Lake Michigan Monster

Science would have it that sea monsters do not exist, but the tragic experience of Captain Seafield during a fishing trip the shores of Lake Michigan have led him to assemble the team of the century, Sean Shaughnessy, weapons expert, Nedge Pepsi, steely mistress of the Sonar 2000, and Dick Flynn, former officer of the Nautical Athletes adVenture Yunit until his dishonourable discharge, who will aid him in his quest to locate and kill the fierce Lake Michigan Monster.

From Lighthouse Island where he lives alone with his elderly wife Martha who tortures him and his guests with fish sticks and ketchup washed down with bourbon, Captain Seafield draws up his campaigns to lure the deadly sea creature to their kayak and into their trap – “with a gun or a knife, we must end this monster’s life” – but neither he, nor the serpent, nor the wages he has promised his trusty crew are all they seem.

Directed by Ryland Brickson Cole Tews, Lake Michigan Monster may lack the budget of The Meg but makes up for in imagination, exuberance, creative acronyms and unconventional units of measure, capturing the aquatic adventure of an episode of Stingray and combining it with the narrative logic of a drunken sailor.

Shot in cutting edge grainy monochrome in the exotic locations of magnificent Milwaukee, Lake Michigan Monster paddles gleefully in the same waters as Trail of the Screaming Forehead, a retro-tinged creature feature of slapstick, sea monsters, ghost armies, abandoned hellspawn, landscape painting and occasional musical numbers.

Starring Tews as the rugged but eccentric Captain Seafield, his Moby Dick obsession leading him on course into a Lovecraftian nightmare of his own creation, alongside him are Erick West as Sean Shaughnessy, Beulah Peters as Nedge and Daniel Long’s Dick, but it is a collaborative effort with cast doubling as crew where needed and Tews’ co-writer Mike Cheslik editing and providing effects.

Unable to match the scope of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea or the murky depths of Underwater, instead the Lake Michigan Monster rides the waves of absurdity, with influences carried from shores as distant as Georges Méliès and Ingmar Bergman, buoyed by sea fevered performances on currents of witty wordplay and inventive visuals.

Lake Michigan Monster is currently swimming for shore on the Arrow Video Channel



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