US made-for-tv film (1977). Douglas S Cramer Productions/NBC. Produced by Wilfred Lloyd Baumes. Directed by Herb Wallerstein. Written by Joseph Stefano. Cast includes Robert Logan, Yvette Mimieux, Sylvia Sidney, Bo Svenson and Clint Walker. 86 minutes. Colour.
A pair of young women at a Colorado ski resort are attacked and killed by something not clearly seen, an incident which is at first blamed upon a rogue bear. Head ski-patrol director Tony Rill (Logan) realizes at once that something more serious is taking place, but neither the Sheriff (Walker), nor his grandmother Carrie Rill (Sydney) takes him seriously. Rill is also the owner of the lodge, and refuses to consider cancelling the yearly winter carnival there. A bear is soon killed, seeming to settle the matter if only briefly. Gar Seberg (Svenson) and his wife Ellen (Mimieux) arrive to complicate matters: Logan has known both for years, and was once a romantic rival to Gar concerning Ellen. The lady also seems to have some feelings left for him as well. Nevertheless Logan hires Gar for the ski patrol out of friendship as Gar has fallen on hard times since his Olympic skiing days. Soon other people disappear; then the Monster – a Yeti-like beast – attacks the winter carnival itself, injuring many people and killing at least one. This convinces Sheriff Paraday (Walker) to accompany the three on an expedition to find and slay the creature, becoming its final victim in the process. It is finally shot repeatedly, then stabbed with a ski pole before falling off a steep bluff at the conclusion.
Films about alleged Sasquatch or Bigfoot-like creatures (see Apes as Human) were a minor subgenre of US horror Monster Movies in the 1970s, most of them very bad. Snowbeast is a slightly above-average entry in this subgenre. It is perhaps of most interest for its screenplay by Stefano, who co-created the original 1960s sf television series The Outer Limits (1963-1965). [GSt]
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