The 70′s movie era was filled with two major movie genres: The disaster film and nature run amok. Certainly there were some classics to come out of these two including Airport, Earthquake, a couple of great killer bee films. Then there is absolute junk like Frogs.
A millionaire (Ray Milland) living on his own private island invites his entire family over for his birthday bash. Also brought into the mix, ironically enough, is an ecologist (Sam Elliot). Seems this greedy old man has ticked off every living thing on his island by countless poisonings and hunting sprees. Now it’s nature’s turn. The frogs command such critters as spiders, snakes, crabs, gators, geckos, monitors, anoles, birds, and other frogs in their quest for revenge.
The main problem here, beyond the useless sub-plots revolving around the human players, is that the spiders, snakes, crabs, gators, geckos, monitors, anoles, birds, and frogs are hardly scary. Anyone with a brain knows that a 6-inch anole is a hardly a threat. The ways in which the family is slowly picked off are absolutely ludicrous (tarantulas shoot and cover a guy in moss….seriously) and hardly effective as horror movie deaths should be. Even stupider, only one guy is actually killed by the frogs and I’m still lost as to how they pulled it off. They just walk all over him and he dies. This is awful film making at its lowest and hard to watch for even fans of bad movies. (* out of *****)
Surprisingly, the picture quality here is mostly excellent. Presented in 1.85:1 on one side of the disc and pan & scam on the other, this is a nice transfer. All the spiders, snakes, crabs, gators, geckos, monitors, anoles, birds, and frogs can be viewed in outstanding detail. Some of the darker scenes (especially the finale) look just plain awful, but most of the film takes place during the day. Given the age, the minor scratches and spots on the film are acceptable and those daytime scenes are just amazing for a film from 1972. They did a great job on a movie that didn’t deserve it. (****)
The only sound options are English and Spanish mono. Most of the film is clear and easy to understand. Listening to the sounds of the spiders, snakes, crabs, gators, geckos, monitors, anoles, birds, and frogs is no problem. Dialogue is only a little scratchy at times and never hard to understand. Serviceable and it does what it’s supposed to, that’s exactly what should be expected. (***)
The only extra is the original trailer, shown in full screen. There are a few alternate scenes in the trailer giving fans extra looks at the spiders, snakes, crabs, gators, geckos, monitors, anoles, birds, and frogs. Note that the French subtitles defaulted on my player, though I’m still not sure why. (*)
If cheesy, non-horror movies are your thing, then you might find some enjoyment here. There are some nice shots of spiders, snakes, crabs, gators, geckos, monitors, anoles, birds, and lost of frogs so animal buffs may find the photography interesting. Unfortunately, wrapped around all the spiders, snakes, crabs, gators, geckos, monitors, anoles, birds, and frogs is a terrible, useless script. Mix that with horrible acting, and all you’ve got is a clunker with a nice transfer.
Originally posted at Breaking Windows.