Country: UNITED KINGDOM
The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas
Hammer Film Productions quaint 1957 effort The Abominable Snowman holds a position of curiosity within the esteemed history of Britain’s greatest purveyors of gothic horror. Like all films of interest it tends to split opinion within horror circles. To those who perhaps prefer their horror more subtle than visceral it is seen as an intelligent human drama dedicated to a message of ecological awareness. To those less attuned too, or appreciative of, restraint and unobtrusiveness, it is viewed as slow, talky, and boring, with a ‘monster’ that appears all to briefly. Perhaps part of the problem for The Abominable Snowman is that even within the context of Hammer’s production roster it was considered anachronistic. Although it was made before The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), it wasn’t actually released until after the wicked Baron Frankenstein’s morally reprehensible experiments had struck an unsuspecting public. The black and white photography, token American actor, and the collaboration between director Val Guest and writer Nigel Kneale, belonged to a phase that Hammer were now leaving behind in favour of a colourful mid-European gothic netherworld in which the forces of good and evil were to do battle under the watchful eye of Terence Fisher. It was rushed out to capitalise on the newly discovered marquee status of Peter Cushing, a status which would have been unpredicted when the film was being made. Although Cushing controls the film, his domination is increased more with the knowledge that from the time the film was produced to when it was released, he had become a star.