There are quite a few movies that feature giant crabs (or lobsters or crayfish). Here are ten of my favorites. The first five movies on my list are pretty good — the rest not so good.
1. Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957) – A group of scientists travel to a remote island to discover what happened to a previous expedition that disapperared without a trace. The expedition was studying the effects of radiation due to atomic testing — never a good idea in 1950s science fiction movies. There are two super intelligent, mind-controlling, giant crabs who eat their human prey and gain the knowledge of their victims. The two crabs are killed by explosives and electrocution.
2. Mysterious Island (1961) – During the American Civil War in the 1860s, a group of U.S. and Confederate soldiers are swept to a remote island in a hot air balloon that is caught in a storm. On the island they find several giant creatures, including a crab. The crab is pushed into a pit of volcanic boiling water and cooked. Everyone eventually escapes — with the help of Captain Nemo who has a base on the island.
3. The Lost Continent (1968) – The passengers and crew of a tramp steamer become stuck in a huge fog-enshrouded bed of seaweed in the middle of the ocean. They find a colony of people descended from Spanish Conquistadores and pirates, and some nasty creatures including a giant hermit crab. A wildly creative story. The ending leaves it unclear if the the colony will ever be able to return to civilization.
4. The Dark Crystal (1982) – The gentle elf-like Gelflings are being exterminated by the evil vulture-like Skeksis who are seeking immortality by using the dark crystal. The Skeksis use crab-like Garthim as enforcers. In the end, the Skeksis are all converted to good beings.
5. Love and Monsters (2020) – The destruction of an asteroid headed for Earth produces chemical fallout which causes animals to mutate into large monsters. The hero Joel battles a giant crab that is controlled by an evil gang of survivors. He is about to kill the crab but recognizes its intelligence and spares it. The crab then kills the bad guys.
6. When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (1971) – One of several cave people movies produced in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The hero Tana and the heroine Sanna have many dangerous adventures. At one point, a group of giant fiddler crabs attack a village. This is an interesting bad movie that has a cult following. The film received an Academy Award nomination for best special effects (but didn’t win).
7. Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966) – A terrorist organization has enslaved a group of islanders. Godzilla fights and defeates Ebirah, a giant crab. Mothra forces Godzilla to leave, and the terrorists are beaten and the villagers are saved.
8. Teenagers from Outer Space (1959) – As you might expect from the title, a group of aliens, some of them teenagers, land on Earth. Their goal is to turn Earth into a giant farm to raise their giant lobster-like livestock called Gargons. One of the aliens, Derek, falls in love with an earthling Betty, and he sacrifices himself to destroy the invasion fleet.
9. Panther Girl of the Kongo (1955) – This is a 12-part serial. Episode 1 is “The Claw Monster”. It’s a giant crayfish which has been created by an evil scientist who is trying to gain control of a diamond mine. Does the Panther Girl eventually defeat the villain? Yes, of course she does. One of the very last movie serials.
10. Island Claws (1980) – A biological experiment in Florida. What could possibly go wrong? How about man-sized giant land crabs that roar like lions and kill everything they can get their claws on. There’s one really big crab who is the leader of the pack. The king crab is killed by the heros who inject it with a poison of some kind.
11. Space Amoeba (1970) – Also known as “Yog – Monster from Space”. This Japanese film features a giant stone crab named Ganimes.
12. Land of the Lost (2009) – In this comedy, two dullards and a beautiful and brainy woman professor go back in time. They encounter a giant crab.
13. Queen Crab (2015) – A girl finds an experimental growth hormone developed by her father. She feeds it to her pet crab.
14. The 7 Adventures of Sinbad (2010) – Adrian Sinbad is the descendant of the original Sinbad the Sailor. He has many adventures, including a run-in with a giant crab.
15. Rodan (1956) – In the early part of the film, before giant bird Rodan and his mate are discovered, vaguely crab-like “Meganurons” terrorize a Japanese mining village. Meganurons are actually giant prehistoric insect larvae but they look like crabs to me so they make it onto my honorable mention list.
16. The Neptune Factor (1973) – An undersea science lab falls into a deep ocean trench. The experimental submarine Neptune is sent down, and the members of the crew encounter several giant creatures including a giant spinny lobster.
17. Aquarium of the Dead (2021) – Scientists give some chemicals to a sick octopus in an Aquarium. An unfortunate side effect is that all the sea creatures, including some large crabs, become killer zombie animals.
18. Deep Star 6 (1989) – A group of 11 people are in an undersea lab and run into some sort of vaguely lobster-like creature with a very bad attitude. Only two people escape the creature and make it back to the surface where they are rescued.