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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
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
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.