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James Rolfe: It's Cinemassacre's "Monster Madness"! "The Giant Claw" starts out like a typical 50's monster movie. It follows a pilot who sights an unidentified flying object. He tries to warn his superiors but no one believes him. Soon there are planes missing and a giant claw-mark. It builds tension fairly well. The acting is okay for this kind of genre. It's an overall decent movie until about 20 minutes in when you see the monster…

(The monster is revealed)

James: Unbelievable! Is that not the worst looking monster you've ever seen?! Supposedly Ray Harryhausen was considered to do the effects but the producers decided to cut the costs. A special effects studio in Mexico ended up doing it, but they must have been playing a joke. I can understand that they didn't have a lot of money – they had to make a cheap marionette. But did they have to give it big goofy eyes, flaring nostrils and a mohawk?! You can't make something this laughable by accident! 

There's a lot of fake miniatures and overuse of stock-footage. But sadly those are the more credible parts. In that first shot you're not even paying attention to how bad the plane looks – you're so overwhelmed by the bird. Even in the 50's this looked bad! The poster didn't even show the bird's head. But what makes it so funny is that the rest of the movie takes itself so seriously. None of the actors knew what the monster would look like – they just had to use their imagination. 

Supposedly Jeff Morrow went to see the premiere in his local town and as soon as the bird appeared the audience roared with laughter. Rumor has it he left the theater, embarrassed, went home and got drunk. And he did a good job with the role, but his efforts were all ruined because of that silly bird. 

It's funny that he seems to be the one who interacts with the bird the most. He's the first character to see it when it looks like a hairball being blown across the sky. But all through the movie he has so many encounters with it, it makes you think this guy really has a thing for giant birds. He's also the first character to coin the term 'flying battleship'. That's how he first describes the bird – a saying that really catches on. 

Mitch MacAfee: … a battleship, not that it was a battleship. 

Narrator: Something as big as a battleship. 

Man over radio: … like we're hitting a battleship with a slingshot. 

Narrator: A bird as big as a battleship. 

General Van Buskirk: A bird as big as a battleship… 

Sally: A flying battleship. 

Sally: Flying battleship. 

Mitch: Flying battleship. 

Police Officer: Flying battleship. 

Sally: Flying battleship. 

Sally: Flying battleship. 

James (as he compares the bird to a naval battleship): All through the movie everyone, including the narrator, constantly refer to this thing as a battleship. I can understand if they compared the bird to a jumbo jet or something that actually flies, but why a battleship?! 

But there's more; the bird is extraterrestrial – that's right. But how it got to Earth is what I wanna know. The thought of that thing flapping its way through space makes me wanna piss myself. It's also supposed to have an antimatter shield. Now it's just getting absurd… And it follows a pattern, check this out. 

Mitch (as he draws markings on a map): Our plane appears… and finally… the navy patrol plane. Well, see it? 

Sally: Well, no. 

Mitch (as he draws a spiraled line connecting the markings): A pattern… 

James: Okay, that bird really has a strange agenda if instead of taking the most direct path it just spirals out… How would you even see a spiral on that?! Why didn't he just draw a straight line?! 

So we have a goofy-looking bird that comes down from space, in an antimatter shield, flying in a spiral – it's pure genius. That's why this is one of the worst movies ever made. Of course the Giant Claw made it on my 'Top 10 Giant Movie Monsters'-video, coming in at number 1. 

If I could own one prop from any movie I wanna have the Giant Claw puppet. Does that thing still exist? I wanna know. I would gladly buy it so I can hang it from the ceiling in my living room. At least I'd like to see it person or just see a picture of it today. I wonder what the scale of it is, I really do. Please, somebody tell me! Where is the Giant Claw?! 

– Link to video (cinemassacre.com) 

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