Momo: The Missouri Monster Movie Review
Written by Gabino Iglesias
Released by Small Town Monsters
Directed by Seth Breedlove
Written by Seth Breedlove, Mark Matzke, and Jason Utes
2019, 82 minutes, Not Rated
Released on September 20th, 2019
Cliff Barackman as Chief Ward
Ronald Breedlove as Wendorf
Amy Davies as Doris
Adam Duggan as Edgar
Long before Momo was a photoshopped meme making the rounds on the internet, it was something just as dark: a mysterious creature haunting the woods of a small town. In Momo: The Missouri Monster, author and renowned cryptozoologist Lyle Blackburn takes the audience into a creepy moment in history where a strange creature haunted a town and had its residents losing sleep and doing their best to stay inside after the sun went down.
During the summer of 1972, there was a hair-covered, three-toed, foul-smelling monstrosity prowling the forests of "Star Hill" near Louisiana, Missouri. It scared a lot of people, killed some dogs, attacked a couple of women, and wreaked enough havoc to become part of the town’s history books and local lore. While the events lasted only for that summer, the memory of the monster lingered in the minds of all the terrified citizens that, for weeks, lived in fear of encountering it. Momo: The Missouri Monster is a wonderful hybrid film that bridges the gap between found footage, documentary, and horror movie and tells the story of Momo through interviews and narration as well as a series of scenes. The result is engrossing and sheds light on one of the lesser known hairy bipeds of our country.
Momo: The Missouri Monster is one of those little films that knows it’s a low-budget production and embraces it but also puts a lot of effort into bringing the audience into the narrative and understands that lack of funds is not an excuse to make a crappy movie with horrible audio. Lyle Blackburn is a solid author, and his respect for the topic at hand shines through in this movie. He knows that not everyone is on board, so he accepts it and simply asks people to listen to what the locals had to say about the monster. This, coupled with the film’s pace, makes for an entertaining watch.
As with every movie, there are parts that shine more than others. In here, the documentary parts are considerably better than the fragments of the original film (which they created by shooting it and applying a filter that does nothing to “age” the movie). That said, the sum of its parts is more than the parts by themselves and those who watch it will find themselves intrigued by what went down in Louisiana during the summer of 1972. As I’ve said before, pulp is the most entertaining thing in the world when it’s done right, and they did it right here. For starters, you have a hairy, smelly, violent creature loose in the woods. Second, you have a bizarre UFO link to the whole thing. Third, you have the perfect setting: a little town that’s a slice of Americana. Last but not least, you have a lot of concerned people and some eyewitnesses that, if everything that’s said in the documentary portion of the film is true, are fairly credible and had no reason to lie about what they saw.
There’s one thing I don’t believe in and that’s “guilty pleasures.” I think the term was created by folks who, for some reason, felt ashamed of the things they liked. This movie brings together cryptozoology and aliens and mixes them with some good interviews and narration and a somewhat bland fake movie. The concoction works if you like creature features or if you have any interest in bizarre creatures and events. I think most fans of horror enjoy those things, and this is definitely made for them. If any of the things I mentioned appeal to you, do yourself a favor and check this one out.
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