Movie Name: The Giant Claw
Studio: Clover Productions
Release Date(s): June 1957
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
On a test flight, Mitch MacAfee (Jeff Morrow) sees something that no one has ever seen but soon the world will know. A giant bird has taken over the skies and terrorizing the people of the world. The military and scientists are unable to stop it, and Jeff and mathematician Sally Caldwell (Mara Corday) join the attempt to bring the bird down!
Directed by Fred F. Sears, The Giant Claw is a horror sci-fi B-Movie. The movie was released with The Night the World Exploded and poorly received. Over the years, the movie has gained a cult following among “bad-movie” viewers.
The Giant Claw is one of those legendary bad movies. The movie’s cheesy and cheap effects were renown (or infamous), and I always like to check out the bad movies. Like many bad movies, The Giant Claw is bad, but it isn’t as awful as you might think.
What works for The Giant Claw is an attempt to really be a sci-fi movie. The exploration into anti-matter and why the giant bird is undetectable actually has some validity to it (or more importantly makes it sound like it does). The movie also explores the idea of the legends and myths of giant birds roaming the skies like the thunderbird. The movie falls apart on the horror side and the fact that the bird flies all over the world but always ends up hanging around Sally and Mitch.
The cast like most of these low budget B-Movies of the ’50s is rather bland. Mara Corday went on to be a Playboy model and Jeff Morrow appeared in multiple minor rolls on TV in film. Robert Shayne who plays the no-nonsense general was a popular character actor for years.
The movie’s notoriety arrives from the bird itself. The maker considered stop motion animation, but ended up having the bird built. The result was a creature that looked like a puppet…a bad one at that. It looks like something a kid would make.
The Giant Claw is a bad movie. It is a better sci-fi movie than a horror movie but a horrible special effects movie. The short movie is worth seeing for fans of bad movies and the special effects are something “special”. The Giant Claw should fly again!