Friday, December 21, 2012

ice to see you, to see you...ice!

Ah, birthday time at Unwell towers, which is always an excuse to get folk to buy you even more quality movies classics to fill up what little shelf space is left.

Luckily the say that good things come in threes.



So let's start off with...

Snow Beast (2011).
Dir: Brian Brough.
Cast: John Schneider, Jason London (you'll be seeing lots of him over the next few months), Danielle Chuchran, Paul D. Hunt and Kari Hawker.

"Back to bed everyone!"


Sexy wildlife researcher cum single dad Jim Harwood (Dukes of Hazzard star and Superman's dad Schneider) is looking forward to his yearly trip to Canada (yes you can son) where he and his erstwhile colleges spend a month studying the rather splendid Canadian Lynx.

Unfortunately this year he has to drag his wayward teenage daughter, Emmy (fright haired Chuchran, best known for playing Thing 1 in The Cat In The Hat) along seeing as she's been suspended from school for dyeing a wee bit of her hair purple, fighting and tossing off the male teachers for pennies.

OK I lied about the last bit but she does look the type.

Anyway, arriving on site Jim is greeted not only by his fellow researchers Rob (Hunt from, um loads of other stuff directed by Brian Brough) and Marci (Hawker from all the same stuff as Hunt) but  the news that there are absolutely no Lynx's anywhere to be found in the whole area.

Which is fairly odd I'm guessing.

Being the geeky tech' guy, Rob reckons that they've all become camera shy whilst Marci just stands around wistfully sighing every time Jim wanders by.

Jim reckons the best thing to do is to wait till morning then go outside and maybe have a look for them.

Obviously no-one else has thought of this (you can see why Jim's in charge) so our merry band excitedly settle down to dinner whilst making a note of things they'll need the next day.

You know the type of stuff; shoes, a hat, trousers etc.

All except Emmy that is, who's too busy embarrassing Rob by flirting with him and wiggling her (admittedly peachy for a schoolie) arse at the camera.

It's gonna be a long four weeks.

Emmy: Arse of a strip queen, hair of a scarecrow and a mooth made for shite-in in. perfect.


Meanwhile back on the tourist packed slopes a number of vacationers have been mysteriously vanishing in a daze of CGI blood and growling. Ginger lard arsed forestry bloke Gibbons (Thomas looking like Harry Knowles slightly less attractive - and far less kickable - brother) reckons they've all just run away without telling anyone but the rugged newbie Ranger Barry (B-Movie monster battling beefcake London) is convinced that someone (or something - oh go on then someone in a badly dyed monkey suit) is making short work of a motley collection of snowboarders and overweight extras pretending to be ultra-fit skiers.

And he intends to crack the case with or without his partners help.

Which is lucky seeing as his sweet sodden sidekick is more interested in cases of cakes than anything else.

"Put it in me!"


Back at the research house and everyone is tucked up in bed, unfortunately our gang are being kept awake by a (fairly) monstrous growling noise coming from outside.

Wide awake and shivering with a mix of fright and mild apathy our merry band nervously approach the window to hopefully get a wee look at what could possibly be making such a noise outside.

Coming from Glasgow I automatically assumed that it was either a tramp or a drunken couple of copulating Neds.

"We're ootside ya windae rapin' yer bin!"


 As Jim (being the headline star) lowly moves his trembling hand toward the curtain the noises suddenly stop.

Without a moment’s hesitation and in the most nonchalant manner ever, he announces “Back to bed, everyone.”

And guess what?

Surprisingly everyone does as they're told.

Unfortunately the next morning a mixture of lack of sleep and Emmy's harsh face is causing tempers to fray, poor Rob is sweatingly concerned about his cameras and there's a wee bit of sexual tension in the air between Jim and Marci.

Just imagine Coronation Street with an added big monster.

And snow obviously.

Anyway it's in this very snow in fact that Rob, whilst fixing one of his aforementioned cameras manages to fall into a big hole containing huge piles of bloody bones and half a snowboarder much to Jim's amusement.

And if that wasn't enough Emmy (in between griping and frowning) has noticed a big white - well more a kinda yellowy piss stained - monkey jogging merrily along towards our studly duo.

Monsta!

"Are you looking at my bra?"

Escaping in the nick of time - and on a snowmobile - Jim and Rob are now pretty certain that the beast is the reason for the disappearance of all the Lynx in the area.

and it's probably why there are no actors of quality left in the local vicinity  either.

As our merry quintet decide what to do next - Jim, Elly and Rob want to go home, Marci wants to go out and make friends with the beast - Ranger Barry has decided to head out into the snow to see if he can uncover any evidence of foul play or big monsters.

but as all this inane chat and navel gazing continues the dreaded snow beast is still on the loose.

And hungry for fresh meat.

Unfortunately for certain members of the cast tho' he'll settle for cardboard.




Not to be confused with the 1977 made for teevee Yvette Mimieux starrer Snowbeast, this 2011 re-imaging is quite possibly the most terrifying Sasquatch based horror movie starring an ex-Duke of Hazzard that you will see this year.

With it's tiny cast, minimal settings and comfortably cliched script from Brittany (Scents and Sensibility, Christmas Angel) Wiscombe, Snow Beast throws convention to the wind by proudly displaying it's (frankly magnificent) monster suit at every given opportunity, whether it's stumbling menacingly around the trees like a drunk trying to find it's way home or camply springing out from behind bushes bearing it's tanned man tits whilst roaring, the creature is a sight to behold and probably the first time I've seen a director embrace the man in a monster suit in such a non-apologetic way since the John Guillermin remake of King Kong.

And the film is all the better for it, playing out like a classic monster B-movie of yesteryear, no nudity, no swearing and minimal blood-letting, just a very tall man in a fur coat and knock off Wampa mask.

What's not to love?


A piece of cinematic genius yesterday.


Honestly, every single second the Snow Beast is on the screen is another moment of happiness made possible by knowing that somewhere out in the big bad world there are still people intent on making little movies featuring faceless stuntmen dressed up as huge furry monsters.

And I for one salute them.

An essential purchase and most likely the best film called Snow Beast ever released.

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