Anyone who knows me knows I’ve long been a fan of the fairly obscure late 70s King Kong-inspired giant monster epic Yeti, Giant of the 20th Century. Barely released on VHS, never before on DVD, finally – at long last – this delirious b-movie bonanza is finally getting its long overdue DVD release.
For the uninitiated, Yeti, Giant of the 20th Century is a 1977 Italian production shot in Canada and then badly dubbed into English that was designed to ride the coattails of the 1976 big budget King Kong remake. Long before The Asylum the Italians were the true kings of the mockbuster.
From Gianfranco Parolini AKA Frank Kramer, co-writer and director of the Lee Van Cleef/Yul Brenner spaghetti western trilogy Sabata, Adios, Sabata, and The Return of Sabata, and starring Antonella Interlenghi (Fulci’s City of the Living Dead), Tony Kendall (Ossorio’s Return of the Evil Dead), and Mimmo Craig as the titular ice age titan, Yeti, Giant of the 20th Century has just about everything you could possibly want in a b-movie.
The monster is played by an extremely expressive actor in a fur suit with a puffy head of Tina Turner hair. The Yeti is thawed out from his frozen prehistoric phone booth dangling from a mid-air helicopter for reasons that take scientific mumbo-jumbo to dizzying new heights. The beast falls for a pretty girl, befriends a mute boy and his Lassie-esque dog, becomes the company mascot for an eccentric oil tycoon, climbs down(!) a skyscraper in spectacular fashion, runs amok through the streets of downtown Toronto, and snaps the necks of rival corporate nogoodniks between his giant toes. As a cherry on top there’s an indescribably loony theme song that takes things to the upper echelons of schlock.
I’ve been holding out for a Scream Factory special edition Blu-ray, but since the film has only been available via grey market outlets for nearly forever, I’m willing to settle (for now) for this DVD release that I somehow suspect will probably only be slightly higher in quality than said grey market releases.
CFS Releasing (never heard of them) will be giving Yeti, Giant of the 20th Century its first ever DVD release on April 22nd. If you need any extra incentive to rush over to Amazon to pre-order it for $9.95, then just watch the Yeti, Giant of the 20th Century music video below, and trust me when I tell you it only scratches the surface of the film’s wackiness.
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