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Frederic C. Hobbs
Christopher Brooks, Stuart Lancaster, E. Kerrigan Prescott
Writing Credits:
Frederic C. Hobbs

A mutant sheep is on the move near a ranch in the American West.

Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
English DTS-HD Monaural
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 89 min.
Price: $29.95
Release Date: 7/10/2018

Legend of Bigfoot Feature Film
Strange Sightings Short Film
School Bus Fires Short Film
White Gorilla Short Film
• Trailers


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Godmonster of Indian Flats [Blu-Ray] (1973)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 18, 2018)

An obscure horror oddity, 1973’s Godmonster of Indian Flats takes us to Nevada. Rancher Eddie (Richard Marion) locates what appears to be a huge, mutated sheep embryo.

It ends up in the lab of Dr. Clemens (E. Kerrigan Prescott), and the scientist attempts to understand its nature. As part of his experiments, the embryo develops further into a massive creature that terrorizes the locals.

In a normal film, that synopsis would sum up Flats in a fairly complete manner. At its core, the movie revolves around a simple story that would feel at home with the mutant monsters of the 1950s.

A warped, rambling affair, Flats shows no desire to follow a logical, standard narrative path, though. Instead, it mixes a mess of subplots on top of each other because… I don’t know.

Oh, a little of the material makes sense, as Flats sets up the nature of the townsfolk. The tale takes place in a burg that replicates an Old West village, mainly for tourism purposes, though also due to the hereditary pride of Mayor Silverdale (Stuart Lancaster), so I understand the choice to let us get to know the locals that the “Godmonster” will attack.

Usually, that would account for maybe 10 minutes of the movie’s running time. We’d get probably another 10 to 15 minutes of exposition related to the lead creature itself, and then we’d find monster-ific action.

Instead, Flats often forgets that it’s supposed to bring us a horror movie – at least not one of a supernatural bent, as it comes with echoes of real-life horror due to the treatment of Barnstable (Christopher Brooks), the representative of an investor. Barnstable looks to buy out property so his boss can mine the territory, but Silverdale gathers his forces to stop him.

The complication? Barnstable is African-American – indeed, the only black character we see – and it becomes impossible not to view him as a stand-in for his race.

One assumes the racial politics are intentional, as it’s next to impossible to see a movie in which a vigilante crowd attempts to hang an unjustly accused black man and think no statement wants to be made. However, given the scattered nature of this narrative, it never seems especially clear what message this might be beyond a cheap evocation of injustice in general.

What the heck does any of this have to do with a story about a rampaging wool seatcover? I don’t know, and it makes Flats decidedly different, if nothing else.

And by “different”, I mean “all over the place”, though I wouldn’t actually call Flats incoherent. While it makes no real sense as a movie, it all follows a certain form of logic in its own way.

The material just doesn’t connect in a natural manner, though. It feels like three or four different unrelated scripts got blended into one, and the end result goes kablooey.

Of course, one should expect decidedly amateurish production values, as from the cheap monster creation to the editing to the acting to the music, everything seems bargain basement. I’ve seen worse, though, so I actually don’t really mind the lack of polish.

Honestly, while Flats objectively provides a bad movie, it does manage a weird form of watchability. It’s so random and scattered that it keeps up with it, if just to figure out where it’ll go. That’s a pretty loose endorsement, but it’s more than I expected to give.

The Disc Grades: Picture D+/ Audio D+/ Bonus B

Godmonster of Indian Flats appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.37:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. As expected, this low-budget, 45-year-old movie came with a mix of problems.

Sharpness was mediocre. While the movie displayed acceptable delineation, it never looked particularly precise, and plenty of soft spots materialized.

No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I witnessed no edge haloes, but print flaws became a major concern. Throughout the movie, these presented specks, scratches, lines and other marks. Some scenes worked better than others, but the defects created a lot of distractions along the way.

Colors were bland. Though a few shots offered moderately vivid tones, the hues seemed somewhat pale much of the time, which left them as unsatisfying.

Blacks came across as a bit inky, and low-light shots tended to be moderately thick. They weren’t overly dark, but they suffered from some muddy qualities. The image suffered from too many problems to rate above a “D+”.

Don’t expect a whole lot from the film’s DTS-HD MA monaural soundtrack, as it offered a flawed presentation. Speech remained intelligible but showed a mix of concerns, as lines tended to be edgy and reedy.

Effects tended to be rough and harsh, whereas music was shrill and without much range. A fair amount of background noise also interfered, with plenty of pops. Even given the movie’s age and low-budget origins, this became a weak soundtrack.

None of the disc’s extras directly relate to Flats itself, but we get a mix of films in similar genres. First up comes 1975’s The Legend of Bigfoot, a one-hour, 14-minute, 49-second program.

When I requested a review copy of this disc, I did so mainly due to nostalgia, but not for Flats. Instead, Legend acted as the main source of appeal to me.

1975 was the peak era for interest in Bigfoot, and as an eight-year-old, I found myself fascinated by the subject. This meant my family and I went to see Legend, and I was curious to view it again after all these decades.

Or at least I thought I watched Legend back then. The era produced a mix of Bigfoot movies, and now that I’ve seen Legend, I suspect I confused it with one of those. Granted, I’m going on 43-year-old memories, but the film didn’t look familiar.

Legend offers a documentary that involves Ivan Marx, an animal tracker who attempts to locate Bigfoot. We follow him as he pursues the mythical creature.

Spoiler alert: he doesn’t find him – at least not in a credible manner. Marx does muster some footage of “Bigfoot”, but it doesn’t seem particularly believable.

Legend mostly consists of Marx’s self-aggrandizing voiceover comments and little real information. It’s vaguely interesting as a time capsule of the Bigfoot-crazy mid-70s, but otherwise it’s a dud.

Three short films follow: Strange Sightings (36:15), School Bus Fires (25:00) and White Gorilla (9:48). Sightings looks at UFOs, whereas Fires examines tactics to deal with mishaps on school transportation.

Finally, Gorilla gives us a fictional tale in which hunters seek a legendary, obscure simian. None of these are good in an objective sense – indeed, they’re really pretty awful. Still, they’re fun to see as “time capsule” views of their eras.

Under Trailers, we get ads for Creature of Black Lake, Grizzly, The Mysterious Monsters, South of Hell Mountain and Man Beast. No ad for Godmonster appears here.

One of the odder monster movies I’ve seen, Godmonster of Indian Flats remains watchable due to its basic weirdness. A mess of plot points in search of an overall narrative, it doesn’t really work, but ot becomes strangely compelling. The Blu-ray offers problematic picture and audio along with a few bonus components. No one will mistake Flats for a good movie, but there’s something bizarrely interesting about it.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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