The Giant Claw (1957) Poster

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9/10
From the studio that made Lawrence of Arabia.
chris_gaskin12317 January 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Columbia, which made huge hits like Lawrence of Arabia and Jason and the Argonauts, were responsible for this.

A giant vulture like bird from outer space is responsible for aeroplanes disappearing and to make things worse, it has an anti-matter shield around it which makes it invisible on radar. After destroying some well known landmarks in Washington and New York and also picking a (model) train up in its beak, a way is devised to kill it and is successfully killed at the end when it is shot from an aeroplane.

The Giant Claw is one of the best so-bad-it's-good movies of the 1950's. When I first saw the giant wooden puppet bird, I couldn't stop laughing, even though it isn't supposed to be a comedy.

The cast includes 50s sci-fi regulars Jeff Morrow (This Island Earth, Kronos), Morris Ankrum (Invaders From Mars, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers)and Mara Corday (Tarantula, The Black Scorpian).

I enjoyed this movie very much and I don't see how anybody cannot enjoy it. Great fun.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
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It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's a Puppet!
Bucs19605 August 2002
What a hoot!!!! This film tops them all......and the 50's had some real "winners" in the genre. And like all that went before and after, this will win your heart. Knowing that computer generated effects and advanced use of the blue screen were things yet to come, we usually have to bite the bullet and figure they did the best they could with what they had. BUT, in this case, they really hit bottom with the monster bird. It has to be the worst of all.....it's a damn wooden puppet on strings that bobs around like Big Bird on a binge......pretty pitiful. Jeff Morrow probably wanted to commit suicide or die of terminal embarrasment after seeing this film in its finished state. And the lovely Mara Corday, who was always stuck in the lower echelon of film making, had to count this as a low point in her career. She deserved better. And of course Morris Ankrum never learned....he just kept plugging away in "B" films and became on of the most famous faces seen in supporting roles. Now, after saying all those negative things, I can honestly say that I love this movie....it is so outrageous that you are just sucked in, forever becoming a fanatic of low budget, 50's horror/science fiction films. Yes, it is really bad, really bad.....but somehow you can't quit watching. Have fun with it!!!!!
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8/10
I haven't thought of this movie in years
dmorgan-3117 October 2007
I saw "The Giant Claw" several times on the Saturday afternoon creature feature in the late 60s and 70s. I LOVED IT!

This was before I started actually reading science fiction, and my friends and me really liked the science fiction movies that were being shown on the TV when you had about five channels. This movie ranks up there with "The Deadly Mantis" (giant praying mantis), "Them" (the giant ants), and "Tarantula" (the giant tarantula, of course). Being a kid growing up during the height of the space race, science fiction was always an "almost anything goes" genre to occupy a lazy afternoon. This movie is easily competitive with the Japanese monster movies, and I think that the creation of movies like this peaked out at "The Green Slime" (1968).

All you have to do is turn off your brain and throw out your "willing suspension of disbelief." It's just a plain old fun movie, good for everyone to watch on a rainy day. And if it would ever be shown again, I can watch it with popcorn AND a beer.
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5/10
Makes "Mothra" look like "Gone with the Wind"
BruceCorneil10 July 2003
Yes, 'fraid I feel positively compelled to stand up and be counted in support of "The Giant Claw" if only for sentimental reasons.It's yet another of those decidedly creaky but fun Z - Grade sci fi flicks from the golden days of late night television.

If you look closely at one of the Pentagon scenes where Jeff Morrow and lovely Mara Corday are chatting to military chief Robert Shayne you might just detect Mr Shayne trying hard to stifle a laugh as he turns away from the camera at one point. And by jingo, by crikey ... who could blame him ? He's just finished delivering an impassioned speech about "Bombarding the creature with guns, rockets and cannons ... God help us ..... NOTHING can stop It"! He's knows only too well of course that the so called "monster" looks like a really bad kid's puppet. I mean, like man , that's got to be the most grisly lookin' buzzard in the entire history of ornithology.

But, after being hit repeatedly by several ballistic missiles and showing no signs of dropping off the perch, the creature does, indeed, appear to be unstoppable. Finally, Vic and Mara decide to climb aboard a DC 3 prop plane which has some sort of unspecified atomic ray gun hanging out the back of it. Apparently the idea is to squirt puffs of talcum powder in the pot boiler's face in the hope of blinding it and forcing it to crash land into the North Atlantic. And guess what ..... the whole crazy scheme WORKS!

Sure enough the buzzard cops a blast right in the baby blues, goes into a nose dive and takes a dramatic plunge into Neptune's Garden. OK, so what if the final impact does look suspiciously like a pile of garden rubbish being flung into a tank of water by someone who was standing just off camera. Even the most world weary monster chasers couldn't help but to feel just a touch sad as we watch the brave bird slowly disappear beneath the waves, Titanic style.

Of course, it probably deserved it when you think about all those model cars that it destroyed and all those papier mache buildings that it sent crashing to the floor of the Columbia Studios.

In terms of its production values, "The Giant Claw" makes "Mothra" look like "Gone with the Wind"
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10/10
You need to enjoy bad movies to like this movie
shadeclan3 October 2006
This movie is very poor in the standard sense. The plot is warped, the monster is goofy, the science is wrong and the actors are terribly, terribly melodramatic. However, these same things are also what make make the movie good to a bad movie connoisseur like myself. The monster is priceless - it is what makes this particular bad movie stand out over most others. BadMovies.org calls it "A Giant Antimatter Space Buzzard (hehe)" and Andrew is right on target. The serious treatment of the actors towards the ridiculous creature (which they didn't see until the movie was released) combined with the utmost in 1950's pseudo-scientific jargon make this move a classic! This movie is my personal favorite of all b movies. Truly a must-see for the discriminating bad movie goer.
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6/10
Quit being so "picky", and just enjoy this fun little film!
MarshallO21 April 2007
I'm really getting tired of people "dissing" this film by apparently taking the attitude that all films have to mimic "Citizen Kane" in order to be worthy of enjoying! Sure, the "science" in the film is decidedly unscientific, and the monster DOES look like Beaky Buzzard from a Warner Brothers' cartoon, but, so what? The film is enjoyable for what it IS: just a fun-to-watch, schlocky "sci-fi" film of the fifties--with acting that is NOT "amateurish" (as another reviewer noted)--with the additional benefit (to us guys, at least) of having one heck of a sexy-looking heroine (Mara Corday).

Lighten up, and ENJOY.
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7/10
Giant Buzzard From Outer Space!
ClassixFan14 May 2000
This film is simply put.....pure entertainment! Nothing to be taken seriously, but rather to be savored as one of those classic gems from the 50s. Sure, the *Beastie* of this film is a huge turkey or buzzard from some distant galaxy, the acting is stiff and forced, the effects laughable, but if you watch this film for nothing more than to be entertained, you'll not be disappointed. This film is what makes *B* films so much fun....they're cheesy and campy and made on a budget of about $1.50, but you can't help watching it and coming back time and time, again.
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Gonzo From Outer Space
pghmoe19 January 2001
From the has-to-be-seen-to-be-believed school. A giant bird from space descends on earth, snatching up entire trains, hot rodding teenagers, and overacting bit players. Toss in terrible effects, hammy acting and science of the Ed Wood school and you have a surefire winner for any bad film fest. Then there is the bird itself, which comes complete with flareing nostrils.......
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Mexican Poultry
tieman6420 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
"What it does have is the all time dumbest 50's monster." – Joe Dante

What the hell? An extra-terrestrial semi-retarded giant chicken appears in earth's atmosphere and promptly starts attacking mankind. It's therefore up to a scientist and a mathematician to stop the beast.

This film is renowned for being one of the worst "creature features". The dialogue consists of fare like "That bird is extraterrestrial! It comes from outer space!" and "It was a bird as big as a battleship!" and the rest of the film if comprised of the usual 1950s scifi/horror B-movie ingredients: a silly monster, bad dialogue delivered with complete sincerity, annoying teens as the monster's victims, abundant stock footage, a squeaky clean male hero, a busty but smart female sidekick, corny scientific explanations and a plot completely devoid of logic.

And yet…this is probably the only film in cinema history to star a giant prehistoric extraterrestrial United Nations hating rubber chicken. That's exactly how I like my giant poultry: politically incorrect.

6/10 - The film now plays well as an unintentional comedy. To save money, this film's producers outsourced their special effects to a suspicious company in Mexico. Little is known about that company, other than the fact that they make unconvincing poultry.
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Lots of fun to watch if you aren't too serious about it.
rixrex4 April 2007
A nice remembrance from childhood watching this one Saturday evening at my cousins place in Brooklyn. Probably a WOR channel 9 creature feature, but definitely one of the schlockiest of their stock. Still, what really sets these old 50s monster B and C flicks apart from today's low-rent stuff is the great seriousness of the characters and their delivery done with earnest. This style is standard fare from low-budget Corman through the cheapo AIP and Columbia stuff, and this is what makes these lesser efforts with poor quality effects rise to a level that makes them as enjoyable as the grade A Universal-International and 20th Century Fox sci-fi stuff.
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10/10
The Giant Claw
typhill28 April 2007
Have an open mind and you'll love this movie. I wasn't even close to being alive in the 50's or even 60's so I'm not sure of what kind of technology they had to make movies, but I think this movie did a good job with it.

Yes it's a stick puppet but did they have anything better? At least they made it look good when it was going to eat someone, using the screen and then the guy in the front, then switching so it looks like he's actually getting eaten from afar. Yes the acting isn't the best, but it does the job.

And the science explanation for the bird, I loved that, it made sense if you don't know much about science and it works out. Possibly my favourite part of the movie.

I enjoyed this movie, and if you have an open mind it should be given a chance.
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2/10
A giant bird with teeth!
soulexpress23 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
THE GIANT CLAW contains damned near everything that makes bad '50s sci-fi so much fun: a goofy-looking monster; scenes of destruction with Styrofoam buildings, model cars, and HO-gauge trains; made-up science (my Google search of "masic atoms" turned up nothing); scientific equipment slapped together with whatever junk was handy; a female lead with a brilliant mind who nonetheless does all the "girl" things like serving coffee to the men; and the usual dollar-store acting.

The story: a killer bird the size of a battleship (and with teeth) flies around the Earth on a swath of destruction. It is impervious to guns, bombs, and fighter jets, nor does it appear on radar screens. Scientific analysis of a discarded feather concludes that the bird emits a protective energy shield that makes it nearly invincible. Also, since the feather contains no elements known on the Earth, the bird must be an extraterrestrial from some anti-matter galaxy millions of light years away. (Don't you dare question it!) As the lady scientist deduces, the bird came here to build a nest and lay an egg. When the film's heroes shoot up the egg with rifles, it seriously pisses off the bird, which sets about trashing a cheap mock-up of New York City. (Did you know that buildings explode when a monster claws off a chunk of its top floors?)

I watch films like THE GIANT CLAW for the same reason I listen to records by the Shaggs: they're fundamentally awful, but I can't help loving them.
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7/10
Why did they make this movie?
dhreid9 November 2006
I really cannot understand why this movie was made. At least you get to see some standard 'B' actors such as Jeff Morrow, Morris Ankrum and Mara Corday who is a cute as she can be. Well you guessed it, this thing is about a big bird, what you couldn't have guessed is that it crossed the universe, believe it or not, to build a nest and lay eggs on our 'pale blue dot'(from Carl Sagan). This film has got to win the award for the use of the most stock film shots ever. In more than one sequence, you see folks running in panic in the streets of New York. --Shots taken straight from the Beast From 20,000 Fathoms. The special effects were not special, the bird was laughable, and there are so many continuity mistakes. I must have missed the transition from Mara thinking Jeff was a real immature jerk to the heavy romance. (??) Never-the-less I watched the movie wishing it would end yet interested enough to want to know how it would end. It seems to me that considering what a menace this bird was supposed to be, that there would be whole raft of scientists and military types trying to figure out how to kill this thing, there weren't, just a handful. Maybe because of the ridiculously low budget. I am glad however to have a copy to add to my 50's B Monster collection. There is no other film in my collection as bad as this one. I loved it!
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1/10
" The Monster Bird from another Planet "
thinker169121 November 2013
The movie is called " The Giant Claw " and it was originally written by Samuel Newman. In 1957 I and my boyhood friends were 11 and twelve year olds. At that very young age we attended in a group the weekend Monster theater at which time the above film was featured. Having never seen the movie, we of course were taken completely by surprised by the flying monster, each time it appeared. I and the rest of our group exploded with frightful wails of terror, screams of fright and piercing cries of horror. This noise was echoed and multiplied in volume many times when they joined the cacophony of noises throughout the rest of the theater. Truth was, the management was tickled pink by our childish fears and antics. The movie itself proved nonsensical, poorly made, Juvenal, Shylock, half baked and phony in every respects. Still for 1957 it was the stuff of frighting childhood dreams and we were of that age. As an adult, I am amused at what I considered frightening and snicker at sci-fi scenes from B-Picture actor like Jeff Morrow, Dabbs Greer and what the character's called a nightmare chicken. Yet in retrospect, they were the heroes of my youth and the foundation of what today are considered Classic Monsters of my childhood. Enjoy the novelty, youth doesn't last long.
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9/10
"Get me my pants, will you, General?"
retrorocketx7 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This is one terrifying movie. No, not the movie itself. What is terrifying is that once seen, the images burn into your brain, creating permanent scar tissue. Important memories, such as the births of your children, will fade in comparison to vivid images of this movie. It's like a song stuck in your head. It never leaves.

The creature is incredibly awful and so are the rest of the special effects. I can't think of a single effect that is even close to convincing. It takes years of dedication and training to create special effects this bad. It takes focus. Skill. Unwavering commitment. The effects folks reached for the the bottom of the barrel and they found it. I've seen so many of these old monster movies. I'm trying to remember a worse looking creature...nope. This is the one. The stupidest looking monster of all time.

Oh and the writing! The dialog is way, way, way beyond corny. Way, way beyond. Way beyond. Way. It seems like they tried for snappy, fast paced dialog, rapid-fire like a machine gun. The lines do indeed come fast and furious, but each spoken line is pathetic or embarrassing, in a perfectly brilliant sort of way. Compare the 'baseball' romantic banter with the 'racetrack' banter in the "The Big Sleep." Both bits of dialog aim for the same target, but what a difference! At least the writing is consistent. Nearly every bit of dialog in the movie effects the nerves like nails scraping across a chalkboard. I marvel at the level of achievement this represents.

What's to love about this movie? I love how our heroes have no hesitation to fly anywhere they need to go, even though the creature attacks all airplanes it sees. I love learning about the mysterious 'pattern' of the incidents. I love how no one in authority listens to any problems but they don't hesitate to attack the person reporting the problem. I love to watch our heroes shooting at giant eggs with telescopic rifles. I love the teenagers in the car scene. I love the double talk science, the anti-matter. I love how our heroes invent an amazing scientific weapon in one weekend, and gosh, the basic wiring was wrong! I love how mathematician Sally Caldwell (Mara Corday) brings sandwiches and coffee for the final showdown. I love how the General has a tender, fatherly, but weirdly too-familiar relationship with the main character, Mitch MacAffee (Jeff Morrow).

Yes, this movie is one of those rare gems that is so bad it actually has entertainment value. But you have been warned. It will haunt you forever.
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5/10
Best of the worst
tamstrat22 February 2005
This movie is literally the funniest, most absurd movie I have ever seen, and that includes "Plan 9 from Outer Space". The monster, the amazing flying puppet is not to be believed unless you see it for yourself. My favorite scene is when Mara Corday and Jeff Morrow see the bird (can it even be called a bird?) for the first time in the slide show. Ms. Corday gasps in horror at the closeup of the bird's ridiculous beak....God she was probably gasping at the thought of what could happen to her career when this turkey was released in theaters... I know the producers were trying to save money on the special effects but dear God, I believe first grader's could've made a more scary, realistic looking creature. But don't let these comments keep you from seeing and loving this movie, I have it on video and whenever I need a good laugh and lift my spirits I put in "The Giant Claw" and for some unknown reason my gloom is lifted and all is right with the world.
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4/10
ATTACK OF THE GIANT TURKEY!
Dejael1 December 2003
Warning: Spoilers
(The above Summary line is not my own but was given to this clunker by the Medved Brothers several years ago in their GOLDEN TURKEY AWARDS books.) (*May contain spoilers*) This movie is a BOMB. What started out as a serious attempt to do a good sci-fi B-monster movie was reduced to trivial junk by the incredibly bad special visual effects, among the worst to ever be seen in a movie. This dubious honor goes to Ralph Hammeras, who before this ridiculous mess, had a solid career as a special visual effects artist and cameraman. However the guilt does not fall on him alone. When we think of Columbia Pictures in the 1950s, we must remember B-movie unit line producer Sam Katzman, who endeared himself to no one. Katzman is the real responsible party for making this film a useless dud. We are fortunate that his attempts to obfuscate the fine visual effects work of Ray Harryhausen and Charles H. Schneer on their three black & white classics made while working with Katzman at Columbia, were futile, and Harryhausen managed to keep Katzman from ruining his pictures too by not allowing him into his studio, although he couldn't keep him off the set. Katzman was a bargain-basement low-budget B-movie maestro whose work is for the most part forgettable. It was his decision to force Hammeras into doing the visual effects on a shoestring budget (which looks like about $1.98) down at a low-rent studio in Mexico City because Hollywood was just too expensive for Katzman's budget. The results on the screen are painfully obvious as a fairly good third-rate script was trashed to complete hysterics by the gangly, ugly giant bird-on-a-string which menaces no one but the actors who are painfully annoyed. Film star Jeff Morrow (THIS ISLAND EARTH, 1955, and KRONOS, 1957) told me this film was the biggest mistake of his career, causing him no small amount of grief at the box office and the scathingly laughable reviews. When he signed to do the picture, he had no idea that the visual effects work would be so patently ridiculous. Morrow's acting in the picture is superb as Captain Mitchell McAfee, reminding us of Ken Tobey's performance in The THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (1951). However, apart from the fine work of supporting character actors Morris Ankrum and Robert Shayne, that's where the praise for this film must end. (Morrow had done such an admirable job in the classic sci-fi B-thriller KRONOS also released in the summer of 1957, which holds up so well even today, though dated, because of its thoughtful, literate script, fine cast, production values and impressive but uneven special visual effects which made the film work so well.) When he went to the premiere screening of the film at the Fox Westwood Theater with his wife Anna Karen and friends, he told me he just wanted to crawl down under the seat and hide when he saw this spindly papier-mache marionette puppet as his character's nemesis. He then got up and walked out of the theater and went to the nearest pub for a stiff drink, and never saw the entire film until several years later on TV. He was still embarrassed by this movie to the end of his days. Incredibly bad, ridiculous mess is now only worth watching to laugh at. A useless waste of all the talent involved, including Hammeras, who could have been doing something much more worthwhile with his time than making this bomb for Katzman. Watch at your own risk - don't let your friends catch you watching this!
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Somebody had to have thought this monster was scary. But who?
reptilicus14 May 2001
People always blast this movie and in some ways that is justified; I mean the monster does look like Sesame Street's "big Bird" on acid, but let's face it, the fact that it is laughable is not the fault of director Fred F. Sears (who had also done the very effective EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS and THE WEREWOLF). Nor can we blame it on the cast who do their jobs very well. Sam Katzman was an old hand at saving money even if he had to sacrifice quality so he had the special effects done in Mexico after the principal photography was done. Maybe someone south-of-the-border thought the giant bird-beast really was scary. I guess we will never know for sure. You have to love the dialogue. Robert Shayne's line "It's just a bird, a big bird. Enough firepower to wipe out a regiment can't even slow it down! Sure, it's just a bird." or Jeff Morrow's: "I don't care if that bird came from outer space or Upper Saddle River, NJ." and you can't forget the classic: "You keep your shirt on and I'll get my pants on." They just don't write gems like that anymore. Oh, has anyone else noticed that there is a character in this film named "Dr. Karol Noymann"? The same name was used for John Carradine's character in the 1959 film INVISIBLE INVADERS. Coincidence?
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1/10
The duck from "You Bet Your Life" was more realistic and scary!!
MartinHafer28 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This is a truly terrible sci-fi/horror film from 1957. In fact, despite Ed Wood, Jr.and his dreadful films getting a lot of publicity, this turkey is every bit as bad as the worst of Wood. Now the acting is a bit better than you'd find in the Wood epics (such as PLAN 9 and BRIDE OF THE MONSTER), but the special effects managed to be significantly worse than Wood's! However, bad movie aficionados will be happy to hear that it's so bad that it's still excellent viewing. Like a Wood film, it's great to watch this crap-fest and laugh along with your friends.

The film begins with a scientist flying about doing some testing in his jet. However, out of nowhere, a UFO streaks by and his report of this over the radio triggers a panic by the Air Force. However, later, they realized that the UFO didn't appear on the radio and they think the scientist is a nut! But, when soon after this planes start disappearing all over, they realize there must be something to his sighting.

So far, the film isn't great but it's watchable. However, by the time the horrible flying monster appears, you know you're watching a turkey. First, through horrid use of stock film and crappy models, airplanes keep changing mid-flight. Some may not be bothered by this, but with airplane lovers like me, seeing an F-80 turning into an F-86 to an F-102 fighter plane made me crazy--especially since the planes look nothing like each other. Second, through "clever" cinematography, all you really see of the monster is a ball of fuzz for half the film! This is frustrating and you hope that when you finally do see it clearly, it will be worth the wait. Well, no such luck!! The "monster" looks less realistic or scary than the duck from Groucho's "You Bet Your Life" TV show!! In fact, it's significantly less realistic than any of the Japanese giant monsters!! In fact, Big Bird from "Sesame Street" is even a bit scarier and realistic!!! It's just god-awful in every way and might just be the dumbest movie monster in history--about as bad (or worse) as the monsters in ROBOT MONSTER or TEENAGERS FROM OUTER SPACE!!! The bottom line is that this is an absolutely dreadful film that sane people won't like. Bad film fans like me (who are a crazy bunch) will probably love it! All others...be afraid,....be VERY afraid!!

FYI--You might notice that some clips in this film are from other sci-fi movies!! I am positive the crashing Washington Monument scene was stolen from EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS but I also saw a couple other scenes that I swear are from other films. What a hack job!
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4/10
The perfect definition of "It's so bad it's good"
gzilla199818 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I watched this movie with a friend on a Sunday evening, expecting to get some laughs after what I had heard about this movie. The DVD was only $4, and I like monster movies, so I thought, why not? The laughs were crazy. I don't think I've ever laughed harder at a non comedy movie. The monster is ridiculous, possibly the worst I've ever seen on screen. A giant turkey vulture with a mo-hawk being operated by clearly visible strings. The science is ludicrous, the bird is extra-terrestrial and it has an anti-matter shield? What were they thinking? The acting is okay though, the performers are genuinely trying, but some of the lines are still cheesy and sometimes hysterical. If you like B movies or monster movies, or just want a good laugh with some friends, go out and buy it for cheap.
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5/10
"Keep your shirt on, and I'll get my pants on."
Hey_Sweden27 November 2012
A movie such as the howler "The Giant Claw" may not exactly overflow with quality, but that's precisely what makes it an endearing artifact from the 1950s science fiction boom. Provided one can turn off their brain and is ready to laugh a lot, this can be good fun. Well, fun, anyway.

Story has an enormous Muppet looking turkey / buzzard from outer space flying to Earth to cause much death and destruction while the usual stock heroes rack their brains trying to come up with the means to annihilate it.

Jeff Morrow ("This Island Earth") is the egghead hero, lovely Mara Corday ("Tarantula") his leading lady, and the supporting cast features such prominent character actors of the period as Morris Ankrum ("Earth vs. the Flying Saucers"), Edgar Barrier (Welles's "Macbeth"), and Robert Shayne ('Adventures of Superman'). The dialogue is often hilariously ridiculous, and it gets to a point where one has to believe that the filmmakers, led by director Fred F. Sears ("The Werewolf"), had their tongues in their cheeks to some degree. The actors deserve a lot of credit for keeping straight faces while mouthing their lines.

Of course, no matter what the intentions were, what truly makes "The Giant Claw" something special are the hysterical, not-so-special effects; the monster ranks as one of the dumbest looking to be ever created for a feature film.

Things get off to a comfortably predictable start as we're obliged to listen to the standard narration / exposition common to so many other '50s genre efforts. From then on the movie is simply a horrendous hoot. Bad movie lovers can also amuse themselves by playing a drinking game whenever phrases like "electronic engineer" and "La Carcagne!" are uttered. All in all, this is 75 minutes of agreeably silly entertainment.

Trivia note: the Karol Noymann character played by Barrier also turns up in "Invisible Invaders", where he's played by John Carradine; both movies were written by Samuel Newman.

Five out of 10.
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6/10
Is it really that bad? I don't think so.
ksj87030 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
The Giant Claw is one of the most critically maligned sci-fi movies of the 1950s. Granted, it is no classic, but all the same this reviewer considers it a perfectly acceptable example of b-movie fun. The biggest target for critical arrows is the movie's monster--a giant bird from an anti-matter galaxy that turns the Earth into its aerie and hunting ground. It's hard to defend the appearance of the puppet that is our monster, as it certainly is rather silly and even by the standards of 50s effects, not very scary. I can't help but wonder how critical and popular reaction might have differed when the predator first appeared on-screen if it had been, say, a dragon, or even just a better-realized bird. Screenwriters Samuel Newman and Paul Gangelin actually put together a competent script that demonstrates some creative thought. The rationale for the monster's appearance is actually fairly reasonable, and it's neat that the reason for the monster's invulnerability to our most powerful weapons is due to an anti-matter force field as opposed to an impossible degree of physical toughness. Moreover, the relationship between our leads--played by stalwart Jeff Morrow and the vivacious Mara Corday--is developed with greater realism than the usual stock romance typical of many genre films. Some viewers criticize what they perceive to be an abrupt shift in the relationship of the main characters as they go from being near-adversaries to lovers, but if you pay attention it's obvious the verbal sparring between the two early on is of the flirtatious variety, and quite expertly written and acted as well. The cast is good overall, and Morrow and Corday are both quite likable as our heroes. Any perceived flaws in the visual effects are surely compensated for by the striking presence of Ms. Corday, whose physical charms are better than any technical effects could ever hope to be. The action scenes are handled well enough by director Fred Sears, and are comparable to those seen in many other period films. Overall, The Giant Claw is a competently made and genuinely entertaining film. The lackluster monster effects are admittedly poor, but once you get past that the rest of the film has a lot going for it. I think that fans of 50s sci-fi who can overlook the film's reputation may find that despite it all, The Giant Claw isn't all bad.
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6/10
Maybe the epitome of "so bad, it's good"
tom_koopa28 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I like monster movies. I like old, black-in-white monster movies. So, logically, I would like the Giant Claw.

...

And I do, but not for the obvious reasons.

The movie has so many flaws, so many plot holes, that it makes you wonder how on earth they were able to sell this as a movie.

You can literally see the strings on the bird sometimes. Shots are re-used. Airplanes crash in bizarre ways. Shiver in fear as it plucks a model train from it's ... tracks...

I'm not kidding, it's all in here.

And it's for THOSE reasons I love this film. It's so bad, it's good. Watch it with some friends and laugh hard at the ridiculousness that is the Giant Claw.
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A turkey, in more ways than one...
pam-lunn13 June 2005
What can you say about a movie that features as it's monster a giant cross between a buzzard and a turkey with ping pong ball eyes and a bad case of the mange? This is what you get with "The Giant Claw", one of the silliest of the 1950's drive-in sci-fi movies. I defy anyone who sees the bird for the first time it appears on the screen to not to die of laughter..it's hard to believe that the creators of this "monster" actually thought anyone would be scared by it. Mara Corday and Jeff Morrow, the two lead actors in this turkey (no pun intended) are stuck with a silly script and inane dialog...but hey, who cares? Watching the Giant Claw attack the toy airplanes and fly through the air screeching like it's in heat is so much fun that you forget how awful it all is.
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10/10
space bird
lee_eisenberg25 February 2012
One of the many lovably corny sci-fi flicks from the '50s, "The Giant Claw" is pretty much what you might expect. The monster is a giant extraterrestrial bird that looks an animatronic thing in an amusement park; needless to say, you can see the string more than a few times. Jeff Morrow and Mara Corday are the nominal stars, but the big, menacing avian is of course what we always want to see. True, every scene with the big guy is basically the same, but do we watch these movies to analyze them? The point is to relax and enjoy the havoc wrought by the monster. There's no shortage of fun to be had here. And if I may say so, Mara Corday is a REAL FOX!

PS: Director Fred Sears died a few months after the release, due to having put too much strain on his health.
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