Call of the Cryptid film review: The Snow Creature with a Yeti in L.A.!


The Snow Creature is an old school, cryptid-themed sci-fi horror film about a Yeti loose in Los Angeles. Will it be caught or blend in all too well?

When I say “Los Angeles,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Lights, camera, action? Beautiful people hiding scandals from a prying public and press? Well, in addition to an overdose of glitz and glamour, Hollywood sometimes acquires unique problems like crime, smog and Yetis. Yes, Yetis! Sure, The Snow Creature offers us only one Yeti in L.A., but those things aren’t exactly a dime a dozen, you know!

Anyway, I’m probably getting ahead of myself here. Let’s get to the basics: The Snow Creature was directed by W. Lee Wilder — the brother of multi-Academy Award-winning director Billy Wilder — and released in 1954 . While Billy is highly respected, W. Lee didn’t exactly follow in his brother’s cinematic footsteps. Still, while this movie gets critiques for being boring or silly, I personally kind of like it.

In fact, I may have misled you earlier. Part of this movie indeed occurs in the Himalayas (or someplace like that). However, that part of the movie isn’t really what will draw people in. The prospect of a major fish-out-of-water story looms larger than any creature in its natural habitat. That’s not to say the Himalaya scenes are particularly boring. For example, those local to the region speak Japanese for some reason, despite it likely occurring in India.

While it’s certainly possible to speak Japanese in India (or any language anywhere else), it’s likely a quirky oversight on part of the filmmakers. Basically, this is a movie filled with quirks, which is partly why it’s fun.

Get to the Yeti Already!

While the Yeti’s presence is felt throughout, The Snow Creature contains some Yeti-triggered human drama. Somewhat predictably, the wife of expedition guide Subra (Teru Shimada) is kidnapped at one point, and he becomes so obsessed that he forcibly takes over the mission. Interestingly, he instantly believes his wife has been taken by the Yeti (played by Lock Martin — whose name instantly makes me think of a certain shoe brand). In fact, Subra’s obsession is perhaps the most compelling aspect of The Snow Creature, and surprisingly well-acted (especially for a critically panned film).

Now, I could go on and on about the details here. Long story short: The Yeti ends up in L.A., where he plays into the stereotype of a creature demanding the companionship of a human female. I also know certain comments could be made about this aspect of the movie, but I’ll leave that up to interpretation.

More from Horror Movies

The main point is, The Snow Creature is a fairly enjoyable and worthwhile old-school, cheesy sci-fi monster movie. By no means is it particularly scary, but I’ve seen (and liked) worse movies than this.

Other than Teru Shimada’s performance, not much stands out acting-wise. I wouldn’t say they do a bad job, but he steals the show during his moments. However, if you need to know who some of the other actors are, they include Paul Langton as Frank Parrish, Leslie Denison as Peter Wells, William Phipps as Lt. Dunbar and Rollin Moriyana as Leva.

Finally, I should say this review doesn’t mean I won’t cover the Yeti itself later on. Basically, any Call of the Cryptid film review will be supplemental to other pieces about individual cryptids.

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Certainly there’s a lot going on with the Yeti as a creature, or a legend, even apart from fine cinematic achievements such as this.  Still, you have to love the occasional monster movie!

That’s it for this Call of the Cryptid! What do you think of The Snow Creature and Yeti-kind? Let us know in the comments!