106. The Crawling Hand (1963)

Hands. The palm, fingers, nails. In Spanish it’s Manos. Mad Love (1935), Hands of a Stranger (1962), The Crawling Hand (1963), The Hand (1981), Evil Dead II (1987), Idle Hands (1999). Here one minute. Gone the next. Steer clear of replacements. Canned Applause, Safety Saw, Limb Lengthener, Free Will, William Shatner, The Real Deal, Ram Chips. “This is like Love, American Style”, “Hey Alan Hale. Isn’t that The Skipper?”, “I can see my house from here you guys.” “Bout time for a tall cool one” or “Don’t do it guys”?

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William Shatner.

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Eat, Drink, and Be Merry.

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Heroic junkyard cats make every movie better.

“Cats can’t resist the Cosmic Treat!”

:paw_prints:

You just know that they would’ve been needed for the sequel, too. Since they’re smarter than any of the bipeds in Palms, CA. Also, I bet to this day the writers are annoyed with themselves for not riffing on the town’s name! It was the ultimate low ball, but they weren’t experienced enough back then to swing at it. Darn.

The other thing which always sticks in my mind is Joel’s invention exchange. He quotes, “The Music Goes Round And Round,” which had one Red Hodgson as a co-author. :open_mouth: Believe it… OR NOT.

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The Crawling Hand (1963) Trailer.

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More transforming Pauls and another Steve to put in the bucket. What is it about Pauls?

Also, kitties!

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This is the first movie of the season that proves to be a genuine slog. First and foremost is how some of the actors seem to believe the most effective way to emote is by yelling their lines. Our maladjusted semi-protagonist Paul is also a real piece of work. Upon discovering a severed hand on the beach, his first instinct is to collect it. Apparently, he regards Herbert West as a role model. It’s a wonder that he’s ever had a girlfriend.

Then there’s the monster and how unconvincing it is in execution. All things considered, the nature of the hand’s demise is a proper fate for such an ill-conceived threat. While the riffing rate and quality is slowly improving (with plenty of Gilligan’s Island jokes due to the presence of Alan Hale Jr.), it can’t quite compensate for the tedious nature of the movie. Considering that this was the only Season 1 episode that was available on home video for many years, you can understand why the first season had such a bad reputation.

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Gah, that green theater is just so weird, isn’t?

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The Crawling Hand was the real terror of the drive-in movie theaters.

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Agreed. I recall The Crawling Hand (1963) Rhino VHS on Suncoast and On Cue shelves as a teen. I never bought it for some reason. Once I had the Amazing Colossal Guide and started paying attention to opinions, Season 1 had this lesser appreciation so I avoided The Crawling Hand even longer. Watching it now, I’m with you Crawling Hand set the bar lower if that was your only exposure to Season 1. Not everyone had Comedy Central or The Sci-Fi Channel. Whoever selected Hand as Rhino’s Season 1 VHS back then should have gone with Robot Holocaust (1987), Moon Zero Two (1969), or Untamed Youth (1957) instead. Clearences and what was available are the likely culprits. I’m happy now that the impression of Season 1 is slowly changing. Robot Monster (1953), The Slime People (1963), Project Moon Base (1953), The Black Scorpion (1957), Women of the Prehistoric Planet (1966), and the ones above are better than what The Crawling Hand by itself would suggest.

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The references themselves are still evolving. Having Crow ask Joel if Alan Hale is The Skipper versus saying “Hey It’s The Skipper!” is an example of them feeling their bearings to where they would go. Some uncertainty sill existed and it showed.

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This was my first Joel experience, on VHS! I like the movie. Peter Breck is actually good in it. And there’s Allison Hayes, and Alan Hale Jr! For season one, this is a good one. The movie is watchable, riffing good, skits okay.

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My first episode of MST3K! Saw it on The Comedy Channel in late 1989. Immediately fell in love with the show from this episode. Definitiely a lighter riff episode, but one for which I will always have a lot of affection.

Was also the first episode I bought on DVD. Would love to get the VHS at some point as well.

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