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Monday, February 25, 2008

“THE LOST SKELETON RETURNS AGAIN” Is First Production For Bantam Street

Entire Cast Of 2004 Cult Favorite Will Reunite For Sequel

BURBANK, CA (2/14/08)—Principal photography begins in March on The Lost Skeleton Returns Again, a sequel to the critically-acclaimed cult favorite The Lost Skeleton Of Cadavra, which was released by Sony in 2004. The film is the first production for Bantam Street, the newly-formed company from artist-filmmaker Larry Blamire.

All eight of Cadavra’s principal actors will return for the new movie, with Blamire encoring as writer, director and star, as well as adding producing chores. The parody will be shot entirely in the Los Angeles area, and Sony will have first look at the completed picture.
Blamire launched Bantam Street in 2007 as a way of maintaining greater control over his work, especially in terms of spin-offs and merchandising. The company eventually hopes to make three or four films a year, most of them small-budget, but with an eye toward bigger pictures in the near future.

The original Cadavra delighted audiences and reviewers with its deadpan recreation of an ultra-cheap 1950s black-and-white sci-fi/horror film. Though Blamire hadn’t intended to make a sequel right away, he nevertheless decided to do so when the opportunity arose. “I thought it would be a while before I revisited Lost Skeleton, but it just started coming to me one day,” he explained. “And I’m so happy that the fans are clamoring for more from these wacky characters.”

Picking up two years after the original, Returns finds the government in dire need of a rare element called Jerranium-90, which is only known to exist in the Amazon jungle. Coincidentally, the only man capable of finding it, Dr. Paul Armstrong (Blamire), is also in the Amazon jungle, having become a bitter drunk because “science let him down.” With the help of his devoted wife Betty (Fay Masterson), an expedition is immediately sent to South America to locate him…unaware of the dangers that lie ahead.

Also returning for the hi-jinks are Brian Howe as Peter Fleming, twin brother of the first film’s baddie Dr. Roger Fleming; Andrew Parks and Susan McConnell as clueless aliens Kro-Bar and Lattis; Jennifer Blaire as slinky feline Animala; Dan Conroy as guide Jungle Brad, twin brother of the original’s Ranger Brad; Robert Deveau—the ill-fated farmer in the first film—as a shady importer, and of course the Lost Skeleton as himself.

Among the newcomers to the adventures are Trish Geiger as the villainous Dr. Ellamy Royne; Daniel Roebuck as an evil dilettante; Alison Martin as Chinfa, Queen of the Cantaloupe People; Kevin Quinn as a small-time crook; Frank Dietz as a well-meaning government agent, and H.M. Wynant as a concerned general.

“We don’t want to simply repeat the first film,” noted Blamire. “This time, the original characters are tossed into a jungle adventure with lots of perils, mysterious lands, terrifying monsters, and some really stupid soul-searching and personal angst.”

Bill Bryn Russell will encore as editor, joined by Anthony Tremblay as production designer, John Rutland as cinematographer, and Kristina West as costume designer. The Chiodo Brothers are overseeing the special effects, with Frank Ippolito doing double-duty as make-up artist and supervising the new monster costumes (based on designs by Blamire). Sara Van Der Voort will be the line producer.

Like its predecessor, the film will be scored entirely with vintage library music and presented in glorious black-and-white, albeit this time in anamorphic widescreen. Cadavra’s PG rating helped make it a surprise favorite with kids, and the sequel will likewise appeal to all ages.
Michael Schlesinger, who acquired the original for Sony and is one of the producers, observed that “we’re treating this as though there were a learning curve for the filmmakers. The special effects will still be tacky and the dialogue still wooden, but the production will be larger, slicker and more fast-paced, as though it had been made at a studio with a B-level producer like Sam Katzman in charge. But don’t worry—it still will never be mistaken for Transformers.”

“We are really having fun here,” added Blamire. “That’s what we want Bantam Street films to be—pure fun. If we can raise the level of smart silliness in movie comedy, then our work here will be done. Well, actually, no, it won’t, since we want to keep on doing it. You know what I mean.”

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