Cinema/TV, Film Notes

FrightFest review – Claw

My notes on Claw (2021)

En route to a stand-up gig in Los Angeles, blonde comedian Julia (Chynna Walker) and gay best friend Kyle (Richard Rennie) swerve to avoid something running across the road and burst a tire … according to genre rules, it should have been a speeding dinosaur, but the plot dictates that this film’s beast is elsewhere at the time so it was probably a coyote or a road-runner or something unimportant.  The bickering, bantering duo walk to the nearest ghost town, abandoned even as a tourist attraction – except by weird old guy Ray (Mel Mede), who lives in a shack with a ton of fascinating-looking vintage merch.  The city slickers are made nervous by all sorts of Ray’s tells, and consequently make some poor decisions – which are beside the point when Roger the Raptor, an escapee from the desert lab of a George R.R. Martin lookalike mad science bubba (Ken ‘Gabby’ Mertz), shows up and starts chasing the small cast around the limited setting.

Director Gerald Rascionato, who also co-wrote with Joel Hogan, barely has enough story here to fill out feature length – yes, it says 81 minutes, but the movie ends fifteen minutes earlier and drags on with a very slow credits crawl that doesn’t even have any inset jokes or tag-scene to sweeten the deal (there are two dreadful, hokey ‘one year later’ bits before the end credits, but they don’t exactlu do the film many favours.  The CGI creature isn’t the worst I’ve ever seen and making a small story works in the film’s favour, when compared with such teases as Ape vs Monster, which promise global-scale kaiju action but actually get their creatures onscreen less than Bruce Willis in those movies he’s made recently while sat behind a desk.  The leads are stereotypes, but likeable enough – and it makes a change to see a small blonde woman with no skills outside self-deprecating humour putting up a desperate fight against a dinosaur with no funny bone.


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