An English expedition sets out through the Himalayas in order to capture the elusive yeti in this top-rate Hammer release. THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN transplants the classic Gothic stylings of the Universal monster movies into the snowy peaks of modern Tibet. The film poses many stark contrasts, not just in the gorgeous black and white cinematography, but also in the thematic concepts of man versus nature, knowledge versus ignorance, science versus superstition, and other clashes between New World thoughts and ancient beliefs. Cushing and company provide the same excellent performances that Hammer has become known for, while the elaborate and exotic sets share the same intricacy in design found in both CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN and HORROR OF DRACULA. Another similarity to Hammer's FRANKENSTEIN film can be found in the fact that the majority of the picture plays out without so much as a peak at the creature, leaving the audience in a constant state of tension as subtle allusions towards its existence are experienced through the characters' reactions. This makes the sudden appearance of the beast's hairy, gnarled arm that much more terrifying when it first protrudes from the tent bottom. Director Val Guest also achieves a heightened sense of realism by effortlessly blending the stunning aerial photography of real climbers making their way through the Himalayas with believable set pieces created in the legendary Bray Studios. Several key pieces of dialog reveal the film's bleak commentary on man's self-destructive tendencies as the climbers become the sources of their own demise while the yeti proves to be nothing more than a benign animal cornered by man's imposing curiosity. With a heart-racing score, breathtaking visuals, and masterful suspense, THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN truly is one of Hammer's finest and most underrated creations.
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If you liked THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN, check out:
THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD, KING KONG, HALF HUMAN.