Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Terrifying Tuesdays: The Abominable Snowman (1957)

From sharethefiles.com

For the month of October, I have decided to focus on some of the movies featuring one of my favorite scary movie actors of all time, the late Peter Cushing.  In all honesty, most of the movies he was in, especially the horror films, were mediocre at best, but there was just something about his acting that rose above the scripts he was given.  One of his earlier scary movie roles was in "The Abominable Snowman" (1957), also known as "The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas".  Cushing plays Dr. John Rollason, an English botanist staying at a lamasery in the Himalayas with his wife Helen (Maureen Connell) and associate Peter Fox (Richard Wattis) while on a scientific expedition.  They are joined by a small group led by Dr. Tom Friend (Forrest Tucker), an American interested in discovering information about the legendary abominable snowman, or yeti, a topic which also fascinates John Rollason.  He agrees to accompany Friend's expedition in search of the yeti, despite the protests of his wife and awarning from the High Lama.  The expedition heads out, but it is not long before things begin to go wrong.  One of Friend's companions, a man named McNee who claims to have encountered the yeti once before, injures his leg as the group nears the area supposedly inhabited by the creatures.  He also begins to act very strangely, which concerns the others.  Then their native guide abandons them in the night, and the weather begins to turn bad as a storm moves in.  The biggest shock for Rollason, however, is the discovery that Friend's motives for the expedition are not scientific like his own, but rather mercenary, as Friend hopes to capture and exploit one of the yeti for profit with the help of his other companion, a hunter named Shelley.  It soon becomes obvious that the yeti do indeed exist, but that they are far more intelligent than anyone suspected.  Friend's chances of success are doubtful, and the very survival of the group is uncertain.  The movie's final scenes are quite intriguing, and both Peter Cushing and Forrest Tucker do an excellent job portraying their two very different characters.  Very little actual violence is seen in the film, but an appropriately frightening atmosphere begins to build as the movie progresses, despite the fact that the yeti are seldom seen.  For anyone unfamiliar with Peter Cushing, this movie is the perfect introduction -- watch it and see why he is one of my favorite actors!

Interesting Fact:  The mountains seen in the movie are the Pyrenees, not the Himalayas.

Gore Guide (0=none to 5=extreme): 0

Peter Cushing (1913-1994), English actor, in "The Abominable Snowman" (from Los Ladrones de Palomitas)

Note: As I mentioned last month, I will be watching one scary movie every day for the month of October.  I am posting the list in a side bar at right.  I offer no recommendations for or against any of these movies at the moment.  Some will be movies I have already reviewed, some will be reviewed at a future date, and some will not be reviewed here, depending upon my own whims.  Watch them at your own risk!

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