Frogs, 1972, USA
“A shocker reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds” (Variety raved back in the day), this amphibious horror flick teeming with thousands of nasty-tempered creatures that are hopping mad — and murderous. Jumping with action, suspense, revenge and Southern Gothic charm, Frogs’ stars Ray Milland, Sam Elliot and Joan Van Ark are constantly a lily pad away from croaking!
So begins the back of my DVD description of Frogs, continuing with: Jason Crockett (Milland) is an aging, physically disabled millionaire who invites his family to his island estate for his birthday party. The old man is more than crotchety…he’s crazy! Hating nature, Crockett poisons anything that crawls on his property. But on the night of his shindig, it’s nature’s payback time, as thousands of frogs whip up every bug and slimy thing into a toxic frenzy until the entire environment goes environ-mental.
See what they did, there?
Also on the DVD back cover, some fun facts, which are worth noting:
- Many of the 500 Florida frogs and 100 giant South American toads (read Cane/Marine toads)purchased for use in the film escaped during production. Okay, so this movie crew may be partly responsible for spreading a plague of Marine toads, an invasive species, into the FLA area. Cool.
- In Andy Warhol’s Interview, writer/satirist Fran Lebowitz called Frogs “the best bad movie I have ever seen in my life.” Totally valid. This is a truly fun B-movie. Leaps from the frogs and toads, and in its logic, but it’s still highly watchable.
- The Florida Holiday Inn, used by the production crew, would not allow the deadly snakes, poisonous spiders and black scorpions into the hotel. Go figure. I wonder if they allowed non-venomous pets?
This is eco-horror shlock at its finest. And this is a pretty amazing cast : Sam Elliott, Joan Van Ark, Adam Roarke and the ever irascible Ray Milland — he is at his grouchiest here (personally I find him grouchy in every one of his roles). If you love toads as much as I do (the bulk of the amphibians "swamping" the people of this little island are actually toads — Cane toads, maybe some Rococo and perhaps some smaller species, too), you will love watching them cover the isle in a plague of themselves! Loads of other reptiles to ogle, too, as they get their sweet, sweet revenge on humanity.