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Russian Yeti: The Killer Lives (TV) Review

The Discovery Channel’s newest documentary voyage into the strange settles its focus on the mysterious case of the Russian hikers who were brutally murdered in the Ural Mountains way back in 1959. What’s so strange about it? Just about everything.

Discovery is great about getting episodic television shows and documentaries on the air about some of the most strange and at times obscure topics of all time. We’ve seen UFO, monster, conspiracy stuff and more air on the channel and its family of networks; all treated with a very mature tact and an intelligent tilt that doesn’t play up sensationalism and also tells it like it is. If something is unexplainable, we, Discovery usually isn’t going to show some whitewashed, watered down, ridiculous ‘explanation’ that makes no sense and insults the intelligence. And that holds true for Russian Yeti: The Killer Lives, produced by Raw, too.

The doc follows explorer Mike Libecki as he leads an expedition into the Urals to try and discover just what it is that killed these young men and women all those years ago. If you’re unfamiliar with the case, it’s of no real surprise since this is kind of a niche topic that also had the honor of being seemingly pointlessly covered up by the investigating Russian authorities for ages. Bottom line, it wasn’t all the easy of a case to look into till recently.

On February 2, 1959 a group of nine college aged men and women (all of whom were friends) went on a camping trip into the Ural Mountains. Long story short; they never made it back alive. The group were discovered to have all been killed. Tents were slashed from the inside, some of them exhibited signs of crushing damage, the bodies were spread out over a several mile expanse, and all of them were in various stages of undress. In fact, most of them were in their underwear- and keep in mind that these were freezing temperatures they were camped out in.

Sound odd? Yeah, you better believe it and you don’t know the half of it as the special goes in-depth exploring the copious amount of high strangeness that surrounds this one. Libecki and his team are on the trail of a killer, no doubt, and the evidence that they uncover and present in the show is seriously persuasive that this murderer might very well have not been human.

As you might expect for something associated with Discovery, the program is well put together with historical fact backing up theory, and open thought by the investigative team aplenty. On the ‘scene’ digging around is likewise buffered with testimony from legitimate scientific authorities like Jeff Meldrum from Idaho State University shown in the clip above, and experts in all things weird.

The graphics, while not exactly motion-picture quality, are nonetheless eye-catching in describing the proposed beast and actual footage and photos are shown whenever possible of both the actual original camping trip as well as some animals from the modern world that compare in some way to what could have caused the devastation at the grizzly scene.

Final Thoughts

If you’re a devotee of the myriad of weird that happens in this world on a daily basis, you’re going to find something to like in Russian Yeti: The Killer Lives.

It’s a terrifically produced program that covers an incident that many people just flat out don’t know about. That’s a shame too, since what happened in the Urals in 1959 is not only fascinating, but also a terrible tragedy that has never been satisfactorily explained. No doubt, there are still many who would love to get to the bottom of what happened there and maybe, just maybe, Mr. Libecki and his team have gotten us all a little closer to the answer.

Russian Yeti: The Killer Lives airs tonight on Discovery at 9pm eastern and pacific.

About Jason

Jason's been knee deep in videogames since he was but a lad. Cutting his teeth on the pixely glory that was the Atari 2600, he's been hack'n'slashing and shoot'em'uping ever since. Mainly an FPS and action guy, Jason enjoys the occasional well crafted title from every genre.

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