Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Snow Beast and Laughing to Death: A Movie Review

Director: Brian Brough.

Writer: Brittany Wiscombe.

Snow Beast is a sasquatch-ploitation film that was released on DVD October 4th. This b-movie styled film also has a date with destiny January, 2012 when the film will have a television premiere on the SyFy Network. This film stars John Schneider and Jason London in a creature feature flick that involves a bear hugging Yeti and characters wandering about the woods oblivious to this white haired menace. Truly comedic, Snow Beast has to be seen to enjoy all the humour housed within.

Several researchers head up to Canada to complete their study on lynxes. Something strange is afoot however as all of the animals in the area have begun to disappear, including people. Those hiking in the woods or stopping for a piddle are soon consumed by a seven foot animal that looks straight out of Empire Strikes Back (a wampa). Did they borrow the same suit? Soon this group of four finally start to notice even more strangeness, as a man walks about in a rubber suit through their camera screens. Now is the time to face this creature unarmed and unprepared to disastrous results.

The plot does not stray to far from a typical creature feature that you would find on SyFy late at night. However, the script includes a few humourous moments of note. The creature's attack is like that of a Mongol. He paces and runs about while encircling his/her victim. Is it male? The poor park ranger or outdoorsman is now confused and vulnerable, so in comes the bear hug attack. Several succumb to this rugby tackle and it seems the Yeti or Snow Beast has an insatiable appetite for human flesh. Thankfully, there are lots of snowmobilers and skiers to keep his winter pantry full. As well as murder, this Snow Beast is a vandal who likes to destroy snowmobiles or computer monitors just for fun. Maybe he/she is a technophobe. And really, not much of this film can be taken seriously. So sit back, relax, and let the humour incite a few bouts of laughter.

Outside of the humour, this film follows a b-movie formula almost to a tee much like other films shown on SyFy e.g. Sabretooth (2002), Mammoth (2006) Wyvern (2008). A creature does damage to the local populace until a hero arrives. In Snow Beast that hero is sixteen years old with a penchant for temper tantrums (Danielle Chuchran). First she will have to face a latex suit and his cave of frozen nightmares, which looks, strangely, like an interior set. And in that frozen cave lays the Snow Beast's many victims. This film never really steps much out of the creature feature mold with some drama thrown in to add depth to the characters. But the showdown between man and beast has to be seen with character Jim (Schneider) showing some expertise with the flare gun. Rawwwrrr! Down goes the Snow Beast - temporarily!

Snow Beast is a fun late night film that while predictable still creates a lot of unintentional or silly humour. Just do not take this film too seriously or the veil of illusion will be broken quickly by an unmoving Yeti mask. The acting is fine and the inclusion of a beast stumbling through the wastes is an enjoyable time. Seriously, he almost falls over in a snow drift while Jim makes a getaway with another character, Rob (Paul D. Hunt) Get that actor some snow shoes. But skip the purchase on this one and see the film on the SyFy Network where you find the best (worst?) creature features on television.

Overall: 6 out of 10 (some funny moments).

*to show on the SyFy Network in Jan. 2012. An exact date is TBA.

**rated PG-13

A second review of Snow Beast at Dread Central:

Foy Wonder Reviews Snow Beast

Snow Beast's fan page:

Snow Beast on Facebook

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