To say "Jaws" had an affect on the Exploitation genre in the 70's and early 80's would be an understatement. After that movie, everyone was doing a "nature run amok" flick-some of which are considered classics ("Piranha", "Kingdom of the Spiders") while others were misfires (John Frankenheimer's "Prophecy") that still maintain a cult following. Then there are movies like William R. Stromberg's 1977 movie "The Crater Lake Monster", which offer nothing whatsoever, and are largely forgotten for a very good reason.
A meteor crashes into Oregon's Crater Lake, unearthing a prehistoric egg which of course hatches, awakening an Plesiosaur that beging to snack on some of the townsfolk. Can the town stop this aquatic menace? How long can the audience put up with Arnie and Mitch (Glen Roberts and Mitch Kowalski), our comic relief?
From beginning to end, "The Crater Lake Monster" is beyond a chore to sit through. The stock music soundtrack is annoying, the acting is grating, pacing that's not just slow, but molasses rolling down a grassy hill slow, some of the worst attempts at comic relief I've ever seen, and small but generic dashes of blood are beyond obnoxious. Even the stop-motion creature lacks charm, and can't save this snoozfest.
Then there's Arnie and Mitch. These two character's are beyond awful, and are so bad they should count as a crime against humanity. They ogle women, get in comedic "fights", and basically act like jack asses. These are exactly the kind of people I've spent my life avoiding. Why would I want to sit through a movie that spends so much time with them?
There is pretty much nothing that I can recommend in "The Crater Lake Monster." Everything about it ranges from forgettable to just terrible. In the field of low budget regional fair from the 70's, this is essentially bottom of the barrel crap. In the end of the movie, Arnie dies (even that can't save this movie), and Mitch is left alone, saying "Damn you Arnie." Damn you Arnie indeed. And Damn this movie.