The Loch Ness Horror (1982)

What amazes me most about this one is that Larry Buchanan did not recycle the creature mask he’d used in so many films before.  I mean, it stood in for gill men in Creature of Destruction and Curse of the Swamp Creature, and even put in a stint as a dinosaur still alive after millions of years in It’s Alive.  I really expected it to turn up as the Loch Ness Monster.

However, even though the creature here does at least look like our notions of Nessie, and is reasonably done in many of the long shots (mind you, the version of the beast used for closeups is really bad — although it wouldn’t be as obvious if we saw a lot less of it), we need not fear that this one strays too far from Larry’s usual standard of badness.

Which is actually mildly surprising as he produced this one himself long after his stint making terrible remakes of old AIP films for TV was over.  You’d think he could at least have found more money, or a longer shooting schedule.

Oh well.  There’s a World War II plane crash that plays an important part, and Nessie’s egg, which plays a bigger one.  While everyone keeps saying how peaceable the Monster is, it starts killing people — particularly the bad ones.  A scientist visiting an old friend gets drawn into things, thanks to his attempts to plumb the Loch’s depths with new technology, but after the usual comments about how tough the old man’s daughter is on men, she ends up trotting after him for the rest of the film.  Familiar, right?

And, of course, we know the monster will be left undiscovered by science and free to return again at the end of the film.  That’s how it always works, even if the creature gets blown up.

That’s Lake Tahoe filling in for Loch Ness (which really isn’t much of a surprise with Larry on board) and the film is produced by “Clan Buchanan” in what we might think was a moment of whimsy, if there weren’t so many darn people named Buchanan involved in this thing!

We do get a bit of underwater photography, and a submerged plane wreck which looks far too clean to have been down there for forty years.

It’s one of those films which never quite comes to life, even if one or two moments manage to be reasonably good.

But then, I’m not sure there’s ever been a good Loch Ness Monster movie.

Other than Incident at Loch Ness, that is.

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