"The Giant Claw (1957)
considered one of the worst films ever made. Especially back in the 1980's, thanks to unforgiving film critics like Michael Medved
- author of successful book "The Golden Turkey Awards"
And than 1997 came around, when movies began not only dipping in quality, but also magnified in their quantity. Eventually leading to current state of "Bayformers"
and the Syfy droppings of the week. Forced by said comparison, "The Giant Claw
was moved up from cinematic shame, to cheeky camp with an ounce respect.
And than the people raised up against Michael Medved, abducting him from his Rolling Hills mansion, and imprisoning him within a huge wicker effigy of The Giant Claw herself. It was than set aflame, in order to appease our prehistoric buzzard goddess from deep space, with Michael serving as our unwilling blood sacrifice. And as the effigy burned away, we all sang the traditional folk song of Frank Zappa's "Cheepnis"
, while holding hands in a widen circle.
Oh what a wonderful night of summer murder that was!
All joking aside, it really does feel like we're living in a strange age, where 'classic bad movies' have lost their hated infamy. And evolving into entertaining classics in return.
True, there's way more horrible films like "Monster A-Go-Go"
and Blood Freak"
than there's endearing oddballs like "Plan 9 From Outer Space"
and "Attack of the 50ft Woman"
. But what was once horrible blights onto cinematic history, have now become watch-able, even forgiven cheese.
This includes the Japanese Monster Movie genre, which was arguably treated far worse then the aforementioned American examples, which again, is largely thanks to people like Michael Medved. There's still seems to be strong remnants of hate-tinged mockery. But usually from the same sort of stupid jerks who honestly think that japan, and only Japan, could ever love these types of films. And also that South and North Korea are exactly one and the same.
And you all wonder why I hate humans, minus numerous exceptions like my DeviantART watchers.
And with ALL that said, "The Giant Claw" has become a very tolerable film (at least for me) in recent years.
It has a good concept and plot, and moves along at an decent pace. Plus, the film stars Jeff Morrow
, who's one of those kind of actors that's good in almost everything he's in. Even if said films are beneath his A-game performances, as was the case with "The Giant Claw"
. Along with co-star Mara Corday
, who's also very easy on the eyes.
But than we have our title character...oh boy, do we have our title character...!The Giant Claw
(AKA La Carcagne
) is not at all a bad monster. She's only bad in execution. To be fair though, that laughable marionette is still preferred over modern examples of sub-par monster effects, done with crap CGI. Again, these older monster movies are aging with grace, when compared to their more recent contemporaries.
But as an artist and designer of my own Kaiju creations, I couldn't help but try my own hand at the ugly space buzzard. While at the same time, not wanting to do a total 'reimagining', and still honor the original design, and making it resemble the original at that.
The only major change I gladly committed however, was The Giant Claw's coloring. All official poster and lobby card art from the 1957 film features a Turkey-style color scheme, adding to the poor girl's already lousy reputation. And a lot of other artist, unaware of this previous fact, color her with the blacks and reddish-pinks of real life vultures.
I figured that since The Giant Claw is a space fairing extraterrestrial, whose evolutionary lineage started here on prehistoric Earth (long story), she'd have a plumage of violets and purples.
Perfect for reflecting the excess radiation of deep space, and somewhat similar to the bright colored, shiny hides of certain tropical insects. And despite being a combo of purples and violets, my Giant Claw still has near perfect camouflage for space traveling. Which she probably used in order to sneak up upon (and devour) some poor Space Whales and Star Squids while on her journey towards Earth.
And lastly, unlike the original film's ungainly puppet, my Giant Claw is made to look like she could be created through an elaborate man-in-a-suit effect. The bulky neck would be a major difficulty however, despite me taking direct inspiration from the monster suits for Kilazee, from "Ultraman: Towards the Future" and Melba, from "Ultraman Tiga".