Half man. Half monster. All crazy. Find out what happens when a large Yeti cuts loose in his new home town as “The Snow Creature” comes to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences this Friday, December 4 at 7 p.m.
After an American botanical expedition in the Himalayas stumbles across a Yeti den, team leader Frank Parrish decides it would be a good idea to capture one for science and transport it back to Los Angeles. Luckily for the Yeti, local customs officials have an even lower IQ and allow the creature to escape while they debate semantics. Is a “snowman” still a “man?” We may never know.
Dr. Parrish is played by popular character actor Paul Langton, who appeared in numerous war films in the 1940s and horror films in the ‘50s (including “The Incredible Shrinking Man,” “It! The Terror From Beyond Space” and “The Cosmic Man”). Langton eventually achieved TV stardom in the role of Leslie Harrington on the prime time serial “Peyton Place” (1964-68). Hardboiled news photographer Peter Wells is played by Leslie Denison, who also played the detective that tracked down Bela Lugosi in “The Return of the Vampire” (1944).
William Phipps plays Lt. Dunbar, who helps Parrish track down the snow creature. After furnishing the voice of Prince Charming in Disney’s cartoon classic “Cinderella” in 1950. Phipps became a popular actor in the early days of science fiction (including former First Friday features “Invaders from Mars,” “The War of the Worlds” and “Cat-Women of the Moon”).
“The Snow Creature” (1954) was directed by W. Lee Wilder and written by his son Myles, the same team that brought you another recent First Friday feature, “Killers from Space.” W. Lee deliberately took the name of the police detective, Lt. Dunbar from the name of the prisoner of war played by Don Taylor in the film “Stalag 17” (1953), which was written, produced and directed by W. Lee’s much more famous but estranged younger brother: Billy Wilder.
The creature is believed to be played by Lock Martin, the 7’ 7” former Grauman’s Chinese Theatre doorman who also played Gort in “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (1951). “The Snow Creature” is considered to be the first film about the Yeti (aka The Abominable Snowman).
The Museum stays open from 5 to 9 pm on the first Friday of every month. Arrive early and wander through eye-catching exhibits highlighting the natural beauty of North Carolina, enjoy snacks and beverages from the Acro Café, and groove to live music from Yeti Star (it’s an all-Yeti show). Or follow along on a photographic expedition through Alaska’s 19.2-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge courtesy of the Museum’s newest special exhibit, “Journey through the Arctic Refuge,” on display October 17 through January 10 (Free). Additionally, the Museum Store offers after-hours shopping and an opening reception (6:30-8:30 pm) for Kent Ambler, whose Nature In Relief woodcuts are featured in the Nature Art Gallery December 4–27. All exhibited art is for sale.
The NC Museum of Natural Sciences is located in downtown Raleigh at 11 West Jones Street. Parking is available on the street and in surface lots along Wilmington and Edenton streets. For more information, contact Steve Popson at 919-733-7450 x379.