From the 1950s to the early ’60s, horror films were laughable, but in a good way. In fact, they were by far funnier than the comedies of our present time. Incorporating such comedic elements as low-budget, stiffly wooden acting, along with directing and editing that wouldn’t pass muster in a high school film class, the movies of times past bring loads of laughs when viewed today. It would seem that only a true fan of these films would pay homage to them, and that’s exactly what Larry Blamire did when he wrote the script for The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra.

The movie is a perfect re-creation of those cheesy films of yore, except for one thing — it’s intentionally funny. The script alone has plenty of laughs, but when added to the no-budget special effects and intentional bad acting, this movie will have the audience clutching at their sides. There’s even an escaped killer mutant on the loose that is mutilating people, making the "cheesy horror flick" formula complete.

The star of the movie, however, is the skeleton himself. Supplied with the best lines in the film, he insults his evil scientist crony, exerts mind control on our heroes and even wrestles with the killer mutant in a huge climactic struggle.

DVD extras include a featurette on the making of the movie, a Q&A with the cast and crew at the film’s American Cinematheque premiere, and a collection of previews of some of the 1950s films that inspired Cadavra. The star attraction of the special features is the made-up merchandise that the producers created for the film, which includes a board game, paper finger puppets and even a Lost Skeleton of Cadavra lunch pail.

DVD Grade: A-