Trog (1970)

[Note: The following review is of a non-Peary title; click here to read more.]

“I have to see it — Malcolm, I must go into that cave before the police!”

Trog Poster2

Synopsis:
An anthropologist (Joan Crawford) discovers a “missing link” troglodyte (Joe Cornelius) living deep inside a cave, and tries her best to humanize him. Meanwhile, her efforts are sabotaged by an evil land developer (Michael Gough) who wants nothing more than to obliterate Trog.

Genres:

  • Joan Crawford Films
  • Primates
  • Science Fiction
  • Scientists

Review:
While Peary lists 1967’s Berserk! — Joan Crawford’s tepid next-to-last picture — in the back of his book as “must see”, for some reason he fails to include its infinitely more notorious counterpart, Trog: a film so hideous it purportedly sent Joan herself scurrying away from Hollywood for good (“If I weren’t a Christian Scientist, and I saw Trog advertised on a marquee across the street, I think I’d contemplate suicide”, she declared). Indeed, Trog is one of the ultimate “bad movies” — a film so bad it’s campily good, with a nonsensical “scientific” basis, awful low-budget effects, and a cliched storyline. It’s Joan’s game participation which makes it worth a look; as always, she’s a consummately earnest and classy actress, voicing her lines like she’s in a high-brow melodrama rather than a Z-grade primate flick; seeing her interact with Trog is priceless, and makes up for the rest of this truly lousy pic.

P.S. Joan’s performance in Trog is so beloved that San Francisco’s LGBT Theatre Rhino produced a theatrical parody of the film last year…

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • It’s all about Joan, giving it her damndest
    Trog Joan Gun
    Trog Joan Doll
    Trog Joan Mask
  • Laughably awful special effects and make-up
    Trog Joan Makeup
  • Hilariously cliched dialogue (especially as voiced by Joan): “Malcolm, get me my hypo-gun — quickly!”

Must See?
Yes, simply to see Joan Crawford in her final flick.

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