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The Crater Lake Monster (1977)

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.


William R. Stromberg (original story and screenplay), Richard Cardella (original story and screenplay)




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


In Oregon, a meteor crashes into Crater Lake and heats the water, hatching a dinosaur egg. Months later, fishes have vanished from the lake and a huge dinosaur hunts cattle and human to feed. The local Sheriff Steve Hanson investigates the mysterious disappearance of tourists and even a criminal. He also tells to the rednecks Arnie Chabot and Mitch Kowalski that they shall not rent their boats to the tourists. When he discovers the dinosaur, his friend Richard 'Doc' Calkins and two scientists asks him to leave the animal alive for the scientific community. Will Steve let the dinosaur live? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A beast more frightening than your most terrifying nightmare!


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


During the drive through town, the movie marquee shows Killer Force (1976) and Ten Fingers of Steel (1972). 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 »


Arnie Chabot: If Steve comes back before they do, he'll throw us so far back in the jug they'll have to shoot our breakfast to us with a cannon.
See more »

User Reviews

Too Good to be Really Bad
9 October 2014 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

No need to recap the plot. Okay, the film's no classic. In fact, someone in production borrowed the bulldozer vs. monster from 1960's schlock comedy Dinosaurus. But, in my book, the 80-some minutes isn't bad enough to rate among the truly bad, e.g. Manos: The Hands of Fate {1966}. Catch the photography, which is pretty good (of course, post- production bungled day-for-night, but that's not photographer Gentry's fault). Then there're the lush colors, about as vivid as any I've seen. Add Cardella's sturdy performance as the take-charge sheriff, along with some pretty good stop-motion, and you've got genuine compensations that lift results from the truly bad.

Of course, the intended comic relief is pretty lame, along with a script that appears almost thrown together. But perhaps most disappointing is the utter lack of tension. Monsters should generate tension. However, director Stromberg fails to build suspense, which requires a better sense of structure than what's provided here. Instead, the production goes for quick shock, which itself doesn't work very well. All in all, the movie's too good to be truly bad, and too bad to be good. I like what another reviewer observed, namely the results look like they were made by erratically skilled amateurs.

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Release Date:

March 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El monstruo de la laguna negra See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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