The Crawling Hand – USA, 1963 – reviews

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‘Suspense shocker of the year!’

The Crawling Hand is a 1963 American science fiction horror film directed by Herbert L. Strock (How to Make a MonsterBlood of Dracula; I Was a Teenage Frankenstein) from a screenplay co-written with Joseph Cranston (co-scripter of The Corpse Grinders), Bill Idelson and Robert M. Young.

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The film stars Peter Breck, Kent Taylor, Rod Lauren, and Alan Hale, Jr.

Plot:

The hand of a dead astronaut washes up on the beach and possesses the college student who takes it home. The student is slowly transformed by the hand and begins killing people in a small town…

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Reviews:

“It does have some problems; some of the comic relief is lame, the special effects are somewhat weak (though they were probably the best they could do for the budget), and the ending scene is pretty corny. Nonetheless, I think the script actually does an interesting job with the story, the acting is solid, the direction is efficient, and some of the camerawork is quite clever.” Dave Sindelar, Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

“The film features Alan Hale Jr. The Skipper from Gilligan’s Island as the Sheriff and the always stunning Allison Hayes. Burt Reynolds originally tested for the lead role but lost it because of his wooden performance … Yeah it’s bad but it’s so bad it’s good.” Digital Macabre

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Buy The Crawling Hand + The Slime People DVD: Amazon.com

“The film runs about 15 minutes more than it should, but it’s still kinda fun on the trash level. One of the highlights is Paul’s eerily lit attack on the grumpy malt shop owner, slamming him into a jukebox, jolting it to spin “The Bird Is The Word” by The Rivingtons!” George R. Reis, DVD Drive-In

“Opening sequence is still really effective. The acting from the insane astronaut combined with the hellish makeup made for a chilling couple of minutes. Rest of the film is fine, but the Shatner-esque acting does have its moments.” Brett the Weise, Letterboxd

“The story, of course, defies any suggestion of logic, nor does some of the scientific jargon cut much ice, but the horrific value is there in a quite skillfully exploited “live” arm. This latter should certainly intrigue those less sophisticated patrons who accept their entertainment at its face value without question.” Kine Weekly

“After a gorgeous title sequence, everything in this low budget teenybopper flick goes downhill. The titular hand makes a few early appearances but then vanishes for half the movie before returning at the conclusion. It was a true missed opportunity…” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers

Buy: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com | Amazon.ca

Cast and characters:

  • Peter Breck as Steve Curan – The Unnamable II
  • Sirry Steffen as Marta Farnstrom
  • Kent Taylor as Dr. Max Weitzberg – The Phantom of Hollywood; Brain of BloodBrides of Blood; The Mighty Gorga; Blood of Ghastly Horror; The Day Mars Invaded Earth; The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues 
  • Rod Lauren as Paul Lawrence – Black Zoo
  • Alan Hale Jr. as Sheriff Townsend – The Giant Spider Invasion
  • Allison Hayes as Donna – Attack of the 50 Foot WomanThe Disembodied; Zombies of Mora TauThe Unearthly; The Undead; et al
  • Arline Judge as Mrs. Hotchkiss
  • Richard Arlen as Lee Barrenger – The Human DuplicatorsIsland of Lost Souls
  • Tristam Coffin as Security Chief Meidel
  • Ross Elliott as Deputy Earl Harrison
  • G. Stanley Jones as Funeral Director
  • Jock Putnam as Ambulance Attendant
  • Andy Andrews as Ambulance Attendant
  • Syd Saylor as Soda Shop Owner
  • Ed Wermer as Prof. Farnstrom
  • Ashley Cowan as Mel Lockhart

Filming locations:

Computer Division Center, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA

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crawling hand dvd cover
Buy: Amazon.co.ukAmazon.co.uk

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Wikipedia | IMDb

One Comment on “The Crawling Hand – USA, 1963 – reviews”

  1. All crawling hands up who hasn’t seen this schlocker before. Really grim stuff here for a B flick of the 1960s.

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