In the mid-1960s, Italian director Antonio Margheriti made four science fiction films back-to-back for MGM. All four movies were filmed at Rome’s Incir De Paolis studios – using many of the same sets, costumes, props and actors – and followed the adventures of the staff of the United Democracies Space Command (UDSCO).
Here, the Indus weather station in the Himalayas (which had recently observed strange glacial behaviour and a melting of the icecaps causing widespread flooding) is attacked by unknown beasts with all the staff killed except the commander, Lieutenant Jim Harris (Renato Baldini, dubbed in the English language version by American actor Frank Wolff), who is now missing.
Evidence – especially a plaster cast of a giant footprint, implying its owner is seven feet tall – suggests something sinister is afoot (no pun intended).
Posing as mountaineers reconnoitring a climbing route, granite-jawed Commander Rod Jackson (Giacomo Rossi Stuart sporting an impressive pompadour hairstyle) and his faithful sidekick and second-in-command Captain Frank Pulasky (Goffredo Unger) travel to Garandi to investigate. Here they hear tales of the ‘snow devils’ which terrorise the region.
The pair hire a Himalayan guide called Sharu (Wilbert Bradley) and a group of Sherpas – which includes Lisa Nielson (Ombretta Colli), the fiancee of missing weather station commander Jim Harris – they proceed on foot.
Sheltering from a blizzard in Himalayan caves, they discover a race of seven-foot-tall space yetis (who look like a cross between Smurfs and hairy blue Vikings). The yetis – from the dying planet Aytin – plan to flood the earth by melting the polar icecaps, depopulating the planet and then freezing the world to create a giant global glacial field (the space yetis’ ideal habitat) as their new home.
In an effort to avert this new ice age, Jackson and his squad – plus Harris, whom they free – escape through an air duct and gas the yetis with Ether. The heroes then blast off to Gamma 1, to launch an attack on the yetis’ advanced base on Jupiter’s moon, Calisto.
Furio Meniconi – often billed as ‘Men Fury’ – plays the yetis’ red-caped leader, Igrun, and Enzo Fiermonte reprises his role as General Norton.
For all their attempted menace, the yetis are laughable, and in the space attack finale, meteors and asteroids on strings undermine the excitement, as explosive charges are planted on asteroids to breach the yetis’ forcefield. Jackson’s spacesuit also seems to include tubing from a washing machine!
Cmdr. Rod Jackson
Giacomo Rossi Stuart (as Jack Stuart)
Ombretta Colli (as Amber Collins)
Lt. Jim Harris
Renato Baldini (as Rene Baldwin)
Capt. Frank Pulasky
Goffredo Unger (as Freddy Unger)
Lt. Teri Sanchez