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The Abominable Snowman

UK 1957
produced by
Aubrey Baring, Michael Carreras (executive), Anthony Nelson Keys (associate) for Hammer
directed by Val Guest
starring Peter Cushing, Forrest Tucker, Maureen Connell, Richard Wattis, Robert Brown, Michael Brill, Wolfe Morris, Arnold Marlé, Anthony Chinn, Fred Johnson
screenplay by Nigel Kneale, based on his BBC TV miniseries The Creature, music by Hunphrey Searle, musical direction by John Hollingsworth

Yeti

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Available on DVD !

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Against the advice of his wife Helen (Maureen Connell), biologist and former top mountaineer Doctor Rollason (Peter Cushing) joins Tom Friend's (Forrest Tucker) expedition into the Himalayas to find the legendary Yeti. Before long though, Rollason has doubts about the sincerity of Friend, especially when Friend sets traps to capture a Yeti when Rollason is just here to study them. Eventually though one of Friend's traps springs on one of the members of the expedition, McNee (Michael Brill), who breaks his ankle and seriously hampers the progress of the expedition - they shouldn't have bothered though since the Yeti are already here and move in on whom they regard as intruders into their territory. Soon enough, our explorers panick and before long McNee dies in a freak accident while Kussang (Wolfe Morris), their native guide, makes a getaway ...

The remaining three - Friend, Rollason and Shelley (Robert Brown) - actually manage to kill one of the beasts when defending themselves - but that doesn't make things any better as the other Yeti more and more move in for the kill ... which gives Friend the (not so) great idea to set a trap for a Yeti and use Shelley as bait - which ends in Shelley dieing from fright when he realizes Friend has loaded his gun with blanks ...

The last survivors, Rollason and Friend barricade themselves in inside a cave... but Rollason soon realizes the Yeti are far more sophisticated and intelligent as they at first thought and are using telepathy to get the intruders out of the cave and chase them away (as the Yeti are not actually killing creatures). But while Rollason more and more comes to respect the Yeti, Friend only sees them as his enemies and in the climax loses his head, tries to hunt them down and dies in a self-caused avalanche.

The Yeti let Rollason go, but he almost freezes to death on the way, and is only just found by his wife and saved. Out of respect for the Yeti though he denies they ever existed from now on ...

 

Despite the occasional silly storyelement (like the Yeti being telepaths), The Abominable Snowman is a very effective and highly atmospheric piece of horror cinema, with the Himalayas making an interesting and unusual backdrop for a shocker of its ilk. True though, the French Pyrénées, where the outdoors scenes of the film were actually filmed, do not in every scene convince as the Himalayas, but by and large, the outdoors sequences of the film are quite impressive, while most indoors scenes are nothing short of claustrophobic - and fittingly so.

An unusual film in Hammer's filmography of shockers, but also one of their best.

 

By the way, the film was actually a remake of a BBC-miniseries from 1955, The Creature, which incidently also starred Peter Cushing - then a popular TV-actor - in the lead, Wolfe Morris as native guide, and Arnold Marlé as Lhama.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD