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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)


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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


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 <lougarou@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A beast more frightening than your most terrifying nightmare!


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

March 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El monstruo de la laguna negra See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The car sent over the cliff was a 1965 or '66 AMC Marlin. The Marlin was built by American Motors Corp. from 1965-67. See more »


In most scenes, the monster appears being reddish-gray. But when he attacks the cows, he is solid gray. See more »


Steve Hanson: All right. I'll give you twenty-four hours, but I AM gonna call in some outside help, because my first responsibility is to save HUMAN lives, not sea-serpents.
See more »


Referenced in The Chronic Rift: Heroes & Villains (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

The Life Aquatic with Arnie & Mitch!
13 August 2009 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

Well, what are the odds! At the exact right moment that a few redneck amateur-scientists discover cave paintings indicating that some type of dinosaur monster might have inhabited the area thousands of years ago, a burning meteor crashes into the lake and spontaneously hatches a monster's egg that has been lying there … for over a thousand years, I suppose! "The Crater Lake Monster" is a movie that literally must be seen to be believed, but you better do so in the company of many friends and a pile of ganja in order to make the wholesome a little bit easier to digest. Yes, this is a terrible film with the utmost ramshackle screenplay imaginable and numerous irrelevant padding interludes that are downright embarrassing, but it's also irresistibly charming and so clumsily put together that you simply have to cherish some kind of fondness for it. Half of the film – at least – revolves on the wacky adventures of Arnie and Mitch. These two local yokels own and run a boat renting shop near the lake, but spend most of their days picking their noses and quarreling over fascinating stuff like to spell the word "bait". It is mostly during their prototypic Laurel & Hardy situations that new puddles of blood or decapitated heads are discovered in the lake. Steve Hanson, the heroic but not exactly sharp Sheriff is on the case, but only if he's not too busy chasing big city thugs traveling through the area. Halfway through the film, there suddenly is an abrupt scene about a thug robbing a liquor store and killing two people in the process. This textbook "WTF" moment appears to take on the complete other side of the country, like in New York City or something, and has absolutely nothing to do with the events going on at Crater Lake. Only like twenty minutes later the robber pops up again in Hicksville and there's an "exhilarating" chase through the woods, ending in the Dino's hungry muzzle. The absurd little details in "The Crater Lake Monster" are too numerous to mention! For example, this is probably the only creature-feature in which the players discover the obligatory gigantic footprint AFTER they already spotted the actual monster. The goofs in continuity should be legendary as far as I'm concerned. It's like everybody forgot to pay attention to it. Night turns into twilight into day and back into twilight … all during one and the same diurnal course! The monster is undeniably the best aspect about the film, especially since it's accomplished through good old fashioned and adorable stop- motion effects. The cute critter is a Plesiosaur; meaning an aquatic dinosaur looking like a crossbreed between Denver the Last Dinosaur and an alligator. "Crater Lake Monster" is a unique and unforgettable movie- experience that I can only encourage to track down! The miserable 1 out of 10 rating is just out of principle (and because basically, this IS a very bad film) should be put into perspective, because I might as well could have given it 10 out of 10 for sheer entertainment value.

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