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


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.

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