director William R. Stromberg
The Crater Lake Monster, if it could talk, would probably take a Rodney Dangerfield defense, “I don’t get no respect!”
Case in point, The Crater Lake Monster is a plesiosaur, like Nessie. Is that what it looks like on the poster?
In reality, it’s very capably and decently-produced for a regional horror flick out of 1977. It’s downright quaint for 1977, too, a total throwback to The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957), The Giant Behemoth (1959) or Reptilicus (1961), a giant monster movie, with action rendered in stop-motion effects. The newest of those comparison points was 15 years prior. 1977 was the year of Star Wars (as if anyone needed me to mention that).
I’m talking quaint.
The actors, all across the board, are a strange selection of thespians. The comic relief characters are charming but maybe not so good to take up as much screen time as they do. Still I was sad when one of them got eaten. Sad, but glad too because you need somebody to get eaten and animated in the mouth of the monster.
Total props to David W. Allen and team because this monster, clearly on a seriously low budget, is an excellent bit of craftsmanship and totally makes the movie. I love this stuff, no matter how I, you, or anyone else “rate” it. It’s also kind of awesome.