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Snowbeast (1977,TV)
We looked high we looked low and we couldn't find an image...

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Review by Jon Olsen  

Directed by Herb Wallerstein, written by Joseph Stefano (who also wrote the screenplay for 1960's "Psycho" and its 1998 remake). Cast: Bo Svenson, Yvette Mimieux (making snow-pants look sexy), Robert Logan, Clint Walker, Sylvia Sidney.


It's a typical winter day in Colorado. Howling wind screams across slopes of ice and snow. Icicles cling to frozen tree branches. A rubber Yeti hand shoots from off-screen and clumsily grabs a bush! Terrifying canned ROARING scares the shit out of you (if bad rubber Yeti hands clad in fun-fur are the kind of thing that scares you). CUE 1970s BREAKFAST TV MUSIC AND CUT TO: A pair of happy female skiers shoot across snowy slopes. We watch them speed past the camera again and again and again. Then they stop. They remove their ski masks. The prettier, blond female skier breathes hard and has a huge, happy smile. She must enjoy skiing, 'cause she looks as if she's just had some good screaming howler monkey sex. This is a horror movie, so we know she's gonna die. Sex equals death. Pretty blond sez: "Isn't this great?" Homely brunette sez: "Let's go back. There's something funny." Suddenly- ROARING, ROARING, ROARING! It's funny alright. The homely female skier promptly skis away. The pretty female skier stands there and stares vacuously at a Yeti which we cannot see. The Yeti, now apparently holding the camera, charges at the pretty blond skier and slams the lens into her face while she screams .The rest of the film follows a standard "Jaws" style plot package, in which a greedy tourist-trap proprietor refuse to close shop despite dire warnings of an imminent yeti-blood-bath. In fact one gets the feeling it was shot from the "Jaws" script, with key words such as "water" and "shark" sharpied out and replaced with "snow" and "yeti". To prevent more yeti-killings, a ski lodge employee is told to go out and put up lots and lots of "Restricted Area" signs near the site of the blond female skier's death. Instead, the guy just skis and skis for hours. It's a tedious twenty minute sequence of nothing but skiing, and no signs are put up! If I were that guy's boss, he'd be fired! There's no need to fire him however, because eventually he falls on his ass and the yeti comes and mauls him. Of course, we don't see the yeti. In fact, we don't ever see the yeti. Well, hardly ever. From the brief glimpses reluctantly offered to us by the stingy filmmakers, I got an impression of a big, toothless English sheep-dog with rubber chicken claws for hands. In five or six shots, we see a yeti arm. In two quick shots we see a yeti face. In one shot we see a yeti foot, which kicks a conveniently placed pile of logs so that they crush our heroes' camper. The rest of the time, it's nothing but yeti Point Of View shots. Even when all the principal characters have come face to face with the yeti, we the audience don't get to see it. Just more POV-cam with overdubbed ROARING. Even when Bo Svenson impales the yeti on a ski-pole, all we see is the damn yeti's POV as it staggers around with the ski-pole's shaft jutting into our field of vision. Even when the yeti falls off a cliff we aren't rewarded with the spectacle of a tumbling wooly dummy-- we see it as another fucking yeti-POV shot! Even when the yeti is lying dead at the bottom of the cliff, and the characters are standing at the edge and staring at it, we see nothing! And then the picture freeze-frames, fades to pastel red, and credits roll. What a rip-off! If I rent a movie about a yeti, I expect to see a fucking yeti! Don't waste your time on this flick. End of story.

2/10/05.  The Humboldt County Travelogue NPLU's long lost documentary now available on DVD!



Sasquatch Ain't Dead Yet, an interview with investigator Jimmy Chilcutt.
The Films of Jensen Rufe, an interview with filmmaker Jensen Rufe.


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