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Monday, February 26, 2018

Snowbeast (1977)





The made for T.V. horrors keep on coming. It is surprising that it took this long for me to finally get around to a Bigfoot/Sasquatch movie. The hairy fella was pretty popular in the swinging ‘70s. But I’m getting sidetracked.

Bo Svenson plays Gar, a former Gold Medal winning skier. He pops in on an old friend, Tony, who runs a resort in the hopes of getting a job and immediately gets one. Though perhaps not what he was expecting. We the audience know from earlier events that something is in the woods and is attacking the guests. After some skiing and snowmobile riding more people get killed by the Snowbeast aka. Bigfoot. But things don’t really get hairy until after the creature shows up at the local Winter Carnival. Ha see what I did there? Hairy like the Sasquatch!

After this Gar, his lady, the sheriff, and Tony decide to head off into the woods to find and kill the creature. They do this by riding around on snowmobiles until it gets dark and then decide to camp out. Basically, using themselves as bait to lure Bigfoot out into the open so they can shoot him. Only when he finally shows up they have somehow forgotten their guns… They really aren’t very good at this. Luckily Tony finds a gun and tosses it to Gar who skis after the monster eventually shooting it and finishing it off with a ski pole.

I’m not going to lie, this is a silly movie. The characters make dumb choices, there are plot holes large enough to drive a truck thru, and it is liberally padded with characters enjoying various winter activities. In no way does it measure up with some of the better movies that I’ve covered on this list. But God help me I still really like it and don’t know why. Maybe it is because the characters decide to part their RV on the road right under a hill that features a nice big pile of logs for the Snowbeast to knock down on them! Or perhaps it is when they run away and leave the unconscious sheriff to be eaten by the Snowbeast. I also love the logic of the movie where they imply the creature is smart and then it immediately lets them run off while it goes after the trapped character. I wasn’t kidding when I mentioned plot holes.

Bullets won't kill you but my Ski Pole will!
The creature design is decent. It is just a guy in a suit, but they keep it in the shadows and use quick cuts to limit the screen time. When we do see it, they show us a rather creepy and disturbing face. The rest of the time we get “creature vision” with a camera moving thru the woods and grunting to let us know we are looking thru the Snowbeast’s eyes. I sort of liked how they handled the creature. The movie is much better when it is involved, and we aren’t watching skiing and snowmobiling.

I’m not trying to make this movie sound too good. It really isn’t that great. But it does feature one of my favorite bits of dialogue that I’ve heard. Tony is asked to identify a victim and he asks to see her face. The sheriff’s response? “She doesn’t have one.” Heh, good times. If you are in the mood for something cheesy then this is the one for you. If not, you might want to skip it.



© Copyright 2018 John Shatzer

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