Now in production is a lake monster movie about a lake other than Loch Ness or Lake Champlain. While these latter are well-known domiciles of megafauna of a vaguely prehistoric nature, it is less well-known that Lake Van (aka Van Gölü) in eastern Turkey — a large, rather voluminous enclosed lake — has been the site of over 1000 reported sightings of a similar monster since 1995. (See the website Searching for Cryptonia, for more details and some interestingly left-field speculation. This is the blog of Doug Ormsham, who corresponded with me over an extended period concerning his great-grandfather Hugo Drakenswode, who was apparently a cryptozoologist and monster hunter.)
The Lake Van Monster has, of course, become quite a tourist attraction. Now Bünyamin Yaşar is directing a film called Van Gölü Canavarı (Lake Van Monster), to be released later this year.
Shooting at the lake
The Lake Van monster has never featured in a film before, despite its tourist appeal, and The Backbrain wondered if it was destined to be in this one, given that the plot apparently concerns three disgruntled shepherds who concoct a scheme to make money by showing fake footage of the monster.
However, the director has expanded on the plot:
“Three shepherds, who were dismissed from their town, come up with an idea while swimming in the lake that will fool the people of the town: They make a mock-up of a monster and film it,” he said. “Then they make the people watch it in return for money and make very good money. But, at the end of the film, the shepherds see the real monster in the lake.”
“The film will leave a question mark in people’s minds,” added Yaşar, who said there would be elements of comedy and romance, as well as action scenes, in the film, which stars Levent Aras, Nazif Çetin and Didem Ellialtı.
The lake is a picturesque one, quite extensive and sporting many features reminiscent of Loch Ness — not least of which is the fact that it has a castle overlooking it, just like Urquhart Castle on the Loch.
The monster has become so famous locally that statues have been built to it at various centres around the lake — though they offer vastly different views of the beast.
At any rate, it will be fascinating to see how the film develops. See here for further details about the lake monster and his film.
Gallery of Images, including more of the production:
- Source: various (see in text) via Avery; turkiyeturizm.com; IMDb; hurriyet.com.tr
- Doug Ormsham’s Searching for Cryptonia offers a rather intriguing perspective on the monster, though what the suggestions it makes actually mean is cryptic at best.
Addendum: Videos relating to both the film and the monster on Undead Backbrain