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

The Crawling Hand
Directed byHerbert L. Strock
Produced byJoseph F. Robertson[1]
Screenplay byWm. Idelson and
Herbert L. Strock
Based onfrom an original story by
Joseph Cranston
Malcolm Young
Wm. Idelson
StarringPeter Breck
Kent Taylor
and Rod Lauren
Music byno credit
CinematographyWillard Van der Veer
Edited byHerbert L. Strock
A Joseph F. Robertson Production
Distributed byDonald J. Hansen Enterprises
Release date
  • September 4, 1963 (1963-09-04) (Hartford, Connecticut)
Running time
89 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$100,000 (estimated)[2]



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.


Note: character names are not indicated in on-screen credits.

Home videoEdit

  • 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 mediaEdit

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).[5]


  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[better source needed]
  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. ^ Martin, Clancy (August 6, 2010). "Book Review - The Four Fingers of Death - By Rick Moody". The New York Times.

External linksEdit