Saturday, October 18, 2014

Horrors of October - The Giant Claw (#18)

The Giant Claw (1957)

An untrackable UFO, described by every unfortunate observer as being "a flying battleship", is later identified to be a giant hawk. Yes, when I think of a hawk, I too think of a big machine that can only move on water. But it gets better: Turns out this hawk is actually an alien, which flew in from outer space with its "protective energy shield", in order to conquer the skies of Earth and spread its seed. Then comes the money shot at 28 minutes, when the hawk is revealed fully to the audience and looks to be the worst marionette of a turkey ever made. THE GIANT CLAW is one of the most infamous Z movies of all time thanks largely to the cheap design of its monster, which spouts a thinned-out mohawk, bugged out eyes, nearly immovable claws, and a lot of strings. The film's most famous story is that the actors weren't aware of what the creature would look like, so their serious reactions and constant mentions of it being battleship-shaped make the schadenfreude ever so sweeter. Whenever you aren't laughing at the terrible puppet and its woeful tour of destruction, you are treated to a bunch of long pulpy conversations scenes, often taking place in interchangeable sets, and a large collection of stock footage, including stolen scenes from more popular films. My favorite non-turkey scene is the one set on an airplane, where our leads flirt over rapey kisses and baseball jargon, plus figure out the creature's pattern through sheer lunacy. THE GIANT CLAW certainly is one of the worst monster movies but damn if it isn't breezy and fun every time I watch it. And if you plan a group screening, make sure to do a drinking game for every time the characters say the word "battleship".


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