The Crater Lake Monster (1977)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Creature Film, Natural Horror  |   Run Time - 85 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Buzz McClain

When you consider that when The Crater Lake Monster was released in 1977, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Star Wars were also on screens, making Crater Lake look particularly cheesy. While others were using state-of-the-art technology to render fantastic images, director William R. Stromberg and special effects director David Allen were using the same stop-motion technique used in 1933 for King Kong, but with less character development for the creature. Crater Lake never intended to be anything but drive-in theater fodder and Stromberg, whose one and only movie is this, no doubt is astounded as to its lasting appeal. With virtually no budget (not even for a competent tripod to hold the camera steady) and using amateur actors, the movie employs the most laughable devices to render the impression of a raging dinosaur -- an immobile rubber head, for instance -- and the most unpredictable shuffling of scenes of tension and humor. If you really have to watch this, do it with the sound low so you can provide your own dialogue. It will be better than what is on the screen.