‘A tidal wave of slithering, slimy horror devouring, destroying all in its path!’
Frogs is a 1972 American ecological horror film directed by George McCowan from a screenplay written by Robert Hutchison and Robert Blees. The soundtrack score was provided by Les Baxter.
The film falls into the “eco-horror” category since it tells the story of an upper-class US Southern family that is attacked by several different animal species, including snakes, birds and lizards. Nature, the movie suggests, may be justified in exacting revenge on this family because of its patriarch’s abuse of the local ecology.
Pickett Smith (Sam Elliott) takes photographs of various animals from around the Crockett family’s estate. After Clint (Adam Roarke) accidentally tips Smith’s canoe over, he and his sister Karen (Joan Van Ark) escort Smith to the family mansion where he meets the entire Crockett family. Jason (Ray Milland) intends on spending the next day enjoying both the 4th of July and his own birthday celebrations uninterrupted.
Due to the mutual dislike of the fauna around the mansion, Jason has sent a man called Grover to spray pesticide in order to get rid of the amphibians. Pickett discovers Grover’s corpse covered in snake bites. Despite this warning, Jason continues with his celebrations the next day, unaware that the frogs and other animals plan to get revenge for the constant pollution around the area…
“Although its premise appears somewhat ridiculous, Frogs is played completely straight and is enjoyable and disturbing at the same time. Maybe borrowing a bit from Night of the Living Dead, the cast members spend a lot of time bickering and getting on each other’s nerves, while the slimy creatures become more and more overwhelming.” DVD Drive-In
” …each person meets their demise at the hands of lizards, snakes, spiders (those aren’t even amphibious!), alligators, turtles, birds (again – fit the theme!), and crabs. Apparently, there was a butterfly kill at one point (!!!) but it was deleted and replaced with snakes, giving them TWO kills in the movie. The frogs sort of get in the final kill, but they simply ribbit until the old guy has a heart attack, so that doesn’t count.” Horror Movie a Day
‘Most shocking, Frogs is a very well directed film, you really feel like you’re in the swamps with this family and are under attack. At times when watching and seeing the murky ponds and scummy puddles I was reminded of my fishing days and that sour, ugly smell that always seemed to be present on the shores of the river.’ Oh, the Horror!
” … few people will actually feel frightened by this film, although some might squint and squirm. It’s a likeable film, generally competent all around (though never distinguished), and it makes a reasonable moral point … it should be noted that the frogs themselves do little or no attacking; instead they inspire (or command?) the snakes, lizards, gators, spiders, birds, crabs, and even some plants to do the attacking for them.” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers
“If you want to watch films of nature getting back at mankind for all of the wrongs we have committed, I would recommend watch Long Weekend or at the very least Day of the Animals (by Grizzly director William Girdler) because those are better films than this.” Monster Crap
” … the film degenerates rapidly into a series of highly improbable animal attacks. At one point, the preposterous screenplay even has the audacity to suggest that frogs have cut the phone lines at Ray Milland’s mansion! The attacks are also poorly integrated into the action, possible only because each of the characters (or victims) persists in stupidly venturing off alone.” John Kenneth Muir, Horror Films of the 1970s
“So yes, the story is silly and hardly ever scary, but it’s praiseworthy how director George McCowan attempts to build up an atmosphere of tension. He simply zooms in on the frogs and puts the emphasis on their stoic eyes and rhythmic croaking, so even though they’re just everyday frogs, they look extremely ominous and psychopathic.” Sven Soetemans, When Animals Attack, Moonlight Creek Publishing, 2016
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