Frogs (1972)

“It seems like everyone in our family is hung up on frogs.”

Synopsis:
An ecologically-minded photographer (Sam Elliott) working on an island is invited by a beautiful young woman (Joan Van Ark) to join in a celebration presided over by her wealthy uncle (Ray Milland) — but affairs quickly become deadly as her relatives are killed off by various animals and plants on the estate.

Genres:

Review:
Roughly ten years after starring in Roger Corman’s under-rated sci-fi thriller X: The Man With X-Ray Eyes (1963), Ray Milland was cast as the aging baddie in this silly low-budget eco-horror flick, intended to subtly link his character’s indiscriminate use of fauna-killing poison with justifiable collective homicide by clans of vicious geckos, tarantulas, lizards, turtles, leeches, and — naturally — frogs. There’s a weak environmental “lesson” to be had in here somewhere, I suppose, but really it’s all just an excuse to kill off the unlikable, one-dimensional characters one by one until only a few worthy protagonists are left standing. The screenplay is punctuated by repetitious footage of “menacing” croaking frogs, who apparently are orchestrating the murders through some kind of telepathy (or perhaps are simply ominous portents of doom). Unfortunately, while there’s clearly potential for a storyline about “man versus nature” to go somewhere interesting and chilling (think Hitchcock’s The Birds), Frogs‘ low budget and overall lack of creativity relegate it to simply a forgettable side note in ’70s horror.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • (Unintentionally?) humorous use of reptilian/amphibian footage for “shock and thrills”

Must See?
No; you can feel free to skip this one unless you’re curious to see a young, buff Sam Elliott without his trademark bushy mustache.

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One Response to “Frogs (1972)”

  1. Not a must.

    A rather ponderous B-movie. Yes, man vs. nature afoot, and nature is pissed. A bit like ‘Cat On a Hot Tin Roof’ goes fright flick (with a smidgen of Agatha Christie). A dependable Ray Milland (more or less as ‘Big Daddy’) gives it some weight.

    Ludicrous – but I think the reptiles are photographed with some cleverness. Nice self-parody joke at the end of the closing credits.

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