“LAKE MICHIGAN MONSTER”— The Hunt for a Monster


The Hunt for a Monster

Amos Lassen

“Lake Michigan Monster” is an extremely weird hunt for a Great Lakes kaiju, but each plan produces evermore disastrous results directed by Ryland Tews. Captain Seacoast (Tews) explains in his opening monologue that he has assembled a crack team of oddballs to hunt the monster that killed his father. The details of his death change with each telling of the story but Seacoast will have his vengeance and he is willing to pay handsomely for it. He has recruited “weapons expert” Sean Shaughnessy (Erick West), sonar technician Nedge Pepsi (Beulah Peters), and dishonorably discharged Navy seaman Dick Flynn (Daniel Long).

The film is a somewhat awkward viewing experience but when it is funny, it is very, very funny. Seafield comes up with various operation names including Annihilation, Nauty Lady, etc. as he seeks revenge for his dead father.

Shot in grainy black and white imagery, the film looks like it was made in 1940s or 1950s.  As for the Lake Michigan Monster itself, we get some early glimpses of the creature during Seafield’s mission to kill it.  Unfortunately, the monster does manage to take the life of a team member.  This is a sad moment after which Seafield takes matters into his own hands.  Things get really weird.

The production budget shows itself the visual effects, but do not let this detract you. The film is fun and creative and a unique vision. From the first scene and from Tews’ first appearance, we feel his energy. As the mysteries of Seafield unfold, so do the mysteries of Lake Michigan, its monster, and this little movie unreeling before us. We watch the team attempt to kill the monster with the same plan repeatedly (but with slight variations). Each new attempt becomes funnier than the last, until some revelations and a strange dream throw this off course into stranger but just as silly territory. The movie moves into the unexpected. Even as the story gets stranger, the film remains weirdly hilarious and hilariously weird.