What is the Mihmiverse? If you have to ask? Well, um, you probably do not know what it is. So, here we go!
The Mihmiverse is the creation of Minnesota local Christopher R. Mihm. His films are loving homages to a bygone era of horror and sci-fi…specifically the films of the 50’s and 60’s. These are films he grew up watching with his father. When his father passed away from an aggressive stomach cancer in 2000, Chris found himself returning to these films and the memories of watching them with his dad.
This led to the inspiration to try and create a film in the vein, in part as a tribute to his father. Having long been interested in production (of all kinds, Chris played in bands through the years and also had worked at a local cable access station). Working with friends, the final result was the Monster of Phantom Lake. Ever since that first film in 2006, Mihm has put out a movie each year. This year sees the release of the Demon With the Atomic Brain.
Before we begin the journey through the twelve films (as well as a review of the Monster of Phantom Lake, the Musical!) I want to be fully transparent here. I knew Chris back in High School when we worked at a movie theater together. We lost touch, and then a couple years back ran into each other at the Crypticon Convention where he had a table. I approach these films honestly, and you certainly do not have to take my word for their entertainment value. The Mihmiverse has a loyal fanbase that predates me.
I was skeptical a few years ago, because I have not watched a lot of old school fifties horror and sci-fi. I was not quite sure I would be all that into watching a bunch of black and white movies. I had even seen Chris’s booth the year before but passed it right on by thinking “Eh, not for me”. But I bought a couple of the films because we were having a good time reconnecting, and I felt I should at least try them. And by gum, I really enjoyed them. They were not snarky and derisive, they were relishing in their silliness and simple sets. Their slapped together monsters (except they started to get better and better at that, creating some genuinely cool looking monsters) and the sincere but at times stiff acting (but some of Mihm’s regulars are pure gold in my opinion) all lead to a real charm.
This is not to say the films never take a shot or two at certain elements. They repeated poke at the archaic sexism of the times. There are plenty of modern film references the the stuff that appeared in film and TV of our youth. The films have a sense of humor about themselves but it is not a vicious mockery. And that is what made me want to highlight the Mihmiverse this year.
If you are interested in checking out any of the twelve films Christopher R. Mihm has made, you can purchase them directly through his website or (if you would like to check them out first) you can rent and stream them on Amazon.