Movie Review: The Giant Claw

(1957)
Directed by Fred F. Sears
Starring Jeff Morrow, Mara Corday, Morris Ankrum, Louis Merrill, Robert Shayne, Edgar Barrier

When I worked at a movie theater, we played It Came from Hollywood (1982), which featured hundreds of movie clips with popular comedians making fun of them, cracking jokes, pointing out flaws, all in the name of entertainment. Mind you, this was years before Mystery Science Theater 3000 made a career out of it. It was during that initial screening that I caught my first glimpse of the epic The Giant Claw (1957). though it would be some time before I actually knew what movie it was. Sure, it was silly and laughable at that time, with the creature looking more like some sort of sickly marionette turkey, but in those scenes where it is swooping down and chomping on parachuting passengers from the plane it just attacked, kind of creeped me out.

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Movie Review: The Black Scorpion (1957)

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The Black Scorpion (1957)
Directed by Edward Ludwig
Starring Richard Denning, Mara Corday, Carlos Rivas, Mario Navarro

1957 really was one of the best year’s when it came to fun sci-fi/horror pictures, with plenty of giant monsters running around causing havoc. And this film is a prime example of that. What would make this giant monster flick even better? How about when it includes stop-animation work from the one and only Willis O’Brien, the one responsible for bringing the original King Kong to life in 1933 (and never even got a screen credit for it!?!?!). So the creature effects in here are everything to make a monster fan out a young kid, or bring back the kid in an old monster fan. Continue reading

Horror History: Mara Corday

Mara CordayMara Corday
Born Jan. 3rd, 1930

There are some actors and actresses that only make a handful of genre pictures, but make such a strong impression that we always remember them. Mara Corday is one of them. If she would have kept acting longer, instead of deciding to take care of her growing family, maybe we might have seen her in a few more. But it didn’t sound like her marriage to actor Richard Long was the easiest, so maybe it was better not to compete in the business.

But she did make a few genre pictures within a couple of years that I’ve always remembered her from. The first one was Jack Arnold’s Tarantula (1955), where she met a young actor who she became good friends with. His name was Clint Eastwood. In fact, they remained such good friends, that after her husband died, Eastwood would give her little bit parts in his films, such as The Gauntlet (1977) or Sudden Impact (1983).

She would appear in The Black Scorpion in 1957, with Richard Denning, but it was the other film she made that same year is one that I am most fond of, those she probably isn’t. It is The Giant Claw! Granted, she, along with the rest of the actors, never saw the title terror until it was already out. 

Corday even appeared in Playboy magazine as Playmate of the Month in Oct. 1958, but this was when they didn’t appear nude. But it is shame that we didn’t see more of her on the big screen, since she was a talented actress.