High up on the mountaintops of the Himalayas and the snow-covered recesses of our movie libraries sits The Abominable Snowman, the 1957 monster mythic starring the legendary yeti terrorizing any explorer that dared to traverse its home. Much like the titular man-beast of the mountain shadows, the fascination with the snowman has yet to die, which is why British horror label Hammer and producer Ben Holden are rebooting the film for a new generation.
Hammer, which owns the rights to the original, is looking to add a modern, dark spin on the campy classic, which starred Forrest Tucker, Peter Cushing, and Maureen Connell as a team of very misguided explorers. While the expedition in the original had the intention of finding the monster of the mountain, the reboot, written by Matthew Read (Pusher) and Jon Croker (Angel of Death), is going in a more sinister path; this time around, an illegal expedition ascends an unclimbed peak on a treacherous mountain range, accidentally awakening the ancient yeti as they trespass. Essentially, they done messed up.
With the re-introduction of the fearsome yeti into our cultural lexicon, it’s possible that we may be entering a new age of the creature feature. In the 1950s, when the first Abominable Snowman appeared, monster B-movies were all the rage; films like Creature From the Black Lagoon and The Blob were commonplace in movie theaters. Today, the closest thing we have to a monster B-movie industry is the SyFy channel original movie circuit. With this summer’s release of Sharknado, the world became enthralled with a little story about a coastal tornado spewing great whites on land – the ultimate killing machine. SyFy (and brother-in-arms distributor of questionable content, Asylum) has been churning out cautionary monster movies for years prior to anything resembling a shark-based natural diaster (Supergator, RIP), but it was something about this particular ramshackle of a bizarre creature tale that finally clicked for audiences. Are people finally going to start embracing monster movies again?
When The Abominable Snowman reboot is made, it will, of course, be on a much larger scale than a SyFy production and escape much of the B-movie status by doing away with the campy aspects of its predecessor (if all goes according to the existing plot description, which sounds pretty dark). But creature features can come in all shapes and sizes – they just need the monster to bring the terrors.
We already know that one large-scale creature feature is hitting theaters in 2014: Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla. While one could argue that Godzilla is a distaster movie, when it comes down to it the film is all about the monster in the middle of the mayhem – the destroyer of worlds. The original Godzilla tale dates back to the 1950s, just like The Abominable Snowman and the other creature features of yore, and has made the leap from kitschy horror to blockbuster. While we’re focusing on the people dealing with the destruction and chaos caused by that whipping tail, let’s remember who’s causing that deafening screech and widespread panic.
As The Abominable Snowman project develops, it will be exciting to see what gets cooked up in creating the monster, and if the film will spawn more monster movies in its wake. Isn’t it time we see what something like The Giant Claw or Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman looks like today? I’m sure there’s no copyright on Rock n’ Roll Satan from Rock n’ Roll Nightmare if anyone wants to get on that.