The Abominable Snowman (1957) [31 Days of Hammer Horror Review]

With Halloween looming large at the end of the month, and Hammer Horror recently making its return to the world of comics courtesy of the fine folks at Titan Comics, we figured now was the perfect time to take a look some of the fantastic Hammer back catalogue.

So this month, Jules is planning to watch every single Hammer Horror movie and share his thoughts with you fine, horror loving people.

You can check out the rest of our “31 Days of Hammer” by CLICKING HERE.

Released: 1957
Starring: Peter Cushing, Forrest Tucker
Director: Val Guest

With Hammer about to throw themselves wholeheartedly into the lurid colours of gothic horror, science-fiction was going to be off the table for the next few years to come, but there was one diversion still to make. 

Reverting again to black and white, The Abominable Snowman feels like a film out of time, nestled uncomfortably between the ultra-modern atomic horrors of Quatermass and the historical-set but oh-so contemporary technicolor of Frankenstein and Dracula.

The Abominable Snowman, for all its premise of scientists and monsters, isn’t massively interested in scaring its audience. Instead, director Val Guest, working from yet another script by Nigel Kneale, sets about making an adventure film, albeit one with the occasional appearance of a Yeti.

Kneale’s script was originally realised as a TV drama called The Creature, starring none other than Peter Cushing, who makes his second Hammer appearance of the year here, reprising the role Dr John Rollason, a botanist who seizes on an opportunity to join an expedition to find the fabled Yeti.

Rollason’s intentions are pure enough, it’s only scientific curiosity driving him, but his new teammates have less than noble plans. Expedition leader Tom Friend (Forrest Tucker) has no interest in observing the Yeti in their natural habitat, he’s all about bringing them back to America for fame and fortune.

Make no mistake, this isn’t a horror film. Not really. The elusive Yeti – despite early tension bring built by giant footsteps in the snow and massive, clawed hands creeping through tents – are fairly humanoid and a far cry from the monsters they’re built up to be.

Indeed, when one is killed and the others lay the base under seige to retrieve its body, it feels more like a bereaved family than a pack of creatures.

Cushing, as always, plays his role with a huge amount of heart, slowly coming round to the realisation that, yes, man is the real monster.

It’s entertaining stuff and while it’s very much on the lower end of the Hammer scale, The Abominable Snowman still hits the target enough to watch more than once for sure.

Rating: 2.5/5.

JULESAV The Writer of this piece was: Jules Boyle
Jules tweets from @Captain_Howdy

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