The Snow Creature – USA, 1954

‘Half man! Half monster!’

The Snow Creature – promoted as Snow Creature – is a 1954 American science fiction horror film produced and directed by W. Lee Wilder (FrightPhantom from Space; Killers from Space), based on a story and screenplay by Myles Wilder.

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It was the first Yeti/abominable snowman-themed movie of the modern era. The use of the Los Angeles storm drain system as the film’s climactic setting can also be seen in the 1954 giant ant film, Them!

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Botanist Frank Parrish (Paul Langton – It! The Terror from Beyond SpaceThe Incredible Shrinking ManInvisible Invaders) and photographer Peter Wells (Leslie Denison – The Return of the VampireThe Son of Dr. Jekyll) lead a scientific expedition to the Himalayas.

The team encounter and capture a yeti with the help of Subra (Taru Shimada – War of the Worlds; Revolt of the Zombies), a revenge-seeking sherpa whose wife has been captured by the creature.

The Yeti is taken back to the United States, but escapes from a refrigerated unit and runs havoc in the Los Angeles sewers…

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Reviews:

“With a storyline so utterly bereft of imagination, The Snow Creature could be the work of only one man: W. Lee Wilder, Billy’s monumentally untalented brother. The movie is cheap and tacky and stupid, all of which I can forgive. It’s also mind-numbingly boring, and that I can’t.” And You Call Yourself a Scientist!

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” …nothing is made of the original concepts or the LA scenes. Long minutes are wasted with people plodding over one mountain range or another, or sitting and talking about rudiments […] Well, it’s got some nice footage of propeller planes.” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers

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“While you never get a great glimpse of him, the Yeti often just looks like a dude in a winter hat wearing giant oven mitts to make his hands look more beastly. Technically, there might only be four or five different shots of the creature, and one of them is recycled about a dozen times.” Brett Gallman, Oh, the Horror!
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“…how such a mundane B-programmer can encapsulate all the tenets of Ciné du Sasquatch and yet do so without making any of the elements entertaining is a curious dichotomy.” David Coleman, The Bigfoot Filmography

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“Beyond the singularly tacky monster suit (it’s nothing but a bunch of cheap furs sewn haphazardly together), the excessive reliance on voice-over to propel the story, and a cast that deservedly spent most of its respective careers playing characters with names like “Farmer,” “Policeman,” and “Japanese Ambassador,” The Snow Creature suffers from the deadliest of all shortcomings. It’s boring.” Scott Ashlin, 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting

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“The Yeti was big and ferocious looking if one overlooked the cheap costume (you could see folds in the fabric as it walked). But it never challenged a male unless cornered, even ones half it’s size. Didn’t mind jumping females though. Killed one and chased another. But all off-screen. We heard a couple of screams, but no actual footage.” Not the Baseball Pitcher

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Choice dialogue:

“Suppose you did kill one. How would you know it’s the one you’re after? If there’s one Yeti there must be a whole civilisation, or a whole tribe of ’em.”

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Cast and characters:

Paul Langton as Frank Parrish
Leslie Denison as Peter Wells
Taru Shimada as Subra
Rollin Moriyana as Leva
Robert Kino as Inspector Karma

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Filming locations:

Bronson Caves, Bronson Canyon, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, California, USA

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Wikipedia | IMDb | Image thanks: The Telltale Mind | VHS Collector

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