Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas (Val Guest, 1957)

Be our (Val) Guest...

It isn't too much of a leap to expect an astonishing dummy-death in Hammer Films' eerie science-fiction horror tale, THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN OF THE HIMALAYAS. The film is rife with transformative deceptions: a landscape that (physically) changes continuously, characters who aren't who they seem to be and monsters who are equally misidentified and underestimated. Even the simplicity of the narrative is a deception.

By the time we reach the sequence presently under examination, the viewer is completely unprepared for the level of revelation director Guest and author Nigel Kneale have conspired to lift him up to (as would also be the case in the duo's QUATERMASS 2, released by Hammer that same year).

It is this dummy-death that acts as a staple in the centerfold; separating the film's first half which sets up and satisfies those viewers who desire a straight-forward horror-adventure and a second half which destabilizes the audience's trust in everyone and everything around them.


Here flees Andrew McNee --

-- Andrew McNee --

-- a man who very nearly "comes apart" (and is literally petrified) while suffering under the unyielding mind-control of the unearthly Yeti!

post © Howard S. Berger & Kevin Marr


Anonymous said...

I swear... every time I see dummies being thrown off a cliff or blown up now, I think of this blog and wonder if I should send you screen caps.

I'm glad to see you posting again! I love this movie.

The Flying Maciste Brothers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Flying Maciste Brothers said...

You honor us! Send your dummies our way anytime!!!

Yes it's great to be back. We'd fallen into a bit of a black hole recently, though a creative one, at least. Great to see Cinebeats back on a regular course as well (good thing you didn't "fly south" for 6 months like we did).

Many thanks for the kind thoughts and stopping by to say hi. Word on the street is the abominable snowman says nice things about you too:)

Nostalgia Kinky said...

I love this film as well and these screenshots make me smile. Great to see you back in action!

Lisa said...

Caught this movie recently and loved it, and the dummy. I don't know how I missed this when I was a little kid -- I used to watch all the monster movies! Great blog!

The Flying Maciste Brothers said...

Thanks Jeremy. It's been a hectic season (even since posting this entry! But we are going to remedy that. Thanks for the encouragement! More smiles guaranteed -- at some poor dummies expense!

Lisa -- welcome aboard! TASOTH completely traumatized us at age 4!!! If you haven't seen this one yet, you are definitely missing out! This one is really world class -- and so great to know Val Guest wasn't beyond tossing stuffed clothes to the wind for dramatic effect. Thanks very much for the kind endorsement as well -- love is the air we breathe... Please come back often and speak out and up:)

- Howard & Kevin

celestial elf said...

Really enjoyed the photos, they serve as an excellent guide and warning for The London Snowman who will soon be setting off to find the Abominable Snowman or Yeti, and hopes to resolve every-bodies confusion about these mysterious matters, look here