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The Crawling Hand (1963)

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Ratings: 2.8/10 from 1,133 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 14 critic

The hand of a dead astronaut comes crawling back from the grave to strangle the living



(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Title: The Crawling Hand (1963)

The Crawling Hand (1963) on IMDb 2.8/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kent Taylor ...
Rod Lauren ...
Sheriff Townsend (as Alan Hale)
Sirry Steffen ...
Arline Judge ...
Tristram Coffin ...
Security Chief Meidel (as Tristam Coffin)
Ross Elliott ...
Deputy Earl Harrison
Stan Jones ...
Funeral Director (as G. Stanley Jones)
Jock Putnam ...
Ambulance Attendant
Andy Andrews ...
Ambulance Attendant
Syd Saylor ...
Soda Shop Owner
Ed Wermer ...


After an astronaut space capsule is detonated in orbit, a teenager finds a severed arm among wreckage on earth. Soon the thing returns to life to murder and posses the young man's mind. Written by Jeremy Lunt <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

astronaut | ambulance | sheriff | swede | cat | See more »


It Came From Outer Space! See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi






Release Date:

24 February 1966 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Don't Cry Wolf  »

Box Office


$100,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Last film of veteran character actor Syd Saylor. See more »


When the hand attacks our hero while he is driving the car you can clearly see the head of someone reaching over from the back seat. See more »


Featured in The 50 Worst Movies Ever Made (2004) See more »


The Bird's the Word
Sung by The Rivingtons
See more »

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User Reviews

Absolutely ridiculous...and I mean that in the best possible way
10 January 2010 | by (North Hollyweird) – See all my reviews

This is exactly the kind of low budget laugh fest that has fans of Fifties/Sixties schlock in Nirvana. A cadre of random b-movie superstars, all taking the whole absurd premise 110% seriously, a classic sci-fi/horror movie idea of disembodied body parts going on a rampage, cheap jack production, and the rocking awesomeness of "The Bird's The Word" by The Rivingtons (heard several times during the show). That's the precursor to the even more incredible "Surfin' Bird" by The Trashmen, so I'll have to give the producers thumbs up for good taste in music.

An astronaut on his way back from the moon is possessed by...something. Something which is never explained, but it gives him a bad case of excess eyeliner. He begs mission control to blow up him and his spaceship, by pressing the red button (if I can quote Daffy Duck, "No! Not the wed button!") and they do so. The Head of the space agency deals with the loss of his colleague the only way that guys in bad potboilers from the 1950's can: he throws stuff and smokes a lot of cigarettes.

Meanwhile, the astronaut's shredded hand and lower arm has somehow survived burning up in the atmosphere, and lands on a California beach, where budding med student Paul and his Swedish exchange student girlfriend find it. (What is it about foreign exchange student girlfriends in these cheap movies? THE GIANT GILA MONSTER has a French exchange student girlfriend. I guess if you hire a low-cost foreign actress looking to "break into the biz" you have to turn her into a foreign exchange student to have her presence there make any kind of sense.) Paul is a naughty boy and takes the severed arm home for further study. Once there, it promptly possesses him and causes him to kill his landlady.

Then, guys from the Space agency show up in town, investigating the possible rogue hand. Alan Hale, the local Sheriff, wants them to stop putting their noses where they don't belong in his investigation. Can they stop the murderous Paul before it's too late? This whole thing is a riot, and appropriately, was covered by the gang at Mystery Science Theatre 3000. That version will cost you money to see, but the original version (thanks to the Public Domain) is free for streaming here online. At that price (nothing) it is certainly worth a watch. Grab the popcorn and turn off your brain.

Oh, and the ending is one of those classic "The End?" cop-outs so favored by 1950's sci-fi B-movies. Okay, they don't actually use the question mark there, but it's implied. You will get some yucks out of this film.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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