Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Throwback: Willis O'Brien's "Baboon: A Tail about a Yeti

I  briefly mentioned this during Shark Week 2012 (turns out they were orcas - doh!), but I think it very much deserves a Throwback :

 Willis O'Brien's "Baboon: A Tail about a Yeti.

Source of the below is book "Willis O'Brien: Special Effects Genius" by Steve Archer, as well as Club Des Monstres.

Dr. Towne finds the yeti in a cave that contains "enormous hoards of idols, jewels, gold objects, carved chests ... plunder from the countryside."
In another version of the "Baboon" story, a character called Bruce Thomas sits on the back of the yeti as it leaps across the chasm.

During the storm sequence, the yeti breaks free from its bonds and comes above, wreaking havoc.
The yeti is attacked by killer whales.
The yeti lifts the doctor up to the ship and safety.

 Suggestions for Action Sequences (from "Willis O'Brien: Special Effects Genius"):

1. Viewing the film returned from the Himalayas, with the thrilling realization that the yeti exists.
2. The discovery of the ruins of an ancient city (to be accomplished with miniature projection).
3. The thrilling discovery of giant tracks leading to the great caves.
4. The suspenseful entry into the caves and the exciting discovery of vast treasures.
5. The horrifying entry of a giant cobra.
6. The darkening of the cave as the huge hulk of the yeti fills the entrance, followed by the mortal battle between the yeti and the cobra.
7. The desperate escape of the party into a narrow crevice, to avoid the grasp of the yeti.
8. The amazement of finding the doctor's living quarters and the exciting reunion between the doctor and Marian.
9. The fearful roar of a falling avalanche seconds after all but one get out of the cave.
10. The rigors of the trek down the mountain, crossing suspension bridges at dizzying heights, small avalanches and other suspense-filled incidents.
11. The discovery of the new, and very deep, crevasse with the doctor resolving the dilemma by anchoring a rope and leaping across on the back on the yeti, with the others following on the rope.
12.  The exciting action at the lower camp, with showman Smith arguing with the doctor over the capture of the yeti and Smith shooting both the doctor and the yeti with tranquilizer shots adn capturing the yeti.
13. The interesting transportation of the Yeti to the boat by elephant? Or truck?
14. A possible exciting sequence of the yeti amok in an oil field, tipping over derricks, etc.
15. The suspenseful scenes of the yeti breaking its bonds on the tramp steamer and wreaking havoc on the top deck.
16. The desperate doctor, putting out in the outboard motor boat, enticing the yeti to jump into the sea and follow him.
17. The touching scene of the yeti saving the old doctor from the killer whales and placing him back on the boat.
18. The thrilling underwater shots of the yeti battling the killer whales.
19. The pathetic, final scene of the yeti  sinking in to the bloody sea as the steamer pulls away.

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