Snowbeast (1977)


An abominable snowman terrorizes a Montana ski resort in this made-for-TV movie from the late ’70s. Since Snowbeast was made for a television audience, you get no gore and very little in terms of viscera or genuine scares. The monster’s presence is mostly achieved through the old ‘point of view’ shot, which quickly gets tedious. When we do see the monster, it’s usually just an arm. But at least it’s a nice arm.

The underwhelming script (credited to Psycho‘s Joseph Stefano) borrows all its major plot points from Jaws, with Sylvia Sidney (Sabotage) playing the resort owner who, like the mayor in Spielberg’s thriller, wants to keep things business as usual — monster be damned. And like Jaws, there’s a public panic in the middle followed by a third act where three men hunt down the monster.

Bigfoot (or Yeti, Sasquatch, Abominable Snowman) is my boogeyman of choice. It’s a shame this legendary monster rarely gets a good movie made about him. Though it helps, you don’t need great monster effects to make a good monster movie. Hammer Studios’ much better The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas shows nothing more than a monster arm, and only one time. But you do need a decent script that builds a moderate amount of dread or atmosphere. Snowbeast musters neither.

With Bo Svenson, Yvette Mimieux, Robert Logan, and Clint Walker.

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