Cryptozoological horror films seem to be on the ascendant right now. Fortunately we here at Undead Backbrain are amongst those who think there can’t be too many.
Over the years there have been a few Abominable Snowman or Yeti movies. Some that spring to mind are: the Americanisation of Gojira director Ishirô Honda’s rare-as-hen’s-teeth Jujin yukiotako (“Abominable Snowman”), now renamed Half Human: The Story of the Abominable Snowman (US/Japan-1958; dir. Kenneth G. Crane and Ishirô Honda); The Snow Creature (US-1954; dir. W. Lee Wilder); Man Beast (US-1956; dir. Jerry Warren); Hammer’s excellent The Abominable Snowman (UK-1957; dir. Val Guest), written by the great Nigel Kneale and starring Peter Cushing and Forrest Tucker; Snowbeast (US-1977; dir. Herb Wallerstein), which was written by Psycho screenwriter and Outer Limits producer/writer Joseph Stefano; and the ultra-low budget The Abominable Snowman (US-1996; dir. Michael J. White). You can view two of these films in their entirety on our Cinema of the Backbrain page [look under 22 March 2011].
Coming this year is Snow Beast, a new Yeti-based creature feature from SunWorld Pictures, directed by Brian Brough and starring John Schneider, Jason London and Danielle Chuchran.
People disappear every year out in the snow — but this year, something is adding to the bodycount.
Jim (John Schneider) and his research team study the Canadian Lynx every winter. This year, Jim has to take his rebellious 16-year-old daughter, Emmy (Danielle Chuchran), with him. But the lynx are missing. As Jim and his team try to find why, something stalks them — a predator no prey can escape.
Though this synopsis neatly avoids mentioning the nature of the “predator”, the newly released trailer isn’t shy about giving us more than a glimpse.
Snow Beast has clearly taken a retro approach to its nature as a “creature feature”, eschewing CGI for a more tactile approach. Digital enhancement, yes, but the creature itself is a man in a suit (see the image at the top of this article), which may come as something of a relief to those who think that full digital creature effects in the mid-to-low range of the budgetary scale tend to lack presence and make one nostalgic for the sort of attention to detail that such FX masters as Stan Winston brought to the creation of monsters so many times in the past.
According to SunWorld spokesperson Marie Wilcox:
Cast members performed their own stunts (including John Schneider), making for a good time on set as we threw people through the air, dragged them through snow, launched them off snow mobiles, and dropped them into snow caves.
Snow Beast was filmed in 2010 and is an upcoming SyFy channel movie. It is slated for release on DVD, digital download, VOD, etc. late 2011. Details will be forthcoming.