Momo: The Missouri Monster has a wonderful set up by taking a style that is all the rage these days on television and transforming it into an hour and twenty minute "monster" hour which was incredibly innovative. The film melded documentary segments which include a host, interviews about the creature, and terrific animations to tell the story more vividly with a "1975" found monster movie. I would have been impressed and intrigued by the documentary segments being the entirety of the film, mainly because the acting seemed to mimic the exact tone on display in the real deal. If this were the case, clueless people could have thought it was a true documentary unleashed upon the world. Unfortunately the combination of that and then the "1975" film style just doesn't function the way the filmmakers desired, and in fact, almost ruins the entire experience learning about Momo.
Stated earlier, Seth Breedlove's direction is split between two completely separate formats. While I craved more interviews and documentary segments within the feature, I had to endure far more bad B-Movie gimmicks than necessary to tell the story. I comprehend that the B-Movie of the same name as the film itself is supposed to resemble to a degree the "Big Foot" movies of the 70s and how bad some of them were. The problem here is that on a personal level, this isn't entertaining. It feels exactly like what they were going for but I dreaded everytime the host would navigate his way back into the "lost" feature film at hand. The stylish concept isn't anything I've seen in a movie format before and drives home the fact that this isn't for everyone, but instead a small niche of people. I am not one of those folks, but if it were trimmed away of clips and instead just an extensive documentary about the town and the creature known as Momo, it would have kept my attention more.
I found the plot to be incredibly clever, focusing on the “legend” of the being known as Momo, and including a “monster” hour movie surrounded by an intriguing documentary about the creature. While I wish the documentary host had a little more to say about the creature (his words do grow slightly repetitive as time goes on), his dialogue left me interested in the creature’s origins and the horrors it left behind. The same goes with the interviews because while they ranged more in terms of information on their beliefs on the creature, it left me intrigued as to the entire story of the legend known as Momo. The B-Movie set inside this documentary follows a family that ran into Momo in their backyard and were stalked by it until the family could take no more, deciding to take action once and for all. It’s an incredibly bland story and just as mentioned by the host in the film itself, the B-Movie is bad and difficult to watch due to the insufferable acting and character choices.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
Remaining just as split as everything else, I loved the host played by Lyle Blackburn. His appearance truly took the form of a host of this style of "documentary,” even if he ran out of new things to capitalize on throughout the story and felt captivated by the realistic town folks telling their truths of the creature. However, what I didn’t love was the characters or the acting in the B-Movie. While purposely bad in order to simulate a movie such as this in 1975, this technique made it nearly unbearable to watch. The B-Movie actors, especially the child actors, are horrifyingly bad in their significant roles and I wanted so, so badly for the B-Movie to end and the documentary to start back up again.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
The sound is exquisite and absolutely perfect for the B-Movie packed within the documentary. The documentary is corny, campy, and exactly how they are on TV these days that boast so much cult success. The sound design works well with the documentary style; not overly stylized but dull enough to match the modern day 'Bigfoot' documentary. On the other hand, the B-Movie is greatly exaggerated, which is a perfect degree to represent the style of the '75 quality. While I didn't admire the film as a whole, the great contrast between documentary and the combined B-Movie is quite admirable.
Visually, this film is incredibly appealing and actually quite nice to look at, especially as it was made to look like it was filmed in the 1970s feature. The special effects look actually quite decent and have a distinct charm to them, which is something that was lacking from the rest of the fake film on display. Momo looks properly cheap, and for good reason, although his appearances are ruined by the direction being so reminiscent of that of the 70s, which is a style that just didn't capture the appeal they were desiring I'm afraid. Within the documentary, however, we are treated to glimpses of a wonderful animation that I'd have loved to see expanded upon. A story being described by the citizens of the city being animated in this beautiful style of drawing would have been a sight to behold and would’ve kept me fascinated to the end.
From the opening moments, I adored Momo: The Missouri Monster with the unmistakable styling as we’re drawn into the television set beginning the premiere of our 'documentary.’ After the opening moments and after the first sighting of the creature, the film on a personal level lost its spark. While I believe this film might hold up entirely for some, its elements didn't meld together as well as I had initially hoped. All I'm left with are desires brought upon by great animation, creative storytelling, and realistic (enough) interviews to keep me engaged with the creature's story. It's just an indignity that the B-Movie that takes up a majority of the runtime couldn't have been a tad bit more compelling.