THE CLAW MONSTERS. Republic Pictures, 1966. Phyllis Coates, Myron Healey, Arthur Space, John Day, Mike Ragan, Morris Buchanan. Director: Franklin Adreon.

   After D-Day on Mars, reviewed here, I spent some time with The Claw Monsters, which on the other hand is pretty awful. It’s the trimmed down feature version of the serial Panther Girl of the Kongo, which was made in 1955 when everyone had pretty much lost interest, and it shows.

   Phyllis Coates — future Lois Lane — is the Panther girl (mostly, that is; a lot of footage of her swinging through the trees was lifted from the Nyoka serial) and not being much for Stunt Work she leaves most of the fighting to Myron Healey and the requisite two bad guys working for the Mad Scientist.

   The Claw Monsters are just little crayfish photographed on cheap miniature sets, and there isn’t even much back-projection to integrate them with the actors; someone just looks off camera, screams, and we cut to a shot of the crayfish ambling around in some completely irrelevant direction inside what looks to be a dime-store Turtle Tank.

   Also, the fights are pretty routine, and the protagonists on both sides are incredibly poor marksmen; time and again they shoot at each other from about ten feet away and miss until one of them runs out of bullets, knocks the gun out of his opponent’s hand and etc., etc. There’s also a lot of really embarrassing dialogue — from the good guys — about how ignorant and superstitious the Natives are.