|Written by||Joseph Stefano|
|Directed by||Herb Wallerstein|
|Theme music composer||Robert Prince|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Executive producer(s)||Douglas S. Cramer|
|Producer(s)||Wilford Lloyd Baumes|
|Location(s)||Crested Butte, Colorado
|Running time||86 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Douglas Cramer Productions|
|Original release||April 28, 1977|
Snowbeast is a 1977 American made-for-television horror film starring Bo Svenson, Yvette Mimieux, Robert Logan and Clint Walker which premiered on NBC on April 28, 1977. The film was shot at Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Gunnison County, Colorado.
The movie details the attacks of a ravenous creature (a Yeti or Bigfoot/Sasquatch) on a Colorado ski resort. The teleplay was written by Joseph Stefano, who wrote the script for Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1960 thriller Psycho. Stefano reportedly used a book by Roger Patterson (who claimed to have encountered a Sasquatch in 1967) as his primary inspiration, though no credit is given.
Former 1968 Winter Olympics gold medal ski champion Gar Seberg (Svenson) and his wife Ellen, a television presenter (Mimieux), return to his home, a ski resort in the Colorado Rockies where the faded star seeks a job using his skiing skills. As the Sebergs arrive, the town's annual winter carnival is spoiled by the disappearances of a series of vacationers, later revealed to have been brutally killed by an unknown animal. There are eyewitness accounts that the culprit is a Yeti or Sasquatch, which are met with ridicule. The owner of the ski resort (Sylvia Sidney) declares that there is no such being, because she doesn't want to lose her business, and she arranges for her grandson Tony (Logan) to keep the disappearances a secret. The local sheriff (Walker) spreads the story that there is a lone savage bear on the loose. Tony gives Gar a job with the ski resort and confides in him about the monster. Gar's first job is to stalk and kill it. Gar keeps an open mind due to his wife's former work on a documentary about Sasquatch sightings, but is reluctant to kill it, feeling that it would be murder. He changes his mind when he sees the remains of the first victim. The monster comes to town and not only panics the population but kills the mother of the Snow Carnival Queen.
In the film's climax, Gar, Ellen, Tony and the sheriff go to the woods where the monster was last sighted. The monster attacks Gar, who shoots it with a revolver. However, the creature survives the gunshots, and Gar, out of ammunition, picks up a ski pole and impales the beast, causing it to fall off a mountain. Gar looks down and hears the creature in pain as it dies. The Sebergs embrace happily while the rest of the group looks on.
- Bo Svenson as Gar Seberg
- Yvette Mimieux as Ellen Seberg
- Robert Logan as Tony Rill
- Clint Walker as Sheriff Paraday
- Sylvia Sidney as Mrs. Carrie Rill
- Thomas Babson as Buster Smith
- Jacquie Botts as Betty Jo Blodgett
- Jamie Jamison as John Cochran
- Richard Jamison as Ben Cochran
- Liz Jury as Mrs. Blodgett
- Richard Jury as Charlie Braintree
- Michael J. London as The Snowbeast
The film was shot in Colorado, at ski resorts in and around Crested Butte and Gunnison.
As Snowbeast was an American production which did not have a proper copyright notice, it entered the public domain. This caused the film to be released legitimately by numerous distributors on TV, DVD and VHS, sometimes on the home DVD-R format, all in copies of varying quality, from companies that included Mill Creek Entertainment, Alpha Video, VIPCO, Legacy Entertainment, Synergy Entertainment, EastWest Entertainment, Image Entertainment, BFS Entertainment, Mutant Sorority Pictures, AFA Entertainment, Diamond Entertainment and BCI/Eclipse.
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The film received mixed to negative reviews upon its release. In a retrospective assessment, Fred Beldin from Allmovie gave the film a negative review, criticizing the film's character and story development, and the design of the title monster, calling the film "one of the weaker entries into an already tepid horror subgenre."
- Beldin, Fred. "Snowbeast (1977) - Herb Wallerstein". Allmovie.com. Fred Beldin. Retrieved 14 January 2016.