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The Creature from Lake Michigan (2010)

Environmental activist Clark Johnson must join forces with a marine biologist and a misguided band of surfers to battle a deranged hit-man, low-budget filmmakers and a crazed warrior from ... See full summary »




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Clark Johnson
Donna Shreve ...
Susan Blake
The Producer
Greg Yaeger ...
The Director
Joe Quinn ...
Lars - Warrior from Beyond the Stars
Elizabeth Cahill ...
Bambi Twinkle
Orville Johnson
Jason Kasperski ...
Baby Scars Nelpone
Dick DeAngelo
Patrick DiRenna ...
The Wombat
Jane Blass ...
News Anchor
Mr. Rocky


Environmental activist Clark Johnson must join forces with a marine biologist and a misguided band of surfers to battle a deranged hit-man, low-budget filmmakers and a crazed warrior from beyond the stars in order to help a menacing mutant monster from the depths of Lake Michigan. Written by Jim Hardison

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You wanna come back to my place, see my monster?





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Release Date:

1 November 2010 (USA)  »

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Box Office


$30,000 (estimated)

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Did You Know?


Originally begun in 1989, the movie took 21 years to complete. See more »

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User Reviews

Like Re-Living Film School
12 January 2011 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

There's really two movies included in one DVD here. And, in these topsy-turvy days of crappy high-margin products trying to take as much of your money for as little in return as possible, that's a real value.

The first movie is the one that's advertised. A throwback 1950's drive-in creature feature complete with all the requisite characters and plots. It's a fun, innocent, frequently funny send-up of a genre that almost doesn't exist any more.

It's charmingly and disarmingly innocent while at the same time it's smartly written with a lot of clever references to movies and movie making--particularly the bygone era of small- budget horror. And, yeah, it's bad. In a good way. On purpose bad. Campy and fun.

For anyone who loves horror movies, this is one of those that you'll keep close to the DVD player for the nights when you're not out at the bars trying to pick up on members of the opposite sex (or same sex as the case might be.) The Creature is the movie you can kick back with and get nostalgic about the kind of movies that used to show up on the vampire-hosted local channel spooky show.

And if you've ever made a movie yourself--or been a student that tried to make a feature-- that's where you'll find the second film to watch on the same DVD.

For a spot on accurate comic tale of what it is like to be a student filmmaker trying to make a full-length feature with a long list of compromised assets, turn on the commentary track and watch The Creature from Lake Michigan over again.

The film's writer and producer takes you on the hilarious, epic, labyrinthine journey of making the Creature while at film school. Scene by scene, the commentary track is a literal treasure trove of tragic pitfalls that are standard issue for novice filmmakers. Most of us in that community started by making shorts and non-narratives. Three minute films that you shoot on a bolex with a single roll of Plus X. But all of us, at one point or another, said, "Hey. How hard would it be to make a 90 minute film? With dialog? And actors? And a plot?" And there were the dreams about making your feature, taking it out to festivals and writing your own ticket in Hollywood.

Some of us took up the challenge of making one of those movies.

And a smaller number of those actually finished them. This movie with Hardison's commentary track definitively answers that nagging, naive student question, "how hard would it be?"

Turns out--totally hard. This film was initially shot back in the 1990s and only decades later, through sheer force of will on Hardison's part, did it actually get completed. That is a labor of love even Proust shake his head at.

Bad actors, money problems, fights on the crew, friendships destroyed, great loves created-- the story behind The Creature is easily as entertaining, funny and, perhaps, far more dramatic, than the one that's up on the screen.

If you've ever made a feature on a shoestring or even thought about it, watch this movie with the commentary. For those that have been there, it will remind you of every last minute of your shoot and have you laughing at the absurdity of such an immense undertaking and for those that are thinking about it, this is an essential primer, a warning and a free education.

Highly recommended!

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