasionally go ahead and throw in a laugh that's a little too smart for this type of movie.

This movie isn't any funnier than a true bad movie like Plan 9 from Outer Space, but it is more consistently funny. Real bad movies generally have some scenes so badly done that they are hysterical but also scenes that are just mediocre and tedious, but Skeleton keeps that so-awful-it's-wonderful feel throughout.

The director has proved he can create a very smart bad movie. I'll be curious to see what happens when he tries to create a good movie. 7/10
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Not for everyone, but I loved it.
runemesa4 July 2004
I knew this was going to be very much an homage/parody-type of movie, but I still expected to be disappointed, overall; however, I was not. I was amazed at how authentic the cast and crew was about this film.

I presume most people won't like this movie because most people would not know how to appreciate it.

The dialogue in the movie is very well-done, as well as overdone, but that was just fine with me, because I understand the homagesness (I know that's not a real word, but I don't know how to say "dedication to honouring the silliness of old b-movie cheesiness").

I must admit that another portion of this film that totally captivated me was Jennifer Blaire (Animala), but I know I'd still adore the movie, even if she was not part of it.

I've only seen one other movie in my life that seemed to have the same kind of dedication to the "legend" or "spirit" of old, no-budget sci-fi movies, which is "Invasion", but that movie was not as dedicated. "The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra" had the B&W applied to it, and there was no cussing or violence either. Even though I'm a horror movie fan and violence really never bugs me, I didn't miss it while watching this movie, because this movie was so darn dedicated (how many times have I used that word so far?). These kind of movies are either hit-or-miss; I've seen a few movies in the 90's that tried to do the same thing, and they were ultra-terrible. You just need to have the right-minded folks at the keyboard and behind and in front of the camera, and "Lost Skeleton" has it.
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"I Sleep Now"
crazystan31 October 2004
Lost Skeleton of Cadavra manages to make fun of and pay homage to those classic 50-60's horror movies. All the characters are great and each have there own line that will last a life time. I know there are a few lines I will use all the time. "I am a scientist, I don't believe in anything". My favorite character was the aliens, so over exaggerated and just great. I don't want to give too much away since this movie is just a classic. The Skeleton is great too since its such a smart ass. Animala and ranger Brad are funny too. All the characters are just so well done, getting the painfully dull expressions and almost nervous laughter. The movie is mostly genius. It acceded my expectations and more. Just go see it, you wont regret it.

I sleep now
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say hello to your new master...the skeleton!
knifeintheeye25 March 2006
Odd flick. Quite obviously a spoof of all bad 1950's creature and space movies, so watching it can be arduous at times. However, it's always a fun ride. There are at least two or three very, very funny parts.

This is a very low budget, funny movie, because of the send up of dialogue, rather then jokes and one liners as an example..."I don't know Betty, I guess from now on I should stick to science and leave battling alien mutants to experts." or "My wife sometimes forgets she's not a space alien". The costumes and sets are reminiscent of the low budget movies as well. The costume design on the three headed mutant was mind blowing. I needed to watch the credits just to find out that a MAN was in the mutant suit...the design was that convincing! ONe last quote to leave with..."Well, if I wanted a safe life, I guess I wouldn't have married a man who studies rocks and you know the way I figure, if it's a way to stop my new alien best friend from becoming a widow and married to a skeleton then, count me in Mister Scientist." Fold yourself in the middle and enjoy this movie, just know what you're about to get into before you start watching it.
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a fun send-up of old SF films
Timothy Damon16 April 2002
I just saw this film last weekend at the 19th Annual 24 hour Ohio Science Fiction Marathon in Columbus - it was a lot of fun! A very amusing camp send-up of old SF films. I particularly liked Jennifer Blaire as "Animale",who was transmogrified into a sensual woman clad in black from 4 woodland animals - and quite the dancer to boot!
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onethumb-15 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This send up of old 50's sci-fi movies hit the bullseye.

I haven't laughed this hard in a long time.

The writer/director and cast nailed their portrayals.

The dialog was a hoot.

This is destined to be a new cult classic. If you're a fan of old B movies, then this is for you. The framing of shots, the locations, and even the fact that you can see the pants legs and boots of the mutant as well as the wires in some shots of the skeleton make this a great film for the whole family. Shot in black and white in 10 days with a script that took 5 days to write makes it true to that old tradition in more ways than one. In the extras is a cast Q&A session during one screening. The audio is poor and some comments are hard to follow but the worst are subtitled. In any case, it gives you insight into the motivations behind making the movie. A film by fans for fans.
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Unbelievably funny
brutalbeaver21 June 2005
It seems the film was made to make Ed Wood's work look talented and thoughtful by comparison. It worked! This film does such a good job of spoofing old fashioned inept sci-fi craptaculars that it's almost as funny as watching the real thing. It's a nice change of pace to see the occasional film that doesn't take itself too seriously, and I doubt this film would take itself anywhere. Remarkably hokey and irreverent. I can't imagine anyone actually referring to "science so often in one script, but it works. The special (as in short-bus special) effects were great. I swear if I hadn't known better I almost would have mistaken it for a B-movie thriller from the 1960s.
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An extremely creative and wonderfully funny movie...
ksm517461 August 2009
Return to the black and white, sci-fi monster, "B" movies of the 1950's and 1960's in a way that will keep you laughing at the things that gave you the willies when you were a kid. Remember "Robot Monster", "Earth vs. the Flying Saucers", "First Man Into Space", "Zombies of Mora Tau", "The Day the Earth Stood Still", "Terror from the Year 5000", "Teenagers from Space", "Donovan's Brain", "Night of the Living Dead", etc.? A little bit of all of them are in this movie. Perhaps not directly, but their influence is there just the same. This is an extremely creative and wonderfully funny movie. Amazingly, it was written in only five days, and was filmed in just ten and a half days, on a budget of less than $100,000. (According to the star and director.) The cast were all friends and included some, who had no serious prior acting experience. I would not call this a hammed-up, campy, spoof. The movie stays very true to the style of the sci-fi monster, "B" movies of the past that it mimics, and does so in a way that also brings out the humor that was always there.
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Too many catchphrases to memorize in one viewing...
Marc Sparks29 April 2004
...that was my first thought upon exiting the theatre. My friend then turned to me and said "We'll have to get the DVD so we can memorize the lines." Really, I'd love to read the script...the awfulness of the dialog is so dense, it's pure genius.

This would seem to be a limited audience film on the surface. It's not really for people who love bad movies- those fans are laughing AT the movie. Lost Skeleton wants you to laugh WITH it. On the other hand, you have to have a certain familiarity with schlock cinema to appreciate it. I guess MST3K fans would be the closest thing to an ideal audience...but it's still not the same experience. The script is so carefully crafted to be horrible, it's impossible to make fun of MST3K/Rocky Horror style. The acting is also excellent. The easy way out is to "pretend" to be a bad actor. This crew comes off as a group of good actors making the best of a dreadful script. I know I sure couldn't memorize and/or deliver lines this complicated.

The sight gags don't work as well as the script, though. We've all seen too many jokes about bad special effects to get more than a chuckle out of a monster in a bad costume, or a model rocket "landing" (actually taking off in reverse.) This means the movie begins to falter in the second half as the 'action' starts to kick in.

Still, this is light years above Lobster Man From Mars, which tried the same thing, but missed the mark entirely.

So if you're the type who's actually seen Manos in it's non-MST3K form, you may be disappointed. Likewise, if you don't know what Manos IS, you may not get the joke either. But if you appreciate well crafted, ironically written garbage ('Pure Drivel' as Steve Martin would call it), this might be the funniest 45 minutes you see all year- just don't say you weren't warned when it loses steam in the last 45 minutes. And bring a notepad to jot down those catchphrases. (Unless you're a scientist and you don't believe in catchphrases. Or notepads.)

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Wow. Really.
SoberLoki15 March 2004
This movie is so deliberately bad, I spent the whole thing in stitches. It's an excellent movie to see with a fellow critical-viewer (that's what I did), so you can pick it apart and create your own dialogue for the more insane scenes.

The skeleton is the smartest character in the whole film, followed closely by Animala, and then the aliens. The humansÉ never mind.

I saw this film based on a review I saw here earlier, and I don't regret it for a second. BTW, Animala absolutely deserves her own movie, if they can find the muskrats.

I've just come back from the theater, and I'm impressed. This is quite possibly the worst movie ever distributed, as long as you don't count those student films we've all seen on the artsy channels late at night. Treat yourself, see it with a friend!
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A SKELETON out of the closet!
ottermole9 May 2003
I just had the good fortune to screen THE LOST SKELETON OF CADAVRA and I was pleasantly surprised! Everything about this production is fun and nostalgic. The video-maker's love for 1950's "B" Sci-Fi movies shines through in this highly entertaining homage/parody.

I understand that this production, originally shot on digital video tape with a Canon XL-1 camera, is getting a small theatrical release this September (2003). Way to go, skeletons! My hat's off to Michael Schlesinger for discovering this diamond-in-the-rough and for convincing Columbia to take a chance.

I encourage all fans of the genre to keep your eyes peeled for this production, coming out of the closet to reveal itself in a theatre or DVD player near you!

Break a ray-gun!
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fun drinking game
artisharder25 July 2006
this movie is incredible.. i like old b-movies but this is an instant classic. i honestly thought it was a real movie from the 50's... for about 8 minutes. they did such an incredible job working with all the sets and costumes. the only dead giveaway is the fact that the camera is obivously a newer model because the footage is so clean. i also came up with a fun drinking game thatll get you all nice before half the movie is over; drink whenever anyone says science, mutilate, alien and skeleton. the skeleton is such a wise ass haha. watch the special features for some extra laughs this is a must see and i hope that they decide to make more of these in the future.
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A hilarious genre spoof!
AngryChair19 July 2006
You don't have to be brilliant to know that it's much easier to make a bad movie than a good one, you also don't have to be a genius to see that sometimes bad movies are just more entertaining.

Scientist and his wife are having a strange weekend, what with aliens dropping in for dinner along with a half-animal woman, an evil scientist, a rubber mutant from space, and a very crabby skeleton.

The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra is a sharp-witted send up of all those wonderfully cheesy horror/sci-fi flicks of the '50's. This spoof has all the elements - lame FX, a silly plot, corny dialog, wooden acting, heck it's even shot in black and white. What really makes this movie great though is just how much unexpected humor erupts from all of this. The actions of the 'aliens' attempting to act human, the laughably awful voice-over for the 'lost' skeleton, and of course Animala's antics. Yet at the same time the movie never goes over board with its jokes.

A great spoof all the way, with plenty of finely tuned comedy (and more catch phrases than you can imagine) The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra is a heart-felt tribute to the films that are so bad...they're good.

*** 1/2 out of ****
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I couldn't breathe at one point!
dwd5030 August 2004
Look, this is not so much a spoof of B-movies as it is a B-Movie in its own right. There's hideous dialogue, bad audio, awful sets, wooden acting, and it's frickin' hilarious!

It's nice to see a film that really doesn't take itself seriously. The problem with that, however, is that you have to watch it with that same mentality, or you don't get the joke.

Oh, and make sure you see the cartoon featurette, "Skeleton Frolic." It does an incredible job of capturing that late-50's Leon Schlesinger-feel and the music is spot-on.

"Crowbar covered with lettuce" - Sheesh!
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Cheese For Cheese's Sake
EmperorNortonII6 March 2004
"The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra" is a parody of cheesy science fiction B-movies of the '50s, such as "Plan 9 From Outer Space" and "The Day the Earth Stood Still." The story is a crazy mishmash of scientists, aliens, a mutant, a human created from animals, and an evil skeleton. Don't expect a sophisticated story here! This movie was made poorly, but on purpose. It's a bad movie for the sake of being bad! But it's still so bad it's good! The acting isn't up to par either, nor was it meant to be. The makers of this movie know how silly it all is, and embraces the silliness. So if you can appreciate a movie that doesn't take itself too seriously, "The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra" is one to watch!
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One of the best truly indie flicks I have seen in a long time!
scarletminded14 March 2004
In a world of indie films that have gone as about high budget as regular films, Lost Skeleton is a breath of fresh air! Hats off to Larry Blamire for writing a witty script that spoofs 1950's B-movies and also has some great ideas of its own. The dinner scene where the aliens start mimicking the other people at the table because they don't know how to eat like humans is so funny, that alone is worth the admission. It is a parody but also stands alone as a fun movie. It has been a long time since I have truly seen a witty and funny film. Many films nowadays are so obvious with comedic lines, that almost scream, "Watch out! This is going to be sooooooo funny and crazy!"

And it usually isn't!

When you find yourself with a low budget, you have to rely on plot and good dialog. This film is amazing in both. With plotlines as diverse as alien vs. humans, humans vs. humans, aliens and human vs. human, skeleton and human vs. aliens, aliens vs. skeleton, animal woman and human vs. scientist, mutant vs. everyone etc...Lost Skeleton delivers...there is almost too much going on!

I don't want to spoil it, but when the Lost Skeleton starts a monologue and then all of a sudden says, "I sleep now!" and then says nothing, I almost rolled on the floor. I don't want to give away much more, because the aliens lines are so funny and you can tell the actors are really good actors acting badly (as opposed to just bad actors.)

Oh, just go see it if you can! Do it in the name of SCIENCE!

"I am a scientist...I don't believe in anything!"
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alexduffy200011 February 2004
"Skeleton" is a hilarious send-up of cheap 50's and 60's sci-fi, with frequent witty lines. One I remember is "you'll find a lot of Earth sharing works like this." Blamire seems a little too obsessed with showing the wires that move the skeleton around, he over-emphasizes the low-budget nature of the film. The script is charming and quite funny on it's own, there's never really a dull moment. I sure hope to see a sequel! My suggestion: Dr. Armstrong and Betty visit Kro-Bar and Lattis on their home planet. Title: "Voyage to Marva"! Hey, I haven't had this much fun at the movies in months!

In terms of comedy, it doesn't rank up there with classics such as "Groundhog Day" and "Office Space." But it is very funny, I don't know if Blamire realized how funny his script was while making the film, so he relied more on showing how cheap everything is. Last but not least, I think Animala deserves her own movie - woof!
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Standing Ovation!!!! Great Movie!!!!
wingnut7710 March 2005
This movie rocks! It was completely flawless! Thank God for this fun, funny, unpretentious wonderful little movie!!!!! I saw it 3 times in the theater (once by myself and twice when I had to take all my friends), and then bought it the day it was released on DVD! I can honestly say it's just about the most fun I've had at the movies in ages! The story is solid, the plot is great, the dialog is funny, and well delivered, and the acting is perfect! Oh yeah, and the special effects are GREAT! I can't say enough good things about this movie! See it! See it! Write the producers and DEMAND a sequel!!! Good for you all who made this, and good for us all who got to watch it! Thanks you guys!
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Don't inflict this one on yourself!
mkilby4723 March 2007
This film is supposed to spoof B-movies from the 50's, but it goes far beyond that. The filmmaker's stated intention was to make the movie as flat and as dull as the movies of which it is supposed to be a parody. The result is truly awful: painfully boring and simply tedious to sit through. Watching 'Cadavra' on DVD provides the minor benefit of being able to listen to the commentary about how they filmed things, and other mildly interesting details about locations and antecedents, but without the commentary, it is a pure waste of time. That's all anybody really needs to say about it. I can't imagine why anyone would think that it is worthwhile to make a monument to 'trash', simply by constructing an even bigger pile. It would have been a cute joke as a 10 to 15 minute short subject, but dragging it on for over an hour just makes it painful (something like this commentary: I could have stated my point in about 75 words, but the IMDb places a lower limit of 200 words for film comments.) This movie was a waste of material from the start, it's a shame to have to waste any additional time to warn people about it.
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Owie, ouch, ow, awful
carpevis31 October 2005
This film is the cinematographic equivalent to a 20 car freeway pile-up. I'd rather sit through reruns of Mars Attacks!! While it was obviously supposed to be an homage to the old 50's B-movie sci-fi flicks ala Ed Woods (Stilted dialog, plastic acting, really, really bad costuming), It failed on almost every point. The different is that in the old B-movies, the actors were bad unintentionally. In this case, the acting was obviously bad ON PURPOSE.

The story-line was promising (for a B-movie) and the awful special effects were right down there with the worst of them in keeping with a decent homage to the worst of the worst, but the forced bad acting really undermined the whole movie. It would have been much better if the actors played it straight instead of playing it up.

It could have been done much better to make it a proper tribute to the genre. And because of that, it was really, really bad. Any movie that has the line "We gave up messes eons ago" should be avoided at all costs. Watch it if you feel the need to atone for any specific cinematic sins, but for generalized masochistic viewing , I recommend Mars Attacks!! At least that's in color.
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