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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas")

 

Directed by Val Guest
UK 1957

 

He'll turn your spine to ice!


Botanist Dr. John Rollason (Peter Cushing) decides to join the exploration team of crass, American showman Tom Friend (Forrest Tucker) on a dangerous expedition into the Himalayas to search for the legendary Yeti. Soon after setting up camp, the group is attacked by a large beast which is shot by trapper Ed Shelley (Robert Brown) and stored in a cave to attract a live specimen.

Before long, the strain of the expedition is felt and the party begins to lose control. To his growing terror, Dr. Rollason suspects that the race of giant "monsters" not only exists, but is capable of invading the thoughts of human beings! A smart, suspenseful and scary film that will set both your imagination and your fear of the unknown running wild, The Abominable Snowman is "definitely one of the best of Hammer's earlier outings" (The Telltale Mind).

***

Literate, thoughtful and surprisingly well-produced on its modest budget, this low-key thriller was inspired by a flurry of early '50s speculation about the existence of the legendary manlike primate called the yeti, spurred by reports from expeditions to the Himalayas, including that of Sir Edmund Hillary. Dr. John Rollason (Peter Cushing) and his wife Helen (Maureen Connell), along with their colleague Fox (Peter Wattis), are in Tibet studying medicinal plants with the help of the local lama (Arnold Marle). Rollason, an experienced climber sidelined by a serious accident, is contacted by Tom Friend (Forrest Tucker), an American adventurer who has mounted a small, well-financed expedition to find a yeti and bring it back to civilization. Aware that Rollason holds controversial theories about the man-beast, Friend persuades him to join the expedition, much against Helen's wishes. Even the normally helpful lama seems opposed to the venture, and delivers an enigmatic warning that Rollason ignores. Once in the snowy mountains, the party is beset by a series of misfortunes and the men fall prey to their own fears and insecurities as well. Scripted by respected science-fiction writer Nigel Kneale, the film features a crisp performance by the always reliable Cushing (the blustering Tucker fares rather less well) and handsome, black-and-white widescreen cinematography. The English sets are well integrated with second unit footage shot in the Pyranees mountains, which stand in admirably for the Himalayas.

Excerpt from TVGuide located HERE

Posters

 

Theatrical Release: August 10th, 1957

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:30:05.817 / Full HD: 1:25:05.892        
Video

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,985,370,330 bytes

Feature: 22,919,933,952 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate "Longer Cut with 5-minutes of SD unconverted footage' Blu-ray:

Bitrate 'Full HD Master' Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1651 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1651 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Shout! Factory

 

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,985,370,330 bytes

Feature: 22,919,933,952 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

NEW Audio Commentary With Filmmaker/Film Historian Ted Newsom
Audio Commentary With Director Val Guest And Screenwriter Nigel Kneale
NEW In Search Of The Yeti An Interview With Author/Film Historian Jonathan Rigby (23:01)
TRAILERS FROM HELL With Commentary By Filmmaker Joe Dante (2:10)
World Of Hammer: Peter Cushing (24:49)
Theatrical Trailer (1:44)
Still Gallery (5:30)


Blu-ray Release Date:
December 10th, 2019
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Shout! Factory Blu-ray (November 2019): Shout! Factory have transferred Hammer Studio's The Abominable Snowman to Blu-ray. It offers both a full cut with 5 minutes of SD inserts (bumped to 1080P), stating:

"Please Note: usable film elements of the complete film no longer exist; approximately five minutes of the film have been upconverted to high definition from a standard definition source."

We have included 4 samples below.

It also has the 'Full HD Master', 5-minutes shorter version that has this caveat: "This is the full HD master delivered to us by the licensor. It is missing some footage that we included in the Main cut. "

NOTE: in it Shout! Factory sloppily spell the word 'missing' incorrectly as 'mssing'.

These two cuts are not seamlessly-branched and Shout! Factory may wish to move in to the more modern transfer era as these separate transfers are the same - not need to duplicate them. This is a dual--layered disc with high bitrates for the two films. The full HD looked very good on my system.

The full HD looks marvelous, a few surface scratches (see sample below), fine grain texture, and the 2.35:1 widescreen is very appealing, passive contrast and the SD inserts are easily noticeable by their disparity.

NOTE: 46 more full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray captures for Patrons are available HERE.

On their Blu-ray, Shout! Factory use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel mono track (24-bit) in the original English language. It sounds consistent supporting the score by Humphrey Searle (The Haunting), that has a regal feel to it with pleasing bass. Shout! Factory offer optional, bold yellow, English subtitles (see sample below) on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Shout! Factory Blu-ray offers a new audio commentary with filmmaker/film historian Ted Newsom. Newsom has worked primarily as a documentary filmmaker, specializing in documentaries on the history of the horror and science fiction genre. He has some interesting insights and anecdotes, not always relating to The Abominable Snowman. I greatly enjoyed the second audio commentary with director Val Guest and screenwriter Nigel Kneale where Guest talks about how he would have preferred not to use the 2.35:1 ratio but Hammer-vision was in the forefront, how most of the Chinese restaurant waiters in London were in the film as extras, Cushing, Tucker, Guest's start as a writer and much more. It is excellent. There is also a 23-minutes interview with Jonathan Rigby (author of English Gothic) entitled "In Search Of The Yeti" and his insights are always interesting digging beneath the surface of what is generally know about the film. Very good. There is the obligatory 1/2 hour World Of Hammer with an episode on Peter Cushing and a Trailers From Hell with Joe Dante, a theatrical trailer and extensive stills gallery.

I don't recall seeing this for a couple of decades or more and loved my viewing. The Abominable Snowman definitely evokes Hawk's The Thing From Another World. battling a monster in a frozen climate. For myself, this is a huge keeper - I enjoyed every minutes and am thankful that Shout! Factory have brought it to Blu-ray with the commentaries and other extras. For Hammer fans this is an essential package.

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 


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SD Upconvert samples (Click to Enlarge)

 

 

Scratch sample (Click to Enlarge)

 

 


 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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