Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: The Snow Creature (1954)

The Snow Creature (1954) by #WLeeWilder
#PaulLangton #LeslieDenison

An abominable snowman escapes its cage during transit from the Himalayas to the United States, and stalks the streets of L.A.

“Half man! Half monster!!”

“Terrorizes city, abducts women, annihilates men!”

#Horror #SciFi

The Snow Creature (1954) is one of the first movies ever made about the Abominable Snowman (or the Yeti). Unfortunately, it’s not a very good one. I had apparently watched it some years ago, as I had a DVD in my collection. But I had no memory of it even existing, which perhaps says something about how forgettable a movie it is. 

The producer/director of The Snow Creature (1954) is W. Lee Wilder, who just happens to be the brother of Billy Wilder. Yes, Billy Wilder, the brilliant film director who made such classics as The Apartment (1960), Some Like It Hot (1959) and Sunset Boulevard (1950). Apparently, W. Lee Wilder (and screenwriter Myles Wilder, who happens to be W. Lee’s son) purposely named the character of Lt. Dunbar (the police detective) after one of the prisoners of war in Billy Wilder’s Stalag 17 (1953). This anecdote may be the most interesting thing about The Snow Creature.

W. Lee Wilder made about 35 films, none of them as famous or successful as Billy Wilder’s films. Billy apparently once referred to his older brother W. Lee as “a dull son of a bitch”. 

Myles Wilder was a a fairly successful writer with over 50 credits. He wrote lots of episodes of television, including 3 episodes of The Brady Bunch, 6 episodes of Get Smart and 41 episodes of The Dukes of Hazzard – so, apparently he was a big part of my childhood. The Snow Creature (1954) is not his best work, but in all fairness he was only about 20 when he wrote it. 

What more can I say about The Snow Creature (1954)? It’s not the most fun example of #NotQuiteClassicCinema that you are likely to come across. But it’s relatively short, and it has a few amusing moments. Fans of abominable snowman movies will likely want to see it to complete the set. It feels a bit like a poor attempt to recreate King Kong (1933). But fans of that masterpiece do not need to see this one. It does not manage to capture any of the magic of Merian C. Cooper’s movie. Likely, it will only make you want to re-watch the original, which in itself is not a bad thing, I guess. So, go ahead and watch The Snow Creature, if you feel so inclined. It probably won’t be the worst thing you’ve ever seen on a #FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn