Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Giant Claw

The Giant Claw is a 1957 science fiction movie that could've been named Attack of the Alien Bird. It is directed by Fred Sears (Earth vs. the Flying Saucers), a Memphis resident in the early 1940's. It stars Jeff Morrow (Kronos) and Mara Corday (Tarantula). The movie is full of people who make giant leaps to conclusions beyond logic and then follow them with, "There's no other reason for it," or "There's nothing else it could be." And Martial Law! Why, of course! That's a necessary response! The movie also has an exploding car and some kids who get their just deserts.

via youtube:

I should have expected it, I guess, but I was still surprised when the mathematician (the token woman) brought everybody sandwiches and coffee before the final flight.

1000 Misspent Hours likes it:
what makes The Giant Claw truly special, beyond its ludicrously inept dialogue, its impressive misuse of stock footage and voiceover narration, and its legendarily cheap and unconvincing special effects, is that it boldly defies the aforementioned pattern. The Giant Claw is every bit as unrepentantly bizarre as any Japanese or Korean creature film, and in exactly the same characteristic way. It is, so far as I’ve seen, the only true American kaiju movie.

StompTokyo talks about the Alien bird:
What makes The Giant Claw a schlock fan favorite, however, is the monster. And oh, what a monster – part vulture, part Looney Tunes Dodo, and all puppet, the Giant Claw glares at us with its googly eyes, flares the nostrils on its mushy beak(!), and mocks us with its shock of black hair....You will recoil in horror – that is, if you can keep from doubling over with laughter. has a thorough plot description, sound and video files and this: "It is impossible not to laugh about the movie's special effects."

6/16/2009: Arbogast on Film describes it as "routinely short-listed as one of the biggest movie turkeys of all time".

3/28/2010: I watched this again this afternoon at the Brooks Museum as part of the Sivads of March film festival.

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