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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Snowbeast (1977)

The 1970's were well known for their TV movies.  Most of them weren't very good, but there were some decent low budget TV B-movies...

The Rill Lodge is having its annual winter carnival, which is threatened to be cancelled due to an attack on a skier by an unknown beast.  It's up to Tony- the owner's grandson, his friend Gar, and the sheriff to track down and kill it...

Joseph Stefano, who wrote the script for Alfred Hitchcock's movie, "Psycho" wrote the teleplay for this TV movie.  Supposedly, he based it loosely on Roger Patterson's book recording his own experience with Sasquatch in 1967.

For a TV movie, "Snowbeast" really isn't that bad.  Its production values are actually higher than the standard fare most networks commissioned for airing.  The skiing scenes are remarkable, and quite well done- even if they didn't really add a lot to the story's pace.  There is also some decent camerawork in this film too.  Some of the angles used for the snowbeast's point of view shots were impressive and added to the tension and suspense as he watched and approached his prey.  The scenic shots were beautiful too, really setting the location and the stark beauty of the area.  You could probably take some of the stills and blow them up as poster to hang on the wall as art photos.

The acting could've been better.  Bo Svenson wasn't bad as Gar, but I just couldn't see him as someone that could shoot at an animal, let alone a snowbeast.  I could see Tony (played by Robert Logan) as the sort that would shoot the snowbeast with little hesitation, but I found it hard to like him.  For someone trying to keep it a secret that something's been nomming on skiers, he was rather loud when talking about it.  Yvette Mimieux as Gar's wife Ellen brought a quiet grace to the movie in her performance.  I also liked Clint Walker as the sheriff, but he didn't have much in the way of screen time.

The snowbeast itself was a bit of a disappointment when finally seen.  Heck even just seeing it's arm whacking a hapless ski patrolman's head was disappointing.

However, having said that, "Snowbeast" is still fun to watch with friends on a B-movie night.  As much fun as it is to watch and giggle at, I'm going to have to place it solidly in "The Bad"

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