Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Frogs (1972)

Director: George McCowan

Writers: Robert Hutchinson, Robert Blees

Composer: Les Baxter

Starring: Ray Milland, Sam Elliott, Joan Van Ark, Adam Roarke, Judy Pace, Lynn Borden, Mae Mercer, David Gilliam, Nicholas Cortland, George Skaff, Lance Taylor Sr., Hollis Irving, Dale Willingham, Hal Hodges, Carolyn Fitzsimmons, Robert Sanders

More info: IMDb

Tagline:  If YOU Are Squeamish Stay Home!!!

Plot:  Jason Crockett is an aging, grumpy, physically disabled millionaire who invites his family to his island estate for his birthday celebration. Pickett Smith is a free-lance photographer who is doing a pollution layout for an ecology magazine. Jason Crockett hates nature, poisoning anything that crawls on his property. On the night of his birthday the frogs and other members of nature begin to pay Crockett back.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

Just looking at the poster tells you a little something even though it's A) not funny and B) not about giant frogs that eat people (I would LOVE to see that movie).  It's a standard nature-turning-against-man picture but the appeal is seeing a young (almost 30) Sam Elliott in his first feature starring role and Ray Milland easily playing a right dickheaded grumpy old man.  I've never seen anything less than solid from Milland.  I have so much respect for that guy for winning an Oscar in '45 and still putting in great work in low budget horror movies.  What a class act!  The score is neat.  It's more of an electronic manipulation of insect and animal sounds.  Often it's just an ambiance and it works beautifully.  It was filmed about 90 minutes from my town and it feels so inviting.  I love the soundscape and the location.  This picture certainly has the atmosphere.   The kills are a mixed bag and I'm not sure if it was due to the budget or personnel but it's not like it hurts the picture.  Budget restrictions don't bother me when there's talent in front of and/or behind the camera.  I can't fault anyone for making a movie if their heart's in it.  Yeah, it would've been cooler if the wildlife really cut loose on these people and not just the mean people died.  I was hoping for a higher body count of innocents.  Milland's final moment is pretty weak but it's still a pretty fun flick.  This would have been great to experience at a late night drive-in theater.  The MGM DVD has a nice anamorphic widescreen print with the sole extra in the theatrical trailer in fullscreen.

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