"Steve, we’re up against something here that goes against every natural law."
Crater Lake, Northern California. Dr. Richard Calkins (Bob Hyman), Dan Turner (Richard Garrison) and his girlfriend Susan (Kacey Cobb) discover some cave drawings in a near by cave system. The drawings show humans fighting a dinosaur. It is proof that dinosaurs were around the same time as man. A meteorite crashes into a lake creating a cave in and destroying the drawings. The meteorite lands near an ancient dinosaur egg. The heat from it incubates the egg. A Plesiosaur hatches from the egg. The Plesiosaur grows.
A birdwatcher sees it in the lake and calls the sheriff. The sheriff ignores him. A rancher calls the sheriff. One of his prize bulls is missing. A tourist rents a boat to go fishing. The boat is found drifting. The tourist is missing.
Later the head of the tourist is found. The sheriff is beginning to wonder what is going on in his little lake. At least until he comes face to face with the creature. Now he’s got a couple scientists that want to trap it and a town full of people each with their own opinions.
"The Crater Lake Monster" was released in 1977 and was directed by William Stromberg. Well, there are parts that are a little slow. For those parts they threw in what is supposed to be comic relief in the form of two stupid locals that drink too much. I was hoping they would get eaten. There was a couple who were supposedly out for a midnight boat ride. Except it was bright out and moonlight usually doesn’t make people squint. The acting sucks but I don’t watch monster movies for the acting. They also threw in a robber that shot a store clerk and a woman shopper just for a pint of liquor. I’m not sure why he was even part of the movie. Unless his only function was dino chow.
As for the monster, well of course I loved it. The stop motion creature was actually great. And the stop motion effects were excellent. Phil Tippett created the Plesiosaur. The stop motion supervisor was David Allen. He worked on quite a few movies including “The Howling” and “Ghostbusters II”. As a matter of fact the entire visual effects team is well known for their talents on many “A” movies. The rubber head was not as impressive as the stop motion, however, we did get to see the monster a lot and in all of it’s various forms. The monster is definitely the best part of the movie.