Monster of Phantom Lake

Local director Christopher R. Mihm spent last summer running around the woods of a northern lake engaged in a once typical, but now sadly neglected, film tradition: He was making a low-budget monster movie. The resulting film looks just about right—the monster, in particular, seems built from a bucket of carpet remnants, and moves so sluggishly it’s impossible to believe the film’s group of camping teenagers can’t outrun it. “Monster of Phantom Lake” also feels right, with glibly clichéd dialogue and crazy-eyed villains roaming the woods. But the film’s true star (who is already set to star in a sequel) is actor and co-producer Josh Craig, who’s turn as Professor Jackson, a scientist who composes rock and roll love ballads, speaks in portentous and pregnantly-paused sentences, and frequently seems to misunderstand his own scientific experiments. (Sample dialogue: “Are you sure you’re using that machine right?” “Well, I mean … I think so …”) He saves the day, of course, in a typically hair-brained and low-budget manner—his plot literally involves just getting in the monster’s way. Now, in the grandest tradition of schlocky horror movies, “Monster of Phantom Lake” is screening at midnight at the amiable Woodbury 10 Theatre. 1470 Queens Dr., Woodbury.

— Max Sparber