Eat drink and be merry. Tomorrow you die.
Astronaut Lockhart, returning from the moon has been infected by an alien entity. Space Operations personnel Steve Curan and Dr. Max Weitzberg have lost contact with spaceship X20. Since the space ship has been without air for over 20 minutes it is assumed that Lockhart is dead. Suddenly a voice comes over the communications system. It’s Lockhart, looking like death, begging that the space ship be destroyed. Dr. Weitzberg detonates the space ship and it blows up in the atmosphere. The astronaut’s disembodied hand crashes with the space debris on a beach in California.
A medical student, Paul Lawrence, is on the beach with his girlfriend Donna. She finds the hand on the beach. She freaks out. Not knowing that the hand is possessed by an alien life force Paul returns later that night and retrieves the hand to keep as a really grisly souvenir. That night the hand kills his landlady.
After the police leave the hand chokes Paul into unconsciousness. The medics come to take the landlady’s body to the morgue and find Paul. They put him in the ambulance along with the landlady and head for the hospital. On the way Paul comes to and freaks out. He leaps from ambulance and runs into the night. Now Paul is infected too.
Released in 1963 “The Crawling Hand” stars Peter Breck, Kent Taylor, Rod Lauren, Alan Hale, and Allison Hayes. The title is a little deceiving. The hand does crawl, and it does kill, but not a lot. Most of the action is when the med student Paul becomes infected. The hand is missing for a chunk of the movie. The cops must not have done a good job of searching the house after the landlady was murdered.
This is one of those bad it’s good movies. Not much plot but the acting was decent. Low budget so special effects are minimal but the make-up on the infected astronaut and student is good. As for the monster it’s a hand so, it is what it is. I would have liked more crawling hand since I found that part actually creepy. Crawling hands usually are creepy. Worth a look if you can get it cheap. Or if you like disarticulated hand movies.