Horrortoberfest 2014: Day 5 – Frogs (1972)

frogs poster

How did this happen? How have I found myself back again in the clutches of a shitty horror movie from the 70s? Hadn’t I learned my lesson from Barracuda? “But this one is about evil, killer frogs”, I thought. “Surely, this has to be campy and fun or at the very least amusing in how forced the premise is.” Oh, me from several hours ago, you were so innocent back then. Life was a carefree wonderland of joy and the dark times were behind you. Now look at you. Who would have you now? WHO WOULD HAVE YOU NOW?!

So Frogs is a movie that follows a rich family having a get together on an island in the middle of a swamp because that’s where rich people like to live. Ostensibly our hero this time around is a photographer taking pictures for an article about pollution. If the whole pollution turning animals into killers sounds like it is the plot of pretty much every killer animal movie ever, then you’ve been reading this week’s reviews. Surprise! Pollution will be mentioned precisely once more and has essentially nothing to do with what happens in the movie. Double surprise! The photographer is a young Sam Elliot. Poor bastard.

Since the pollution angle is brought up and then immediately forgotten, we get another theory later on as to what is happening. Nature is angry (about pollution?) and is rising up to take out the interlopers. This is important that they put in that line because I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Frogs don’t actually kill anyone in this movie. At least on screen. They are constantly shown and talked about in the movie but they don’t actually do anything. The characters are harassed and killed by a shit load of other things, actually. In order they are: snakes, spiders, plants, lizards, snakes, alligators, birds, snakes, a fucking turtle for god’s sake, snakes, and in the final scene of the film, frogs. The frogs aren’t shown killing the guy, though. He just falls down and they jump on him (not menacingly or anything just like a frog jumping on something) and then it cuts to the outside of the house and the lights go out.

In case you were wondering if this movie was as boring as Barracuda, and even if you weren’t, I’m going to tell you all about the worst offenders in this movie. They include the opening scene being 5 and a half minutes of quiet while Sam Elliot takes pictures of the swamp while in a canoe. While they find a dead body at one point, it isn’t until about 45 minutes into the movie that we actually have someone die on screen. I’d say for a movie that has an hour and a half runtime, at least a third of that is taken up with shots taken from a Florida nature documentary with several of the snake shots being used two or three times. The other two thirds of the movie is mostly rich white folk being catty and occasionally one of them dies. There are three black people in the movie and the high point was when all three of them were like “You white folks are stupid. We are leaving. Peace out.” Unfortunately, they probably died but it isn’t explicitly stated.

This movie gets the coveted 1 out of 5 award that I normally reserve for the worst of the worst. It wasn’t actually that bad. Hell, it probably deserves a 1.5. However, you have a movie that sells itself as being about killer Frogs and there is literally no frog death in the movie. It’s like having a Friday the 13th movie where Jason just sits around watching somebody else kill some teens.

Favorite thing in the movie: Realizing about halfway through that HOLY SHIT that is Sam Elliot.


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