Thursday, 17 October 2013

The Snow Creature (1954)

Imagine trying to make try to make King Kong while possessing neither money nor talent, and you've got some idea of what The Snow Creature is like. It's most memorable feature is that all the "Sherpas" speak Japanese.

The plot, such as it is, involves an expedition to the Himalayas. For "Science!" no doubt. Said science must soon take a backseat to superstition, however, when the chief "Sherpa" gets word his wife has disappeared. He blames the yeti, and when the europeans in charge of the expedition tell him there's no such thing, he turns guns on them to force their cooperation. By the time they're in a position to recover control of the group, they've seen enough to convince them that these supposedly mythical creatures may in fact exist.

So the humans track the yeti, which lives with its family in caverns above the snow-line (why did it kidnap a human woman when it had a mate? Because the script said so, that's why). They capture the beast, accidentally killing its relatives as they do so, and ship it back to the US to study it. There's an amusing sequence at the port when immigration officials arrive and impound the creature. If it's intelligent, you see, then it's an illegal immigrant! The scientists insist it is just a beast. I wonder if Their Hubris Will Be Laid Low?

While they're waiting for an expert to come study the creature for signs of intelligence, the creature demonstrates them pretty clearly by making its escape. Unfortunately, it's not smart enough to leave the movie entirely, and so a massive yeti-hunt gets underway to find it. After an interminable amount of padding to stretch the film's run time, the authorities manage to work out that a cave-dwelling creature just might be hiding underground. What follows is an "exciting" hunt through the sewers, before the beast is finally brought to bay.

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