I love it, especially you Achilles heel description: "exposure to a particular radioactive isotope will collapse The Giant Claw's force field, making it vulnerable to 1950's military aircraft." I enjoy the specificity.
I legitimately love this movie. Has anyone mentions Earth VS the Flying Saucers yet?View attachment 22102
9. The Giant Claw (1957)
Starring Jeff Marrow, Mara Corday, and Morris Ankrum
Plot in a Sentence: Earth is threatened by the greatest marionette ever!
"This good applejack; I make it myself. Fine for the snakebite."
Flying battleship, pink elephant, same difference."
Mitch MacAfee, flying Sherlock Holmes."
"You keep your shirt on, I'll go get my pants on."
"That makes me chief cook and bottle washer in a one-man bird watcher society."
"Now, what you're saying in essence is that black is white and two and two is six?"
"Yow! Holy Toledo! I've seen some mighty big chicken hawks back on the farm, but, man, this baby takes the cake."
"It's like we're hitting a battleship with a slingshot."
"It doesn't make sense, it's just a bird. A big bird. Guns, cannons, rockets, it's just a bird!"
"Who's afraid of the big bad bird?"
First, thanks to everyone who suggested this movie because it was AWESOME. That poster up above cannot do The Giant Claw justice. I have rarely laughed so hard as the first time the actual monster bird showed up on screen. It was a revelation, easily one of the funniest things I have ever seen.
The Giant Claw, the model of the bird notwithstanding, is a pretty classic atomic age story of science vs the undiscovered. The movie starts with "an electronics engineer, a radar officer, a mathematician and systems analyst, radar operator, a couple of plotters; people doing a job. Well. Efficiently." That's such a great description of people just getting down to some serious science. These are people of keen intelligence and sober dispositions, and they're advancing our technological understanding when they discover something inexplicable. A UFO.
Once they've identified that the phenomenon is a vast cosmic raptor come to the Earth for still unexplained reasons, the military reacts as one might expect. They try to cook that goose. It ends badly. The bird has some kind of protection that makes it impervious to out weapons, an anti-matter field. An anti-matter field. Just let that soak in. The giant bird generates and controls a field of anti-matter that protects it from incoming attacks while still allowing it to strike out with its talons and beak. An anti-matter field. Amazing.
Notes on the Bird:
I love the model. It was spectacular, and if you haven't seen the movie you really owe it to yourself to find it (it's on YouTube) and watch it. The model is a thing of such absolute absurdity that it cannot be overstated. Those eyes. The mobile nostrils. It must be seen to be believed.
I think I'd use The Giant Claw for a Cosmic Patrol or Rocket Age scenario. Rather than trying to make the bird more serious, I would print out some stills from the movie and hand them out to the players as actual photos taken of the bird as it flies out of the interstellar void and into our solar system. I'd explain that the black and white photostats were taken from ships far out in the system and let the players marvel at the wondrous ugliness of such a magnificent space raptor.
Then the characters would become part of the force sent against the vast bird, only to learn of its anti-matter field. The creature would continue on toward the inner planets unimpeded. After that, it would be up to the characters to work out how to overcome what appears to be an absolute defense against anything they can throw at it. Let them science the hell out of it. Maybe they'll come up with a weapon to destroy it. Or they might come up with a way to drive it off. Some players might even want to work for a way to let the beast nest in peace, such that people wouldn't be in danger. I'd take my cues from what my players seemed to want to do.
Next up... Fiend Without a Face!
For all it's absurdity, I really liked The Giant Claw. It was a hoot. And yes, Earth vs the Flying Saucers is on my list.I legitimately love this movie. Has anyone mentions Earth VS the Flying Saucers yet?
It cannot be stated often enough that the big bird is the size of a flying battleship.The Giant claw also gets referenced in the AVGN video game, where its one of the bosses.
Also its the size of a battleship have we mentioned that?