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The Giant Claw

Started by Andrew, January 10, 1999, 11:09:05 PM

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Review updated on 14 December 2007.  Earth is visited by a GIANT ANTIMATTER SPACE BUZZARD!  From the amazingly bad bird puppet to the silly dialog, this is one of the greatest b-movies ever made.

Andrew Borntreger

Warren H.

It is rather goofy-looking, isn't it?  I think it was reused in Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster.  Remember the big bird thing that comes out of nowhere and pecks Big G's forehead?  The resemblance is remarkable.

"The Giant Claw", although phony-looking (an understatement!) and loaded with silly dialogue, is actually fun to watch. It's one of those "so bad it's good" movies! Lack of money was obviously the culprit here. The special effects (!!) team did win an oscar for their effects in Disney's "20 000 Leagues Under the Sea". Boo-hiss to the screenwriter as well. Still, a great midnight movie!

I too am delighted beyond words to find someone who has an similar appreciation for the film of films. I have actually watched it mor times by far than I have any other movie. I am friends with the afore quoted giantclaw@hotmail and we have spent a generous part of our friendship having fun thanks to The Giant Claw and Jeff Morrow.We have rung in the new year watching this masterpiece. We drove through Kansas in the dead of winter, middle of the night, no heater, radio or interior lights staying sane by emulating Mith MacAfee almost the entire length of the state. Try to count how many time Mitch blinks when he is listening to the state of emergency radio broadcast in his apartment with Sally. Dig ya later gator.

This is the film that I have seen the most number of times. Words fail me. An absolute gem. Is there such a thing as The Giant Claw fan club?
If so, where do I sign up. I've never understood why films like Plan 9 or Robot Monster get the attention when this classic is always overlooked.
Long live Pierre, Mitch , Sally, Apple Jack brandy & that opening narration, " Once the world was big, and no man in his life time could circle it....."

I've been fascinated with this movie ever since I was a little kid because of the line that comes right after Godforsaken-antimatter-galaxy line: "I don't care if it comes from outer space or Upper Saddle River, New Jersey."  Being a kid from Upper Saddle River, I didn't have much opportunity to hear the name of my hometown used in a movie. Plus - at that age - I loved any science fiction movie anyway, no matter how crappy. Only as a "sophisticated" teenager did I come to appreciate the rich, full-bodied awfulness of this flick. (But, come on, Robot Monster really is much, much worse than Giant Claw.)

If the esteemed owner of this site doesn't mind the plug, an alternate review of this classic can be found in the Ken's World archieve section of Jabootu's Bad Movie Dimension.

BTW, I also love that 'spiral' thing.

Squishy The Squid

The filmmakers had the money, but decided to farm the special effects out to Mexico, rather than hand 'em over to Willis O'Brien or Ray Harryhausen. Isn't it scary? If Ray gave us an animated anti-matter buzzard, this would be considered some kind of "classic," no matter how crappy the script.

I was too young to see this one in the theaters, my parents thought it was too frightening and the previews on TV terrified me, "Who's afraid of the big bad bird." was the line before the teen age hot rodders got carried away.

Then I saw it on TV and, like WOW!  This is terrific,  all the realism of Sesame Street's Big Bird, the terror of over acting, and when you can drink a lot of beer and watch "The Giant Claw", well, does life get any better than this?


I remember so vivdly being on the playground in front of the screen at the drive-in movies when the preview for "The Giant Claw" came on.  Being only six years old at the time, it scared the bejeepers out of me and I ran back to our woody station wagon and dove into the back seat, peeking out to catch a safe glimpse of the big bad bird.  What a hoot!


On another note....I first saw this movie during a.....marathon...of old monster movies including THEM! (in my opinion, one of the BEST), The Giant Mantis, Tarantula, and The Black Scorpion.

Suffice to say, seeing this marathon has lead me to see virtually every Sci-fi/horror movie involving animals, dinosaurs, or mutated animals availiable at a Blockbuster or Hollywood Video and on TV

Dr. Maniac

   This movie is no "guilty pleasure" to me; I like it and I am not ashamed to admit it.  How can you not like a movie that offers a monster that resembles Sesame Street's Big Bird on LSD?  Also get a load of all the quotable lines, most of them going to Jeff Morrow.  Like "I don't care if that bird came from outer space or Upper Saddle River, New Jersey." and the classic "You keep your shirt on and I'll get my pants on."  Robert Shayne's 'It's just a bird' speech is great too.  "It's just a bird, a big bird.  A million dollars worth of radar can't track it!  Enough firepower to wipe out a regiment can't slow it down.  Sure, it's just a bird!"  Wow!  Okay if you don't like the dialog you can look at the special effects, shot for next to nothing in Mexico AFTER the rest of the film was finished so the actors had no idea what the monster would look like until it was way too late for them to back out!
   Mara Corday would go on to meet TARANTULA and Jeff Morrow would come back for THIS ISLAND EARTH and THE CREATURE WALKS AMONG US.  Sure all of those movie have better special effects but are they as much fun as this?
  Well, yeah they are, but my point is you don't need a million dollar FX budget for a movie to be fun!

Chris K.

How is this film BAD! The sets were off track, the acting was moderate, but the photography was exelent and the special effects were terrific (you can't see any strings on the well crafted puppet). Of course you viewers are saying "How can this film be good?" Trust me it is good and its a classic for being good, not for being bad. But do not read these other reviews because they cannot tell a good film if it bit them right on their fat asses. THE GIANT CLAW is a masterpiece of good filmaking.

Anything that has Jeff Morrow in it is watchable as far as I am concerned.  Do you know the story ? There were no previews for the cast and Jeff Morrow saw this film for the first time in the movie theatre in the small community where he lived - surrounded by friends and neighbours.  When the bird appeared - which he'd never seen before - he sank deeper and deeper into his seat, finally said to his family he'd meet them in the car park, and sneaked out of the rear exit incognito !


Being a tad nervous whenever it comes to flying (and even more so when it comes to heights) The Giant Claw really freaked me out as a kid.  That bird actually scared me, the very idea that some big ass ugly thing could swoop out of the sky and gulp you down was just too much.  It kept me indoors for a good hour or so.  This is a movie I have to get for my ever more extensive Bad Movie Collection.  I have nothing but fond memories of it.  Long live The Claw!