Movie Review: Abominable Snowman

“I will hug him and squeeze him and name him George,” said the yeti to Bugs Bunny. Popular culture has created many different personas of the legendary snowman but back in the late 1950’s, the history of the yeti was serious business.

There are many legends of the yeti. How men have witnessed this man made of ice and snow come out of blizzard to attack them.

The monastery in Pangboche, Nepal that claimed to have had an actual hand of a yeti. Allegedly actor Jimmy Stewart smuggled the hand out of the country so it could be further studied.

All evidence has been inconclusive but cryptozoologists still believe there is hope.

1957’s The Abominable Snowman was released when expeditions and yeti discoveries were big news.

And the world was clamoring to know more about this illusive beast. The release of the film also coincided with Peter Cushing taking on the mantle of Victor Von Frankenstein.

Snowman was a different kind of horror film than Hammer would release into it’s heyday.

The movie was more of an adventure film than horror where a professor (Cushing) accompanies an expedition into the Himalayas to find the illusive creature known as a Yeti.

The movie shot in black and white uses the lack of color to distort the audiences viewpoints in some rather interesting fashions. Can you imagine a blizzard or whiteout in a black and white film? It is an interesting effect.

Cushing’s professor this time is more timid than other characters he has played. And when it just gets down to just him and a vicious snowstorm you start to see the character finding his inner strength.

The movie does have some really grand ridiculous moments and in those extended snowstorms you can lose track of who is who.

But this film is the only film about the search for the yeti that seems credible and takes the subject matter seriously. We have seen yetis in all sorts of versions of pop culture but this is the only one I know of that actually takes place in the Himalayas, features some parts of the legend and is an adventure film.

There have been some really silly ones where yetis end up in North America (if a yeti is in North America then it is a Bigfoot!) and of course that really stupid videogame Urban Yeti about a yeti getting loose in a city then as the yeti you have to smash cops, people and cars to escape the city. Think Grand Theft Auto except a yeti.

Adventure films like this really can’t be made now given how much technology we have and how small the planet has become. The plausibility is gone unless you set it in the pas. Even the allure is lost. We’d rather study a Kardashian in it’s natural habitat than seek out a creature lost in time.

3 out of 5

So Says the Soothsayer


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