My take on The Crater Lake Monster
Written and directed by William R. Stromberg
Also written by Richard Cardella
Release date: March 1977
Is this a cheap monster movie? Yup.
Does the acting look like a bunch of friends getting together to make a movie on the weekends? Yup.
Is there anything to make it stand out? Yup.
The monster, when it isn’t a puppet, is done in stop motion by Dave Allen. Allen worked both with Charles Band and George Lucas’ ILM.
He may be best known for a commercial he did for Volkswagen, in which he lovingly recreated King Kong.
Outside of that, the story is pretty simple. Some researchers find cave paintings that show human beings with a dinosaur. A meteor smashes the cave and, incidentally, apparently causes an egg from the same type of dinosaur to hatch in the lake. The creature eats all the fish in the lake, and by the time six months have gone by or so, starts eating people.
There’s a disbelieving sheriff, a big guy/little guy comedy relief pair, and some bad guy who shoots people. I’m not quite sure how that last guy fits into the plot.
Still, if you like low-budget monster movies, and enjoy stop-motion animation (even if the dinosaur seems a bit oddly shaped), it’s worth watching. If not…um, I’m sure there’s something else on. 😉
This post originally appeared in The Measured Circle blog.