The Daves would like to wish our fellow American monster fans a very Happy Thanksgiving while also giving them the bird! No, not just any bird, mind you, but a “battleship” sized fowl from another dimension! I’m referring, of course, to the 1957 quintessential “turkey,” The Giant Claw. This film’s not only achieved cult status for all the wrong reasons but has since gone on to become something of a Thanksgiving movie tradition (for fun people who hate football). In fact, about seven years ago I included it as part of my list of Thanksgiving-related genre films. I remember at the time wondering if I wasn’t reaching a bit by having it on there but those doubts were all erased last July during a “Hollywood Kaiju Strikes Back” panel at G-FEST XXIV. Although the Godzilla Festival revolves around Japanese monsters, Martin Arlt and Archie Waugh gave an entire hour to some of their American contemporaries. This included such atomic menaces as The Deadly Mantis and The Beginning of the End while saving the best of the worst for last. Our moderators introduced the film by informing is it was their Thanksgiving movie tradition. So I not only walked away feeling validated regarding my list, but also with enough tidbits to offer YOU this special Turkey Day blog. And if that isn’t a reason to feel thankful, then we just don’t know what is!
Let me start by saying that I really wanted to like “It Came from 1957.” It had everything going for it; it covers one of my favorite subject matters and it is put out by one of the greatest publishing houses that releases horror and science fiction movie guides, McFarland & Company, Inc. All I can say is that this book was one big disappointment despite its potential.
Hollywood has a long standing tradition of taking those special days on calendar and using them as a backdrop for horror films. Of course this bloody holiday craze began with the immortal Halloween which not only inspired its own sequels but set into motion the ’80s golden age of slashers which were often to a special occasion. Friday the 13th, My Bloody Valentine, Graduation Day, Happy Birthday to Me, New Years Evil, and Mother’s Day are all examples of the trend with Christmas inspiring its own numerous blood-soaked entries as well. There was even a film titled The Day After Halloween (which I guess sounds a lot more ominous than “November 1st”) that had absolutely nothing to do with Carpenter’s classic while cleverly riding its holiday-themed coattails. But what about Thanksgiving? Did America’s “Day of Thanks” offer us horror fans anything to be grateful for? Continue reading