When the eponymous creature emerges from its lair (guess where that is) and begins slaughtering citizens in a small Californian town, it's up to would-be Intrepid Reporter Richard Clark (Grant) and scientist Dr. Diane Bennett (DuBarry) to find a way of killing it.
Very, very campy, but doesn't take itself at all seriously, and is amusing if viewed in the right frame of mind.
Not to be confused with Spalding Gray's Monster In a Box, which is a completely different film.
Contains examples of:
- Absent-Minded Professor: Dr. Pennyworth, to the nth power.
- Antagonist Title: Clark is the protagonist.
- Axe Before Entering: The heroes are attempting to lure the monster into a trap, and are waiting at the end of a hallway, with the front door open to the outdoors. The monster comes smashing through the interior door they are leaning against.
- Big Bad: The closet creature terrorizing everybody.
- The Cameo: John Carradine plays a blind victim of the monster. Stella Stevens drops in for a quick parody of Psycho.
- Cat Scare: Wouldn't be a horror parody without it.
- Child Prodigy: 'Professor' Bennett.
- Da Editor: Played by Jesse White of "Maytag repairman" fame.
- Energy Weapon: 'Professor' builds one to use against the monster. It doesn't help.
- The monster pretty blatantly steals some design ideas from the Xenomorph in Alien.
- The hero is Richard Clark who goes by his last name. He works as an Intrepid Reporter and even dresses the part. Actor Donald Grant really resembles Christopher Reeve as well.
- Dr. Pennyworth shares his name with another DC character. He also bears a striking resemblance to to a certain real life scientist.
- For Science!: Dr. Pennyworth's attitude towards life in general. It gets him killed.
- General Ripper: General Turnbull.
- The Glasses Gotta Go: Clark "becomes" literally mesmerizingly handsome when he takes his glasses off.
- Impending Doom P.O.V.: Parodied.
- Jaw Drop: Diane, every time she sees Richard without his glasses. And then the monster does it as well, and kidnaps him.
- Jerkass: Clark's fellow reporter Scoop; you're likely to cheer more when he gets his comeuppance than when the monster is defeated.
- Large Ham: The two leads are fairly subdued, but much of the supporting cast goes to town with this trope.
- Meaningful Background Event: The monster lumbers into view behind young Professor while the latter is working in a school classroom.
- Monster Misogyny / Touch of the Monster: Parodied; see Stealth Pun below.
- Nigh-Invulnerable: The monster; it turns out the only way to destroy it is to destroy every closet in the world.
- Overly-Long Gag: The "Psycho" Shower Murder Parody has many false scares.
- Police Are Useless: The sheriff tries his best, but..
- Punny Name: Richard Clark.
- Running Gag:
- Every time Clark removes his glasses, Diane becomes entranced and loses focus on whatever she is doing. And finally the monster does the same thing, and kidnaps him.
- When the characters think they are about to encounter the monster, they all make their own signature poses.
- After initially telling a disgusting story about dissecting a frog as a child, Pennyworth changes course in order to justify capturing the monster as opposed to killing it. He then starts to tell various characters about he could have dissected the frog but decided not to, only to be cut off.
- Stealth Pun: The movie's title, assuming the monster is male, which is never made clear.
- Things That Go "Bump" in the Night