Yeti: Giant of the 20th Century [Yeti – Il gigante del 20° secolo] (1977)

Yes, this one is very, very, very familiar.

It’s quite obvious this was meant to be the Italian film industry’s response to the 1976 King Kong.  After all, we’ve got the same basics here:  they find a huge primitive creature, take it out of its home and into the city, where it gets loose and causes a lot of trouble.

But this one really does end up taking on a life of its own:  the creature has been frozen in an iceberg for millions of years, and it is a gentle and lovable thing (or at least, that’s what the girl keeps telling us).  At the very least, it manages to seem sad and a little pathetic, rather than scary.  It goes wild when they wake it up — and later, when it arrives in the city — because those responsible badly mismanage things.  They even throw in a group of business rivals who want to put an end to the Yeti’s advertising potential, and are willing to kill a few people to do so.

The Yeti is just a guy covered with hair on miniature sets, and never looks like anything else — and I’m not sure he’s enough of a mime to give him the personality he needs, but there are a few fairly good moments along the way, like the scene of the creature climbing the outside of a skyscraper and kicking in the windows to make handholds, in which we can see the people  behind the various windows.  it’s a simple trick, but works well.

This one is sort of shaggy and lovable, like that big, friendly dog that chews up your slippers and leaves hair all over.  It even manages to bring a touch of sadness into the proceedings — although about on the same level that same dog shows when you swat it on the nose for chewing up your best dress shoes.

What?  Why would you be upset?  You never use those…

As you would expect, the sound, the acting, and some of the dialogue is fairly bad.  But we knew that already.  It’s Italian.  It isn’t exactly a great film, but it remains interesting despite its many flaws, and even finds a few less-populated areas to explore.

But if you keep your expectations low and maybe watch it with a few friends you should be fine.

Just make sure you hide your slippers.

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