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Yeti - Il Gigante del 20. Secolo

Yeti - Il Gigante del 20. Secolo (1977) Movie Poster
Italy  •    •  118m  •    •  Directed by: Gianfranco Parolini.  •  Starring: Antonella Interlenghi, Mimmo Craig, Jim Sullivan, Tony Kendall, Edoardo Faieta, John Stacy, Stelio Candelli, Loris Bazzocchi, Donald O'Brien, Aldo Canti, Francesco D'Adda, Giuseppe Mattei, Claudio Zucchet.  •  Music by: Sante Maria Romitelli.
     Here's a so-bad-it's-good classic. This cheesy Italian production has a giant Yeti monster who gets thawed out of a block of ice. He looks sort of like a cross between the Bionic Bigfoot (from the "The Six Million Dollar Man") and one of the Bee Gees! He's not small like the usual cinematic Bigfoots - he's Godzilla-sized! After he warms up he runs around the countryside & cities scaring folks and acting like King Kong. He even finds time to befriend a blonde hottie, a mute boy and a dog. How can you lose?

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   Length:  Languages:  Subtitles:
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Image from: Yeti - Il Gigante del 20. Secolo (1977)
Image from: Yeti - Il Gigante del 20. Secolo (1977)
Image from: Yeti - Il Gigante del 20. Secolo (1977)
Image from: Yeti - Il Gigante del 20. Secolo (1977)
Image from: Yeti - Il Gigante del 20. Secolo (1977)
Image from: Yeti - Il Gigante del 20. Secolo (1977)
Image from: Yeti - Il Gigante del 20. Secolo (1977)
Image from: Yeti - Il Gigante del 20. Secolo (1977)
Image from: Yeti - Il Gigante del 20. Secolo (1977)
Image from: Yeti - Il Gigante del 20. Secolo (1977)
"Yeti" is a must-see for all fans of bizarre cinema...it's definitely a cash-in on Dino DeLaurentis's remake of "King Kong", which was pretty bad in the first place, but "Yeti" has a very strange atmosphere all its own, mostly due to the weird locations that the story takes place. It's as if a giant monster arrives in civilization, gets lost, and spends its time checking out the basements of some movie studios. And, at least "Yeti" seems to have been intended for children, while DeLaurentis's film seems to have been intended to fool us into thinking Jessica Lange had no real future.

In an operation spearheaded by a shopping mall tycoon named Hunnicutt, the Yeti is found in a huge block of ice, a gigantic caveman in what appears to be one of Tina Turner's old throwaway wigs. After thawing, the huge shaggy beast is placed inside of what appears to be a giant phone booth, and in a miraculous act that must be related to some vague sort of science, Professor Wasserman brings the beast back to life. This operation, which science dictates must take place in mid-air, also enrages the beast, and a very honked-off Yeti finally lands on the ground. There are hundreds of people waiting to greet the prehistoric fossil, but apparently they didn't think far enough ahead to guess what they would do when it gets out of the phone booth, and the usual screaming panic ensues. The misunderstood Yeti snatches Hunnicutt's grandchildren, Jane and Herbie, and makes off to the wilderness with them, where they bond over a dinner of raw fish.

Unfortunately, Hunnicutt is only interested in exploiting the Yeti as a marketing gimmick...the ad campaign for "Yeti" fuel encourages consumers to "Put a Yeti in your tank!" Also, don't miss the highly fashionable "Kiss Me Yeti" t-shirts being sported all around. Another helicopter ride, this time breezing over Niagara Falls, brings the Yeti and his refurbished phone booth to Toronto, where a welcoming committee of screaming consumers greets him while they boogie to a disco song written specially for the Yeti. "He is so big...he is so strong...and he won't harm you...the Yeti..."

Of course this grand occasion takes place in the obvious place, on the roof of a large hotel, but someone forgot to remind them that the Yeti doesn't like flash bulbs (which the photographers are using despite the fact that it is broad daylight). Additionally, the Yeti's captors have no qualms about unleashing him with no restraints, so this is the perfect opportunity for another rampage. The 'rampage' consists of the Yeti screeching loudly and mugging at the camera. One tense scene involves Yeti pulling at an escaping elevator's cables. The purpose seems threatening until he realizes that Jane is inside, at which time he must rescue her from a plunge down the elevator's shaft and make off with her through the streets of Toronto. It appears that the Yeti doesn't really want to hurt anyone, he just wants to scream a lot and shake his funky hairdo around.

Jane manages to hide the Yeti in the baseball stadium (somehow they slipped in unnoticed, and the police are too inept to check). From here, Yeti is secreted in one of Hunnicutt's warehouses. But alas! What they don't realize is that Jane's boyfriend Cliff, one of Hunnicutt's stooges, is actually the president of a rival company, and he plans on finishing the Yeti off for good (all in the name of business, of course). In a series of events that seems to take a millions years to transpire, the professor is murdered by the goons, the Yeti is blamed, and the police want to kill the Yeti. Despite the fact that this is a giant monster they're hunting, the police never really find him, and the conflict is somehow kept between the goons and the Yeti. Two policemen do show up at the warehouse, where the Yeti is languishing in need of oxygen, and they do a lot of talking about how they want to kill Yeti but they never actually fire a shot when given the opportunity. Cliff shows his true nature and slaps a startled Jane around a bit, even stabbing Herbie's protective Collie dog (booooo!). A suddenly rejuvenated Yeti lashes out at the bad guys, while Cliff and his dastardly crooks snatch Herbie from the warehouse amid the mêlée. Naturally, Yeti gives chase to their cars, smashing them with boulders and trees (fortunately he avoids the one with Herbie in it, whew!).

Somehow arriving back at the original site of Yeti's thaw (even though it took a helicopter ride to get to Toronto in the first place), Yeti manages to stomp the crooks and free Herbie, and the police arrive in time to brandish their weapons once again (without firing). Jane convinces them not to shoot and she urges Yeti (who can understand English as long as it spoken crudely) to return to the wilderness. As Yeti sullenly makes for the trees, Herbie's fallen dog emerges to run toward the boy in slow motion in a scene straight out of "Lassie Come Home". Apparently frightened, it lies down halfway there, making Herbie run the rest of the way on his own.

"Yeti, The Giant of the 20th Century" features some of the most hilarious blue-screen "giant" effects you'll ever see, but my personal favorite effect is the enormous, immobile Yeti legs they built for one scene where the filmmakers actually dare to place Yeti and the humans in the same shot. The legs seems awfully small for a "Giant of the 20th Century" and all. Speaking of this prestigious title, I don't remember being polled about that particular fact. I would have voted for Bill Goldberg.


Review by GroovyDoom from the Internet Movie Database.