The Crawling Hand

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The Crawling Hand
One-sheet for The Crawling Hand
Directed by Herbert L. Strock
Produced by Joseph F. Robertson[1]
Written by Joseph Cranston
Bill Idelson
Herbert L. Strock
Robert M. Young
Starring Peter Breck
Kent Taylor
Rod Lauren
Alan Hale Jr.
Allison Hayes
Sirry Steffen
Arline Judge
Music by Marlin Skiles
Cinematography Willard Van der Veer
Edited by Herbert L. Strock
Distributed by Donald J. Hansen Enterprises
Release dates
Running time
89 min
Country United States
Language English
Budget $100,000 (estimated)[2]

The Crawling Hand is a 1963 science fiction film directed by Herbert L. Strock, and starring Rod Lauren, Peter Breck, Allison Hayes, and Alan Hale, Jr.[3] It was later featured on the television shows Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) and The Canned Film Festival.[4]


The hand of an exploded astronaut takes on a life of its own. Near a spacecraft crash site, a naive young med student discovers a disembodied hand and takes it home as a grisly souvenir. He is not aware that the hand is possessed by a strange, murderous alien who gradually begins to take over the hapless med student. One by one, townsfolk are found mysteriously strangled to death. In the end, a heroic and hungry cat saves the rest of the town.



Burt Reynolds screen-tested twice for the role as teen character Paul Lawrence, but reportedly performed so woodenly that he was not chosen.[5]

The Utter-McKinley-Strother Mortuary where Curran and Weitzberg view the body of Mrs. Hotchkiss either is, or is named after, the mortuary where the funeral of Bela Lugosi was held in 1956.[5]

This was the last film of veteran character actor Syd Saylor.[5]

Home video[edit]

  • The Crawling Hand was featured in Episode 6 of Season 1 of the TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000. This episode was released on VHS by Rhino Home Video in October 1999 and on DVD in June 2002, including the uncut film as a bonus feature.

In other media[edit]

Rick Moody's novel The Four Fingers of Death, released in July 2010 by Little, Brown and Company, is a metafictional novelization of a 2025 remake of The Crawling Hand (which means that Moody's fictional 'novelization' is set in a future very different from that of the 1963 film).[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Vandergriff, Rick (September 5, 1990). "Aspiring Mogul Back in Action Film". Los Angeles Times. p. F1. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  2. ^ Internet Movie Database
  3. ^ Robinson, Johnny (November 2, 1963). "Next Week's Films". Lewiston Evening Journal. p. 4-A. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  4. ^ Margulies, Lee (June 10, 1986). "'Canned Film Festival' on TV, Worst of the Big Screen On Its Way". Los Angeles Times. p. 10. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c Internet Movie Database Trivia
  6. ^ Martin, Clancy (August 6, 2010). "Book Review - The Four Fingers of Death - By Rick Moody". The New York Times. 

External links[edit]

Mystery Science Theater 3000[edit]