Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Milpitas Monster (1976)

Judged by the standards of real movies, no-budget creature feature The Milpitas Monster is an unwatchable trainwreck. Appraised in the proper context, however, it’s mildly endearing. Made by a group of high-school students and featuring contributions by citizens throughout the small town of Milpitas, California, the picture is best viewed as an offbeat community project. The acting is abysmal, the camerawork is poor, the special effects are amateurish, and the storytelling is wretched, but one gets a sense of folks having a great time working together on a whimsical endeavor. The narrative concerns a small town under siege by a 50-foot critter that feeds on garbage, so the film delivers an unsubtle message about the environmental impacts of conspicuous consumption. Following the usual creature-feature formula, the movie depicts military mobilizations, scientific efforts to create a weapon useable against the monster, and townsfolk running and screaming whenever the beastie appears. While not persuasive, the illusions the young filmmakers created are resourceful. Effects include a full-sized monster hand, matte shots featuring an actor in a monster suit, and stop-motion animation for scenes in which the creature flies. As for the titular terror, it walks like a mammal but seems more like an insect, with compound eyes and gossamer wings. (Presumably a fly buzzing around waste was the desired analogy.) In any event, the behind-the-scenes story of The Milpitas Monster is infinitely more interesting than the film’s actual content.

The Milpitas Monster: LAME


Jocko said...

Judging by the movie poster, the monster looks like the Mothman, after swallowing Bigfoot, during a fight in a dumpster.

By Peter Hanson said...

Creature creation courtesy of Mad Libs.

Guy Callaway said...

This sounds just like the equally inept 'Spawn Of The Slithis' (1978), though he plodded around Venice.