“The Crater Lake Monster” Review


Staff Illustrator Joshua Ramirez

Dariana Garcia-Bernabe

Author: Dariana Garcia


It all started with a meteorite.

“The Crater Lake Monster” is a low -budget movie released in 1977, directed by William R. Stromberg. It is a stop-motion horor film with a plesiosaurus that attacks people; Steven, the town sheriff along with some scientist all work together to stop the monster. Although it was received with negative reviews, I would recommend giving the movie a try. It’s not the best, but it could be worse.

The film takes place in Crater Lake, Northern California. It opens with Dr. Richard Calkins, he is told by his colleague Dan Turner that he and Susan Patterson, his colleague and girlfriend, have found a cave system. While they were exploring the cave system a meteorite crashes into the lake. The meteorite causes the plesiosaur egg to hatch and the rest is history.

Staff Illustrator Joshua Ramirez

The movie is supposed to be a horror film, but it features dynamic duo Arnie Chabot and Mitch Kowalski, owners of a boat rental services that are used as comedic relief. However, they only made me laugh once.

When I did laugh it was when the characters would talk about how dark outside it was, while you could clearly see that it was daytime. An example, of this is when Ross Conway and his wife Paula rent a boat as they are admiring the lake and their surroundings, Paula makes an interesting comment, “Look at all the stars, I’ve never seen so many.” This would be a normal scene if only it were actually night when they filmed this part. And, the stop-motion quality seemed poor, the monster looked too fake, too plastic. In the scenes where the monster is out of the water it looked out of place, like it was clearly in a fake set. The parts when the monster attacks became too dark, leaving no clear quality. The acting wasn’t the best, the dialogue was too dry, with little emotion.

Although it has some cons, there are some parts that I did like about the movie. The fact that in some scenes when the monster is going to attack, you can see it through the point of view of the monster. That is something that I haven’t seen many horror movies do today. Something that the movie does really well is that it doesn’t rely on jump scares to keep the audience’s attention, like most  horror movie do today. But instead it builds the suspense with the music that plays when the monster is nearby. Throughout the movie I kept thinking, “Who will the monster attack next?” and “What are they going to do?”

In a way the end of the movie is what I expected it to be, but with a twist. Be warned the ending was kind of sad, but I won’t spoil that. I would recommend watching the movie if you’re bored and need something quick to watch. Or if you’re tired of today’s horror movies and want to see what horror movies used to be like. I give “The Crater Lake Monster” 2.5 out of 5 stars.