[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/giantclawposter.jpg]]

What monster, out of the innumerable [[BMovie B]] science-fiction/horror films from the 50s and 60s, can possibly hope to compete with Ro-Man -- the man in a gorilla suit wearing a toy plastic space helmet -- from ''Film/RobotMonster''?

Four words: '''Giant'''. '''Antimatter'''. '''Space'''. '''Buzzard'''.[[note]]This decision is currently being appealed by attorneys representing the '''[[Film/NightOfTheLepus Giant Killer Bunny Rabbit]]''' union, who could not be reached for comment.[[/note]]

Test-pilot/electronics engineer/physicist Mitchell "Mitch" Macafee (Jeff Morrow) is piloting a jet over Canada when he spots a UFO ("''As big as a battleship!!''"). His girlfriend on the ground Sally Caldwell (Mara Corday), however, sees nothing on the radar. Jets are scrambled to investigate his claim, but one goes missing. Mitch's commanding officer isn't pleased with him -- and is even less so when another plane disappears in the same area.

[[quoteright:344:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/giantclawtitle.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:344: Can you spot the difference? (Hint: The poster doesn't show the monster's head...)]]

En route back to the United States, Mitch and Sally's plane is attacked. Screeching is heard. They crash-land on a farm but survive unscathed and are taken in by a redneck named Pierre. More screeching is heard. Mitch and Sal go outside and find Pierre lying on the ground in terror near his spooked livestock. He claims to have seen the mythical witch ''La Cargagne'', an omen of his impending death.

Finally arriving back in General Buskirk's office, Mitch is surprised to discover that his story about a battleship-sized UFO is no longer dismissed as pure fallacy. Another aircraft, this time carrying a bunch of investigators, was lost shortly after the pilot radioed a distress call that a bird the size of... wait for it... a battleship, was attacking the plane. Not to mention some googly-eyed pictures snapped by a high-altitude balloon's camera.

Thus we finally get our first glimpses of the beast that would put the combined worst of the bestiaries from every DungeonsAndDragons Monster Manual to shame: a mighty battleship-sized phoenix from outer space, that flies faster than the speed of sound, that emanates a force-field of antimatter protecting it from all that the military can throw at it... as embodied by ''' a puppet that looks like [[Series/SesameStreet Big Bird's]] evil twin'''.

It's time for women to gaze at the sky and pretend to scream in terror, for model cars and trains to be awkwardly plucked off ''papier-mâché'' sets, and for a scheme "[[CrazyEnoughToWork so crazy, it just might work!]]" to be contrived to defeat the bird.

This movie is simply priceless. It's got everything that a B science-fiction/horror movie from the 50s should have; a completely ridiculous monster, laughable dialogue delivered with total sincerity, copious use of mismatched stock footage, gobs and gobs of pseudo-scientific TechnoBabble... you name it. All that's missing is the FauxlosophicNarration. Although the actors' ruminations on their careers upon seeing the monster for the first time might've been entertaining.

Because... perhaps most priceless of all is the fact that all scenes with the actors were filmed first -- and ''then'' the scenes with the puppet were spliced in. None of the cast actually saw what they were supposed to be terrified of until they attended the film's premiere. Reportedly, Morrow, upon hearing the ''audience's'' reaction, left the theater with a red face hidden beneath a turned-up collar.

By the way, it was released by Columbia Pictures -- also responsible for ''LawrenceOfArabia'' and ''Film/JasonAndTheArgonauts''. This is the one that tends not to be mentioned in the studio-anniversary clip shows.

It never got an episode on ''MysteryScienceTheater3000'', which, quite frankly, is a crime. [[WebVideo/TheAngryVideoGameNerd James Rolfe]], however, [[http://cinemassacre.com/2009/10/13/13-giant-claw-1957/ gives a fine insight on it]].

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!!This film provides examples of:

* {{Antimatter}}: Well, Hollywood antimatter, anyway.
* AttackOfThe50FootWhatever
* AttackOfTheKillerWhatever
* BMovie
* BigApplesauce: The climax takes place in New York.
* CarloadOfCoolKids: A group of these driving past the protagonists, flouting the warnings to stay off the road at night (since the whole world has become aware of the eponymous monster by this point). Predictably, [[TooDumbToLive they're attacked]].
* ContemplateOurNavels: Sally gets ''two'' scenes of ruminating on tragic deaths, almost one right after the other.
* ContrivedCoincidence: Really, does that monster has a thing for Mitch or something?
* DefrostingIceQueen: Sally Caldwell is quite the ice queen towards Mitch, at first. Then his "charm" finally wins her over.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: "As big as a battleship." This is apparently the only really big thing the scriptwriters had ever seen in their entire lives
* DoomedHurtGuy: The poor pilot Mitch saves from the wreckage.
* EnforcedMethodActing: Be sure to check out the ''furious'' look on Jeff Morrow's face when huge chunks of flaming debris land inches from his head.
* FeatheredFiend: You bet!
* GiantFlyer
* {{Kaiju}}: The bird.
* PhraseCatcher: The monster is compared to a battleship.
* ReversePolarity
* SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: Nor do they have any other measurement than "as big as a battleship", apparently.
* StockFootage: One shot of a building losing its top in New York has been recycled from a building in Los Angeles being shot by a [[Film/TheWarOfTheWorlds1953 Martian War Machine]].
** Several shots of collapsing buildings crushing hapless civilians beneath them were taken from two other 50's atomic horror movies, [[TheBeastFrom20000Fathoms The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms]] and [[EarthVsTheFlyingSaucers Earth vs. the Flying Saucers]].
* TechnoBabble
* WritersCannotDoMath: Mitch discovers that the bird's attacks can be connected by a spiral pattern. No one mentions that ''any'' series of points can be connected by a spiral.
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