The Crawling Hand
Posted in Reviews
Afternoon watch, 2 bells (1:03 pm)

Continuing my review series, I watched The Crawling Hand (IMDB) last night.

The government is trying to send people to the moon (the movie came out in 1963, okay…), but the astronauts are dying before they get back. One of them (somehow) survives without oxygen for like twenty minutes, and looks crazy on the monitor when he begs them to hit the self-destruct button and blow him up before he gets back to Earth. They finally consent, and we switch to a California coastal city where two young people on the beach run across parts of the destroyed capsule—and a hand.

The hand has a life of its own, and after the macabre act of wrapping it in a shower curtain and bringing it home, the young man is strangled by it. He begins to be "infected" by whatever the astronaut had, and has bouts of craziness where he tries to kill his girlfriend (a former Miss Iceland).

The sheriff, played by Alan Hale Jr (the Skipper from Gilligan's Island), thinks the boy killed his landlady and sets a police guard on him and tells him not to leave the house. It's funny, I've also seen Alan Hale Jr in another MST3K movie playing another sheriff in The Giant Spider Invasion. We even shared the same birthday (he passed away in 1990 though).

Anyway, back to the review. Two government agents arrive and realize that some mystery organism or infection survived the explosion and is doing the killing. They track the hand but the young man ultimately gets hold of it, takes it out to a junkyard, and stabs it a bunch of times. Then cats come from out of nowhere and claw and bite at it. Somehow, they don't get infected by whatever possessed the hand. When the hand "dies", the young man goes back to normal, kind of like killing the head vampire. He gets the girl in the end and we get to see the blessed ending of this stinkbomb. Classic MST3K.

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