Lack of coordination and mild case of childhood obesity aside, the real reason I never strapped skis to my feet and realized my childhood fantasy of being the toast of the late 1970s lodge scene was due, in part, to the made for TV movie Snowbeast. In a nutshell, some sort of unseen monster has been viciously attacking and terrorizing the winter sport enthusiasts at the seemingly under populated Rill Lodge and Ski Resort. I use unseen in the literal sense; perhaps due to a tight budget disguised as a suspense device, our monster is camera shy, and viewers are treated to some heavy breathing and shaky camera work from the perspective of said snowbeast each time he is about to pounce on a victim. Disregarding the mounting body count, the elderly owner of the resort plows ahead with the 50th Annual Winter Carnival. Clearly not one to miss out on a shindig, the Snowbeast makes his first on camera appearance, much to the audible horror of the soon-to-be-crowned Winter Carnival Queen. The Snowbeast responds by smashing out a window, inciting a riot amongst the carnival crowd, and murdering the Carnival Queenâ€™s mother in the parking lot. This was the scene that scared me off the slopes some 30 years ago, and this was the scene where I stopped paying attention to the drawn out love story involving the over-the-hill Olympic skier and his annoying wife.
- The appearance of the Snowbeast at the window
- The murder of the Carnival Queenâ€™s mother in the parking lot. I want that sticker off her door
- Any scene with Sylvia Sidney as Carrie Rill, the Annual Winter Carnival obsessed resort owner. During the carnival melee, Ms. Sidney does her own stunt work and takes a tumble to the gymnasium floor, all the while shrieking about the crown that was meant for the runaway queen. The crown is crushed by one of the oddest pair of snow boots documented on celluloid
In a perfect world, this would have been a one-woman play, featuring Sylvia Sidney inÂ EVERY role including that of the Snowbeast. SheÂ long ago perfected that gutteralÂ growl and general surly attitude towards mankind in general… Agree?