forrest tucker, hammer films, Hammer Horror, nigel kneale, peter cushing, the abominable snowman, val guest, yeti
Hammer Films trio of features to be released in 1957 would be complete with The Abominable Snowman. The heightened success of The Curse of Frankenstein and Quatermass 2 had made people sit up and take notice of this British film production company. TAS would see Director Val Guest team up again with one of his lead stars Peter Cushing, a formula that would be successful for this fictionalised expedition in search of the snow dwelling yeti.
Nigel Kneale would once again take on writing duties that would pen Cushing as botanist John Rollason who agrees to join the party led by Tom Friend (Forrest Tucker), only to discover that the true intentions behind the enterprise is to capture the ape-like creature for commercial gain.
The group are attacked by a yeti one night but one of the trappers is able to kill it, and in turn they try to use the creature to lure others of its kind to them. All of this goes against Rollasons’ moral integrity and he soon comes to believe that the yeti may indeed be of vastly greater intelligence to humankind. It is possible that they are hibernating in the mountains, waiting for humanity to reach its natural decline, before taking over as our planet’s chief primate.
The narrative will now see a turn of the tables, and the expedition must try to survive their ordeal before the terrain or the yeti’s bring about their ruin.
For a feature set in the vast open spaces through sets created by Bernard Robinson based on existing photos of shots taken in the French Pyrenees and built in the now famous Pinewood Studios, there is enough eeriness conveyed. This despite the lack of fear from the little seen yetis. It’s a strong movie with a decent plot that deserves more attention and a chance to rise out of the shadows left by The Curse of Frankenstein. The next horror feature to be released would forever cement Hammer Films’ place in the genre movie scene…
- Saul Muerte
Pingback: Retrospective: The Land Unknown (1957) | Surgeons of Horror