The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra (PG) Larry Blamire. Spoofing '50s B-movies is a tricky proposition. Why make fun of a medium that's already so inherently amusing? Writer-director-star Larry Blamire's Cadavra pits feuding scientists, alien invaders and an evil skeleton against each other in a race to obtain the rare radioactive element "atmospherium," with a big, foam-rubber mutant and an animal woman running around in there somewhere. Blamire has his deadpan dialogue parodies down pat ("All skeletons are against me -- they always have been!"; "Mysterious . . . and yet still perfectly understandable!"), but he falls in love with the script a bit too much, and the endless talking slows the film's pace down. It also would have been better shot on film than digital video and could use a deliberately poor mono sound mix like the Ed Wood films had. Still, the skeleton's a hoot, and the score, credited to the solo-monikered Valentino, is pitch-perfect. Some judicious editing would make a huge improvement, however, because even at 90 minutes, it feels like Blamire's stretching the joke a bit thin. Opens Friday, March 12, at the Tivoli. (Luke Y. Thompson)
Secret Window (PG-13) David Koepp. Fiction writer Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp) is stalked by a bitter, psychotic stranger (John Turturro) who claims that Rainey stole his best story and changed only the ending. This psychological thriller also stars Maria Bello as Rainey's ex-wife. Opens Friday, March 12, at multiple locations. NR
Spartan (PG-13) David Mamet. Opens Friday, March 12, at multiple locations. Reviewed this issue.