Daily Archives: September 14, 2014

Frogs (1972)


*. From American International Pictures, the same good people who would later bring us Tentacles and Empire of the Ants. A name that you can trust when it comes to this form of entertainment.
*. Frogs is usually described as an early example of eco-horror, but aside from the opening credit sequence juxtaposing nature shots against scenes of pollution, nothing is made of this. Is nature running wild because of all the shit that’s being dumped in the water? Maybe.
*. The way I see it, this is more an example of the kind of drive-in crap that was prevalent just before the advent of the slasher/dead teenager genre.
*. What a misleading title. There are plenty of shots of frogs (or toads) hopping (or being thrown) around. But let’s face it, frogs aren’t very scary or threatening. Instead, the people here are attacked and killed by snakes, lizards, leeches, alligators, spiders, scorpions, birds, and even a giant turtle (really!). Finally, Ray Milland is apparently finished off by his own collection of stuffed animal heads. Again, really.
*. Iris was originally supposed to die in a pool of quicksand, and you can still see this scene in the trailer. In the final cut, however, it was dropped because the producers thought it looked silly. Think about what that means in the context of a film like this.
*. Why does the phone ring at the end? Were the frogs on the line?
*. Stuart seemed to be doing a pretty good job wrasslin’ that ‘gator. He had its back pretty secure anyway (and you can see that its jaws were actually taped shut). So how did he get killed?
*. Is there an award for decent actors who wind up appearing in such awful movies? If so, I nominate Ray Milland. Was he embarrassed? Bored? I vote for dejected.
*. I’m not sure that the best way to get a snake down off your dining room chandelier is to shoot it with a pistol.
*. Hands up everyone who recognized Sam Elliott without his moustache! I know I didn’t.
*. A good bad movie? To each their own. It has a few silly moments, like the death of Michael by killer moss, but most of the time it’s pretty dull. The nature cutaways, especially to the lazy toads and frogs, are repetitive and pointless. A really great bad movie would have made more out of the ’70s-Southern Gothic disjunction, with Big Daddy Crocker playing off against his sideburned and swinging grandkids. Alas, it was not to be.