Horror

From the Depths, a… – Monster (1980)


When you take God-fearing men in the concrete business, drop them in Columbia with superstitious locals and a giant lake creature, you know a good time is about to be had. Factor in John Carradine who plays a priest and the movie should be considered a must-watch. Despite all these factors which make it sound like a winning picture, it does not quite live up to expectations, though there is a giant monster that does a lot of killing and that always makes things better – especially considering this is a giant monster movie. Taking into consideration that this film had a troubled production for many years before it was finally released, one does have to give it credit for being as good as it is, though it is about as far away from what most viewers would classify as anything resembling quality.

For those that love their B movies though, this film will be right up their alley with performances that border on cheesy to decent from most of the cast and Carradine being Carradine and not being able to do anything but. The story itself was fairly average comparatively speaking, a creature that may or may not be real is responsible for the people who go missing or are being found murdered and while the locals believe it to be so, James Mitchum – son of Robert, is sent to find out the truth and get things back on track for the cement company. There are differences of opinion between the parties and that leads to a little conflict, but in the end, the monster is proven real and a mission is undertaken to free it from the confines of its mortal shell.

While a little trouble might have been had in the making of this movie, the creature effects were surprisingly all right. They were nothing extraordinary, but worse had been committed to celluloid over the years and in the end, the creature as fake as it seemed, served its purpose. While the film was not all that bad in the strictest sense of the term, it has all been seen before in dozens of other movies thus making this creature-feature less than exceptional and a little more than inconsequential. As a curiosity, it works and is a film only for completists or those wanting a mad dash of John Carradine to liven up their day.

2 out of 5

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