After I reviewed Trail of the Screaming Forehead a few weeks ago and spoke highly of the other films of Larry Blamire, I started rewatching them all and decided to say something more about them. The Lost Skeleton first.
This film was made in 2001 as a parody and tribute to the low-budget, black-and-white scifi films of the 1950s. I always think that parodies work best when the people creating them are knowledgeable about their subject, have an affection for it, and most important of all, understand the appeal of it. We have a good example here. The Lost Skeleton is extremely goofy with its mash-up of several B-movie plots and use of low-budget props. With it’s Ed Wood-style wooden dialog, it’s also frequently and hilariously stupid. These are its charms. Watching it, I feel certain that Larry Blamire has seen even more of these type movies than I have, and he loves them.
Our story begins with a typical-looking 1950s couple driving a (1961) Thunderbird through the countryside. They are Dr. Paul Armstrong (Blamire), a Man of Science, and his lovely wife Betty (Fay Masterson), heading for a cabin they’ve rented in the woods. Betty is hoping that Paul will take a break from doing Science for a romantic weekend, but Paul’s main reason for this trip is to find a meteor that landed in the area. He believes the meteor is made of atmospherium, a radioactive element that could mean actual advances in the field of Science.
Along the way, they stop to ask for directions from a farmer who happens to be standing at the side of the road. The farmer sets the tone for the rest of the film by telling them:
“Stay on this road here, past Dead Man’s Curve. You’ll come to an old fence, called the Devil’s Fence. From there, go on foot `til you come to a valley known as the Cathedral of Lost Soap. Smack in the center is what they call Forgetful Milkman’s Quadrangle. Stay right on the Path Of Staring Skulls `til you come to a place called Death Clearing. Cabin’s right there–you can’t miss it.”