Small Town Monsters' 'Momo: The Missouri Monster' Focuses on the Storytelling Behind Paranormal Mysteries

(Small Town Monsters)

(Small Town Monsters)

Small Town Monsters’ latest feature length film, Momo: The Missouri Monster, represents something wholly new to the documentary-driven production company. Rather than presenting a straightforward documentary—as they have in earlier films—Seth Breedlove and company have combined a faux 1970s grindhouse film with a more traditional documentary format to illustrate the storytelling element intrinsic to the propagation of paranormal mysteries.

Nothing in the film is entirely straightforward by design, and even the documentary aspect of the film is wrapped in the frame of a faux cryptid show hosted by veteran researcher Lyle Blackburn. Blackburn plays himself as he discusses the history of Momo sightings while interviewing several researchers, locals, and historical experts regarding their thoughts on the string of hairy humanoid reports that emerged out of Louisiana, Missouri in 1972.

Blackburn’s Cryptid Case Files, as the frame narrative is called, is interrupted periodically with snippets of the Momo ‘motion picture’. This film is about subverting expectations through the presentation of conflicting narratives, and the ‘motion picture’ elements act as a sort of reverse reenactment—often giving the viewer two truths and a lie prior to Blackburn explaining which of the events were at least based on witness testimony. Combined with the opinions and revelations provided by the documentary side’s interviews, the ‘motion picture’s’ unreliable narrator has the effect of illustrating how the legend of monsters like Momo can grow exponentially, even over a relatively short period of time.

Momo is a bold move by Small Town Monsters, one based in the innovation that continues to cement the indie production company as a leader in their field. Fans of B-horror movies and monster documentaries will both find plenty to like about Momo: The Missouri Monster, and the crossover of genres might even provide a few learning opportunities—be they about the evolution of narratives in paranormal reporting, or the finer points of grindhouse monster movies.

Momo: The Missouri Monster is slated for release on September 20th, but will premier theatrically at Cryptid Con in Lexington, Kentucky this Friday.

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