Sunday Sesh: Let’s All Just Watch The Giant Claw

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It’s Sunday, and I’ve got a food hangover from eating too much home cooked pho. My brain’s a little too muddled to do much more than watch B-movie silliness, so today we’re going to indulge in one of the best (read: worst) giant monster movies from the golden age of kaiju films.

In 1957, Sam Katzman and Fred Sears, renowned B-movie makers, unleashed a horror upon the unsuspecting public the likes of which had never been seen on the silver screen. That film, the irreplaceable The Giant Claw, would carve an unmistakable talon slash into the slimy edifice of giant monster films for with its sheer silliness. THE GIANT CLAW! IT’S AS BIG AS A BATTLESHIP! NAY! BIGGER THAN A BATTLESHIP!

A common promotional image purporting the sheer size of the titular beast.

The Giant Claw follows the adventures of civil aeronautical engineer Mitch MacAfee and mathematician Sally Caldwell as they struggle to repel an alien invasion from a horrific buzzard from an antimatter galaxy! The film unfolds like many other golden era kaiju films; a routine scientific/military expedition to the Arctic ends in tragedy as a mysterious beast from the depths of space attacks! That beast, the titular Giant Claw, eventually makes its appearance after destroying a series of planes on a dreadful flight toward New York city in hot pursuit of MacAfee and Caldwell. Its goal? To destroy the Empire State Building, the United Nations Building, and eventually the worlddddddd!

Sure, it’s a cheesy premise, even for a kaiju film, but the paper plot isn’t even the most laughable part. The Giant Claw itself has to be one of the ugliest, dumbest looking monsters ever in cinema. This thing looks like a reject buzzard puppet from Jim Henson’s studio. It’s all bulging eyes and beaky nose in stunning black and white! That vulture may be bigger than a battleship, but it looks about as menacing as a hairless cat.

All that said, The Giant Claw is the perfect Sunday afternoon creature feature. Ugliness aside, the titular monster is charming in its hokiness. The acting is fine for a B movie, and the plot is just silly enough to give you the kind of brainless fodder you crave after a decadent night of hedonistic pho indulgence. The Giant Claw is trash, but it’s entertaining trash, and I hope you’ll enjoy it!

Share your favorite B film in the comments below.

  • I watched Manos: The Hands of Fate last night with my 10-year-old. I’ve seen it probably 40 times, both the MST3K and I also own the remastered blu-ray. I have a Torgo t-shirt and my wife painted me a replica of the painting of the Master (that’s the original below, can’t get a snap of mine because I’m on vacation right now, fuck yeah). https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7168d2e2b1e23f1dcbc2eb35c8f6bf2546a4df51d0f060183ecb41f5ed5122d0.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d83478e522b367905f28dc262aa2c65bf82a9bb9194f804e37617cb49aff05c1.jpg

  • Doom Scientist

    The Void should be seen by anyone who loves Carpenter, Cronenberg, and Fulci, enjoyed it a lot.

    • Rob M

      Good to know…Ive heard good things about that one

  • Sid Vicious Promos

    Chopping Mall is my favorite b-movie. Also happy Palm Sunday to all the Christian Toileteers here.

  • Sid Vicious Promos
    • Doom Scientist

      Gonna break my neck tilting it.

      • TheGranulatingDarkSatanicMilfs

        Tilt your monitor instead

        • Doom Scientist

          It’s a 27″ monitor and it’s about 3′ away.

      • Sid Vicious Promos

        I dont know why it does that. I also got a signed Lex Luger action figure and a boxed Savio Vega action figure.

        • Doom Scientist

          The person who took the shot held the phone wrong.

          • Sid Vicious Promos

            They must have.

          • more beer

            He should be able to rotate the picture.

  • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

    Looking at my review of this one from 2011 it seems that I was let down by some poorly handled attacks, but appreciated the insane creature, committed lead turns from Jeff Morrow and Mara Corday and some wittier, zippier than average dialogue. I watched it during a binge on vintage science fiction/monster cinema and I believe it was an about average example. Worth checking out for enthusiasts.

    My favourite B movie is a tough call, even setting aside Z movies that I love (Blood Freak, Don’t Go In The Woods… Alone etc.). I think perhaps Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill! Director Russ Meyer is often derided by so called film buffs as a mere maker of “so bad it’s good” camp curios, but at his best, as here, his films were smart, often hilarious, vibrantly performed and edited with remarkable, rare skill. Several of his films are very good indeed (Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is another essential) but I’d go with Faster Pussycat for my favourite for its focused drama and more clear cut feminism.

  • Doom Scientist

    So many of my faves are B movies, hard to pick just one. Here’s a favorite from the days of UHF TV.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROIuAidbo6g

  • Rob M

    Warlock…

    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/413%2BKseuY%2BL._SX940_.jpg

    ….this movie was way more entertaining than it had any right to be, and Redferne was the fucking shit

    • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

      I thought the first sequel was quite fun too, in a thoroughly silly sort of way. Not seen the Sands free third.

      • Rob M

        I only vaguely remember the second film, something about a girl being some kind of good witch I think…honestly didnt even know their WAS a third

        • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

          All sorts of shenanigans. Druids, RG Armstrong, a spectacular demise for Joanne Pacula and one of those FX blowout finales that were quite popular at the time.

          The third has Bruce Payne as the Warlock. I remember him being good as the baddie in Passenger 57, but really Sands made the role his own so I’m not sure how much I could appreciate somebody else.

          • Rob M

            I cant take Bruce Payne seriously in anything after those Dungeons and Dragons films

          • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

            I’ve not seen those but am guessing they are ridiculous and not in an entirely good way?

          • Rob M

            Oh theyre generally awful, though the first one has Jeremy Irons chewing scenery so hard he was probably shitting drywall screws for weeks…The funniest part though, is that they actually become better as the budget goes down (better being a REALLY relative term)

          • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

            I do enjoy a bit of heavy scenery chewing. Sometimes big budgets can be a crutch for inept or unimaginative film makers I think, and smaller ones can drive better craft.

          • Rob M

            Totally agree….Honestly, the real issue with the first one, besides some really bad casting choices, was that they tried to make it far more epic than it should have been. Lord of the Rings was just about to come out, and they were trying to get something in the theaters that had that same kind of scope…but they were working with a fraction of the budget, and a far less talented director.
            With the sequels, while the production values arent much better than your typical SyFy original movie, the stories are much more straight forward and realistic about what they can accomplish…so, as cheap as they are, theyre actually kind of entertaining in a “sitting on the couch and doing nothing this Sunday” kind of way

          • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

            Sounds promising. I have a long time soft spot for unpretentious swords and sorcery schlock.

          • Rob M

            Yeah…if youre ever in the mood for a cheesy movie night, maybe give Dungeons and Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God a spin.

            Hell, you can probably find it on youtube, and watch it at work one day if youre really bored

          • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

            Cheers, I’ll give it a go.

  • Primordial Chaos

    A true abomination of a movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vYmyKBFP5k but not this one, looks great:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-OknmEs9mY

    • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

      Gotta love Joe D’Amato. Truly sleazy and mental even by the impressive standards of old school Italian horror and exploitation cinema. I just wish he had made more outright horror.

  • You made pho, brah? HAIL!

    • Rain Poncho W.

      Twas not I. We were invited over for pho made by my wife’s Vietnamese classmate.

      • more beer

        That is pretty authentic.

        • Rain Poncho W.

          It was fantastic.

          • more beer

            I bet. I spent the weekend doing the water pump, timing belt, and power steering pump. On a 4 runner bought last week, for 500 bucks.

          • Rain Poncho W.

            Score!

          • more beer

            Hell yea. My Tacoma finally took a shit on Friday. So this worked out really well. I grabbed some matching parts off of it. It will get towed away and they are going to give me $225 for it tomorrow morning. So things worked out rather well.

      • Even better, then! No effort required. HAIL!

  • Hans Copronym

    Already watched God of Carnage today, so some brainless entertainment would make for a good palate cleanser. It’ll be either this or clicking things to death in Titan Quest Anniversary Edition.

  • Rob M
  • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

    I just read that adult cinema legend Radley Metzger passed away on March 31st. RIP. If you have any interest in the potential of that genre to be genuinely erotic and cinematically creditable his work is well worth investigating I think. Pygmalion pastiche The Opening of Misty Beethoven may be his best.

  • Iamin Cognito

    Picking a favorite b-movie is almost as impossible as picking a favorite metal band. Plan 9 is an obvious choice, which shouldn’t discount it. Or most anything by Ed Wood, really. Horror of Party Beach, Blood Feast, Empire of the Ants, Night of the Lepus…those all came to mind in like a minute.

    But, seeing as this here is a metal site and all, today’s vote goes to Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b47e923b2f482485a88d97d4aa5e09c4a3530c2894a2c529e6454fa54b4a809f.jpg

    • more beer
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