When it comes to cryptozoology, the worlds of documentaries and horror often intersect, to shed light on the outrageous situations which include monsters that leave some without rational explanations of their origins. These often come in the form, of folklore, urban legends, and mysterious tales handed down generation to generation. Almost every state in the union has their own, even a few that attribute to the tourist attractions, from the Jersey Devil, to sightings of Bigfoot and Sasquatch and then Chupacabra and it extends worldwide with Yeti or Loch Ness. Herein the company Small Town Monsters, headed by Seth Breedlove (On the Trail of Bigfoot and Terror in the Skies both from 2019) has dedicated his career to the exploration of these creatures and endeavors as a documentarian however this time he combines that baseline research to incorporate a fictional film. It was the primary reason I held back on the review as I needed firm confirmation that the intention was entertaining while educating and it certain was without question. That brings us to the topic of Momo (which stands Missouri Monster), a creature supposedly found in Missouri, where in the 70s led to countless stories of its encounter with society and becoming an extremely dangerous beast.
Those familiar with Seth’s previous films might find this either very exciting as he incorporates a fictional backstory or dissuade by it as they sought it more for his customary documentarian style. It incorporates the notion of a 1975 horror movie as the same name of this movie, thereby the connection to actual film The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972) with characters are named after others in the film and a few homages, clearly though the production values show that is definitely not a lost film from the mid-70s, hence it becomes a fictional storyline with a mixture of truths dropped into the film. These truths are shown from interviews that were presented during the height of the panic of MOMO’s reign of terror, whose presence is in various forms drawings, animations, and Ken Rose portrays the actual creature. a television show called Blackburn’s Cryptid Casefiles (host by the true cryptozoologist Lyle Blackburn) after each interview some analytic reviewing does occur in attempt to keep everything on an even playing field. Seth and his experienced team, use the story more as entertainment, almost heading in the direction of a mockumentary, those interviews handled with utmost professionalism. Explaining any more of the tale involving a creature that is to some an off-shoot of the Bigfoot legend, and may ruin for others to find more knowledge and entertainment.
One must first understand these film clips aren’t reenactments nor are they considered true film content, rather heavily staged to represent an ultra-low budget horror film, perhaps even borderline exploitation meets grindhouse of the true 1970s with wretched acting, cheap monster suits and terrible print copy. The level of dedication to achieve the unique charm, then the rest of the production values fit into the proper settings, while generating more dialogue homage to Creature of Black Lake (1976) with the artwork appearing as if a grimy VHS tape that had rough life in a now defunct video store and yet very entertaining as a supposedly lost b-movie.
This review might seem as if I am skimping on details, that is slightly true, as for this movie it’s better to experience the filmmaking craft deployed than to read all the little details. However, one might question who’s the intended target audience, and should one consider it a true documentary, well the first part goes to those that enjoy creature features, such as myself, I grew up watching these monsters crawl from the muck and mire, it all shapes, styles and forms to terrorize and bring smiles. Therefore if you like the class of Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) and yet laugh at cringe of Gargoyles (1972) then this is up your alley. As for believability, it’s an experimental avenue explored by Small Town Monsters, and seems as they explain the scope in doing this films, in the end you need decide if you think the concept is real or just more ancient folklore told to keep trespassers away from private lands and children to respect their elders. Then again sometimes real monsters do exist, are you brave enough to investigate that screech in the dark woods?
- There’s something on Star Hill…
IMDb Rating: 5.2/10
Baron’s Rating: 5.0/10