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Lake Michigan Monster Review

September 30, 2020 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Lake Michigan Monster
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Lake Michigan Monster Review  

Lake Michigan Monster Review

Ryland Brickson Cole Tews– Captain Seafield
Erick West– Sean Shaughnessy
Beulah Peters– Nedge Pepsi
Daniel Long– Dick Flynn
Wayne Tews– Ashcroft
Lucille Tews– Martha

(check out the rest of the cast here)

Directed by Ryland Brickson Cole Tews
Screenplay by Ryland Brickson Cole Tews, based on a story by Mike Cheslik and Ryland Brickson Cole Tews

Distributed by Arrow Film Distributors

Not Rated
Runtime– 78 minutes

Watch now on the Arrow Video Channel on Apple TV. Also available on YouTube, iTunes, and Google Play, and other On Demand/digital platforms

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Lake Michigan Monster, written and directed by and starring Ryland Brickson Cole Tews, is one of the most bizarre movies I’ve ever seen. It’s also one of the funniest in recent memory. It isn’t a movie that’s going to appeal to everyone. It’s probably more suited to an audience that frequents film festivals, especially ones that focus on non-mainstream type movies. Lake Michigan Monster, at times, seems to defy description.

Ryland Brickson Cole Tews plays Captain Seafield, a weird beard ship captain that decides to assemble a team to help him kill the nefarious and mysterious Lake Michigan Monster. There’s Sean Shaughnessy (Erick West), a weapons expert; Nedge Pepsi (Beulah Peters), a radar and soar expert; and Dick Flynn (Daniel Long), a guy from the Navy. With his assembled “Team of the Century,” Captain Seafield hits the beach and puts his big “kill the monster” plan into effect. The plan fails pretty quickly, but that doesn’t prevent Seafield from regrouping and having his team do the exact same thing again. Why does he do that? I don’t really know. And I don’t think Seafield knows what he’s doing, either, but that doesn’t stop him from acting, much to the chagrin of Seafield’s team. Because what the hell are they doing there?

I can’t really say any more about the plot because, really, it’s better to simply experience the movie and accept it on its own terms (and I’m not sure I could adequately explain it anyway). I think you will be awed by how the movie just goes for broke as soon as it starts. Ryland Brickson Cole Tews and company are supremely confident in what they’re doing and what they’re trying to accomplish. Even when you’re not entirely confident about what is happening or why it’s happening you still marvel at it all and you trust it. You know they know what they’re doing and it’s okay.

The movie’s black and white cinematography helps enhance the movie’s bizarre story and somehow makes what’s happening even funnier. The movie also has some impressive practical special effects, including the actual Lake Michigan Monster. The thing you will remember the most, though, is the movie’s sense of humor. There are times where you will find yourself laughing so hard that you will have to rewind the movie to find out what you missed because, odds are, you missed something great. How did Ryland Brickson Cole Tews come up with this whole thing? The movie is operating on another level.

seafield and nedge

The cast, as I said, totally commits to the movie’s absurdity and act like they know what’s really going on. Ryland Brickson Cole Tews sets the tone and keeps things moving, but Erick West, Beulah Peters, and Daniel Long keep up with their co-star and director and are just as memorable as wacky as hell Captain Seafield. West’s Sean Shaughnessy can wield a toy gun like it’s real. And Peters is hilarious as Nedge Pepsi the radar/sonar operator. And Daniel Long rocks as the Navy guy Dick Flynn. And Wayne Tews adds to the shenanigans as Seafield’s brother Ashcroft. At first, Ashcroft doesn’t seem to fit into the movie’s narrative, but if you give the idea of Ashcroft a chance you’ll see what kind of genius he is.

And Lucile Tews as Martha, Seafield’s elderly wife? Holy crap their relationship should be an entire movie. Will that be the sequel (a kind of prequel to everything that happens before the beginning of the movie)? I’d watch that.

I loved Lake Michigan Monster. It’s a movie I wasn’t expecting to see, well, ever, and I’m super happy that it exists. Adventurous cinema fans and film festival fans should give Lake Michigan Monster a shot. It is something that you will most definitely enjoy and embrace. It’s audacious, insane, go for fucking broke moviemaking, and it’s something that should be lauded and celebrated. Lake Michigan Monster exists, and that is goddamn awesome.

See Lake Michigan Monster. See it, see it, goddamn see it! Easily one of the best movies I’ve seen in 2020. Easily.


So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: 3

Explosions: A few.

Nudity?: Briefly.

Doobage: A light house, black and white cinematography, a guy in a captain’s hat, narration, grenade juggling, a great joke about a lion, a classroom somewhere, a nice “getting the area ready” montage, synchronized nodding, a giant sword, booze drinking, gun shooting, a new plan, cigarette smoking, a big check, back slapping, beach ball stabbing, a hilarious “master baiters” joke, machete sharpening, a weird dream, egg shooting, a big clothes changing incident, grave digging, public cemetery hooey, singing, a musical interlude, melting marshmallows, golf, a guy running through the woods, a ghost, a ferry trip, a ghostly image, a second musical interlude, a superimposed sinking boat, a head on a stake, a weird box, a weird head sculpture, a leaning human totem pole, a ghost army, a swimming interlude, a guy gets cut in half only to reform, knife throwing, axe throwing, monkey wrench throwing, a sort of long explanation about what’s going on, a castle, a floating face mask, a skeleton, a big twist, neck stabbing, harpoon to the eye, dangling eye, and a funny song.

Kim Richards?: None.

Gratuitous: Black and white cinematography, grenade juggling, “The Team of the Century,” a character admitting that he’s in a movie, Operation Annihilation, foggy underwater footage, fish sticks, ketchup, a naked man, talk of centipedes being monsters, serious beer drinking, a human skull that can talk to people for some reason, a “cool guys” table, middle finger hooey, a musical interlude, a discussion of pairs, Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, taking a dump, buttons, levers, and dials, a ghost army, beach checkers, “Well, that was my revenge for…,” and Milwaukee liquor stores close at 9pm.

Best lines: “No pieces of the body have been found,” “Do we have a boat? It’s pronounced pontoon,” “You know how long a fathom is? It’s six feet,” “What else is in that podium?,” “That’s my weapons expert,” “Seafield, how do you like being a ship captain? What? How do you like being a ship captain? I’m not a ship captain!,” “With a gun or a knife, we must end this monster’s life,” “Who wants fish sticks?,” “Now I know why they call him Dick. Why? Because he has a penis,” “Dick!,” “You owe me a family heirloom,” “This is some really good bourbon,” “You have a fine choice in whiskey. It’s ruined my life,” “Are you in a band,” “Your time is up! Monster!,” “Be seeing you in your… dreams?,” “Is that an egg?,” “Where’s your eyebrow makeup?,” “But did you have to kill its baby?,” “Damn candy store is closed! Bunch if pedophiles!,” “Operation Eggscusme, time to die!,” “What is he doing? I don’t know,” “Dick! I don’t pay you to flirt with inanimate objects. I’ve got a guy for that. Name’s Howard,” “I’m docking your pay,” “Seafield, knock it off! You’re a terrible singer,” “Ice cream sandwiches!,” “This is a phantom ship!,” “Who wants fish sticks? Not now, Martha!,” “My life, I vow, if you help me now,” “You’re not good at this game, Mr. Ghost,” So I settled the score with Ashcroft,” and “Rest in peace Sean Shaughnessy.”

The final score: review Virtually Perfect
The 411
Lake Michigan Monster is an amazing piece of mega low budget moviemaking. In some ways it defies description as it’s so bizarre. That shouldn’t keep you from seeing it, though, and experiencing its weirdness. If you’re a film festival fan or a fan of adventurous cinema, Lake Michigan Monster is something you absolutely need to see. You will love it and embrace it and be glad that it exists. Writer/director/star Ryland Brickson Cole Tews and company have done something amazing with this movie, and I encourage you to seek it out and watch it. It is very much worth your time. Easily one of the best movies of 2020. Easily. Now available on the Arrow Video Channel on Apple TV, iTunes, YouTube, Google Play, and other platforms.