Spoilers are going to need a bigger boat.

Creating your own movie is as challenging as hunting down a sea monster in Milwaukee. It pays to have a sense of humour and that’s what this movie manages to pull off. Comedic timing does not require a big budget. Now, normally fighting a sea monster would require massive special effects or a gift for making effects with a lesser budget. It helps if you film in black and white and provide some trippy scenes to set the mood.

(Source: Fantasia International Film Festival)

Lake Michigan Monster is the zany creation of writers Mike Cheslik and Ryland Tews. Tews also directs and stars in the role of Captain Seafield, who is leading the mission to destroy the mythical creature along with the best crew that he could find. A sonar expert, a weapons expert and an actual sailor who’s going to be tasked with most of the work. Unfortunately, the crew is lacking a boat but who cares about those details.

It is a triumph of underground cinema and guerrilla filmmaking to produce these results. Yeah, obviously you need a ton of suspension of disbelief, but it helps when the dialog is funny. Not all the jokes land, and sometimes things drag on for quite a bit. I would dare say that fortunately the running time is short (78 minutes). The special effects are limited but effective, with the makeup being more than serviceable.

Lightly recommended with reservations, specially for underground cinema fans. It manages to deliver quite a bit more than what you expect. I do think it does drag along just a bit after a few attempts at catching the creature, but fortunately it’s short and soon changes the structure for the final arc of the plot. Definitely not for the casual viewer, but for DIY filmmakers and fans of the low-budget genre it’s a must-see.

That will do for now.