Monday, December 7, 2015

The Crawling Hand, Miss Iceland vs. The Evil Hand

When "The Crawling Hand" was made in 1963 it sparked worldwide outrage in the international film community.  A decade long feud between Sweden and Iceland erupted when Miss Iceland, Sirry Steffen, was cast to play the voluptuous Swedish beauty Marta Farnstrom. Sweden was furious, as once again Hollywood would cast a less expensive Icelandic actress in the role of a Swede.  None of this is true, of course, but what better way to stick in a picture of some eye candy than an embellished set-up.  So let us take a look at a great B scifi film from the 1960s.
Miss Iceland
A second failed mission to the moon results in an American space craft crashing into California.  The astronaut is thought to have perished, but in actuality, an alien life form overtook him before the craft exploded.  After the crash, only the hand of the astronaut has survived, and it is homicidal.  As Paul (Rod Lauren) and Marta (Steffan) frolic on the beach, in a scene which includes a gratuitous bikini moment, they stumble upon the hand.  Miss Iceland is horrified, but Paul figures out what it is and brings it to his boarding house so he can study it later. Kids! Before Paul can examine his find, the hand strangles Miss Hotchkiss, the landlady, to death, and almost does the same to Paul.  The Sheriff (Alan Hale, the skipper from "Gilligan's Island") responds and opens up a murder investigation.
When the fingerprints of Hotchkiss' throat match that of the deceased astronaut, Steve (Peter Brock) and Dr. Weitzberg (Kent Taylor) respond from NASA in DC.  The skipper isn't happy that the big boys in Washington are taking over the case, and refuses to cooperate.  On their own, Steve and the doctor go see Paul, but now Paul has been taken over by the alien life form and is now running through the streets with homicide in mind. Now an alien fiend, Paul stalks the beautiful Swede, Miss Iceland.  With a hand and Paul loose, will the Earth survive? 
Campy effects and good acting enhance "The Crawling Hand."  It is always great to see Alan Hale, even when he isn't playing the skipper.  Miss Iceland. when on the screen, with a phony Swedish accent, is always a good thing.  I'm told that if you mention Sirry Steffen (Miss Iceland) in Sweden, you will have a snowball thrown at you.  Enjoy "The Crawling Hand."  

No comments:

Post a Comment