Snowbeast (1977)

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Snowbeast (1977)

Post  BoG on Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:22 pm

and CLINT WALKER  Like a Star @ heaven with SYLVIA SIDNEY  Like a Star @ heaven  Teleplay - JOSEPH STEFANO  Like a Star @ heaven  Directed by HERB WALLERSTEIN
Like a Star @ heaven  Like a Star @ heaven Special Guest Star
(the video below has the Snowbeast song but also SPOILERS on how it ends)

Aaaaaayeeeeeee!  affraid  No! Yaaaargh!   What a Face   The rare monster-on-the-loose TV movie attempt of the seventies, this concerns a Yeti-like creature which is very hostile and murderous. It takes place in the area of a ski resort and wastes no time; one of two young women who are out skiing on the slopes is the first victim. Svenson (Walking Tall II) & Mimieux (The Time Machine) play a husband & wife, the Sebergs, who just arrived; Gar Seberg is on the skids after a great skiing career and is looking for a job. Their buddy and former flame to the wife is played by Logan; he helps them out, but then all hell breaks loose as there are more killings. That's where the sheriff played by Walker (Killdozer TV-74)  comes in; Walker, after all, faced down a huge Grizzly bear in a sixties film. But, he may be over-the-hill for this job.
Most of the creature scenes are filmed from the monster's p.o.v. - this avoids the need to show the monster very much, a ploy which works in the favor of a low budget TV production. There are a couple of quick glimpses and that's all. I first watched this when it aired, on April 28, 1977, and was spooked by a couple of scenes since I was young at the time. I was especially affected by one scene in particular, when the creature attacks a woman who had just arrived at the wrong time in her vehicle; moments later, the daughter shows up to look for her mom and finds the remains in the vehicle - it's the stuff of every kid's nightmare.

There are references to the Bigfoot legend; there were several low budget films and quasi-documentaries made about the legend earlier in the decade. I was a little disappointed by the climax - the very end -  where it falls on Svenson to predictably do the hero bit, but I suppose one's expectations can't be too high for a TV movie. In spite of the strange convenience of having a huge pile of logs sitting just right above a parked camper, the final act, when the creature is tracking and chasing the principals, generates some thrills; you get this sense that this is a really bloodthirsty creature; the whole sequence reminded me of the later Prophecy (1979), in which a group are also chased by a monster. But, overall, the plot follows the pattern of Jaws (75), as did a few other films in the late seventies (Grizzly, etc.). BoG's Score: 6 out of 10

Beastly Trivia: Mimieux replaced Donna Mills on this film, while Sidney replaced Gloria Swanson
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