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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Steve's Church-Less Movie Of The Week: Special Surgery Edition (Part 2) ...

I thought that I had already shown this film on this blog. But I searched and I searched and apparently I didn't. It's an amazing film, an amazingly bad film.

And if I already showed this movie, then sorry, but it's a crazy ass film and I can't wait to see it again.

Embrace the badness, campsters! Embrace the badness.

Yoinked from, wikipedia,, and my own bad movie knowledge ...

"The Giant Claw is a 1957 sci-fi film about a giant bird that terrorizes the world. Produced by Clover Productions under the working title 'Mark of the Claw' and released through Columbia Pictures, it starred Jeff Morrow and Mara Corday, and was directed by Fred F. Sears.

The film has been a staple of the bootleg video market with only two official VHS releases (one in the USA through Goodtimes Home Video and the other through Screamtime in the United Kingdom) to date. Columbia Pictures finally released the film officially to DVD in October 2007 as part of the two disc four film set Icons of Horror Collection: Sam Katzman.

An endless array of low-budget atomic beasts, oversized insects and invaders from space assaulted movie houses and drive-in screens during the 1950’s. But it’s hard to imagine any single threat more preposterous that the goofy, winged wonder at the center of The Giant Claw.

Making a giant monster movie is a lot like dating someone you meet in an Internet chat room. Just as there's no way of knowing that sexy 'Clarissa' isn't really a six-foot lumbering dairy farmer named Lyle until you meet her in person, monster movie stars must take it on faith that the film's effects technicians will produce a creature with an on-screen presence to match their acting. If things go well the result is a movie like Gamera, Guardian of the Universe.

If things go horribly, horribly wrong you end up with a film like The Giant Claw. The late Jeff Morrow and his surviving relatives have occasionally recounted the tale of the film's premiere: when Morrow got his first look at the astonishingly silly monster (and heard the guffaws of the audience), he quickly exited the theater and met his family in the parking lot afterwards.

The Giant Claw has gone down in history as one of the worst movies ever made, mainly because of its terrible special effects. The bird in particular is considered one of history's worst movie monsters, being an unconvincing marionette puppet with a very odd face. The film is riddled with stock footage, making continuity a serious issue.

Morrow later confessed in an interview that no one in the film knew what the titular monster looked like until the film's premiere. Morrow himself first saw the film in his hometown, and hearing the audience laugh every time the monster appeared on screen, he left the theater early, embarrassed that anyone there might recognize him.

Part vulture, part Looney Tunes Dodo, and all puppet, the Giant Claw glares at us with its googly eyes, flares the nostrils on its mushy beak, and mocks us with its shock of black hair. It speeds through the sky at impossible speeds, downing innocent airplanes as it fills the air with its horrid cartoon screech. You will recoil in horror – that is, if you can keep from doubling over with laughter. The explanation of the bird's origins (it's from an anti-matter universe) will extract further uproar from the audience, as will Mitch's eventual defeat of the bird's 'anti-matter force field' with little more than the help of a trusty sidekick and the love of a good woman.

Presumably, animator Ray Harryhausen, who Katzman had worked with successfully on Earth vs. the Flying Saucers and It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955), would have handled the special effects for The Giant Claw. Harryhausen was busy with another project (20 Million Miles to Earth, 1957) leaving cost conscious Katzman to make the inspired choice to hire a model-maker based out of Mexico City. The rest, as they say, is history.

No one involved with the production saw the final cut of the film (with all those very special effects) until it played in theaters. HA-HA! Burn on you, suckers!"

... AND NOW, Reverend Steve and this blog are both PROUD to once again present today's Church-less Movie of the Week absolutely FREE!

But first lets go over a few theater rules. Absolutely no talking is allowed. Any and all talkers will be dry humped to death. No cell phones or African-American berries going off in the theater. And NO TEXTING!

And be sure to dim your headlights (where applicable).

Well, there's nothing left to say but ...


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