Well, tonight’s featurama is The Snow Creature and I don’t want
to start a panic or anything, but can you guess the name of the director?
That’s right! It’s W. Lee Wilder.
AAAARRGGHHHH [BONG BONG BONG] AARRRGHHHH [BONG]
Just like on "Pee Wee’s Playhouse," you said tonight’s Secret Word!
We start with a map of India, which pops around until it settles on the Himalayan Mountains in Tibet, while a narrator tells us that this is going to be a story of an expedition to these very mountains. We see various snowy, mountainous vistas while the narrator says this expedition was going to study plant life, previously “unknown” or “inaccessible” so they’re not just fooling around, you know.
The image goes all blurry and wavy, like a flashback, and the narrator says that the expedition soon found themselves “pursuing” a “crude and primitive” civilization which was previously thought fictional. And we get our title, to a flourish of music.
And we cut to a plane flying around Los Angeles, where the narrator (who has a boring voice) says that after some study, they decided to go to Bombay, India, because where else might you find the Himalayas? That’s my question too. Well, not exactly my question but close enough. Naturally, when the narrator says Bombay, we see the plane flying over the Pyramids.
Well, whatever, as we get a rapid montage of landing gear coming down, a map with “Bombay” on it, some snowy mountains, and finally the plane lands. Then we get the map again, and the narrator says he went to Shakar, which is where the wilderness starts. There, he says he recruited ten Sherpas to help out with his botany expedition. We see him interviewing these guys while in voice-over he says his name is Dr. Frank Parrish, and he works for the Corey Foundation. Okay, but Corey Haim or Corey Feldman?
Others we are introduced to are Peter Wells, “well qualified to serve as a photographer.” Whatever that means. I guess it means he owns a camera. Hm, Wells takes out a hip flask surreptitiously and has a drink. I bet he’s the villain. Also going is “Subra” who is the guide, hired because he also speaks English. He spots Wells taking a drink and licks his lips.
And everyone’s packed and ready to go, and they start out, including a woman! Oh, it’s Subra’s wife, and she’s just there to see him off to work. She's not going on the trip.
Dr. Frank says “the first days were uneventful, monotonous and tedious” and I hope he’s not predicting our future. We see lots of trudging. And then some more of that as well, so we get the idea. According to Dr. Frank, the higher they go, the more “rugged” the terrain becomes. Really? I would never have thought that! (I am making fun of the movie here.)
More trudging. And more. “At last on the day, we reached the plateau region.” Nearly five minutes in, we get our first actual dialogue, when Dr. Frank tells Subra, “Subra, have your men pitch the tents.” Subra duly transmits the order and the tents are pitched.
They have a hot meal, now that “Camp One” was “well established.” They found no interesting plants here, though. In the tent with Dr. Frank and Wells, Subra comes in and it’s established that everyone is fine, fine, fine. Wells offers Subra a hit on his flash, which Subra accepts, and which Dr. Frank declines.
Dr. Frank then asks Wells not to give any hooch to the men, and not to drink in their presence. “Suits me,” says Wells, and he settles back. Dr. Frank makes radio contact and everything seems fine back in Shakar.
Speaking of Shakar, we see Mrs. Subra come out of her house and go start a bonfire or something. Oh, she’s gathering firewood from the pile the Subra family has outside. A shadow falls across her, and she screams as the most ridiculous snow creature I’ve ever seen (not that I’ve seen a lot) grabs her and carries her off. He looks like a guy wearing a wooly tracksuit, and his face just looked like some bearded guy out of a Hercules film. Admittedly, his face was in shadow, but I just wonder what a Hercules film directed by W. Lee Wilder would be like. “Bad” would be my first guess, and also my second. And I’d probably keep guessing that until they gave me the prize and I could go home and weep.
Subra’s brother witnesses this, and we get a quick series of shots as the young man speaks (in Sherpan) to several acquaintances, who all shake their heads. I do have to give a slight bit of credit here, as most film-makers would have had the narrator say, “Rusty’s friends heard his fantastic tale, but no one would follow to help his sister-in-law.” But Dr. Frank couldn’t have known of any of this, so he keeps quiet.
Back up at Camp One, several folks show up and peek in each of the tents, until they find Subra, then they tell him in Sherpan the bad wife-related news. He, in turn, wakes up Dr. Frank and tells him that a yeti has stolen his woman, “Kala.” So now we know her name.
Both Wells and Dr. Frank are remarkably dismissive of Subra’s concerns, laughing about an “abominable snowman” and generally acting like Subra’s folks are all primitive and things (with the underlying and uncomfortable assumption that they are, thus, expendible). Well, Subra, I suggest you ditch these guys and let them freeze. (It would end the movie very fast.) Dr. Frank mentions that thousands of dollars have been spent to finance this expedition, and they’re not going to go chasing after “legends.” He generously offers to allow Subra’s brother and his friends to join them and look for exotic plants. And to heck with his old lady, I guess!
May I just interject a “Good GRIEF” at this point? Thank you.
And Dr. Frank and Wells go back to sleep, and we fade to the next day, where the same shot we saw earlier of a Sherpa making breakfast is repeated, though the woodwind music is a little more sad. Dr. Frank and Wells are poking at plants, and we pan down to see some Sherpas muttering amongst themselves.
“Because of my decision, I felt that Subra resented and disliked me,” Dr. Frank narrates. No kidding. His wife disappears and you just kind of laugh it off. Well, no follow up on this as we fade to black, then fade to a frozen tent flap flapping away (don’t they tie those closed at night?). Someone, maybe Wells, is sleeping within while shadows move over him. And someone steals his rifle. We pan past a book titled “Old Maps” over to where Dr. Frank is also a-snooze. And someone puts the rifle back! Wow, plans within plans.
The next morning, the Sherpas are gathered and Subra is speaking to them. In the tent, the two white guys are lazing around. Dr. Frank wonders what’s up outside, and Wells says it “Sounds like Subra trying to be very important.” Well, Dr. Frank is going to investigate this nonsense, by golly.
He steps outside and sees all the Sherpas leaving. He calls Subra over, asks what’s going on and Subra explains the search-party-for-his-wife thing, and it’s rather too bad for Dr. Frank’s botanical search. Dr. Frank threatens to shoot anyone who disobeys, and Subra laughs, saying they have no bullets. It seems Subra has the upper hand. So he takes the (useless) guns and goes to join his fellows. Dr. Frank and Wells are resigned that their whole expedition has come to naught. Just think, they were about to (maybe) discover some exotic plants, possibly, and now everyone’s left them to sulk so they can look for frozen humanoid kidnappers. What a rip off! It’s so unfair!
I don’t mind telling you, this whole thing is making Dr. Frank look way, way worse than callous and self-centered. In fact, it makes him, shall we say, pretty unsympathetic. “Your wife is missing, possibly carried off by a monster? How can that compare with my mission, possibly to find some plants (and just as possibly not)? “ Well, there are a bunch of ways, but let’s you and I get back to the film and let Dr. Frank stew and smolder.
Wells mentions the radio, but just when Dr. Frank gets it warmed up, Subra comes in again (Dr. Frank quickly hides the radio) and asks what they’re waiting for? Time to go, everyone is going! Dr. Frank notes this in his narration soon after. And we see some more trudging.
Still more trudging.
And some more of that, including fades, and stuff.
And now we see some nighttime footage of tents and folks peering into those tents.
Inside one tent, with Wells and Dr. Frank, the former is poking through a bunch of packed things, and he thinks he’s found his scotch! All right! But Dr. Frank, eminent party pooper extraordinaire, says “Never mind about that” and insists that further bags be poked through. And they find something that seems important to them, it’s labeled “HANDLE WITH CARE - SHORT WAVE RADIO.”
”Let’s hope they haven’t been monkeying with it,” says Dr. Frank, but Wells thinks it looks “all right.” (I wonder how any self-respecting spell check can think “monkeying” is misspelled. But that, of course, is just me.)
One of the two, Dr Frank I think, says, “Wait a minute!” And after a brief pause, with nothing happening, he says, “It’s okay, go ahead.” What the hell?
Anyway, Wells gets the radio up and running and he starts to broadcast his thoughts on stuff or whatever, but then a rifle with a huge barrel pokes into the tent, and it shoots the radio, which flies across the room. Subra pokes his grinning face in, and he notes that he only wants to “kill—radio machine!” And he laughs and leaves, and the long-barreled gun withdraws, as his laughing face does.
Then someone, maybe Subra, appears and wants the scotch, too! Is there no limit to the perfidy on display? I guess not, since they give away the alcohol. In voice-over, after a while, Dr. Frank notes that the radio can be repaired, given time. Oh, good. I was hoping we’d have something that would take lots and lots of time, preferably using stock footage and maybe trudging, or if we’re super lucky, stock footage OF trudging. “Wells’ case of scotch gave me an idea,” Dr Frank continues, opening doors and pulling some strings (angel). And also taking stuff out of boxes and generally arranging stuff. While outside it is pretty cold. Let me tell you, though, Well’s case of scotch has given me a really great idea.
Later, when there was less heat, we cut to Dr. Frank hearing a noise, while the wind blows incessantly. Wells hears nothing, other than wind, but Dr. Frank hears subtle tones that some men might miss. So he pokes his head out to listen to more, and we see the Snow Creature walking toward the camera! However, we’re the only ones to see this, as the camera was no where near anyone anywhere, and Dr. Frank swiftly gets bored and goes back into his tent. Despite Dr. Frank’s thorough and complete sweep of the area with his flashlight, nonetheless it never touched a bit of the Snow Creature. So he’s still a “mystery” and stuff…if we were all totally stupid (like me).
This whole movie would have been better by far if, for example, Subra was known to be eccentric and paranoid BECAUSE he knew English. But since he was the only guide who knew English, Dr. Frank had to hire him. He (Subra) could even have had contact with the Snow Creatures in the past. So he might jump to the “snow creature” answer every time anything happened, and Dr. Frank would have dismissed this, due to Subra’s mental stuff, which this time would turn out to be true…man, I hate writing a better movie than what I’m watching. In case any of you want to try anything.
Anyway, it is the next day, and everyone is prepared to pound the mountain pavement for some more hours, but then, some underling finds something totally cool! It is big footprints, which have to be the ultimate evidence, right? Big feet=big mystery dissipated. Please?
Well, everyone is all ready to follow in these big footsteps. Dr. Frank asks if Subra isn’t forgetting something? Subra grins, says he’s forgetting nothing since the radio machine is dead, and we get a shot of it in the snow, pretty much dead. Even the music doesn’t raise much hope. For anyone, if you’re keeping score.
So, more trudging.
Finally, around the 22 minute mark, the trail runs out, but Subra says they should all continue upwards. Okay then, everyone says. And there they go. Glad we got that out of the way, because here comes…more trudging! Ha ha ha, wish I was some sort of evil genius that could…gain something from this. I am just way too non-evil, apparently.
Luckily, Dr. Frank says that “even Subra could not fight the darkness” which seems several hours off based on what we see, but who cares, and anyway Subra orders camp made here and now. And fade to black.
In the White Folks tent, they’re still trying to get the radio to work, with Wells complaining about his lack of booze (I hear ya), suddenly, they hear a noise.
But it wasn’t much of a noise, because they ignore it and go back to messing with the radio…until a scream breaks the wind noise!
Well, they perk up at this wind-breaking noise, and they rush out to find a dead body! The Snow Creature stands around, well-hidden while looking again like an extra in a Hercules film, until the dead body is pronounced dead. Then the Snow Creature fades back into the flakes, and no one saw him even a little except maybe the dead guy, which might be why he’s dead.
And we fade into shadow, then fade in as Dr. Frank begins to assume that maybe there’s more to this Snow Creature stuff than just legend. Maybe even that blackguard Subra is on to something. Damn it all, etc. He sure smokes pensively as Wells sleeps. Well, smoking, hm, I guess, whatever. Probably just tobacco which makes many people jittery.
And we fade in on some ice formations, and someone in a thick catsuit is climbing up on these ice bits, and he sees below how some coated types are climbing too, so he sends an avalanche down on them. And WOW is this guy the Snow Creature? Because he looks too thin for this. Though he doesn’t look too cheap for this! BA ZING.
Luckily, our heroes hid in a cave that was well protected, so the whole thing was pretty meaningless. Everyone mentions the safe part and not the meaningless part. And they trudge on, to the tune of more stock footage and stock music.
Around the twenty-six minute mark (oh HELL) some of the white guys complain about lack of oxygen Subra says they’ll camp for the night. He peers through the binoculars, first, and spots a cave entrance. Well, Dr. Frank and Wells are all up to see what’s going down with some cave entrance. We’ve all been waiting a while, you know, for something of interest to happen, maybe a cave-entrance is a good thing. It could be. If you’re massively into caves and their entrances.
So they all gather their crap and go to the cave. “How long will it take us to get down there?” asks Wells or Dr. Frank.
”One hour, maybe two,” says Subra. Oh my God, we’re going to see every last moment of this, aren’t we.
Well, it saves me some typing. They trudge. And trudge some more. Repeat.
Cool storm clouds overhead, there. That was a pretty nice shot. But the heck with that, back to trudging. And just before they all dash into the cave, we see the Snow Creature standing up some place, looking down at the astonishingly dull proceedings. But we only get a glimpse of him, wouldn’t want you all to have a heart attack or nothing. W. Lee Wilder knows what’s best, after all.
Of course, just after I typed that, Mr. Wilder tosses my witticisms into my face, as we get a nice long shot of the Snow Creature descending from the rock he was standing on. He gingerly gets down. Easy does it, now, don’t sprain anything! If you slip and break your legs, don’t come running to me, ha ha ha.
In the cave, everyone is finally in. Soon, there’s a roaring fire and the natives are speaking in low voices. Wells lets on how it’s lucky they found the cave, and Dr. Frank says, “Yeah, it would have been impossible in the tents in this weather.”
He calls over Subra. “You know, you could be a very famous man,” he says, all kind of oily like he’s about to be tricky.
”Yes?” says Subra.
Well, I guess being oily is just Dr. Frank’s natural demeanor. He says that this fame would come if they caught a Yeti and brought it back to America. Subra says he just wants to kill the damn thing. Dr. Frank asks how he’d know it was the right one?
Subra kind of didn’t think about that. Dr. Frank says that if there’s one, there must be “a whole civilization, or tribe.” Well, he’s certainly making conceptual leaps, here. Are they supposed to be intelligent creatures? Then why do they kidnap people?
Anyway, Subra decides killing all theYeti is fine with him. And he might take years to do it, too. Dr. Frank wants to know why no one has ever seen them. Uh, because this is a remote part of the world, maybe? It’s not like Manhattan, you know.
”Yeti, him hide when see human,” Subra says. “But Yeti come low country when want to steal woman. Always want to steal woman!” Hey…take my wife, please! Ha ha ha ha cough cough cough SHTUNK SHTUNK SHTUNK thanks, I needed that.
Subra insists they’ll go until they find the Yeti, and he goes back to his pals. “I think we go sleep now,” he says.
And everyone does just that. As Wells and Dr. Frank are unrolling their sleeping bags, Dr. Frank says it’s too bad that the radio is in one of the Sherpa’s packs, and Wells agrees, but says he’s going to get some sleep right now rather than worry about it. And as we fade to black, I think that sounds like a good plan too. See you tomorrow!
Next morning, we’re back to trudging, the only difference is, we’re inside a cave now. Subra finds something. It’s a medallion, no doubt his wife’s, which (thank the maker) proves we’re heading in the right direction. You laugh? I wouldn’t put it past Mr. Wider to make us go all the way outside, all the way back down the mountain, and over to the sun and fun capital of the world, Miami Beach.
Subra starts calling out for his woman, while in voice-over Dr. Frank says, “I realized that the snow creature was not just a legend. I consoled myself with the thought that finding one would more than compensate for my failure as a botanist.” Oh, it’s all about you, Dr. Frank.
They all come to a large central part of the cave corridor, and Subra reads out some instructions. He’s ordering (according to the voice-over) the men to search the branches of the tunnel and meet at the cave entrance.
Back to trudging. And the Subra group, which includes Wells and Dr. Frank, finds a skeleton in the cave. It’s been picked clean. Wells notes how the place give him “the creeps” and Dr. Frank says “it’s not the most cheerful” place he’s been in, but he says the skeleton is only that of an animal. It’s a mountain goat, in fact. And we’re back to more trudging. And they come to another branch and take the left one.
And by Jove it turns out to be correct! They come to a place and there’s a Snow Creature just standing there. Subra calls out his wife’s name and wants to shoot it, but someone pushes the gun down and another guy goes up with a camera and takes a picture. Well, the Snow Creature hates paparazzi so he…yanks at the wall until it comes down on him. He screams as it crushes him. Oh, good, we’re done! “The End” please, if you don’t mind.
Seriously, though, what the hell kind of defense is this? Sure, some animals will play “dead,” but they usually don’t cause rocks to tumble on them. Because there might be no playing about it.
That damned Dr. Frank, though, he and the others rush forward and pick up the Snow Creature’s silly looking paw. Really, it looks like something from a theme park mascot, who would wave to kids as they pelted him with candy’d wrappers while smoke came from his eyes.
Where was I? Oh, yeah, the Snow Creature. Turns out, dash the luck, that the silly thing’s only stunned. Subra readies his rifle, but Dr. Frank wrestles it away. Yes, it really was that easy. Dr. Frank says he’ll give the Snow Creature a “hypo” to “keep him quiet” and then he orders Subra to get a tarp to drag this sorry creature back down to civilization. No, no, you fools! Not me, I’m not the sorry creature. Well, okay, I guess I am, but not THIS one. The one in the fuzzy track suit!
Dr. Frank tells us in voice-over that the Snow Creature had managed to kill its own family in the cave-in. It’s a race of idiots--come on, even the lowliest life-forms protect their offspring. This is some frozen doof. Anyway, now that the tables are turned, Subra and the others are forced to bring the trussed up Snow Dolt to the cave entrance.
Which they do, and Dr. Frank and Wells capture the other Sherpas and get the other gun, and use the radio to call the police. And we get more trudging.
I suppose it’s unfair of me to ask what became of Subra’s wife? Thought so.
We do find out that they can’t get through on the radio, so they start back down the mountain. Cue the trudging footage, only the other way this time. See, it’s like…uh, variety, or something which, um, might, er. Uh. Ahem. Cough. Scratch scratch scratch. Heh heh. Yawn.
We get to see the same footage of people asleep in sleeping bags. Isn’t that great? What do you mean, “No”? Wells is guarding everyone while Dr. Frank catches a few Snow Zs. If he gets drunk and prolongs this thing (accidentally releasing the creature, say), I’ll never speak to him again.
”Wells and I took turns watching, to make certain that nothing went wrong,” Dr. Frank voice-overs. And guess what? We’re awake along with them, watching as the Sherpas gather lots of rest and everyone else gets SO tired.
Except the Snow Creature, who moves a bit beneath his wrappings (don’t open til Christmas!) and moves his amazingly unconvincing paw out of his coverings and flops it on some sleeping Sherpa’s face. Well, this fellow naturally bellows a lot, and Dr. Frank thumps on the trussed up Snow Creature with his rifle butt while yelling for Wells to “get the hypo.”
And that bit of semi-excitement over, we’re back to trudging. No, I didn’t miss it either. But that’s what we’ve got. “We managed to keep the creature in a semi-conscious state, allowing him to come to only enough to take food,” Dr. Frank voice-overs, and that sounds remarkably like my own life while watching these things. Substitute “beer” for “food” of course.
”So on the fifth day, we reached the low land region. On the seventh day, as we were nearing the town of Shakar, I decided to herd the natives straight to the police.” Everyone’s dressed far more casually now, with light jackets and stuff. I thought I should mention that since there’s nothing else of interest. True, that isn’t interesting either, but at least it’s different.
In the police station, I guess, some native high mucky-much is on the phone to Los Angeles, and asks Dr. Frank who he wanted to speak with? “Mr. Cory, Junior,” is the answer.
But the Mucky-Muck hangs up the phone and explains to the theatre full of people who are sound asleep that Dr. Frank was given permission to explore the Himalayan Mountains, but his discovery is “of a very unusual nature,” but it is also his (Dr. Frank’s) to do with as he wishes. Glad that’s all cleared up.
Dr. Frank is suspicious, though. “The inspector kept repeating how friendly his country was, and how it welcomed scientists, explorers, and so on,” he narrates. Even acrobats and mimes?
The inspector himself offers his govt’s apologies for the rudeness of the Sherpas and says they’ll be in jail charged with rudeness, so all is well and good and fine. Etc. Etc!
Dr. Frank asks if the creature can be kept “here” (police HQ I guess), and that’s okay, and also, can the police give him an injection every six hours? Dr. Frank produces the syringes. “Yes, I can do that,” Mr. Mucky-muck says. He also says that Subra wishes to speak to Dr. Frank.
Subra shows up and says he doesn’t know if this Yeti was the same Yeti that yeti’d off with his woman. Dr. Frank has an Aw Shucks moment and says he’s not going to press charges. Subra is warmly grateful. And the phone rings! Is that ever good?
Well, yes, this time it is, as it is apparently “Corey, Junior” and would Dr. Wells mind taking it in the next room? Dr. Frank would surely do this, and he calls Wells along too, because…uh…he…no, that’s not it, um. Hang on. Because someone is allergic to some kind of chemical? Do I win?
We get to watch this amazingly compelling and thrilling phone call as Dr. Frank says Corey, Junior should send a big refrigerator, and that he’s going to Bombay to make some more arrangements, and also could someone call his wife, Mrs. Frank, to say he’ll be home “soon”? Gosh, what are the odds of that, that Subra lost his wife to a subhuman beast-thing, while Dr. Frank is going back to his own hot wife who isn’t in any peril from Snow Creatures! Makes you think about this whole, grand cosmic wheel that we all turn on.
Well, no, it doesn’t but I’m running out of things to type. During the whole phone call, Wells stood in the back, smoking, without any lines. Looking like, man, I could be in my trailer watching porn, instead I’m here listening to some guy talk about nothing.
Dr. Frank turns to him and tells him about the refrigeration unit for the Snow Creature, and Wells says he doesn’t like it, doesn’t like it one bit. When pressed, he says that this Snow Creature could mean a lot of money, the photo (you remember that incident) would fetch a lot of money and the creature itself even more. Dr. Frank says that the beast is going to the “Corey Institute, where it belongs.” Well, actually, it belongs in the Himalayans, but you know, whatever.
Mr. Mucky-Muck shows up to ask how the telephone call went, and no one has any complaints. Other than me, I mean. But then, I always complain, don’t I? Yes, yes I do. Sorry about that!
Anyway, Dr. Frank says he’s going to Bombay, and he asks Mr. Mucky-Muck to make sure no one goes near the creature, “including Mr. Wells!” And he pokes Wells, just to show whom it is he was talking about. Yes, THAT Wells.
And we get a title, BOMBAY, which instantly vanishes, caught in the reel change of life. Then it comes back, superimposed on some very fancy modern building. Inside, Dr. Wells and some other guy are talking. Let’s listen in, as the fade completes! Well, what is said by Other Guy is that the refrigeration thing is on its way, should be there this evening, and everything is all right and fine. Dr. Frank says thanks and we fade to black. Man, that whole sequence, which added NOTHING, probably cost over ten dollars. And I could have used that money myself!
Because here we are, back at Shakar, according to the super. And that’s how it’s spelled, too, so if I spelled it wrong elsewhere, too damned bad. And we see some guy in a hat walking in front of a freezer door (with a window) and behind that door is the tallest Snow Creature you’ve ever seen, he must tower at least two feet above the Hat Guy.
And Mr. Mucky-Muck comes up to say that they followed Hat Guy’s instructions to the letter and gave the Snow Creature injections every six hours. So I guess Hat Guy is Dr. Frank. Works for me. Anyway, Dr. Frank details the controls of the box for everyone.
”You Americans!” marvels Mr. Mucky-Muck. “Manufacturing a contraption like this on a phone call!” Yeah, we Americans totally ROCK. Except when we make movies like this, well, then you’re catching us on an off-day. Cough.
And the two of them shake hands, and the scene ends! Wow, we Americans totally DO rock! We fade in as a plane takes off, and we get a cool stock shot of a landing gear pulling inside the plane, then we get lots of stock footage of this plane flying and flying. It is faster than trudging, I’ve heard. And we honestly get a shot of the plane flying over the Statue of Liberty! Damn, that is taking the long way around from Tibet to California! In fact, I think that qualifies for most wrong way ever.
Finally the plane lands in Stockfootagevilla. As everyone disembarks, two people in the waiting crowd get close ups, a rather brittle looking woman and some guy in a hat. I’d imagine the lady is Mrs. Frank, and the man is…uh, a guy with a hat. Mr. Hat. Okay then.
In fact, they’re the only people meeting this plane. Dr. Frank lays the smoochdown on the lady, confirming either my guess or that he has been in Sherpa-land a long, long time. And it turns out Mr. Hat is Corey, Junior. Dr. Frank explains that, instead of flowers, he’s brought a Yeti. Oh, great, another pet to feed. (Well, that’s what I would think, and I have cats.)
And the press shows up and starts taking pics and being all obtrusive stuff, as the press is wont to do, being all concerned with circulation and stuff. Speaking of circulation, the bit that sends blood to my brain seems to have shut down. I’m guessing.
Anyway, Dr. Frank gets a call on the loudspeaker saying he’s wanted elsewhere and he shakes off the press and goes to where the Snow Creature is standing there in his refrigeration unit, but he’s still moving around so don’t be fooled that, uh, anything, er, entertaining will happen during the course of this picture. Because it won’t. We’re forty-four minutes in and it hasn’t happened yet. Amateurs.
”I see where you classify your import as a Snow Creature,” says some official dope.
”That’s right,” says Dr. Frank.
”Well, it’s necessary that we clarify its immigration status,” says the Official Dope.
”Immigration status? I don’t understand,” asserts Dr. Frank.
”Well, the question is, is it a beast or a man?”
Dr. Frank smiles dismissively. “Well, he’s not human if that’s what you mean.”
That was sure an exciting conversation, which added a lot to the realism of the picture and our sense of wonder. (That was sarcasm.)
We see Mrs. Frank and Corey, Junior in the exact same shot they were in when the plane was landing. Someone asks if anyone knows Mr. Peter Wells, and Official Dope says that that very man is the official photographer, and here’s a newspaper with an article by the guy in question. He unfolds the paper and the headline yells, “Snow Man Discovered,” then in smaller type, “In Himalayans by Photographer and Botanist.” And there’s a sidebar, “Photographer Peter Wells’ Account of the Snow Man.”
Well, we can just see science trampled all underfoot by this craven newshawk crap, and wow, we trusted Wells and everything! Well, some of you did, I saw you. Me, well, anyone who has a flask of booze is untrustworthy.
Don’t you look at me like that, it’s lite beer!
Anyway, there’s some argument about the Snow Creature and journalistic ethics (there’s an oxymoron for you!). The Official Dope says they’ve contacted a Dr. Dupont, who according to Corey Junior is well qualified to authenticate my tension headache and also the Snow Creature but he can’t be here until 7PM. Probably one of those damned tenured types, eh! “I’ll be there…when I feel like it! And to hell with your box office!”
Or whatever. We fade to the Department of Immigration, of all places, and the scientist inside is the same science guy who was in Phantom from Space! You remember, the guy who was kind of French but also German. So I already hate him. He’s saying that a lot of unusual factors are involved here, but don’t be fooled, he just wants to talk forever. I know him!
Evil can only come of this brief scene.
Cigarettes are offered, what more proof do you need? Some other scientists show up, and they’re really only concerned with, is this frozen dope human, or what? If he’s human they’ve got to do all kinds of paperwork. If he’s just a dope, they can go home early. And be dopes on their own time, which they want to be a lot.
”What an unusual find for a botanist to make!” says the guy I hate from Phantom from Space. Once again he shows he has his fingers on the pulse of some strange alien lichen which doesn’t care about anything at all. Who CARES what the guy who made the discovery does for a living?
Professor Evil asks Dr. Frank if he’s sure he also saw a Snow Creature Wife and Child? Dr Frank is busy trying to light his cigarette but yeah he’s pretty sure. But they’re going to wait for Corey Junior to show up because…uh, he…well, he’s a junior, what else is he going to do other than resent dad? This is at least more constructive.
For some utterly stupid reason, we fade to the Snow Creature in his refrigerator, with the sound of prop planes in the background. Then we go back to our Trio of Idiots Deluxe talking about crap, or perhaps taking a crap, ultimately, trust me, the result isn’t any difference from your most awful imagining. Except that one time.
Professor Evil says, in effect, the heck with this arguing crapola. ”I have to determine if his brain is a calculating brain!” Well, not if he’s in this movie.
Stupid cats! They have ruined everything.
”We must have one definite classification,” says some dullard.
”Yes, I understand,” says Professor Evil. He tries to talk about what they “know about these…slow creatures. They have been a legend!” Upon reflection, maybe he says “snow” instead of “slow” but at this point, nobody—nobody! Gives any kind of a damn.
”We have seen abstract drawings and heard stories of these nomads, but they were always associated with human traits.” Like bringing down a barrage of rock onto their own families? Uh, okay.
And just to show that Professor Evil is talking through his hat, the Snow Creature takes umbrage at the description of him as simple and stupid, so he decides to be simple and stupid. Amazing how that sort of thing works out, eh? He shakes his cage a lot, and some guard (with a guard hat) runs off to report mischief, and then, the cage continues to shake until it falls down, goes boom, and lets loose a kind of retarded teddy bear upon the world.
And the guard didn’t run away fast enough. Despite the fact that HE HAD A HAT, his hat was tossed away and he himself smacked, and the Snow Creature seemed to think, Well Then, and he went off on his own business.
And it turns out the guard wasn’t that beat up at all! Mere moments after the Snow Creature left, the guard gets up to telephone the Professor Evil meeting and mention that, oh, yeah, the Snow Creature has totally escaped. In the meeting, Corey, Junior takes the call and lets slip the news that the Snow Creature has escaped, just in case we weren’t paying attention (utterly understandable). They all dash out of shot to contribute to the discussion.
We fade back to the guard looking totally useless and dejected, then we fade to the Trio hearing his story about how the Snow Creature shook the cage and he got out, and the guard was sure scared about it all. Some Lt. Policeman shows up and asks what’s going on here, but before we can hear another repetition of it all, we cut to the unconvincing snowman walking down an exit ramp. We zoom in on the arrow on the floor. Why? Well, um.
Then we hear some boxes being upset, there’s a brief scream, and we blur out. Back in, someone is driving his swell sports car down the parking garage, and he spots a pair of feminine legs, looking all dead-esque and the guy jumps out of the car and goes to see, and checks the blonde lady’s purse. I mean, pulse. The Snow Creature pulls back into the shadows (the guy has a hat, though that didn’t stop the creature before). Apparently the lady is dead, so Sporty goes off somewhere (I hope) to report this.
Back to the Dope Guard, Lt. Policeman, Corey Junior, Dr. Wells and Professor Ihatehim (or as I like to call them, the Five Dolts). The Lt is asking for a description. This is apparently no problem. Lt and Dr go off to report this to headquarters, and Lt asks Dr if he’ll go with him…to the senior prom! Why, it’s Dr. Frank’s fondest wish, and the music goes all mushy. Actually, it is only my brain doing that, because that didn’t happen. Lt actually just wants Dr to go downtown with him so he can…give more evidence in person or something.
Bored, we see a quick shot of the Snow Creature leaving the garage. Can you spot the dangling modifier in that sentence?
Then Lt gets a call on the Police Car Phone, or PCP. It’s a report of the dead girl being found (you did the right thing, Sporty), which is repeated (uses up running time). Lt says he has to go check this, Dr thinks he should come along too, Lt agrees, because a botanist would be completely useful for murder investigation, and they go. This scene is shot in an interesting way, it’s an overhead shot from an angle, like the cameraman was on a ladder. There, I said something nice.
The Snow Creature walks along a dark street, and his costume isn’t inspiring anyone. But I do have to give props here: the set is somewhat miniaturized, making the guy look about ten feet tall. The music is nicely understated, and there was no music at all when the girl was killed. The fact that the killing happened off screen, to relative silence, was pretty eerie. I’m just full of compliments, eh? Well, let’s see if the film has learned its lesson and will be good now.
Two cops search along the same street, which kinda spoils the tallness illusion a bit, but only a bit. They find nothing, and the Snow Creature, who was lurking and looking, sinks back into the shadows. (We have seen this shot about a thousand times in the course of this film.) It’s adapted itself pretty well to a temperate environment, I’d say.
Now, at Police Central, Lt and Dr check in, and we get to find out that Lt’s wife is going to have a baby. Hopefully not a baby Snow Creature. Life is not kind to Snow Creature babies. Having enriched the characters, they go on.
Fade to some kind of room with a wall map of (I guess) the local area. (It could be the Moon, after all.) A uniformed cop brings in two coffees, Lt says “Why thank you Johnny,” and I bet this is the origin of “Johnny Won’t Make Coffee” jokes from Airplane!
Ahem. We’re treated to a way dull discussion. Lt points out the location of the warehouse where the Snow Creature was, and the place where the girl was killed. They’re about three miles apart. Lt wonders why no one saw a Snow Creature. Dr points out that it’s late, not many people on the streets, they’re so distracted by their meaningless lives that they can’t see Snow Creatures right under their noses, etc. IS THIS RELEVANT? Find the damned Snow Creature and capture it! Unless you think it has a cloaking device, it’s not relevant how it got from A to B!
OOOO! (Angry noise.)
”He’s got to be stopped,” Lt says.
”Stopped but not killed,” Dr offers hopefully.
”Is there something else you can tell us about him, Doctor? His mentality, his habits, something?”
”Well, he’s acclimated to a high altitude, low temperature. We know all that.”
Lt decides to call someone on the phone (couldn’t hurt). He asks to have an APB sent out to radio stations and newspapers, to tell everyone to stay “off the streets, and remain calm.” Oh, that should work. “That goes for everybody,” he adds.
”Well, what do we do now?” Dr asks.
”There’s nothing we can do, except wait for him to show up again.” Boy, that sounds pretty passive. I’m sure it means cue the stock footage, though, and Striker stop licking my foot! Just a moment please.
Yep, stock footage, we watch the dispatcher take the paper and put it in a tube, and the tube arrives at a Sgt’s desk, and he flips some switches, and we see some nervously smoking guy watching a test pattern and some lady’s hands sewing an alligator as the radio voices read about how everyone should stay “off the streets” because “a dangerous killer beast is at large.”
We hear this get repeated over stock footage of police motorcycles and patrol cars, and a pan back to the street where the Snow Creature is, and his face looming at us from the shadows (it’s the same shot they keep using). We pan across the street, hear a woman’s scream, then pan back, and hear the woman beg for her life as we continue to pan. Oops, my mistake—though it’s understandable—the woman pleading is actually talking to her (human) beau, who is tossing her out because she’s been bad in some regard. This was actually pretty clever on the film-maker’s behalf…bravo! You see, they made us think this was a Snow Creature victim when it wasn’t! Oh, you figured that out? Humph.
Anyway, she leaves the apartment (which was in the Snow Creature’s neighborhood) and we get to see the Snow Creature himself come out of the shadows, then go back in, like three times before we hear what sounds like the woman’s death scream, except it’s actually a siren! That would be more clever if Alfred Hitchcock hadn’t done it before, but still, five points.
The siren of course belongs to a pair of stock-footage motorcycles, and we see the woman run into some store where she talks to a clerk, there, in this store that’s still open.
And we’re back with Dr and Lt, and they get a phone call from the clerk who tells them that this woman was chased into his store by the monster. Lt springs into action and puts another pushpin into his map. Ha ha, that will stop the Snow Creature! Lt calls for some cops to go to where the pushpins are, while Dr lights a cigarette. Lt asks Dr if he’d like some more coffee, and hearing the affirmative, he yells out, “Johnny! Got any more coffee?” as we fade. It’s just GOT to be.
Fade in on more stock footage of patrol cars and motorcycles driving around, then we cut to a meat packing warehouse where meat is being packed. The guys there all wear coats, so I guess it is cold among the frozen meats…and just as I was typing that, the Snow Creature went in the front door! He was thinking what I was thinking, I guess. The meat men walk and look at hanging meat, while the Snow Creature also seems to appreciate this dangling, well hung meat. He grabs a whole half of a side of beef, the workers note him, and they run off yelling for the police.
Speaking of which, we cut back to Lt and Dr. Dr Frank is just finishing up a call to his wife, while Lt paces up and down, up and down. When queried by Dr. Frank, Lt notes that now he has TWO reasons to pace the floor (the Snow Creature and impending baby, if you were keeping track). Just then the phone rings. It’s the report of the Snow Creature spotted in the meat house, but Lt is all angry and frustrated by this, as the meat house is WAY outside his triangle of pushpins and THUS impossible. The two of them speak about how impossible this just is. Lt goes on for some time about how even a child should be able to spot a Snow Creature, yet this guy goes seven miles without being seen, and nobody’s the wiser! How does he do it (the Lt speculates). Dr. Frank goes to the window and lifts the blinds, and spots a guy sweeping trash into the sewer.
Why that’s it! This movie belongs in the sewer! Of course, it’s damned obvious now.
Oh wait. Dr thought that maybe the Snow Creature was using the storm drains to move around. Lt happily dials the phone.
Um, guys, I know you’re really happy to use the phone and the pushpins and to ask for coffee (from Johnny) but shouldn’t you be sending some cops to the meat house?
Lt calls the City Engineer to talk about sewers. We fade, then pan up a building, and through the magic of fades, the City Engineer is talking to both Lt and Dr about how cool the sewers are. In terms of temperature. He is balding and has a pipe so don’t get your hopes up. He also was apparently just woken up for this folderol.
Dr. Frank offers how the Snow Creature’s extraordinary powers might help it sense cold environs. Lt asks if there are maps, and City Engineer says they have them, and—here’s a bit for you trivia fans—he says there are 4800 miles of sewer pipes under the city, and they have maps of all of them! That’s pretty lucky for everyone (except the Snow Creature, he can’t hide anymore).
Dr offers Lt a cigarette, but Lt is too excited about the sewer to take one. He thinks this sewer thing might be the answer. And I think yes, it might be at that.
City Engineer, who went off to get a chart, comes back with one of just the area Lt wants. Lt is way excited again about these sewers. He apologizes to the City Engineer for waking him at this hour.
”That’s all right, Lieutenant,” he practically minces with mild sarcasm. “Think nothing of it. Anything for the police department.” They sort of chuckle at being gently chided and leave and we see a hairy (human) wrist with a wrist-watch, which says it’s about 3:43 AM. Fade to Lt instructing some underling to make sure that the troops are issued “the works” which turns out to be “walkie-talkies, lamps, rubber boots, and so on.” In the background, Dr Frank is on the phone all jovial, unaware of the vast array of firepower soon to be brought to bear against his Snow Creature. I mean…rubber boots! My GOD.
Lt continues to give his Underling tips on sewer use and plans for everyone, especially as regards who will be where and what they’ll do when and if. Dr. Frank hangs up just as the planning session abends, and he asks Lt, “Can we take a net along?” Lt says “Sure.”
”Get a big net, and some poles to go with it!” Lt calls out to Underling, who says “Right.” He also asks that the hospital be told where he is, in case they need to call him about, dunno, births or something. Fade to the stock footage Patrol cars driving. And PLUS the motorcycles! Damn we’re lucky. And one cop car drives over the sewer cover, which is foreshadowing, because we cut to some folks opening another sewer cover, and Lt and other types going into the sewer, while Comical Beat Cop does a double-take at this.
But there they all are, in the sewer. And Dr. Frank has brought the map! Good thinking on his part, because YOU JUST KNOW Lt would be all over the “I’m sure we turn left” routine and Dr could say, “Dear, we have to turn right it is ON HERE on the MAP” and there would be comedy music. Ha ha ha. Yeah, whatever. They look around in the dim light and see a doorway. They look at the doorway, and go through it. And some more cops come into the tunnels.
Lt takes a phone out of his pocket and says “Just a minute” but he’s just calling the other squads, asking if they’ve seen anything. They haven’t and neither have we. Some nice lighting effects as the crews bring their worklights along the sewer wall. We do get another shot of the Snow Creature popping out of the shadows, but that’s not much of a treat as we have seen it a bunch of times already. It isn’t a novelty any more. In fact, it’s kind of a punishment. Stop doing this to us! Kill us or him or everyone. It doesn’t matter a whole lot anymore.
More trudging. Jeez, didn’t we do enough of this in the Himalayas? The lighting is pretty good through these scenes, I’ll give ‘em that. It’s dramatic and kind of abstract as well. Suddenly, Lt sees a tunnel and he just doesn’t like it for some reason. So he sends the two anonymous cops off to one branch, while he and Dr. Frank go down the other. Boy, can anyone predict where this is going? Me, I hope it’s going to the store to get some more beer.
Okay, once again I am going to mention the lighting here. It’s really good, just the illumination of flashlights as people go down tunnels and stuff. So there’s like a ring of light, walking away into the distance. Really good use of silhouette and shadow. If this movie wasn’t so bad, I’d say it was pretty good.
More trudging. The Snow Creature pops out of the shadows now and then, just to remind us of the title of this here picture, then he pops back in again worrying about overexposure I guess. I wonder if they keep showing this same shot, will it wear out the film?
He steps out of one sewer tunnel, and Lt and Dr happen to spot him. “There he is!” Lt says. He hands Dr his lantern and gets out his gun, and Dr taps him with the map, I guess to say, remember, shoot to wound so we can cage him, like the White Pongo.
Just then two uniformed cops walk by the tunnel opening where the White Pongo—I mean, the Snow Creature—was lurking, and he grabs one and yanks him in. The other cop doesn’t notice until Lt and Dr start yelling. Then he turns around and runs into the tunnel. Lt and Dr run too, and they all find the grabbed cop. He’s okay, just knocked out or asleep or something. Lt and Dr consult the map. Seeing where the tunnel ends, they call for nets to be set up just there so they can capture this Snow Creature and end the movie for us all.
More cool lighting stuff, but the movie is docked points for reusing footage. And some guys set up a net at the tunnel end, and the snow creature pops in and out of the shadows so many times it is like he is trying to start a dance craze. “First you pop out of the shadows! BLANG BLANG. Then you pop back in! BLANG BLANG. Then you silently menace and you do it all again! Let’s rock!" [Dancing begins.]
Anyway, the cops set up the net, the Snow Creature runs into it and gets all rowdy, he growls and acts bad-tempered, Dr rushes in to, uh, I guess try to reason with him and the Snow Creature starts choking him. Everyone starts beating on the Snow Creature, but it has no effect until Lt pulls out his gun and shoots him. We see a close up of the gun as it fires three times, and apparently third time is the charm because the Snow Creature releases Dr. Frank (who checks his neck, yes, it is still there) and collapses. Dr. Frank then bends down to look at the pretty quiescent Snow Creature, and we fade to see people getting into cars.
Dr is telling Lt he’ll give instructions on where to send “the body” so that doesn’t sound really good for the Snow Creature. Apparently he’s as dead as I am. But then Lt gets an urgent call to proceed to “Crescent and Elm” because there’s something cool happening there. Well, Lt is all angry at this and wonders who gave this damn order, and what the hell, doesn’t anyone know what time it really is, and so on.
We see on someone’s wristwatch that it is 5:37 AM and man, that is damn early in the morning. Also, the whole day is shot when you get a call like this.
Well, the voice on the radio says he doesn’t know who gave the order, “but there’s a creature waiting for you…eight pounds, three ounces.” AWWWWW!!! “A boy, lieutenant. Mother and son are doing fine.” Both Lt and Dr are busting out the grins at this news. “Congratulations, pop,” finishes the voice, and Lt thanks him for the good news.
Dr. Frank offers his congrats too, and Lt says hop in we’ll all go, and Dr at first is all, no, I’d only spoil the party but Lt insists so Dr climbs in. In the car, Lt asks Dr. Frank what his name is, and when told “Frank” thinks maybe his new son will have such a first name as well. “Frank Dunbar, sounds great!”
”Thanks!” says Dr. Frank, genuinely pleased.
”I don’t know, I’m not too sure I like it!” says Lt, and Dr. Frank goes all sour at this blot on his name. Ha ha ha damn this is so funny! You see, he was only kidding, and Dr. Frank sees Lt’s grin and he knows he was kidding, and they drive off into the night. And we get our credits.
Produced and directed by W. Lee Wilder, but you knew that, his son Miles wrote the thing, Dr. Frank was Paul Langton, Subra was Teru Shimada. Corey, Junior was George Douglas, and hey, Lt was Bill Phipps! He was one of the three folks incinerated by the Martians in George Pal’s good version of War of the Worlds. No credit for the Snow Creature, though the IMDB lists him (unconfirmed) as Lock Martin, who also played Gort in The Day the Earth Stood Still and one of the Martian mutants in Invaders from Mars. The suit he wore here was reminiscent of the Martian costume, maybe he got to keep it. He was very, very tall (over seven and a half feet) and that worked pretty well in this film. The DP was Floyd Crosby. He’s pretty good, that might explain the cool stuff in the sewers. I don’t think W. Lee would have thought of it, honestly. And with the last of the credits, we’re done.
Well, I think I know why W. Lee Wilder always has his credits run at the end of the film. It’s because if they were at the beginning, people would say, “Oh, not W. Lee Wilder! Let’s all leave,” and they would. I’m even sorry now that I kind of liked Killers from Space, because the letdown that was Phantom From Space was nearly fatal to me and my kind, and this stupid, boring film didn’t raise my opinion one jot.
Well, let’s give one tiny bit of credit. This one was not as bad as Phantom from Space. Of course, that’s nearly impossible, to be that bad. There were some interesting shots (some kind of ladder-cam) and some interesting lighting, and some unexpectedly quiet, understated shots. The Snow Creature walking down the exit ramp, followed by noises and a brief scream. That was well done. Don’t get me wrong—this was not a good film. It only looks kind of good in comparison to Phantom. But so would almost any film. I guess I would say, if you absolutely must have a W. Lee Wilder Fest, this one would be okay as a lead-off feature. Because it’s bad, but it’s not that bad. Shorn of twenty or thirty unnecessary minutes, it might have been good. But it wasn’t so it isn’t.
Understand, I’m not judging the guy as a person. I’m sure he was a nice guy, and all that. He just wasn’t anything other than a mediocre film-maker, at best. Yeah, he could point the camera at the right thing, and you could make the argument that he had to do what his producer told him to do, he didn’t have any choice. And I’d grant that, except his producer’s name was W. Lee Wilder. Yes—the same.
If you want to have kind thoughts about W. Lee Wilder, watch Killers from Space, but watch armed with the knowledge that you’re going to see the some of filmdom’s goofiest aliens. Other than that, the storytelling on display was at least efficient in Killers. There’s an A to B motion in that film, and we keep the same protagonists. Here we jump from Dr. Frank to Lt. Policeman, though there’s other dullards around who want to be in the movie and W. Lee let them in.
Don’t even get me started on Phantom, where we had tons and tons of protagonists, none of who were interesting at all. We kept jumping from one to the next then back again, like some body-hopping demon. But enough of Phantom. Let’s try and stay focused on The Snow Creature. Though, I have to mention that the title creatures in both films are very, very similar. One's an invisible idiot who runs around a lot, while other folks run around a lot, too, in an attempt to run into him and thus, catch him. He ends up doing very little other than starting the wheels in motion. After that, not much. The other's a tall guy in a hairy track-suit who runs around a lot, while other folks run around a lot, too, in an attempt to run into him and thus, catch him. He deliberately kills a couple of people, apparently out of boredom, but otherwise does very little other than hide in the shadows and the sewer. In both cases "doing nothing" seems to be high on their list of goals, and they both get very good grades for their "work."
Let me also point out a salient fact. Both the Snow Creature and the Phantom from Space can't speak, so their motivation for doing anything remains a mystery, and more importantly, we really can't sympathize with them much. The Phantom kills folks by accident, the Snow Creature seems to kill them for its own purpose. What's that purpose? Who knows. The Killers from space could speak--in fact, it was hard to get them to shut up--so they could reveal their evil plans and thus we could cheer on Peter Graves when he worked to destroy them (sorry if I gave away the ending). Seemed to me that getting the silly Snow Creature back to its home would have been appropriate.
The Killers' fate was just, that of the Snow Creature just seemd sad. He was ripped away from his home and brought to a strange land, and then shot dead (seemingly more out of impatience than anything else). What does that say about humanity? Pretty much the same thing that Phantom from Space said: we're idiots.
Sorry to harp on the damn thing, but Phantom from Space scarred me so bad, it automatically made me think I hate this film before Snow Creature had even properly begun. The shadow of that earlier crap-fest fell over this project at every turn--whenever something dull happened (which was a lot), my subconscious would think Aha! This is just like Phantom from Space. So that may have made me be a little unfair in my assessment...but, I think, only a little.
So let's put our focus on Snow Creature (if that's possible). If they’d just tightened it up a lot, it might have been an okay entertainment. We could have done without all the trudging, for example. Maybe make the expedition a yeti-seek in the first place, because otherwise it doesn’t make sense for botanist Dr. Frank to be consulted on yeti-gathering when the creature escapes. You can also eliminate Subra’s wife being kidnapped, since she never showed up again and was only there to jump-start the yet-trek. Get rid of the Himalayan Police station scenes. Wells’ perfidy added nothing, that could go too. Then, cut out a lot of the repetitive shots, like the Snow Creature walking forward out of the shadows, then backing up back into them. That must have happened twenty times. Also, a lot of the sewer search could go. I could go on but I won’t.
There might have been a good film lurking in the shadows at, say, forty-five or fifty minutes. At nearly seventy, it’s just too damned padded. Everything seemed to take at least twice as long as it ought to have.
And I’ve spent too much time on this thing. What’s sad is watching the seed of a possible good film get buried under bunches of stupidity and repetition, and repetitive stupidity. This helps to make the film not funny at all, for the usual reasons it ought to be a “laff riot.” Instead it’s kind of sad. It’s like watching someone with a broken leg try to dance in the ballet. You’d feel bad if you pointed and laughed. Wouldn’t you?
Should you see it? If you have a pretty high tolerance for boredom, there are some interesting bits (detailed in the above review). Otherwise, only watch if you just love watching people trudge. And if seeing a guy in a hairy track-suit pop out of the shadows now and then makes you shout, “That’s entertainment!” then we’ve found a movie just for you.