Film Review: The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas (1957)

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Right before they went into their famous ‘gothic’ period, Hammer Productions offered up an unusual treat — a widescreen, black & white adventure set in the Himalayas.  Peter Cushing and Forrest Tucker star as a scientist and exhibitionist (respectively) who seek the legendary abominable snowman.  I’m a big fan of the snowman, the Yeti, the sasquatch — all one and the same, really.  Unfortunately, my favorite boogeyman usually appears in only the worst kind of exploitation horror movies.  Not this time.

The Abominable Snowman keeps the creature respectfully mysterious and surprisingly dignified.  Apart from a creeping hand and climactic closeup, you don’t see much of the beast.  Whether its for budgetary concerns or not doesn’t really matter, because the movie works well without having to exploit a man in a monkey suit.  I love the escapist value of the movie, too.

Hammer incorporates some beautiful aerial photography of the snow capped mountains, and their Buddhist monastery set is among the finest they every constructed.  Humphrey Searle delivers a good musical score that accentuates both the exotic locale and Buddhist mysticism.  With a thoughtful, well-paced script and surprisingly good production values, The Abominable Snowman makes for a great old-fashioned matinee adventure movie.

Rating: 3.25/5 ★★★¼☆ 

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About Scott_S

Scott studied film and sociology at Indiana University and is currently the video producer for a large publishing company. He is the director of several independent films, including "House of Hope," "Off the Beaten Path," "The Day Joe Left," and "Found." For more about Scott, visit www.scottschirmer.com. Scott is also one of the principal organizers of the Dark Carnival Film Festival. (www.darkcarnivalfilmfest.com)

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