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The Crater Lake Monster (1977)

PG  |   |  Horror  |  March 1977 (USA)
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A meteor that crashed into Oregon's Crater Lake unearths a dinosaur egg. The heat from the meteor causes the egg to hatch, and the emerging dinosaur takes to snacking on the locals.


(original story and screenplay), (original story and screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Cardella ...
Glen Roberts ...
Arnie Chabot (as Glenn Roberts)
Mark Siegel ...
Mitch Kowalski
Bob Hyman ...
Richard 'Doc' Calkins
Richard Garrison ...
Dan Turner
Kacey Cobb ...
Susan Patterson
Ross Conway (as Michael Hoover)
Suzanne Lewis ...
Paula Conway
Marv Eliot ...
Jack Fuller
Garry Johnston ...
Sonny Shepard ...
John Crowder ...
Susy Claycomb ...
Hal Scharn ...
Mike Simmons ...
Store Clerk


The heat of a meteor crashing into the lake incubates a prehistoric egg, which grows into a plesiosaur-like monster that terrifies the community. Written by Mark Siegel <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A beast more frightening than your most terrifying nightmare!




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

March 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

To teras tis limnis  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to lead actor/writer Richard Cardella, Crown International Pictures took over production and did very little post-production work. For example, many of the day-for-night scenes were not tinted. See more »


A character says Crater Lake is "four hours from Vegas." It's about 750 miles, and driving takes about 12 hours. See more »


Mitch Kowalski: I've been stuffin' my shoes with newspaper for so long, my feet know more about what's goin' on than my head.
See more »


Edited into Fantastic Dinosaurs of the Movies (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

Terrible but funny.
4 April 2013 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

A meteor lands in Crater Lake, Oregon, where the incredible heat incubates a dormant, fertile Plesiosaur egg; once hatched, the dinosaur rapidly grows to 50ft in length and begins to feed on unfortunate visitors and locals. Sheriff Steve Hanson (Richard Cardella) investigates with the help of paleontologists Dan (Richard Garrison) and Susan (Kacey Cobb).

Filmed in Fantamation (whetever the heck that is), The Crater Lake Monster is a typical 50s-style creature feature, only it's from the late-70s, meaning that along with the hokey premise, dreadful acting and jerky stop-motion monster, we also get Jaws-inspired attack scenes with a fair amount of bright red blood splashed all over the place, and characters sporting either big sideburns or Farrah flicks. Helping to pad out the film to feature length are light relief hick duo Arnie and Mitch, a pair of drunken dolts who hire out fishing boats on the lake, plus a pointless sub-plot about an armed robber on the run from the law having shot two people during a liquor store hold-up (maybe he was upset because they didn't stock one of their stylish 'Booze' T-shirts in his size).

Fans of quality film-making will no doubt quickly move right along, but those who dig shonky monster movies for their sheer naffness should find enough to enjoy here: in addition to the not-in-the-least-bit-scary animated aquatic creature, we get some hilarious close-ups of a crap monster model in the water, some of the worst day-for-night photography ever ('Look at the stars' coos a woman to her husband as the sun beats down on them from a clear blue sky), true professional Bob Hyman as the town's doctor fluffing his lines but carrying on regardless, a guy crashing a boat gently on a sandbank and then taking a nap, a very slow car chase, and a police photo-lab adorned with 10 x 8s of cute kittens and puppies (suspects in an illegal bone and catnip smuggling operation perhaps?).

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