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Cold War Creatures: Four Films from Sam Katzman (Part 1)

by Glenn Erickson Sep 11, 2021

Yes, sometimes a producer could earn ‘auteur’ status making B pictures. A name that’s never going to be uttered in the same breath as Val Lewton is Sam Katzman, who for the 1950s settled into a profitable tenure making Columbia program pictures. They pretty much stayed in the category of ‘obvious junk’ yet include a number of endearing favorites. And Katzman deserved to slip through the pearly gates just for helping get Ray Harryhausen’s feature career into motion. Besides their minimal production outlay, Katzman’s horror/sci fi attractions have one strange thing in common: they don’t carry Columbia torch Lady logos. PART ONE of this review takes on two of the four features in Arrow’s gorgeously appointed boxed set; reviewer Charlie Largent will follow with a review of the second pair of creature features.


Cold War Creatures: Four Films from Sam Katzman
Part 1: Zombies of Mora Tau and The Giant Claw
Blu-ray
Arrow Video
1957 / B&W / 1:85 / Street Date September 14, 2021 / 4 hours, 53 minutes / Limited Edition / 99.95
Starring: Gregg Palmer, Allison Hayes, Autumn Russell, Morris Ankrum, Marjorie Eaton; Jeff Morrow, Mara Corday, Morris Ankrum.
Cinematography: Benjamin H. Kline
Art Director: Paul Palmentola
Produced by Sam Katzman
Directed by
Edward L. Cahn, Fred F. Sears

This review covers half of Arrow’s new Cold War Creatures: Four Films from Sam Katzman Limited Edition disc set, covering Zombies of Mora Tau and The Giant Claw. Reviewer Charlie Largent will be following up with the Katzman creature features The Werewolf and Creature with the Atom Brain.

Special editions are becoming more lavish, all-inclusive, and also pricey!  This box has garnered attention as a collector’s item above and beyond its content, as fans have remarked on artist Matt Griffin’s visual riffs on elements from original Columbia posters. The box, keep cases, and the two fat booklets all carry the new color artwork. One of the extras are reproductions of original poster art; I think I’d have preferred Griffin’s.

Since both myself and Charlie Largent were attracted to these features we decided to divide the load into two parts. None of the four shows is a full-on horror or sci-fi classic, but all have remained entertaining and well-remembered, even if the draw is a disbelieving ‘you-must-see-this-thing’ fan notoriety. Charlie opted for the one movie that makes a serious bid for attention, and also the craziest mash-up of goofy ’50s iconography. I’m content to cover a tepid but weirdly prophetic bit of artless zombie action, and the giant monster sci-fi thriller that’s won the distinction of being inferior to almost everything in its genre.

Never a household name, ‘Jungle’ Sam Katzman was a Hollywood veteran noted for cheap westerns and thrillers in the 1930s before moving on to equally cheap program pictures at larger studios. After a stint at Monogram scrapping with the East Side Kids, Katzman found a 1950s home at Columbia, where he continually turned a profit and once or twice hit a gold mine. It didn’t seem to matter how openly tawdry or insubstantial his pictures were. To his credit Sam did provide a launching pad for producer Charles Schneer’s collaboration with a young special effects whiz named Ray Harryhausen.

When it came to exploiting fads Katzman had no equal. Conservatives tried to discourage juvenile delinquency and Rock ‘n’ Roll pictures after The Blackboard Jungle but Katzman rushed out Rock Around the Clock, the first of a chain of cookie-cutter lip-synch teen musicals. Sniffing out another new trend, Katzman started his own line of ultra-cheap monster and horror pix, competing with independents like American-International. Katzman’s approach often seemed cheaper than Poverty Row groaners from the previous decade. But for campy 50’s genre fun, they’re hard to beat.

 



Zombies of Mora Tau
70 minutes
Starring: Gregg Palmer, Allison Hayes, Autumn Russell, Joel Ashley, Morris Ankrum, Marjorie Eaton, Gene Roth.
Cinematography: Benjamin H. Kline
Art Director: Paul Palmentola
Film Editor: Jack Ogilvie
Written by Bernard Gordon as Raymond T. Marcus, story by George Plympton
Produced by Sam Katzman
Directed by
Edward L. Cahn

Can you believe this gorgeous Italian poster by Anselmo Ballester?  It makes Mora Tau look like a timeless classic.

Stretching to find sociological reasons for the making of movies like 1957’s  Zombies of Mora Tau is an exercise in empty academia: Sam Katzman simply prowled the trades to see what the competition was up to, and tried to get the jump on a new trend. He hired Bernard Gordon, a blacklisted writer he had worked with ten years before, and Gordon turned out two serviceable screenplays in short order — this opus and the even more budget-conscious The Man Who Turned to Stone. The silly Mora Tau throws some adequate players into some very dark sets with the genre favorites Allison Hayes and Morris Ankrum. The giddy mish-mosh mixes a treasure hunt with zombie nonsense in a minimalist ‘African’ setting with no black characters. A corps of automaton-like zombies patrols the grounds of a very un-African mansion, seeking to kill those who would claim a lost treasure in diamonds.

Although the setup of slow zombies harassing an isolated group of people predates The Last Man on Earth and Night of the Living Dead by a number of years, the picture hasn’t an ounce of mystery or horrific poetics. The zombies are meant to be the corpses of men long-lost in shipwrecks, but except for an occasional garland of seaweed not even their clothing shows signs of years of rot and putrifaction. The appeal will be for viewers that like to see the cameraman readjust his framing in the middle of a shot. The actors frequently stall between dialogue lines, leaving awkward stage-wait gaps. To clear the record once and for all, Mora Tau is not a USC fraternity.

 

Outsiders converge on the estate of old Mrs. Peters (Marjorie Eaton of Monstrosity), located somewhere on the Senegal, Africa coastline near the city of Dakar. The lady welcomes her young granddaughter Jan (Autumn Russell), who is startled to find animated corpses patrolling the grounds. Coming ashore from a treasure-hunting vessel are George and Mona Harrison (Joel Ashley & Allison Hayes), diver Jeff Clark (Gregg Palmer) and scientist Eggert (Morris Ankrum). But nobody believes the zombie stories even after Mona apparently becomes one herself, and must be restrained by fire, the only element feared by the undead. Diving to find the lost diamonds, Jeff is attacked on the ocean floor by the inhumanly strong zombies. Being dead, they don’t need to breathe!

Zombies of Mora Tau is great trashy fun. Always a hoot, Allison Hayes’ Mona (Attack of the 50-Foot Woman )  openly rejects her husband for hunky Gregg Palmer. Mona is just plain rude: she advises old Grandma to just die and stop bothering people. Even graying Morris Ankrum wants a kiss from Mona. The treasure hunters are in serious zombie denial, even after a couple of crewmen are murdered, proving Grandma’s warnings beyond any doubt. The creepy staring men shamble about dragging seaweed behind them. Their favorite trick is to emerge from underwater to strangle their victims, like the old Lorelei phantoms. Despite all the tell-tale symptoms, George just won’t accept the fact that his main squeeze Mona has become a zombie. She’s ice cold, doesn’t breathe and tries to stab people, but all that may be just a coincidence.

 Luckless ingenue Autumn Russell screams on schedule, roughly every 7.5 minutes. The pretty actress may have made a connection with Tony Curtis for she shows up in small roles in Spartacus and Sweet Smell of Success: “Are you kidding, Mr. Hunsecker?  With my Jersey City brains?”  She looks a bit like Lisa Marie from several Tim Burton films. The script forces Russell to be carried around over a zombie’s shoulder like a sack of potatoes. Luckily, the zombies all seem to be played by stout, strong stuntman types. They’re not particularly scary, but if you need furniture moved they’re just the ticket.

In the most enjoyably idiotic group scene, Grandma takes the assembled cast on a stroll past the graves of five or six previous expeditions that tried to steal the diamond treasure over the years. No one in our new expedition is overly concerned, even when they see that their own graves have already been dug!

 

The most risible scenes play out at the bottom of the ocean, where the divers are assaulted by pesky zombies. The footage is filmed dry-for-wet, with the actors pretending to move in slow motion and a few bubbles superimposed. When they light blowtorches to open a submerged safe, no bubbles are created. It’s very silly.

We don’t poke at the inanities of Mora Tau to pretend that we’re superior to it; Katzman and company made commercial attractions for a price that would turn a profit at the box office. It’s a sure bet that nobody was thinking about subtext, or how the Atomic Angst of the 1950s would underpin the movie’s tension. In his autobiography Bernard Gordon devoted all of 6 paragraphs to the film, and none discussed his artistic inspiration. He dreamed up the stories out of whole cloth, scripts that could be filmed within Katzman’s production limitations. He got 3 or 4 thousand per script. His blacklist alias Raymond T. Marcus was actually the name of a cooperative friend. Gordon remembers being embarrassed when the zombies had difficulty getting out of their coffins; director Ed Cahn said that a ‘take 2’ would bust the schedule, so the problem was solved like every other problem in a Sam Katzman film, with lame cutaways.

Bernard Gordon closes his remarks by saying that Katzman showed his appreciation for his writing by gifting him a bottle of Chanel No. 5 for his wife. But the fragrance turned out to be fake; Katzman then offered to sell Bernard as many bottles as he wanted at $2 apiece, so he could turn his own profit.

 



The Giant Claw
75 minutes
Starring: Jeff Morrow, Mara Corday, Morris Ankrum, Louis Merrill, Edgar Barrier, Robert Shayne, Frank Griffin, Clark Howat, Morgan Jones.
Cinematography: Benjamin H. Kline
Art Director: Paul Palmintola
Film Editors: Tony DiMarco, Saul A. Goodkind
Visual Effects: Ralph Hammeras, George Teague
Written by Samuel Newman, Paul Gangelin
Produced by Sam Katzman
Directed by
Fred F. Sears

Yes, the title creature in this Katzman shocker is so extreme, so terrifying, that we dare show no more of it than did the poster artists from 1957. I’m sure they were all sworn to secrecy about the full impact of the anti-matter colossus from outer space.

The most notorious film in the package is The Giant Claw, a sci-fi groaner that plays like a bad joke. It’s one of the first ’50s monster movies that we self-anointed monster experts liked to make fun of. Like the same year’s The Deadly Mantis it uses an inordinate quantity of stock footage. The difference is that the editing is poor as well: the shots from older films are glarining discontinuous.

Just half a year after Toho’s impressive Eastmancolor epic about the supersonic pterodactyl Rodan, Katzman cashed in with this jaw-droppingly absurd creature feature. Mostly ignored when first released, The Giant Claw now plays like a camp wonder. Its so-bad-it’s-good rating is in the stratosphere. An opening narrator (who sounds a bit like Albert Dekker) drones on about national defense before the story takes a left turn into monster territory. The dialogue in several scenes appears to have been stripped, and replaced by more narration telling what’s happening. Somewhere in the world, Coleman Francis was taking notes …

 

The actors attending their first screening of the finished film reported that they were shocked to find themselves inter-cut with some of the worst visual effects in film history. Established monster fighters Jeff Morrow, Mara Corday and Morris Ankrum faced giant tarantulas, Metaluna Mutants and Martian zombies, but The Giant Claw turns out to be a ridiculous piñata-like goofy bird with pop eyes and a Bullwinkle beak. Anyone eight or older surely laughed their heads off when this turkey hit the screen. The prolific writers Paul Gangelin and Samuel Newman pack the dialogue with lame pseudo science and lousy jokes (“Honest to Pete, I’ll never call my mother-in-law an old crow again”), but of the tiny cast only Ankrum and Robert Shayne seem to realize how silly it all is. But it’s a safe bet that the writers and visual effects expert held their noses while working. The unintended laughs in The Giant Claw are so consistent, it’s like a ’50s monster-thon version of Airplane!

It’s a space-age story, kids!  Electronics expert and jet pilot Mitch McAfee (Jeff Morrow) is helping mathematician Sally Caldwell (Mara Corday) calibrate early warning radar when he sights a giant UFO ‘as big as a battleship.’ Air Force brass give Mitch grief until other sightings confirm that something is knocking down planes and gobbling up their aircrews. Photos from a weather balloon establish the fact that the UFO is actually an enormous bird. When attempts to shoot it down fail, Dr. Karol Noymann (Edgar Barrier, not John Carradine) theorizes that the Big Bird is actually an interstellar, inter-dimensional invader protected by an anti-matter shield. Mitch, Noymann and Sally work against the clock to perfect a Mu Meson gun that can neutralize the bird’s particle-based defense.

Boy, does that stentorian narration sidestep some interesting unseen developments!  Health experts trying to cope with COVID should find out how the ‘authorities’ can issue a worldwide directive warning everyone on Earth to stay indoors because, you know, they might get picked up by a chicken hawk ‘as big as a –‘ you know what.

 

Mara Corday and Jeff Morrow do their best to animate the claustrophobic screenplay, putting their hearts and souls into their ‘cute talk’ dialogue scenes. Other than a brief trek to Griffith Park, representing a very Canada Dry dry Canada, they act their hearts out in dinky sets, often staring through windows at monster footage to be inserted at a later date. We can imagine a first assembly of the film after principal photography was completed, with blank ‘scene missing’ inserts covering special visuals to be produced later. As these effects promised battles in the sky, an attack on New York City and the deployment of a super-duper Mu Meson weapon, Corday and Morrow might have had high hopes for the film. As the players couldn’t have known what awful visuals would be intercut with their reactions, The Giant Claw should have been cited for Actor Abuse.

Since I first started talking to Bill Warren in the 1990s, the word on the street was that Sam Katzman wanted another ‘big calamity’ monster picture like It Came from Beneath the Sea and Earth versus the Flying Saucers, but the newly-emancipated Harryhausen-Schneer team declined to animate his super space-bird. I personally thought the story of ‘special effects farmed out to Mexico’ wasn’t necessarily true: we have difficulty picturing Sam Katzman paying for long distance phone calls to Mexico City.

But the helpful Tom Weaver offers a correction, quoting the November 15, 1956 issue of The Hollywood Reporter. One item seems pretty clear on the subject:

“Sam Katzman, following completion of his current The Night the World Exploded, flies to Mexico City on 11/24 for a two-week stay to supervise special effects filming for The Giant Claw. Special photography will be by Ralph Hammeras & George Teague.”

Yet that quote doesn’t conclusively settle the matter. Tom tells us that Hollywood trade papers sometimes encouraged producers to make up items about future plans. Trade paper projections of new films on the way were notoriously bogus, barely more than wish lists. And we can think of a good reason that Katzman would report a shoot in Mexico: to hide a non-union shoot. Roger Corman informed the trades that he was filming his first movie in Mexico, precisely to keep the Guilds off his trail. When Ray Harryhausen created his effects in Los Angeles, he set up his shops in storefronts at undisclosed locations. This was to insure privacy but also to keep the Union reps from finding him: they would surely insist that Harryhausen hire a cameraman, electricians, grips, propmakers — everything.

Not having to wait months for Harryhausen footage, Katzman was probably delighted — he was the last producer to worry that a special effect might be sub-par. All one need do is sit through The Night the World Exploded to gauge his taste on that account. I doubt that Sam Katzman ever fully appreciated the awesome wizardry of Ray Harryhausen. For my money Katzman got exactly what he paid for.

Katzman saw his job as getting audiences into the theater (‘butts in the seats’) not putting quality on the screen. Since I dare not show the Anti-matter monster Avian to impressionable viewers (the Internet has standards) more giggling descriptions must suffice. The monster’s neck and head are like twisted taffy, and a stupid look is frozen on its face. It flies without flapping its wings; errant wires are visible when it interacts with airplanes and parachuting fliers. Perhaps the single most unconvincing giant monster shot in film history occurs when the Big Boid plucks a freight train from its tracks and carries it off into the sky. The (HO scale?) cars stay linked together like sausages, with the engine still puffing away!

When Corday and Morrow’s horrified faces are inter-cut with the incredibly idiotic bird the result is hilarious. Watching a frame progression of stills taken from a weather balloon, the cast acts impressed when they should be laughing out loud. Morrow’s booming voice of authority was probably better suited to costume epics.

 As for Miss Mara Corday, she was one of Universal’s most jaw-droppingly beautiful starlets of the decade. She seldom received the chance to show off in these monster movies. Her supporting part in the 1955 drama Foxfire is so sexy that she draws attention away from the glamorous star, Jane Russell.

Much of the dialogue verges on the absurd, and some is too weird to function as Airplane!– like comedy. The narrator, a general and various pilots all describe the flying bird as being as big as a battleship. Mitch spouts klunky dialogue like “That makes me Chief Cook and Bottle Washer in a one-man Bird Watcher’s Society!”  The military men paraphrase the ‘guns, tanks, bombs’ speech from The War of the Worlds. With the giant bird in close pursuit, Mitch frantically assembles his Mu Meson projector in the belly of a B-25. Morris Ankrum’s frantic general shouts literally down Mitch’s neck: “For God’s sake hurry man!  It’s catching up with us fast!  Hurry!” We really want Mitch to patiently put down his tools and lecture the general about his professional poise.

Never was the editing of ill-chosen and mis-matched stock footage this clumsy. The War of the World’s City Hall blows up twice to represent New York buildings crumbling. Other movie sources are very recognizable — Katzman’s earlier Harryhausen pictures, Fox’s The Day the Earth Stood Still, Warners’ The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. In shots of a B-25 aircraft from MGM’s Thirty Seconds over Tokyo we can clearly read Van Johnson’s ‘Ruptured Duck’ emblem.

Try to picture Katzman and his director Sears knocking off thirty insert shots in less than an hour, with an assembly line system. No attempt is made to conjure any impression of realism. Most rooms have no windows. A plain white scenic backing is used for angles on men and women looking up and screaming at the supposedly threatening killer bird. Morris Ankrum’s (impossible) window down-view of the U.S. Capitol is a static photo blow-up: we can see little pedestrians frozen in mid-stride. Views out most windows show … nothing, just more blank scenic backings. Quick, film critics!  Use these visuals to pontificate about the bleak world-view of the brilliant producer-auteur Sam Katzman.

The conclusion appears to acknowledge a ‘who the hell cares?’ attitude on the part of the filmmakers. Jeff Morrow and Mara Corday end with a sort-of romantic hug, but our favorite old monster fighter Morris Ankrum’s last shot shows him laughing in glee with Robert Shayne. It’s supposedly because the Atom-Bird from Another Galaxy has been defeated but we know better: the movie is finally over, and it was a hoot for them too.

 


 

Arrow Video’s Blu-ray of Cold War Creatures: Four Films from Sam Katzman is a sharp and flawless presentation of these ‘an hour plus change’ thrillers from Columbia’s in-house profit machine unit. The transfers are all widescreen, even the outrageous Creature with the Atom Brain, which in the old Sony DVD set was somehow presented flat. Long-time Sony executive Michael Schlesinger dreamed up the concept of grouping these Katzman pictures for disc fifteen years go. When promoting a Lost Skeleton of Cadavra comedy, Schlesinger penned the immortal advertising tagline

“From the company that brought you Zombies of Mora Tau and Lawrence of Arabia!

Another thing that’s almost unique to this batch of horror-sci fi entries from Sam Katzman: they carry no Columbia torch lady logos. On almost everything released by the studio including imports like the Hammer films, main title music began over the logo. The two Harryhausen/Schneer pictures made under Katzman have no logos, but their first solo Morningside outing 20 Million Miles to Earth does. I shouldn’t presume to guess the reason. The only non-Katzman Columbia release without a logo I’ve run into lately is 1951’s Five.

At the present time nobody is releasing multi-disc special editions as nicely appointed as Arrow’s — they seem to be aiming at the gift box market, as well as diehard collectors. As mentioned above, the box, disc cases, insert booklets and other add-ons are artfully coordinated, as seen in the exploded product photo. And the Matt Griffin artworks are more than a ‘redo a still photo in color’ job — he’s interpreted the four images in rich, moody paintings that (frankly) are much more atmospheric than the films themselves. A couple of my professional illustrator friends have praised the art as well.

The extras are abundant as well. Physically we get a pair of reversible posters with reproductions of lobby cards (or other horizontal art) for all four pictures. Plus three or so postcard-sized lobby card reproductions. Each title comes in its own keep case with reversible artwork — Griffin’s versus Columbia’s so-tacky-it’s-collectible originals.

The standard video extras for each title are a generous image gallery, an original trailer (one appears to be textless), and a nice ‘n’ fuzzy Super-8 digest version, for all but Mora Tau.

Each feature begins with a relaxed, conversational optional video intro by expert Kim Newman. When Kim doesn’t have that much to say about a particular feature he riffs on the genre in general, as when he blue-skies the idea that ’50s monster movies can be interpreted as dressing up old-reliable horror monsters in space-age wrappings — The Thing from Another World is just Frankenstein, and the origins of vampires and werewolves are suddenly medical backstories instead of supernatural.

What Newman doesn’t do with these very modest shockers — that some audio commentators and visual essayists do a lot — is generate elaborate social, psychological and subtext-thematic analyses to explain their fantastic ‘subversive’ content. I’m generally all for such investigations, as I spent my college days thumbing through film writing that sought to prove that every genre film was an unconscious manifestation of the psychic bugaboos of the culture (when not expressing ’70s political outrage). Back then, we were bombarded with a new generation of film academics telling us how films were an accurate reflection of society’s underlying values.

But academic writing about genre features like these Katzman quickies would often feature half-baked sales pitches for arcane academic theories. My favorite was the ‘Universal-Jack Arnold Desert Motif,’ which suggested that four or five ’50s monster movies from that studio took place in the same generic desert town locale for important auteurist-thematic reasons, not because it was cheap and convenient to do so.

For the two features I cover in my half of this review we get some very good input. Kat Ellinger pontificates on Mora Tau’s odd (accidental?) place in zombie movie lore, and when she loops off into a tangent it soon curves around and proves its relevance to the topic at hand. Just like Kim Newman, Ellinger has raconteur genes — she’s able to talk extemporaneously and free-associate without losing her way (a jealous commentator is writing these words).

Adding personality to the commentary and essay mix is almost required for these pictures, as academic analysis can only go so far. What’s mostly missing from the historical record are personal accounts of exactly how frantically they were filmed, with the actors filming on set only five or six days. We don’t need explanations for why the cast of Mora Tau is sometimes caught in awkward pauses and unscripted stage waits — the cast may have only met each other a few minutes before, without rehearsal. We can only guess at the filming short-cuts of directors like Cahn and Sears, that enabled them to shoot so much so fast. The triumph was not making a masterpiece, but just getting the script onto film.

 

Taking the ‘Cold War Creatures’ title literally may not the best idea, insisting that Katzman’s films are a deep well of cultural riches… when they’re more like a thin layer of tasty chocolate. Emma Westwood and Cerise Howard’s commentary on The Giant Claw takes a humorous direction, getting a flurry of bird jokes out of the way up top but still acknowledging that the film’s real takeaway is fun, in the form of grade-Z filmmaking inanities.

The set’s video and text essays are where some of the academic quicksand awaits. Both Josh Hurtado on Mora Tau and Mike White on Claw take a sober approach to the themes of atom anxiety and social disruption expressed in ’50s sci-fi and fantasy. We agree with the concept. That’s fundamentally what Susan Sontag proposed in her noted 1964 essay, that the complacent audience sought out the release of storylines portraying destruction, chaos and the breakdown of human values. It’s just that these Katzman productions aren’t substantial enough to support this kind of subtextural argument. I’m sure that writer Bernard Gordon surely put his personal awareness of cultural impressions into his work, and Mora Tau surely contains a vein of inner meaning… but I’d label it sub-sub-sub-subtext.

To my mind these particular films are cheerfully artless, and anything they achieve in that direction is truly accidental. Some of my favorite films fall into that category. But every seven years brings a new generation to rediscover genre riches (even in Katzman pictures) and they have every right to interpret them as they see fit. Arrow’s essays both video and print are well-written.

In a week or so, Part Two of this Cold War Creatures: Four Films from Sam Katzman review will unleash reviewer Charlie Largent on Steven Ritch’s anguished ‘blacklist werewolf’ and those wacky Atomic automatons, the ones that show signs of Doctor Michael Hfuhruhurr’s screw-top brain surgery technique.

Thanks to Charlie Largent and Wayne Schmidt for turning me on to the delirious poster art of Anselmo Ballester!

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson


Cold War Creatures: Four Films from Sam Katzman (Part 1)
The Zombies of Mora Tau and The Giant Claw
Blu-ray rates:
Movies: Mora Tau Fair + Claw Fair, Yet Highly Entertaining
Video: Excellent
Sound: Excellent

Supplements: (from Arrow, for all four features):
All four features have: Video introductions by Kim Newman, Super-8mm condensed versions (except Zombies of Mora Tau), original trailers, Image Gallery.

DISC 1 – CREATURE WITH THE ATOM BRAIN
Audio commentary by Russell Dyball
Visual essay Sam Katzman: Before and Beyond the Cold War Creatures, by Stephen R. Bissette

DISC 2 – THE WEREWOLF
Audio commentary by Lee Gambin
Visual essay Beyond Window Dressing, by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

DISC 3 – THE ZOMBIES OF MORA TAU
Audio commentary by Kat Ellinger
Visual essay Atomic Terror: Genre in Transformation, by Josh Hurtado.

DISC 4 – THE GIANT CLAW
Audio commentary by Emma Westwood and Cerise Howard
Visual essay Family Endangered!, by Mike White

ILLUSTRATED 60-PAGE BOOKLET
with writing by Laura Drazin Boyes, Neil Mitchell, Barry Forshaw, Jon Towlson and Jackson Cooper
80-PAGE ART BOOKLET
featuring reproduction stills and artwork and writing by Stephen R. Bissette
2 DOUBLE-SIDED POSTERS featuring newly commissioned artwork by Matt Griffin
Reversible DISC SLEEVES with original poster art and new art by Matt Griffin.

Deaf and Hearing-impaired Friendly? Subtitles: English (features only)
Packaging: One Blu-ray in Keep case
Reviewed:
September 7, 2021
(6562cold1)
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Here’s Joe Dante on The Giant Claw:

About Glenn Erickson

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 6.51.08 PM

Glenn Erickson left a small town for UCLA film school, where his spooky student movie about a haunted window landed him a job on the CLOSE ENCOUNTERS effects crew. He’s a writer and a film editor experienced in features, TV commercials, Cannon movie trailers, special montages and disc docus. But he’s most proud of finding the lost ending for a famous film noir, that few people knew was missing. Glenn is grateful for Trailers From Hell’s generous offer of a guest reviewing haven for CineSavant.