The Crawling Hand (1963)

If an astronaut crash lands and says things like, “My hand… makes me do things…. kill…. kill!” At this point, you may say, perhaps this is not lack of oxygen in the astronaut’s helmet but he may really have something wrong with him.

There’s also a medical student named Paul (Rod Lauren was a singer who released the song “If I Had a Girl” before acting; he moved to the Philippines where he married actress Nida Blanca. He became the lead suspect in her death when she was stabbed in a parking garage, then fought extradition back to the country for years before jumping off a hotel room balcony; sorry to bring everyone down with who Paul really was) who finds the astronaut’s hand and well, keeps it. Because that’s what doctors do: keep desiccated hands that they find from space crashes.

Paul starts to use the power of the hand to attack people he dislikes and becomes obsessed with it. The police — led by The Skipper Alan Hale Jr. — try to catch him and the space agency starts to realize that the fingerprints of the dead astronaut are all over the place. So Paul takes the hand to the beach and tries to destroy it and some cats try to eat it, because that’s the kind of movie The Crawling Hand is.

Somehow, writer Rick Moody used this film as inspiration for his novel Four Fingers of Death, the tale of writer Montese Crandall, who attempts to get over the death of his wife by throwing himself into his work and writing a remake of The Crawling Hand.

Director Herbert L. Strock also made Gog and The Devil’s Messenger and one of the co-writers was Joe Cranston, the father of Bryan. None of them noticed that at times, the crawling hand is a left hand a right hand at other times.

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