Captain Seafield (Ryland Brickson Cole Tews) is an embittered sea captain on a mission to avenge his father’s death after a terrible sea monster dragged him down to the watery depths after being merely one fathom from the shore as they set off on their seafaring adventure on Lake Michigan. Assembling a ragtag crew, each with a different set of skills, Captain Seafield and Sean Shaugnessy (Erick West), Nedge Pepsi (Beulah Peters) and Dick Flynn (Daniel Long) set out to capture and kill the vile beast so that Seafield’s father can rest in peace.
However, after many failed attempts, Seafield’s crew starts to lose their faith in their captain, so Seafield sees no other option than to go after the monster himself.
Lake Michigan Monster is a surreal and hilarious film written, directed by and starring Ryland Brickson Cole Tews that shows what a specific visual style, a low budget and a great script can really do. Coming across at first like a pastiche of typical monster movies made in the Fifties or Sixties, the movie shows much more than just being a parody as Tews’ surreal comedy and eye for cinematic techniques that go as far back as cinema itself make the movie a unique viewing experience.
While the audience will be laughing at the often silly and sometimes juvenile humour (think somewhere between The Mighty Boosh and Spongebob Squarepants) they may find themselves caught of guard. That’s because despite the obviously low budget, there are times where what the audience sees on screen may remind more seasoned film lovers of the days of silent cinema and the pioneers such as George Méliès.
At times the movie certainly shows its lack of budget, but that only adds to the charm as it only emphasises the surreal nature and sometimes almost improvised moments that make the audience wonder how the script managed to get to that point.
Lake Michigan Monster is sharply directed, with a witty script which may make people either chuckle or groan at the confidence of putting such silly jokes into a movie.
However, audiences will certainly come away surprised and impressed by exactly what could be achieved.
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