Wednesday, September 23, 2009

the crater lake monster [1977]

i'm a nut for cryptozoology, the alleged study of creatures that might exist, the kind of animals that live in the mind and are therefore more powerfully scary than the biggest of the big cats walking the african veldt. bigfoot, yeti, the loch ness monster, all manner of monsters that are the matter of folklore, tall tales, and the occassional grainy image taken either from a picture still or from a long-distance video shot by someone with a supremely shaky hand.

i'm born and raised a norcal boy. they say that there are bigfoots -- would the plural might be bigfeet? -- in the nearby sierra nevada mountain range. i've been going into the mountains for years, always with my eyes open for the spectacle of an 8 ft tall hairy apeman. haven't seen him, at all, but not for lack of trying. i still look every time i go to the woods or head up to lake tahoe.

in the '70s there were scores of movies capitalizing on the larger public's hunger for news and evidence of critters of the cryptozoological kind. some are pseudo-documentaries while the most of these films are cheap-ass horror/exploitation ripoffs. so when i saw this film in the racks some years ago, selling for about 5 bucks, i picked it up rather quizzically. i didn't recall seeing it back in the day, and believe me, i was even more rabid for this caliber of filmmaking then i am now. but the price and the fact that the dvd case claimed the actor stuart whitman stars in it decided the matter for me.

to call this a bad film, a really bad movie, is no small claim. the crater lake monster is most likely the worst movie ever made. most critics call ed wood jr's plan 9 from outer space the worst move ever made. boy they got it wrong. wood's magnum opus is citizen kane compared to this tripe. cheaply shot, not even acted by a lackluster cast, which includes a rich playboy who wears a sea captain's hat and will destroy your eardrums with his horribly fake british accent and will melt your frontal lobes from his utter stupidity. to make matters worse stuart whitman, veteran of many poverty row horror/exploitation flicks, i guess thought that he couldn't stoop this far and, despite what the dvd box claims, is not in this movie.

plot? you must be joking. whoever is to blame for this mess looks like he took two or three separate films and spliced them together. what the fuck does a man who goes on a drunken spree of robbery and killing have to do with a monster that emerges from the bowels of the earth, resides in an idyllic lake, and goes on a tear eating people -- and most likely had to head to the nearest 7/11 convenience store for massive amounts of tums and rolaids because eating so many cheesy actors just had to give the monster a severe case of heartburn, and also a serious case of the shits too -- have to do with the movie? the director probably cobbled whatever pennies he saved and decided to go for broke and shoot every dumb damn idea he had and throw them all together. fuck the idea of logic and continuity.

oh what the hell. this is most probably the most frightening movie you can watch this halloween. it's so bad it is truly scary. but i gotta warn you, tripe like this is a once-in-a-lifetime deal. you'll never see anything like it ever again in your life. sit down with a few beers, the lights turned down, pop the disc into the tray and try to sit thru it all at once. even if you break into a cold sweat.



Post a Comment

<< Home