HMM Day 21 – The Giant Claw

Have you ever read the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible? I have, so I will go ahead and be your preacher! There’s one part in chapter three where Solomon says “there’s a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.” You see, you didn’t know this but King Solomon was a horror hound just like you and me and in this passage, he was talking about horror movies. I know this cause I’ve read it and I know everything about the Bible. You see, I know from personal experience and hours upon hours of Biblical study that Solomon was talking to us. When you’re doing a horror movie marathon, there’s a time for everything. A time to watch the intense slaughter as in Evil Dead. A time for thrilling campiness like Critters 2 and a time for seriousness like Let The Right One In. These are all great moments and Solomon understood this. But Solomon also knew there was a time to let loose and not be so damn serious.

He knew there is a time to laugh and watch something terrible. Something so terrible that it is practically awesome! Solomon understood this. You see, you can’t be all serious all the time. In fact, I believe you as a horror fan must take the time to watch something that makes you laugh. That is why on day twenty one of my Horror Movie Marathon we are going to cover the most terribly awesome movie of all time! The greatest giant monster movie to ever grace the silver screen. Stand aside Godzilla! Look away King Kong! Hide in shame Beast From 20000 Fathoms! Straight out of the Silver Age of big monster horror films, I proudly give you The Giant Claw!

You can watch the full movie right here!

The Giant Claw is a 1957 giant monster horror movie directed by Fred F. Sears and stars Jeff Morrow and Mara Corday. The movie received negative reviews from critiques for its hilariously bad looking monster. It is rumored that theater viewers openly laughed during the showing of the movie. To this day The Giant Claw has gone on to live on as an infamously terribly bad movie.

The Story

While performing a radar test flight high up in the North Pole, aeronautical engineer Mitch MacAfee witnesses a large UFO that is the size of a battleship. After many more sightings it is determined that the UFO is actually a giant monster bird! Hell bent on destruction that spreads across the United States! Nothing can penetrate its exterior shield and all attempts to kill it prove useless. Beware the giant claw!

Great Drinking Game

Here’s what you should do. Tonight, get yourself a nice bottle of liquor and one pack of your favorite beer. Then get yourself ready for a nice night of drunk because The Giant Claw is a perfect drinking game movie. For every moment you see the killer giant bird. You take a swig of cold beer. For every confusing science moment, you down a shot of liquor. I promise, you get lit and feel as good as a bear shitting in the woods.

I have to be honest, I’m not the biggest “giant monster” movie fan. It’s not that I don’t appreciate them, they have their place in the museum of horror. I just don’t find them as appealing as other monster movies like The Creature From The Black Lagoon or The Crawling Eye. Maybe because while giant monsters are terrifying and kill in mass numbers, their terror inducement isn’t as isolated and feels less personal.

You can tell these movies were created as a national propaganda tool. The beginning of the film, there is a long dialogue about Americas radar and defense system. It’s a booster to the society that was just over a world war. I could imagine tensions were still running high during that time. Especially during the fifties when the Red Scare was like an infectious disease. To be honest, Russia was still our enemy. The only reason they joined the allies is because that fucking socialist Hitler betrayed them. But Russia was just as evil (if not more) than the Germans and here they were going scott free for a world war! Who was to say they weren’t still wanting to take over? So movies like The Giant Claw or The Deadly Mantis were like “Hey Americans, feel good cause we got this!” and at the same time giving us entertainment at the same time.

But this is my fifth year of doing my Horror Movie Marathon and I haven’t done a film about giant monsters. I’ve done giant bug movies like Them! or Black Scorpion but they are in a different class. A movie like Godzilla or Rodan are much different. I just don’t know how to take those movies in a serious manner. Which is ok because like Solomon said “there’s a time for everything.” The Giant Claw is one of those movies that looks so ridiculous that you laugh your ass off. The bird looks like a giant cracked out Adrian Brody!

Supposedly the movie was shot free of any idea of what the Giant Claw would actually look like. So the actors were just reacting to an imaginary concept. Kind of like Who Framed Roger Rabbit or something. It’s also a fact that Columbia Pictures were planning on letting legend Ray Harryhausen do the effects. But due to an already over inflated budget, they had to rely on a Mexican effects company to do all the shots of the killer bird. I’m not saying things from Mexico were shit, but obviously what we see from this movie is a testament to their effects capabilities. I often wonder how the reception of this movie would have gone if Harryhausen had done the effects. What I need is a portal gun and travel to that other dimension where Ray Harryhausen did do The Giant Claw.

I for one love this movie and I watch it with my kids just to see the looks on their faces. It’s actually become an every October event to watch this. Every time the bird appears on the screen, we yell “THERE HE IS!” and act as if our lives are ending. It’s one of those films that brings out sincere laughter. Especially since the actors and plot of the movie approaches it with all seriousness. Sure the movie is shit and the bird looks like toy you’d get from a drug dealers puppet store. You can see the strings holding it up and it flops around like a drunk turkey. But the movie is fun and one you just shake your head to.

So sit back and have some fun tonight to a movie that you can appreciate. The story is that of a typical 50’s monster movie. Monster runs amuck and the military is gonna fight it. They go through a couple ideas and then triumphantly kill it. Simple as that. If anything you’ll be forced to watch a science lesson on anti-matter and all that physics stuff. Where most monster films play on the fears of scientific breakthrough, The Giant Claw glorifies science and honors it as a means to thwart giant monsters. Kind of a refreshing approach to Silver Age monster movies if you ask me. Either way, have a good day and get nice and drunk on day twenty one for my Horror Movie Marathon!

Thanks for reading! If you’d like to see other past day twenty one posts from past marathons then check these out below.

Also, if you’re new to this marathon then know two things! One is you rock and thanks for checking this out. The other is that you can read up on the past movies so far.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Blogferatu says:

    Oh man what an all time classic! I included this in a post a while back that was basically a list of my favorite Timeless Schlock

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nscovell says:

      Lol, absolutely. I wonder if the prop still exists? Would love own the head or something.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Blogferatu says:

        oh man, right?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. nscovell says:

        Could you imagine having thing standing on top of your house for Halloween. You’d be the one house in the neighborhood that everyone talks about. “Hey, did you see that one guys house? It has a giant evil Adrian Brody bird on it!”

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Blogferatu says:

        HAHAHAHA! Adrian Brody! That’s hilarious

        Liked by 1 person

  2. steveboilard says:

    Great find! Loved the still of the giant bird. But I can’t hear the name “the Claw” without thinking of this:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nscovell says:

      Man I haven’t seen get smart for a long time


  3. Neutrastaff says:

    I heard some funny things about The Giant Claw. From what I heard, during its premiere, the audience busted out laughing. One of the main actors, who was there at the premiere, was so embarrassed that he snuck out the theater so no one would see him

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nscovell says:

      Yea it was an instant bomb.


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