In 18th-century England, the Royal Crown sends Royal Navy Captain Collier and his crew to investigate reports of illegal smuggling and bootlegging in a coastal town where locals believe in Marsh Phantoms.
Peter Graham Scott
At a remote lamasery in the Himalayas, scientist John Rollason studies rare mountain herbs with the help of his wife Helen, and associate Peter, while awaiting the arrival of an American named Tom Friend. Over Helen's objections and warnings by the High Lama, he sets out with Friend on an expedition to find the elusive Yeti, accompanied by another American named Shelley and a young Scotsman, McNee, who claims to have seen the thing. Footprints are found in the snows and McNee seems queerly affected the closer they get to their quarry's likely habitat but the biggest shock to Rollason is discovering Friend is a showman who only intends to exploit their find, with Shelley his game hunter/marksman. The conflict between science and commercialism only increases when an enormous anthropoid is shot, and the horror only increases as the party realizes the other Yeti intend to retrieve their fallen comrade and have powers to do so which seem extra-human.Written by
Rich Wannen <RichWannen@worldnet.att.net>
Fabulous little implicit horror gem from Hammer Studios with subtle performances by Forrest Tucker and Peter Cushing. I was amazed to see how youthful looking Peter Cushing looked in this movie compared to just a few years later. Seemed to have come after The Curse of Frankenstein(1957) and The Horror of Dracula(1958). The Abominable Snowman(1957) looks at the notion of the yeti in an abstract manner. The legendary yeti in the film is given an ambiguous quality that makes them into a fearful presence. Intellgent film that could only have been done by the British for filmmakers of Hollywood(many of them) would not make a film richly deep with implicit fright and intellegence. When it comes to creating Science fiction flicks that are scary as well as intellegent the British filmmakers for the most part are bar none the best. Parts of the story reminds me of Frank Capra's Lost Horizon(1937) which also took place in the Himalayas mountains. Both The Abominable Snowman(1957) and Lost Horizon(1937) deal with ideas of spiritality and humanity. Peter Cushing as Dr. Rollason is a good counterpart to the money and fame hungry Dr. Friend played by Forrest Tucker. Peter Cushing gives a gentle and thoughtful performance that is uncharacteristic of the many roles he had for Hammer studios. Imaginating written by Quatermass creator, Nigel Kneale who is a master of suggestive terror. The Abominable Snowman(1957) is one of the main influences besides Cannibal Holocaust(1979) for Blair Witch Project(1999). Abominable Snowman(1957) is a more effective film in suggesting terror than Blair Witch Project(1999) for a couple of reasons. First, the former does show bits and pieces of the yeti which is more imaginative than not showing anything of the witch at all as the latter. Second, the fear and terror felt by the characters in The Abominable Snowman(1957) feels geniune unlike in Blair Witch Project where emotions of fear and terror feel manipulated and forced. An excellent motion picture for a someone like Val Guest whose career is filled with ups and downs. The Abominable Snowman(1957) ends on a thought provoking note about the Yeti as well as other intellegent metaphysical issues.
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