The Giant Claw

Movie Information

In Brief: The Thursday Horror Picture Show is serving Grade-A turkey this week with Fred F. Sears’ deliriously dreadful The Giant Claw. To give some barometer of its quality, consider that it was released in June of 1957, and even though Sears died in November of that same year, in the intervening five months he managed to crank out another eight movies and one TV episode before handing in his Directors Guild card. To say he was a meticulous craftsman would be an untruth of some note, but he could undeniably churn ’em out. And in all honesty, it’s not the workmanlike direction, the screenplay or the echt-1950s acting that stuffs and bastes the bird. It’s the bird itself. In fact, the first 26 minutes of the movie aren’t that bad. And then … the title monster shows up — and not just his claw, but every ill-advised turkey-feathered inch of the damned thing. It is … well, just, wow. This is one of those rare cases — owing to the way the film was put together — where it’s easy to believe that the stars, mindless of what the monster looked like, went to the premiere showing, only to slink away in abject embarrassment, hoping not to be recognized. The truth, though, is that it’s entirely due to this plucked buzzard-from-hell puppet that anyone remembers the movie today. Otherwise, The Giant Claw would be nothing but another 1950s giant monster flick. As it is, its unique awfulness makes it a strange kind of very wayward “classic.” This excerpt was taken from a review by Ken Hanke published on Feb. 10, 2015.  
Genre: Giant Puppet Buzzard Horror
Director: Fred F. Sears
Starring: Jeff Morrow, Mara Corday, Morris Ankrum, Louis Merrill, Edgar Barrier, Robert Shayne
Rated: NR

The Thursday Horror Picture Show will screen The Giant Claw on Thursday, Nov. 17, at 9:15 p.m. at The Grail Moviehouse, hosted by Xpress movie critic Scott Douglas.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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