“Monstroid: It Came from the Lake”. A true story. From a town that doesn’t exist.
Chimayo, Columbia. A woman sees a monster come out of the local lake and eat her husband Jose. The legend of the lake monster arises. The villagers blame the local cement factory for the pollution in the lake and the pollution is blamed for the monster. The legend continues.
Years later the cement company sends Bill Travis (James Mitchum) to investigate the problem. On top of the locals complaining there is a reporter Patty Clark asking questions about the pollution in the lake. And there is an anti-corporate activist who blames the cement factory and is trying to stir up the workers. He plans on blowing up the cement factory. And it is festival time in the town of Chimayo.
A woman, Laura, is found dead on the beach. Chewed. Some people blame a shark. (Remember, it’s a lake.) Some people blamed Jose’s wife Maria. Some of the towns people call her “the witch”. The cement plant doctor connects Laura’s death to the previous death of Jose. One of the kids in town, Glen Anderson (Glen Hartford), tells Travis about the creature he saw in the lake. Travis requests sonar equipment to check the lake. Just in case.
Two kids, Andrea Anderson (Andrea Hartford) and Glen, go down to the lake that night to try to photograph the monster. Glen gets some pictures and he and Andrea run away. Two drunken fisherman on the lake are the next victims. The pictures the kids get are a little fuzzy but it’s enough to convince the plant people that there really is something in the lake.
So now we have a monster in the lake, a rabble rouser who wants to blow up the cement plant and superstitious towns people who want to burn a witch at the steak. Travis has his hands full.
“Monstroid AKA "Monster" was released in 1980 and was directed by Kenneth Hartford. The movie was advertised as a “True Story”. Of course the town involved doesn’t exist. There is no Chimayo, Columbia. OK. The monster looks like a giant green turkey with teeth. Complete with double snood. (The hangy down things on each side of the beak) Unfortunately you don’t see much of it until of course the very end. Is it stupid looking? Of course it is. Do I care? No. The movie stars James Mitchum, (Robert Mitchum’s son) and John Carradine. It’s a little independent low budget movie. Hence the dopy looking monster. But it is a monster. And I love it so it’s going on my monster list.
Production began in 1971, but personnel, logistical and financial problems resulted in it being shut down. After several stops and starts over the years, it was finally completed and released in 1980. Over the years several actors were announced for the project; Burgess Meredith, Aldo Ray, Cesar Romero and Keenan Wynn and Doug McClure.