On June 1971 in the small fishing village of Chimayo, Columbia, a terrible mutated monster ravaged the village and terrorized the townsfolk. The film, Monstroid, is based on those very real events. . . At least that’s what this garbage movie ludicrously claims anyway. I don’t know what’s worse, the movie or the asinine idea to try to pass this dumpster fire off as being “based on true events”. Which of the events were true? There isn’t a Chimayo, Columbia. This wasn’t even filmed in Columbia. It was filmed in Chimayo, New Mexico. These events, so true, much accuracy.
Originally titled Monster, then later released with the full title Monstroid “It Came from the Lake”, this movie started production in 1975 and wasn’t released for the first time until 1980. It took five years of brewing to produces this monster sized turd. Apparently, there were a number of cast changes too when they were filming, but information about this thing is slim at best. The major problem with this film is the lack of monster in this monster movie. We spend far too much time with the characters dragging their heels about whether or not there even is a monster, until well over halfway into this mutated abomination of a movie does a blurry photograph of an eye convince everyone.
Most of our time is spent with whom I assume is our protagonist (honestly there are so many characters, I’m not even sure this film has a protagonist), Pete and his subplot regarding his affair with his secretary which he breaks off so that he can pursue an affair with Juanita the helicopter pilot. He’s married with kids, but we only see his wife once. I think he’s supposed to be the film’s lead or at least one of the leads, but Pete is just one of many characters in this sloppy mess. There’s Pete’s kids, his son being one of the first to see the monster. Bill Travis, our co-lead I guess, a troubleshooter that’s been dispatched by the Durado Cement manufacturing company. Victor Sanchez, an anti-corporate activist that believes the pollution from the cement company brought upon the monster. Maria, assumed to be a witch by the townspeople that blame her for the monster attack. Patty Clark, a TV reporter, doing a story about how the pollution from the cement company is killing the village’s fishing industry. Finally, Laura, Pete’s secretary which he was having an affair with before Juanita until he breaks it off, and she is promptly eaten by the monster. All of these characters feel like they are in their own separate movies, and none of them are given a lot of focus, so everyone is shortchanged. The acting ranges from okay to bad. My favorite character is the foul-mouthed executive of the cement company. He’s played by an actor by the name of Phlilip Carey. He’s the best of the bunch, but he’s only in two short scenes.
I guess the crux of the plot is that the pollution from the cement company has mutated some creature into being the monstrous beast that’s been eating people. Now I know that “cement sector is the third largest source of industrial pollution”, according to the EPA, producing sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and carbon monoxide, but how is any of that supposed to mutate some fish into a huge monster? Wouldn’t it have made more sense for it to be because of radioactive waste? The villagers seem to think a witch conjured up the devil, and honestly, that makes more sense.
On the monster itself, we barely see the thing. It’s hardly in the movie at all. That’s a common complaint of bad monster movies, that the monster is barely featured, but the lack of monster is pretty severe in this case. Most of the few monster scenes that this monstrosity of a movie has are too dark to make out anything. Not until the last 20 minutes do we see it in all its truly awful glory.
I never want to hear anyone criticize Godzilla for looking fake. Anybody that says that doesn’t know what “fake” is until they’ve seen Monstroid. Look at that goofy design! The poster says it’s part shark. I’m sorry, does that look like a shark to you? They were probably trying cash in on Jaws. Anyway, the Monster is dispatched fairly easily by tricking it to eat a goat stuffed with explosives. The ending teases a sequel by revealing a clutch of eggs. Ooh, spooky. Thank God that sequel never happened. I don’t ever want to be subjected to this particular brand of suck again.