“Kraa! The Sea Monster” is a kid-friendly Kaiju Grade Z Godzilla-inspired no-budget schlockfest

By on March 13, 2018

Kraa! is the name of a super-sized sea monster from outer space — think about that for a sec — sent to Earth by the eternally evil Lord Doom to clumsily crush miniature models and eviscerate earthlings in Kraa! The Sea Monster, a direct-to-DVD Full Moon feature that you’ll find streaming away on Night Flight Plus.

This no-budget, PG-rated kid-friendly Kaiju (giant monster) Grade Z Godzilla-inspired schlockfest has just about everything you’d ever want from a Godzilla-meets-Dynaman-meets-Star Trek: The Pepsi Generation mash-up (and more!).

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We’re talking about an actor-in-a-rubber-suit as Kraa!, measuring over 250 feet long, from tip to tail; a red-caped Skeletor-ish evil overlord, accompanied by his space-goggled midget sidekick Chamberlain; an Italian-speaking mollusky snot-blob from outer space named Mogyar; a big-boned bearded hippie biker who just happens to be a secret scientist, pairing up with a sassy black waitress; and four fresh-faced crime-fighting teens who look a little like the cast of “Saved By the Bell” in outer space, wearing Dynaman-type matching spacesuits.

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Kraa!’s title card opening scene lets us know that the grey-ish sphere we’re looking at is actually “Proyas – The Dark Planet,” likely screenwriter Neal Marshall Stevens’ homage to horror director Alex Proyas (The Crow, Dark City).

Stevens — as a writer, he’s usually credited as “Benjamin Carr” — has penned a bunch of Full Moon features, including Shrieker, Murdercycle, and Witchouse.

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We’re then introduced to Lord Doom — another homage, this time to Dr. Doom from the Fantastic Four comics — who sits on a sparkly gold throne, wearing a flowing red cape and a Skeletor-ish skull-faced mask.

He’s voiced by an entirely different actor because, hey, Darth Vader did it in Star Wars so why the hell not? Call it another homage.

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The first thing we hear him say — “Revenge is best served cold” — is yet another homage, this time to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

We learn that Lord Doom has sent his giant rubber sea monster Kraa! to conquer Earth, paving the way for the Doom clan to steal the “warm planet” away from the dummies who live there.

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Don’t fear the Reaper-ish dude, dear friends, because the Planet Patrol are on the case.

They’re led by tall, dark and handsome Captain Ruric (Stephen Martines), who pilots their Death Star-ish space station called Station 1645, floating somewhere “14 Light Years from Earth.”

The Patrol kids have a new recruit, a “rookie” psychic named Curtis who gets a major migraine headache every time she senses something bad is about to happen.

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After Lord Doom incapacitates their space station, they’ve still got TV monitors aboard which enable them to watch previously-used footage from director Aaron Osborne’s 1996 film Zarkorr! The Invader.

Basically they’re looking at this regurgitated sea monster from outer space wreaking hellacious havoc on the innocent citizens of Earth.

Kraa! stomps on freeway overpasses and city buildings, even smashes a billboard advertising Godzilla (Roland Emmerich’s remake was released the same year as Kraa!).

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Kraa! lands in New Jersey, which is where yet another alien has crash-landed, the turtle-shelled Mogyar, described online by one reviewer as looking like “a cross between a turtle and a jar full of boogers.”

Mogyar speaks Italian, which might have come in handy had he/it not made a wrong turn somewhere in space, ending up in the Garden State instead of “the Boot.”

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It turns out that Mogyar — comically voiced by J.W. Perra — is the only alien lifeform that can kill Kraa!, we’re told, despite the fact that he/it is small enough to fit inside a cardboard box.

He ends up in a diner, where he/it meets up with a sassy black waitress, Alma James (Teal Marchande), and a big ol’ beardy biker-looking dude named Bobby Machek (R.L. McMurry).

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Along the way there are classic Grade Z cinematic fuck-ups like timecode numbers at the bottom of a digital effects shot, a green screen where a processed SFX shot should be, and lots of stilted wooden dialogue providing probably unintended laughs.

Read more about Kraa! The Sea Monster below.

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Planet Patrol’s blonde teenage psychic “Curtis,” is played by Alison Lohman, who you may remember from Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell (2009), Ridley Scott’s 2003 black comedy/con man flick Matchstick Men, or Peter Kosminksy’s White Oleander (2002).

We’re fairly certain Ms. Lohman would like you to forget that she was ever in Kraa! The Sea Monster, which IMDB lists as her first on-screen acting credit. Sorry, Alison!

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Kraa! The Sea Monster is one of three movies directed by production designer and set decorator Aaron Osborne (1995’s Caged Heat 3000 and the previously-mentioned Zarkorr! were the other two titles).

Osborne’s production design can be seen on films, theatre productions and TV shows (in 2003, he won an Emmy Award for Best Production Design for his work on “Without A Trace”).

He shares directorial credit here with editor Dave Parker, who directed Kraa!‘s “Planet Patrol” and “Lord Doom” sequences.

Parker — who actually has more directorial credits than Osborne — worked in Full Moon Entertainment’s promotional department, editing films, trailers and Full Moon’s Videozone featurettes.

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Aaron Osborne and his iconic Mutt Cutt van for the Farrelly Brothers’ Dumb and Dumber To (2014)

Footage from Kraa! The Sea Monster also shows up in the 1999 Full Moon Pictures film Planet Patrol, which also features footage from Doctor Mordrid, Subspecies, and Robot Wars.

Watch Kraa! The Sea Monster, and other Full Moon features, on Night Flight Plus.

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About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.