Goofin’ on Saskratch: Snowbeast (1977)

With the approach of the annual winter festival things are just gearing up for Tony Rill (Robert Logan) who manages his grandmother’s (Sylvia Sidney) Colorado ski resort.  Tourists start pouring in as skiers and ski patrol members go missing under unusual circumstances.  Tony catches a glimpse of something disappearing into a snowy woods.  He has no idea what it could be but he is sure is that It’s not human and it’s not animal.  What the fuck is it then?  That leaves what…vegetable or mineral?  Nah it’s something in between animal and human…hmmm…that must mean a ‘skratch.  Unfortunately for the residents of Amity…erm wherever the heck this takes place…Sheriff Paraday (Clint Walker) and Tony’s grandma aren’t hearing any of it.  Only washed up has been ski star Gar Seberg (Bo Svenson) and his wife Ellen (Yvette Mimieux) believe Tony; mainly because Gar is desperately in need of work and his wife is a journalist who has covered Bigfoot in the past.  

The sheriff and everyone else comes on board after the yeti attacks the town and kills a couple more folks.  Bodies start turning up because the police have tracked down the barn that the yeti seems to be obsessed with.  People drone on and on and some people ski.  Most of the time the excitement offered up is just off screen roars.  This thing turns into a real snooze fest.  The monster is ridiculous.  It doesn’t try to look like anything other than a guy in a suit.  It seems like the Findlay’s loaned the suit from SHRIEK OF THE MUTILATED to the filmmakers.

Joseph Stefano, who scripted PSYCHO and PSYCHO IV, is the man responsible for this atrocity.  Having called it an atrocity I must admit that despite its many shortcomings that it has some things going for it.  The fact that it is shot on location lends a lot of heart to the film.  It’s not some stale set on a backlot so it seems more vibrant.  The acting is pretty good.  Both Svenson and Mimieux are good in their roles and no one seemed too bad except the sheriff’s role is majorly understated it seems Clint stared at his shoes a bit much.  Its also fairly well shot for a TV movie.  Add to it that it is a Bigfoot flick and it has some staying power.  It’s available in the Mill Creek box sets and the picture is pretty decent considering its in a 50 movie pack.  

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