Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Snow Devils, Campy Italian Sci-Fi

Yetis, aliens, and asteroids....oh, my!  Throw in a space station, square-jawed heroes, a couple of space-babes, some bad dubbing, and we have 1967's "The Snow Devils."  This Italian science fiction movie is actually suitable for the whole family, unlike most of the flicks on this blog.  The makers of this film only used sets of exotic places, which make this picture a very pleasurable viewing experience.

The plot:  As the film begins, a Himalayan weather station (pictured below) is beset by a mysterious attack which kills it's entire crew except for the commanding officer, Lt. Jim Harris.  Commander Jackson (Jack Stuart) and his partner, Captain Pulaski are sent there to investigate the attack and find the missing Lt. Harris.  Once at the base of a Himalayan mountain, they hire some insane sherpas to guide them up the peak.  Halfway up the mountain, Jackson discovers that one of the sherpas is actually Lt. Harris' fiance, in disguise.  She is determined to find the love of her life, no matter the danger.  This is actually a fortunate turn of events for Jackson, as up 'til now he had been sharing his tent and sleeping bag with Pulaski.  He kicks Pulaski out of his tent and shares it, and his affections with Lt. Harris' fiance (Amber Collins).  In Italian sci-fi the word commitment is very relative.  The crew finds a cave and explores.  While exploring, a race of Yetis (green fur, seven feet tall, and moody) captures them.

Once captured, they are thrown into a jail cell with the unobservant Lt. Harris.  How awkward for Jackson and his new sleeping-bag mate.  Harris and his fiance do get back together and Jackson notices a huge air vent about two feet above Harris' cot.  One wonders why Harris never noticed it.  The air vent leads to every room in the cave, and the prisoners are able to mount an attack and kill all the Yetis, which end up being an alien race.  They discover that the aliens are manipulating Earth's weather to melt the ice-caps and flood the population centers.

After the rescue, Jackson and Pulaski are summoned to the space station.  This is fortunate for Jackson, as his real main-squeeze, the shapely Lt. Teri Sanchez (Halina Zalewska) is stationed there, and she is waiting for him with an alcoholic beverage.  Apparently, the alien yeti race is staging on one of Jupiter's moons, preparing for an all out attack on Earth.  Jackson and Pulaski will lead a Jovian mission in order to wipe out these green yetis.  Will Jackson's attack mission succeed?  Are the yetis waiting for him with some secret weapons?  Will Lt. Sanchez get to have a drink with Jackson?  All these questions are answered to our satisfaction, of course.  Fortunately we do get to see an epic (...well maybe not too epic) space battle.

If you long for those late night movies which you used to watch on UHF in the 1970s, this is a movie for you. Fun and visually appealing, as it is also.....In Color!  If Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" lost you after the first hour, try "The Snow Devils."


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