One of the really cool things I get to do here at PopHorror is review films. I have a chance to see films that I probably otherwise would not see. A lot of those times, the reviews are for film festivals. Confession time: Sometimes, I pick a film. Other times, I tell them to surprise me. Hey, what can I say? I like the element of surprise, and I don’t have any high or low expectations of the film.
So, when they gave me the film Lake Michigan Monster for the Genre Blast Film Festival 2019, I said okay, even though the response I got back was, “Are you sure that is okay?” I do remember that site co-owner Tracy Allen had reviewed it for the 2019 Fantasia Film Festival. You may read that review HERE. Now, I see why they asked me if this was okay. When I looked this one up, I see that this one is, shall we say… a different film. However, that did not deter me from giving this film a watch. What did I think of Lake Michigan Monster? Read on to find out.
Lake Michigan Monster Film Synopsis:
An eccentric ship captain and a crew of specialists plot revenge against the most mysterious creature of the deep — the Lake Michigan Monster.
The film is written and directed by Ryland Brickson Cole Tews (L.I.P.S. 2016) from a story by visual effects artist/editor/producer Mike Cheslik. The film stars prop creator/camera operator/makeup artist/producer Erick West as Sean Shaughnessy – weapons expert, producer/camera operator Beulah Peters as Nedge Pepsi – sonar individual, and Daniel Long (L.I.P.S. 2016) as Dick Flynn – former officer of the Nautical Athletes adVenture Yunit (also known as the Navy). Ryland Brickson Cole Tews plays Captain Seafield. Actor/prop creator/singer/songwriter Wayne Tews wrote and sang “Dear Old Captain Seafield” for the film, while set Alyssa Gagnon (Forget About Tomorrow 2019) took on the roles of decorator/makeup artist. The Lake Michigan Monster creature costume was created by Joe Castro (Bonehill Road 2017 – read our review here, The Haunting Of La Llorona 2019).
I’ll be honest. As I settled in to watch this film, I was skeptical, thinking, “What the hell am I watching?” I’ll tell you this, though. I ended up enjoying this film! It was a lot of fun. It is preposterous and ludicrous, but in the best way possible. I found myself literally laughing out loud throughout the entire film. I adore that it is a tribute to the classic B-movie, in particular, the 1950s monster film. Shot in black and white, the simple revenge premise was executed wonderfully. The cast is so great and comedic timing is spot on. Even though this is a low budget film with a lot of inexpensive special effects, it all works brilliantly because the shots are visually creative and stunning. If you are from or have ever been to Milwaukee, you will see a lot of landmarks throughout the film.
Now, I do have to say that, like many comedies, Lake Michigan Monster is not for everyone. Depending on your sense of humor, you may not find everything funny. Much of it is way over the top or just plain nonsense. That is not a bad thing for me, though. I found it refreshingly entertaining. I agree with our other writer, that the film did drag a little bit once it was just Captain Seafield alone in the film. The scenes leading up to the final revenge were also a little drawn out. However, the revenge scene is satisfying and I loved it.
This film is completely ridiculous and jam-packed with malarkey. This may be a film that will make you want to get together with your friends, pour some rum and have some fish sticks and ketchup. Yes, ketchup. Lake Michigan Monster is a high-energy and enjoyable love letter to the classic B-film with great cast and effects.