Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 4th, 2012
Spies and intelligence agency personnel are not the only people who use the Yeti as a ruse to hide other activities.
“Abominable Snowmen” are still being used as a cover by entertainment folks too.
Apparently, the successful television series Supernatural recently wanted to hide the fact that they were bringing back a character named “Bobby Singer.” That character is played by Jim Beaver who is an American character actor, best known also for his leading roles on the HBO TV series Deadwood. Previously, he appeared in many popular films, including Sister Act, Sliver, Bad Girls, Adaptation, Magnolia, and The Life of David Gale.
On March 30th, the episode “Party on Garth” on Supernatural surprised viewers with the return of fan favorite “Bobby.”
How did Supernatural pull it off? Supernatural created a fiction that a new project was supposedly keeping Jim Beaver busy away from the show, as he was scouting or filming at locations in Vancouver and British Columbia, for a new “Abominable Snowman” movie. But the film was entirely fabricated.
The actor kept fans off the trail by sending tweets throughout March 2012 that “he was in Vancouver shooting an Abominable Snowman movie, going so far as to tweet photos from “the set” of crewmen on snow-covered mountains,” wrote Rene Thurston. “No doubt, by stating he was in Vancouver shooting this faux movie, he covered his tracks should anyone spot him there since Supernatural is also shot in the same Canadian city.”
Here are a some of the tweets acknowledging the end of the prank, both from March 31 (Jared Padalecki is another actor from Supernatural):
Jim Beaver @jumblejim: Here I am, hard at work on “the abominable snowman movie.” Someone should actually make that movie someday.
Jim Beaver @jumblejim: My abominable snowman movie was never a reference to Padalecki. Pure coincidence. Anyway, sasquatch doesn’t equal abominable snowman.
Later on Saturday night, Jim Beaver tweeted, “I never intended to “punk” the fans with my abominable snowman movie hoax idea. I just wanted to preserve the surprise. Glad it worked!”
Meanwhile, a real Yeti movie is slowly surfacing.
Word has leaked out that the new reconstituted Hammer Films is working on doing something with their 1957 film, The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas (which is also entitled, simply Abominable Snowman).
Late in March 2012, Hammer’s CEO Simon Oakes was quoted in Variety as saying they were “remaking Abominable Snowman in Nepal.”
Oakes told Indie Wire that they plan to explore some of the weird old films that made Hammer famous.
“We’re looking at a monster movie right now as Hammer did The Abominable Snowman and The Reptile, ” Oakes said, while clarifying these new films intent: “More rebooting than remaking.”
BTW, the “Tom Friend” character in the original film, as I have mentioned before, was loosely and rather negatively based on a few news reports circulating of Tom Slick planning to search for the Abominable Snowmen in Nepal. The press items concentrated on the rifles the Slick expedition was bringing on their hunt for the Yeti, Slick spying on the Chinese and then the 1957 movie overdid that part of their characterization of “Tom Friend.”
Allegedly, the storyline for the 2013-2014 film is going to be a reworking of the 1957 film’s plot:
Doctor John Rollason, a botanist, is on a Himalayan expedition with his wife Helen, and assistant Peter Fox.
They have been staying at the monastery of Rong-ruk, high in the mountains, where the Lhama has shown them great kindness and granted every facility for their work.
But the Lhama is aware – through a mysterious power of mind transference – that a second expedition, led by a ruthless adventurer called Tom Friend is advancing towards the monastery. Rollason, too, is aware of this expedition – and its mission. He has kept secret from his wife his ambition to join it – and he politely disregards the warning of the Lhama when he tries to dissuade him from linking forces with Friend.
Friend’s party arrives. It consists of a tough ex-trapper, Ed Shelley, a Sherpa guide named Kusang and a likeable Scots photographer, McNee.
Helen quarrels bitterly with Rollason when she learns that he and Friend plan to climb into the high valleys in search of the mysterious half-beast , half-human monster known as the Yeti or Abominable Snowman. She denies its existence, but Friend shows them a strange silver flask containing an enormous human tooth – the tooth of a Yeti.
The Lhama confirms that the flask was stolen from the monastery many years ago but Rollason is not satisfied with the gentle monk’s deliberately misleading explanation of the tooth, and is convinced that the Yeti really exist when the Lhama eventually hints at ‘A race of super-intelligent Beings who will take over the world when humanity has destroyed itself’.
The five men leave Helen and Fox at the monastery and set out for the high peaks, existing on food and supplies cached by Friend along the same route a year before.
After a long hard climb, the party discover the giant footprints of a Yeti.
At this point – almost it seems by an unseen influence – disaster strikes at the party. McNee’s leg is badly injured in one of Shelley’s bear traps and at the same time, Rollason discovers that Friend’s interest in the Yeti is only a commercial one.
The squabble between Friend and Rollason ends in an ugly fight and, not long after, the half-crazed McNee is killed in a fall and Kusang the guide flees in panic from the camp to make his way safely back to the monastery.But Friend is determined to carry on – especially when Ed Shelley actually succeeds in shooting a Yeti – a gigantic creature almost eleven feet high, but with a curiously wise and gentle expression even in death.
It is obvious to them that the other Yeti to revenge their slain comrade – and Friend persuades Shelley to act as live bait in an ice-cave rigged with a steel net to trap the invading creatures.
But the trap fails. Shelley opens fire but Friend has loaded his gun with blanks – his greed has been too strong even for friendship – and Shelley dies horribly…
Weather conditions are now appalling. Menaced by a blizzard and terrorised by the strange and unearthly powers of the Yeti, even the rugged Friend is ready to pull out – taking the dead Yeti with them on a sled.
But the Yeti are relentlessly closing in – separating the two men by their uncanny powers. Demented with panic, Friend tries to shoot down the Yeti as they come for him, but his gunfire only starts an avalanche that buries him forever in the frozen wasteland.
From his refuge in the cave, Rollason watches as the huge, dim shapes of the yeti gently pick up the bodies of their comrade and depart.At the monastery, Helen and fox realise that the expedition has failed as Kusang staggers into the courtyard.
They set out with a relief party to rescue Rollason and the others and Helen is overjoyed when she finds her husband is still alive.
Wearily they help him back to the monastery and it is here that Rollason shows he understands the mysterious mission of the Yeti – and the need to protect them from civilisation until their time comes to rule the world.
Questioned by the Lhama, the scientist tells him that he and his dead companions have found nothing…
Plot summary from The Abominable Snowman press book, 1957.
Adapted by Nigel Kneale from his BBC TV play The Creature.