The Monster of Phantom Lake (2006)
Runtime: 97 mins
Plot: Proud scientist Professor Jackson, his graduate student, and five swell teenagers out on a camping trip discover the terrifying effects of "Atomic Waste" in the form of a "shell-shocked" World War II soldier that has been horribly mutated into a lake-algae monster.
Review: I've seen many of my B-Movie reviewing peers talk about a micro-budget filmmaker in recent years named Christopher R. Mihm and his series of micro-budget B-movie films (one a year) dubbed the Mihmiverse movies, and I've seen all of them talk pretty damn highly of the guy and his work, so after awhile it became obvious that I was missing out by not having seen any, so I ordered all of them online and chose The Monster of Phantom Lake to review first, mainly because it's also Christopher R. Mihm's very first entry in his 'Mihmiverse' series of films.
Another trend I'm glad this one decided to buck instead of follow, is the extremely annoying one that micro-budget filmmakers feel the need to almost always follow – since their movie is made on a miniscule budget they try to make up for that by having buckets upon buckets of very cheap and brightly-colored blood and gore. Now, I love gore as much as the next horror hound, but a lot of these micro-budget projects go so far with it that it just makes the movie uncomfortable to watch. That was my one hesitation about checking this out, because that seemed to be the only experience I ever have with watching these kinds of micro-budget projects, but I'm happy to report that Christopher R. Mihm does not go that cheap route and, again, much like you would expect from an authentic 50s B-movie, the movie is quite tame and goreless.
As mentioned above, there's no blood or guts to be found in this movie, which while that made me quite relieved the one downside to that is that all the death scenes happen off-screen, which kind of make for some dull encounters with the monster. Hopefully in the future movies that I have yet to watch he somehow finds a balance between not showing gore but also still showing some on-screen death scenes as well.