Cast and Crew: Director (Gianfranco Parolini)
What It’s About: A Yeti (Mimmo Craig) is found floating off the coast of Newfoundland in a block of ice. Before you can say “cough cough King Kong cough cough” industrialist Morgan Hunnicut (Eddie Faye) has engaged Professor Henry Wasserman (John Stacy), aiming to make Yeti a living corporate icon. A revived Yeti befriends Hunnicut’s grandchildren , Jane (Antonella Interlenghi) and Herbie (Jim Sullivan), until the inevitable trip to civilization (with a budget conscious Toronto subbing in for the usual New York or London), the kind of trip that never ends well for the Kaiju….
Why Watch it Today?: Sir Edmund Hillary climbed Mount Everest today in 1953. Hillary’s claims of seeing giant footprints which might belong to the local legendary creature, the Yeti, set off a minor Yeti craze in the 1950s and lead to a series of expeditions to find the creatures. Hillary’s own expedition failed to find definitive proof of the Yeti in 1960. Today’s film was not in the first wave of films inspired by the 1950s Yeti expeditions (which include the positively dreadful 1954 quicky The Snow Creature from W. Lee Wilder (Billy Wilder’s less talented younger brother) and Hammer Studios’ 1957 The Abominable Snowman), but instead sought to marry 1970s enthusiasm for Cryptids of all types with the hype for Dino De Laurentiis’ remake of King Kong. The result is a delightful slice of so-bad-it’s-good entertainment which takes the basic King Kong storyline and throws in everything from a disco score based on Carmina Burana to a Lassie knock-off, all while expecting us to take a really hairy guy in a fright wig seriously as our Kaiju Italian style (the deliriously bad blue screen shots and models aren’t helping any). While I know of only one good Yeti movie (the aforementioned Hammer film), Yeti: Giant of the 20th Century is one of the most deliciously campy (with the only other contender to that title being Shriek of the Mutilated). Thank you Sir Hillary.
Where to Get It: Yeti: Giant of the 20th Century is currently unavailable from any legitimate source. Several versions have been uploaded to YouTube, however:
In lieu of a trailer, the theme music: