Monster Love

Just in time for the premiere of The Monster of Phantom Lake (and my first lead in a feature film) tomorrow night at The Heights Theater, we got a great write-up in this week’s City Pages! SCORE!

The Monster of Phantom Lake Heights Theatre, Thursday, March 9 at 7:30 pm

A glowing tribute to the creature features of the 1950s, this homegrown film from director Christopher R. Mihm works as equal parts reflexive comedy and straight-up drive-in shocker. When a scientist (Josh Craig) and his love-struck grad student (Leigha Horton) set out for a jolly weekend of "scientific experimentation," they're in for horrifying results. After a shell-shocked WWII vet stumbles into a lake that's loaded with nuclear waste, the duo, along with a group of rock'n'roll-loving co-eds, find themselves stalked by a leafy, slimy monster. In keeping with the low-budget tradition, the indelibly costumed creature is kept under wraps for most of the film, appearing only as the hand that reaches into the frame and grasps terrified victims. Craig demonstrates his mastery of Shatner-style pause-acting ("Wait a minute... Wait...a... minute"), while Mihm takes the audience on a jolly tour of tongue-in-cheek '50s sexism, hilarious innuendo, and plenty of arm's length slow-dancing. Featuring Mihm's original composition, "A-Rockin', A-Rollin', All the Way A-Ramblin'" along with a wealth of public-domain mood music (listen closely and you'll hear snippets from Carnival of Souls), this is an unusually warm and witty homage.

Be there, or be so TOTALLY square. Or out of town.

If it isn't the latter, lie.