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Wendy Gunther, who works in Bailey/Howe Library’s Collection Development and Acquisitions, has a great love of vintage horror and sci-fi movies. She shares her affection for Sam Katzman’s The Giant Claw:
When I was a kid growing up in South Jersey one of the best parts of summer was heading off to the Rialto every Saturday afternoon and watching the newest sci/fi double feature. Most of these movies were so bad they never stayed more than a week so there was an ever-changing string of titles on the theater marquee. The use of the word “bad” is certainly relative since I loved them all whether it was the classic The Day The Earth Stood Still or B thrillers like Attack of the Crab Monsters and Teenagers From Outer Space. As a result of this early passion for science fiction flicks I tend to throw one of these blasts from the past on my DVD player at least once a week (preferably Saturday morning) and attempt to recapture those heady days of summer matinees. This week it is to be 1957’s The Giant Claw.
The Giant Claw, and gee, I really don’t want to give away too much of the plot and ruin it for you, is about a UFO that turns out to be an antimatter space buzzard that has flown millions of light years to earth in order to lay an egg. Oh, I should not forget to mention that the buzzard is “as big as a battleship.” The film features some of the shoddiest special effects, sound effects and dialogue you will ever encounter. And to further assault your senses, there is a character whose French Canadian accent is to die for. And this, of course, is what makes The Giant Claw so much fun. Now wait kiddies. You’re probably thinking to yourself, well, yeah, it sounds great, but where can I get hold of a copy? The answer is simple. The Giant Claw is available in the media department as part of the Sam Katzman: Icons of Horror Collection. Also in this collection is The Werewolf, a hidden gem of a movie which takes a somewhat serious look at lycanthropy. So do yourself a favor. Check out The Giant Claw for the week-end, rev up the DVD, microwave some popcorn, sit back and prepare for some major laughs. They don’t make ‘em like this anymore.
Watch the original trailer for The Giant Claw: