Monday, September 12, 2011

THE CRAWLING HAND / Joseph F. Robertson Productions - 1963

Welcome to Monster Monday with Tabonga, here at The Dungeon!.. Tonite's offering is a flick that Eegah!! and I saw together way back when it first came out. We weren't that impressed, by '63 the whole monster parade we were used to was starting to change, for the worse.

Joseph F. Robertson produced this and two other of our very favorite bad movies, THE SLIME PEOPLE and AGENT FOR H.A.R.M. THE CRAWLING HAND had a budget of $100,000! It was directed by Herbert L. Strock, who had already worked on THE MAGNETIC MONSTER, RIDERS TO THE STARS, GOG, I WAS A TEENAGE FRANKENSTEIN, BLOOD OF DRACULA, HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER and THE DEVIL'S MESSENGER!

The excellent theme music is by the great Mr. Marlin Skiles, Marlin had 151 composing credits and 258 music department credits, and, worked on these films... COWBOY SERENADE, SLEEPY LAGOON, THE LADY AND THE MONSTER, FLIGHT TO MARS, THE MAZE, THE BOWERY BOYS MEET THE MONSTERS, THE DISEMBODIED, QUEEN OF OUTER SPACE, THE HYPNOTIC EYE, SPACE PROBE TAURUS, DR. TERROR'S GALLERY OF HORROR and JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF TIME!

It's tyme, so, lettuce bring in our fuzzy little Dungeon helper and button pusher, what else, Ralphie The Tarantula! In case you just flew in from Mars, he's here to start our soundclip! Push the big red 'GO' button, located right there next to the big red Destruct button, now, Ralphie! Here's... THE CRAWLING HAND!

Here's Peter (SHOCK CORRIDOR) Breck and Dungeon Goddess, Allison (THE UNDEAD) Hayes, they play Steve and Donna. They're working on a government space project and something has gone terribly awry with their astronaut in space.

Steve's with his partner, Dr. Weitzberg, played by Kent (PHANTOM FROM 10,000 LEAGUES/THE DAY MARS INVADED EARTH) Taylor. They're finally back in communication with the astronaut.

But, something out there has taken over his mind and body! To assure that the contamination doesn't get back to Earth, they have to press the destruct button... located next to the 'GO' button.

Syd Saylor plays the crusty old malt shop owner. He gets to deliver the memorable line... 'Eat, drink and be merry!' (for tomorrow, we die!)

Rod Lauren is beach bum, Paul Lawrence. Rod was born in Fresno, California in 1940, and, first appeared as a performer/singer on the BOB HOPE, DICK CLARK and ED SULLIVAN shows! He was also in the films TERRIFIED, BLACK ZOO and THE YOUNG SWINGERS.

Sirry Steffen plays Paul's girlfriend, Marta. Sirry was in 3 episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies. She asks Paul... What does it mean when someone says... 'You're stacked?'

Paul's fun is interrupted by the astronaut's severed arm that has landed on the beach!

Pretty cool pictures for a newspaper, the one shows a man working on the Moon!

Later that evening, Paul goes back to the beach and picks up the creepy arm, then, stores it in the pantry at the old house where he rents a room from his landlady, Mrs. Hotchkiss.

Mrs. Hotchkiss becomes it's first victim, and, she probably diserved the title... Now, maybe, she'll shut the Hell up!

Paul finds his dead landlady and calls Sheriff Towsend, played by the Skipper himself! Paul gets to be his little buddy in this picture...

After the Sheriff leaves, Paul is attacked by the crawling hand, which has a weird effect on him!..

Here's Dungeon great, Tristram Coffin, as Security Chief Meidel. Of course, Tristram was KING OF THE ROCKET MEN and had 243 acting credits! The rocket behind him is a piggy bank!

Paul is so dilerious from lack of sleep, he goes back to the malt shop to settle the score with the crotchity old owner, and, punches him out with 'Surfin' Bird' playin' on the jukebox in the background!!

Paul barely makes it to the beach with the infernal hand, it even attacked him while he was driving there. Then, what does he do?!.. Right, he let's it get away!!

This is actually funny, the hand trips Paul as he's looking for it!

We can all thank our little feline friends, who end up saving the day! They attack the damn thing as it's trying to scamper away in the dark!

Here are American and Mexican lobby cards... That American card has got to be one of the worst pieces of crap, ever!


prof. grewbeard said...

one thing that startled me about this flick- when you hear the dead astronaut's voice again AFTER he's been destructed. one thing that annoyes me about this movie- Allison Hayes disappears after the first reel!

Exeter said...

You guys have me hooked!
I just can't wait until the next episode!

TABONGA! said...

Ex, appreciated - wait til you see what we have planned for October! You'll have a heart attack, for real!!

hypnotism techniques said...

Classic horrors still give me the chills!

Anonymous said...

Ha! I had to check out this post, because I just started reading "Four Fingers of Death" by Rick Moody.

Ever heard of it?

From the back cover:

"Montese Crandall is a downtrodden writer whose collection of rare baseball cards won't sustain him, financially or emotionally, through the grave illness of his wife. Luckily, he swindles himself a job churning out a novelization of the 2025 remake of a 1963 horror film, THE CRAWLING HAND. Crandall tells therein of the United States, in a bid to regain global eminence, launching a manned mission to Mars. Nine Americans aboard three space pods travel three months, expecting to spend three years as the planet's first colonists. When a secret mission to retrieve a flesh-eating bacterium for use in biowarfare is uncovered, mayhem ensues...Only a lonely human arm (missing its middle finger) returns to earth, crash-landing in the Arizona desert. The arm may hold the secret to reanimation or it may simply be an infectious killing machine. Its crawl through the heartbroken wasteland of civilization is recorded in this stunningly inventive, superbly entertaining novel."

Should be pretty good!

Douglas McEwan said...

On Friday, June 14, 1974, we ran The Crawling Hand on the Fright Night With Seymour TV show on KHJ-TV in Los Angeles. I know the exact date because the tape date and the air date are on the script for the Seymour broadcast. And why do I have the script for the FRIGHT NIGHT broadcast of The Crawling Hand? Because I wrote it. (The Seymour show around it, not The Crawling Hand itself.) Therefore, I had to sit through it twice: once to write the script, and once when it was broadcast. Not again since.

This was two months before Nixon resigned, when new revelations were coming each day as the Nixon White House tapes were transcribed and released to the public, slowly revealing the massive extent of Nixon's obstruction of justice and rampant corruption. I had Seymour say: "Did you see the clip of the president working on his tape transcripts?" and then ran the clip from the opening of the movie of two men in an office, with the Capitol building visible through the window, so they were clearly in Washington DC, listening to the astronaut scream "Push the button!" on a tape recorder. One guy pushes the "Stop" button and says: "We certainly don't want them to transcribe THAT!"

At the first break I had Seymour say: "Well, The Crawlng Hand is off to a crawling start. Our space program is failing. We've sent a man into outer space, his mascara runs, and he gets so depressed that he wants them to blow up the capsule."

I had Seymour note that the "highlight" of the movie was Marta changing into her bikini on camera, as she does repeatedly throughout the movie, adding "Who wants to watch a nude hand running around?"

In another segment I had Seymour notice he had a severed hand sitting on his shoulder, and picking it up, said: "Why, it's the star of the movie, The Crawling Hand itself. Hey, you've got a hangnail." And he bit off the severed hand's hangnail.

At the end, Seymour summed up the movie thusly: "Well, they caught the crawling hand, Paul is exonerated, the sheriff's gone back to Gilligan's Island, and Marta's been deported. The only thing I don't understand is during the big climax in the garbage dump, which is where this whole film belongs, what was that cat food commercial doing there? [Show clip of the cat eating the crawling hand] But never mind. This movie is over, so let's give it a big hand." at which point, the severed hand from earlier in the show was tossed to him from off-camera.

Long time ago that was.

Greg Goodsell said...

I saw Larry Vincent at Magic Mountain back in the day. It was kinda sad. Looking back on it, he knew that he was dying of stomach cancer and just didn't care anymore ......

Monster Music

Monster Music
AAARRGGHHH!!!! Ya'll Come On Back Now, Y'Hear??