The sequel to 2001’s The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra didn’t appear until 2009. One of the producers describes it as “The same people who made the first movie now have a little more money.”
This second film follows the first as a tribute to the scifi movies of late 1950s and early ’60s, but it adds on a jungle adventure.
The production values have also taken a couple of steps up with the addition of a new production manager, Tony Tremblay. While his props retain a certain goofy period charm, they don’t have the same found-objects look as the props in the first film.
Another noteworthy change is apparent in writer/director Larry Blamire’s wonderfully inane dialog, which has becomes more polished, and his characters’ names. In the original Lost Skeleton film, the “Earth names” the aliens picked out for themselves–Bamen and Turgasso–seemed more than a little weird. In this movie, they would fit right in.
The Lost Skeleton Returns Again begins with stock footage of the Capitol building, so it’s presumably in Washington DC that Federal agent Reet Pappin (Frank Dietz) meets with General Scottmanson and receives his assignment: Import/export king, Handscombe Draile, a man who deals in government secrets, is after a newly discovered element called Jerranium 90; Reet’s job is to locate the only source of Jerranium 90 in South America before Draile does. The discoverer of Jerranium 90, Dr. Jerry Calvern, is sick but the General tells Reet that there is one other scientist “that smart about rocks.”
Before we follow Reet on his mission, we visit the humble suburban home of a TV repairmen named Peter Fleming (Brian Howe), who is going over the personal effects of his late twin brother, evil Dr. Roger Fleming. The thing that most puzzles Peter is the skull–Roger always felt inferior to skeletons and believed they hated him. Why would he keep “the top part of something he felt didn’t care for him one little bit?”
Peter soon receives an answer to this mystery, when the Skull begins to speak to him in that familiar, arrogant and obnoxious voice. Its skeletal body was destroyed at the end of the last movie, which somewhat limits its ability to act for itself, but it still has its mind-control powers and soon has Peter doing its bidding.
The Skull announces that to restore its body, it will need to be exposed to “an idol called the Dalp of Anacrab” in an unexplored region of the Amazon basin named Menalusa (aka, the Valley of the Monsters). The next thing you know, Peter tells his wife that he has to go to South America on TV-repairmen business and packs a suitcase.
Reet Pappin calls at the home of well-known Rock Scientist Dr. Paul Armstrong and is greeted by Paul’s lovely wife Betty (Fay Masterson, wearing the same dress from the previous movie, but now with longer and darker hair). She invites Reet in for coffee and cookies and tells him that she hasn’t seen her husband since he left for the Amazon jungle 2 years ago; he sent a telegram when he arrived, and that was it. She doesn’t seem very worried–she is, after all, a scientist’s wife and used to this kind of thing–but when Reet says he’s going to South America to look for Paul, she insists on going with him.
They fly to South America, as shown on the map.
At a warehouse belonging to Draile Import Export, Handscombe Draile himself meets with a cheap hood named Carl Traeger (Kevin Quinn). After very slooowly checking Carl’s identification, Draile tells him that he’s sending an expedition to the Amazon to find the source of Jerranium 90, and Carl is to join it.
Peter flies to South America with the Skull. Carl also flies to South America. Different flights, same passengers boarding.
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