Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes
The Lost Skeleton Returns Again
Jerranium 90 – the little rock that everyone wants, but can only be found buried in the heart of the Amazon. What lengths will evil people, as well as good people, go to in order to locate this rock? As luck would have it, Dr. Paul Armstrong (Larry Blamire) is actually in the Amazon, has been for two years. His wife Betty (Fay Masterson) isn’t concerned, even thought she hasn’t heard from him in two years, not since the telegram he sent upon his arrival. Reet Pappin (Frank Dietz) is a government agent assigned to located the elusive element. He goes to the home of the scientist, only to learn that he is missing. He announces his intention to go to the Amazon to find Paul, and Betty insists on coming with.
Dr. Roger Fleming, evil scientist, is dead, but his twin brother Peter (Brian Howe), a TV repairman, lives.
He has his brother’s personal effects, including a creepy skull. Peter’s wife Sandra (Christine Romeo) finds it abhorrent and is in favor of getting rid of it. But the skull begins to talk to Peter, and he finds himself under its control. He must go to the Amazon to seek out an idol called the Dalp of Anacrab, in order to restore its body. So off to the Amazon Peter goes, to the confusion of his wife who wonders why, since he’s a TV repairman.
Handscombe Draile (Robert Deveau) is also after the elusive element and teams up with a cheap hood named Carl Traeger (Kevin Quinn) and it’s off to the Amazon for these two as well. Meanwhile, our favorite alien couple, Kro-Bar (Andrew Parks) and Lattis (Susan McConnell) are back on earth in their new ride, having gotten the impression that their friends the Armstrongs are in trouble. They too head off to the Amazon, which is rapidly becoming everyone’s favorite destination.
If you enjoyed The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, you will certainly enjoy The Lost Skeleton Returns Again, with pretty much the same cast, most of whom are wearing their original costumes. Goofy plot, goofy monsters, and general all-round silliness sets the tone for this sequel. And don’t worry, Animala (Jennifer Blaire) is back, and we have a new evil scientist villain in the form of Dr. Ellamy Royne (Trish Geiger), and we have Chinfa, Queen of the Cantaloupe people (Alison Martin)
And let’s not forget the titular character, the Lost Skeleton itself, now reduced to a mere skull, But that doesn’t stop him from planning and dreaming, and using humans for his own evil purposes! Quite the adventure and lots of fun! I’ll give this film 4.5 Stars.
Final Destination 5
Sam (Nicholas D’Agosto) and a number of his co-workers are headed by bus on a business trip. Sam is down in the dumps because his girlfriend Molly (Emma Bell) has dumped him. How awkward is it that she works for the same company and is on the bus as well? But he’s determined to win her back, if he can figure out what the problem is. However, as the bus is about to cross over a bridge, where construction is going on, Sam has a… wait for it… premonition in which he sees a whole lotta death when the bridge collapses. Naturally he wants off the bus, and some of his co-workers end up getting off as well. Just in time, too, as the bridge proceeds to self-destruct.
The fortunate survivors are both grateful and shaken, and naturally they want to know how Sam knew
what was going to happen. But Sam has no idea. And that is what he keeps telling the suspicious FBI Agent Block (Courtney B. Vance), who is sure Sam had foreknowledge due to some sort of complicity on his part. But then the survivors also begin to die, and they begin to wonder if there is some order to this madness. Or is it at the ME Bludworth (Tony Todd) told them, that Death can’t be cheated.
Here we go again… and if you’ve seen the first four films, you pretty well know what to expect. Survivors of a near-catastrophe who begin to die in gruesome ways. In fact, the best thing about most of the films is watching the unique forms of death. But the fifth film is actually better, and obviously had a bigger budget because we’re getting stars of the caliber of Nicholas D’Agosto and Courtney Vance, plus some pretty cool special effects.
The other thing that lifts this film above the others is that there is a twist…a very cool, very unexpected twist. And no, that would be a spoiler if I told, you have to see it for yourself. But it is worth it. I think this is my favorite film in the series (I think there is a sixth film planned but it’s just in pre-production now, according to IMDb). At any rate, if you’ve made it this far, you have to watch this one too. You’ll be glad you did. I’ll give this film 4 Stars.