Admittedly, The Snow Devils which was filmed in 1964/1965 and released much later in American cinemas is a little silly at times but it entertains greatly and is a lot of fun as Commander Rod Jackson is sent to the Himalayas to find out what happened to a weather station and the men who were stationed there. While it might seem like the legendary Yeti, it is something far more incredible which makes for quite an interesting viewing experience.
Filmed by Antonio Margheriti and included among his Gamma One movies, though not connected to any of the others and released last in America despite supposedly being shot first, the picture finds a bunch of aliens looking to make the Earth one giant glacier by raising the temperature of the planet first until everything melts and the world is flooded and then letting it freeze. It is a plan, diabolical for sure and it could work, though it is strange that they would think they would not encounter any resistance. That being said, there is a refusal to accept their fate and so the aforementioned Commander along with the rest of his team is going to put a stop to these space yetis – called the Aytia, any way possible. One cannot say that Margheriti thinks small and that is a good thing when it comes to this film as his big ideas call for them to be realized on the screen and while the budget might not have been the biggest, he still managed to make things look pretty good.
Everything could have been improved on of course and that was evident in some of the special effects but as far as most of the costumes and the tech that they would use, sometimes simple works like in Star Trek, as it did here. The only thing that was truly laughable were the outfits of the men who portrayed the aliens with the hair that was supposed to make them look yeti-like, almost falling off their arms. Perhaps the glue would not bond or they used some sort of inferior tape but it was hard not to smirk if not outright laugh at how ridiculous the aliens looked. Given this though, the story was fairly original and aside from a couple of slowly-paced scenes, the movie would capture the attention of the viewer quite easily. The performances are not the greatest but the men are manly and the women are beautiful which would make it all go down much easier had they not been.
If there is one thing that Italian-made movies do well, it is making them look good on a shoestring budget and The Snow Devils is a prime example. As it is, it makes for perfect matinee fodder as it will capture the imagination of its audience, old and young alike and what better way to spend a couple of hours than to see some heroic men and women battle for the fate of the planet against some dastardly aliens intent on destroying it.
3 out of 5