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Seaside community is besieged by a chemically enraged (and significantly enlarged) crab, that cuts of path of destruction and chaos. Various odd-ball characters are quickly dispatched, attracting the concerns of otherwise care-free locals, including Robert Lansing as the proprietor of the local saloon.
"Island Claws" is by no means the worst "killer animal" movie on the block; some good sets, pleasant beachside scenery and Lansing's rendition of the bemused publican with an accent from parts unknown, almost (but not quite) compensate for the $2 special effects and banal dialogue.
Throughout the movie, reference to the "mysterious" perpetrator is flagged by glimpses of a claw, or larger-than-usual sideways shuffle tracks in the sand. When the film's crowning glory is finally exposed in its entirety, it's easy to understand why the makers kept it concealed for 80 minutes. The concoction is laughable, but then, what would you expect?
Aside from Lansing, whose trademark ambivalence has been a familiar character trait in his portrayals in other films of the ilk (see "Empire of the Ants" and "The Nest"), only Barry Nelson can rate a mention for being a known quantity. All the other faces are virtual unknowns, with the exception of Nita Talbot in a frivolous supporting role.
Sometimes vaguely scary, but mostly puerile, if you happen to see a copy for less than pocket money, treat yourself and gain a new appreciation of the extent to which film-makers went to cash-in on the "killer animal" theme that was in vogue at the time.
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