Icons of Horror Collection: Sam Katzman (The Giant Claw / Creature with the Atom Brain / Zombies of Mora Tau / The Werewolf)

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THE GIANT CLAW (1957): The film that's actually a turkey! In an act of cosmic paradox, a massive bird from outer space comes down upon the Earth and starts chowing down on peo-ple. As typical, researchers and the military have to team up to save our planet. This hysterically feathered fable stars sci-fi icons Jeff Morrow (This Island Earth), Mara Corday (Tarantula!), Mor-ris Ankrum (Invaders From Mars) and Robert Shayne (TV's The Adventures of Superman), and is directed by Fred F. Sears (Earth vs. The Flying Saucers). CREATURE WITH THE ATOM BRAIN (1955): From the pen of the famous Curt Siodmak (The Wolf Man, Donovan's Brain) and director Edward L. Cahn (It! The Terror From Beyond Space) comes this smash-bang thriller starring Richard Denning (Creature From The Black La-goon) as a cops doctor hot on the trail of a mob boss who's employed an ex-Nazi researcher to re-animate his dead thugs to do more grunt work! If it looks like a condensed serial, it should not be a surprise: the cast is pa

The 4 Sam Katzman movies consisted of in his Icons of Horror Collection stand as testaments to the American atomic age, reflecting public terror and awe to 1950s technology and the accomplishments made in science and medication. Sam Katzman, an incredibly respected B-movie producer whose know-how in scary and sci-fi led to partnerships with Ray Harryhausen (Jason and The Argonauts), originally masterminded several fantastic thrillers, classic archetypal examples for later movies on similar subjects. In this DVD set, 2 of the 4 movies are painfully slow paced, but contain scary scenes that vibrantly incorporate scary, sci-fi and movie noir. Zombies of Mora Tau (1957) catalogues a looking into team's attempts to take a diamond stash lodged on a deserted ship in a harbor secured by the living dead. Some unclear shots of zombified sailors, forever guarding the gems as a curse for taking them, supply chills if even for a couple of minutes. The Giant Claw (1957) introduces the audience to the age of unusual intrusions and military paranoia. Opening with a terrific shot of an Earth diorama orbiting in area, the movie narrates Mitchell MacAfee (Jeff Morrow), an electronic devices engineer who reports from his aircraft shadows of a big bird dive-bombing his aircraft. Sally Caldwell (Mara Corday) stands by in the house base, continually all set for action. When one does handle to see this elusive shadow, the audience can virtually construct the giant avian claw that looks like a chicken foot. The 2 movies that truly make the collection are Creature with the Atom Brain (1955) and The Werewolf (1956), which transform the Frankenstein story to chronicle humans-turned-monster in the name of science. In Creature, Dr. Steigg (Gregory Gaye) has reanimated dead guys with atomic energy by injecting their brains with radioactive material that exponentially increases their stamina to eliminate typical people. Fantastic sequences reveal Dr. Chet Walker (Richard Denning), the brave researcher employed by cops, utilizing a Geiger counter at crime scenes. Live-dead guys with stitched up heads roaming stiffly around as a beast mafia, providing hearty dosages of humor to this great movie. The Werewolf features remarkable footage of star, Duncan Marsh (Steven Ritch), developing into a wolf while handling to keep his well-tailored fit clean as he runs through the forest. Throughout the majority of the movie, Marsh is getting away a well-intentioned Sheriff Haines (Don Megowan), and 2 bad guys, Dr. Emery Forrest (S. John Launer) and Dr. Morgan Chambers (George Lynn), who mistakenly turn him into a wolf when experimenting with radioactive injections that would protect people from radiation. All 4 movies have the look and feel of the epic Universal movies like The Wolf Man, and The Mummy, and give historic context to buffs investigating 1950s monster movies.-- Trinie Dalton

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