Frogs (1972) Poster


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Frogs on the warpath.
gridoon20 November 2002
If this movie ultimately fails to be scary (and it does), it's not because the filmmakers didn't try; they did their darnedest to make those frogs look as menacing as possible. But it was all for naught, because frogs are fundamentally un-vicious creatures and, well, they cannot be trained to look mean. They don't care about us annoying humans! They just want to hop around! So this movie can't hold a candle to, say, "The Birds". That doesn't mean it's not enjoyable though - it is, in a schlocky way. It's colorful, it's beautifully photographed, and Sam Elliott is rather cool, as 70s leading men go. (**1/2)
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A real skin-crawler!!
AngryChair1 October 2005
Despite a seemingly hokey premise, Frogs is one of the more memorable and effective entries in the nature-revenge genre.

Family living in Florida's Okefenokee Swamp have been exterminating the local wild life, now it seems that the creatures are all out to kill them!

Frogs is a movie that never fails to be sweat-inducing, especially to those who don't like reptiles! All manner of swamp wild life is used for this film - snakes, spiders, gators, lizards, heck even a turtle! So with all these critters coming for our unsuspecting human characters there's plenty of tension to be had! Director McCowan makes good use of the boggy setting and gives it an atmospheric feeling of certain doom! The eerie score also helps as well.

The films cast is good. Veteran Ray Milland is perfect as the Crockett family's stubborn elder. Young, attractive Sam Elliot is decent as a nature photographer who happens on the scene. Joan Van Ark is good as Elliot's love interest and Adam Roarke as her no-account brother. The supporting cast is also on cue.

While Frogs may be a B thriller that's best taken tongue-in-cheek, it's solidly done and is sure to cause a few chills!

*** out of ****
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It Won't Make You Croak
g_man073028 July 2004
Statistically, this movie was a hit. Made for $200k, it grossed over $2 mill in the US alone. This was the secret of success for American International Pictures. Keep the budgets low, and the base of horror fans will show up and you'll make a profit. 1972 was the year for horror. A large number of films catered to the horror fan, many were cheaply made. But they all made a profit. Frogs is an example of a movie poster created before the movie was filmed. Frogs don't kill anyone in the film, but they made a cool poster. So they were thrown into the mix of alligators, lizards, snapping turtles, snakes, spiders, etc. Since many of these creatures make people queazy, it must have seemed like a slam dunk to film- fearmakers. However, the animal performers are less than convincing. Especially the alligator, where producers sped up the film to make him look like he's moving quickly. The acting is as good as can be expected for this type of film. Joan Van Ark and Sam Elliot debut here (Van Ark had done a soap). Milland is good as the cranky old rich stereotype. If you're looking for a "tame" horror picture to keep the kids interested, this might be it. For adults, it's value is mainly nostalgic.
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Effective despite premise and budget
DC Flim29 March 2000
While it's pretty obvious that this film was done on a low budget (i.e. the same shots are repeated over and over and over) this is a pretty effective horror movie and deserves a look. The death scenes are well executed (and the end is quite chilling), the music is appropriate (it's sounds almost like an "angry swamp"), and the locations are put to good use. It's definitely a b-movie and is not at all "great cinema", but it's still a minor classic and should have some kind of cult status.
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Nature against Mankind – The Payback
Claudio Carvalho20 November 2012
The free-lance photographer Pickett Smith (Sam Elliott) is taking pictures of the pollution in a swamp in Florida for a magazine of ecology in his canoe. Out of the blue, he is hit by a motor boat piloted by Clint Crockett (Adam Roarke) and his sister Karen Crockett (Joan Van Ark) and capsizes.

Clint and Karen invite Pickett for the party in the private island of their grumpy grandfather Jason Crockett (Ray Milland), an old fashioned disabled patriarch that enjoys celebrating his birthday on the 4th July with his family.

Pickett realizes that the island is infested of frogs and reptiles and Jason has ordered his caretaker to poison his real estate to get rid of the amphibians and creepy crawlies. But soon Picket realizes that they are living the payback of nature against mankind.

The trash "Frogs" is probably one of the first movies to defend the ecology and absolutely ahead of the time. This is the first feature of Sam Elliot, who acts with the veteran Ray Milland. The story is funny and never scares but entertains. My vote is five.

Title (Brazil): "A Invasão das Rãs" ("The Frogs'Invasion")
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Better think twice before you ever eat frog legs again...
Coventry31 January 2006
Even though the film can never really top the brilliance of its own tagline ('Today the pond! Tomorrow the world!'), "Frogs" is a hugely entertaining and surprisingly well-made ecological horror film. These typical "creature features" were guaranteed hits back in the 70's and pretty much every animal species got turned into ravenous monsters enthusiast horror filmmakers, even the most unlikely ones like worms ("Squirm") and rabbits ("Night of the Lepus"). In this film, the frogs aren't just vicious killers but also strategic army generals that mobilize a whole island's ecosystem to commit nasty murders! The frogs are merely supervising whilst humans are being killed off by spiders, lizards, snakes, alligators and – oh yes – even a turtle! Pickett Smith is a freelance photographer who ends up at the private island home of obnoxious industrialist Jason Crockett during his annual 4th of July/birthday celebration. Also present are a dangerously increasing amount of frogs that no longer put up with the pollution and pesticides on the island and they plan a large-scaled attack on the Crockett family. "Ten Little Indians"-style, all the island's residents are imaginatively killed by ill-natured critters. The story naturally is silly and hardly ever scary, yet it's praiseworthy how director George McGowan attempts to build up an atmosphere of tension. Much like Hitchcock did in "The Birds" (only better), McGowan simply zooms in on the frogs and puts the emphasis on their eerie croaking. So, even though they're simple frogs they look a bit ominous! The best aspect of the film unquestionably is Mario Tosi's colorful camera-work that shows the beautiful environment from many creative viewpoints. The young Sam Elliot is quite good in his heroic role but the shows is obviously stolen by Ray Milland as the grumpy and bossy millionaire who thinks he can afford himself everything. The rest of the cast is quite wooden and their gruesome animal-inflicted deaths actually come as a relief. "Frogs" stands for great campy fun, not a single dull moment and a high body count! Damn, the 70's were cool.
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About what you'd expect....
MartinHafer20 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Think about it...this movie is supposed to be about an outbreak of killer frogs. So is it any surprise that the movie is a laughably bad film? They weren't exactly trying to make a remake of Romeo and Juliet here! One of the biggest problems I initially saw (aside from the horrible over-acting of Ray Milland and the dumb plot) was that despite the title, the film has very few frogs. Most of the killer animals were actually toads, lizards, tarantulas, snakes, birds and alligators. Aside from gators and a few of the snakes, which were poisonous, it just seemed ludicrous seeing these totally harmless creatures supposedly on a mad killing spree--though none of them actually did a whole lot other than just hop scamper about--after all, they are just cute little critters.

Some of my favorite stupid deaths in the film was one where a guy seemed to be killed by Spanish moss and tarantulas. Aside from a few chigger bites, I can't see how Spanish moss could pose any health problem and a tarantula bite is about as bad as a bee sting! Another had a man killed by bottles of various poisons which cute little lizards pushed off the shelves in a nicely choreographed scene (though none of the reptiles were killed--they just scurried about the dead man's body). Another scene featured a man getting bitten and dying from a rattlesnake bite in less than 3 seconds. And my favorite was when the guy wrestled with a gator--and if you looked closely, you could see that the animal's jaws were taped shut!

From my description, you'd probably assume this was a terrible film--and it is. However, like many of the animals running amok films of the 50s, 60s and 70s, it is also strangely watchable because it is so silly. Many won't enjoy this campy a film, but bad film lovers will have a ball. If you like this wretched 70s film, also try EMPIRE OF THE ANTS (which is actually worse than FROGS) and NIGHT OF THE LEPUS (about killer bunnies). Don't say I didn't warn you!
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Quite creepy surprisingly!
pictomancer5 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I remember seeing 'Frogs' on some horror channel when I was about seven but I switched over after about ten minutes because it was so boring. Now that I'm much older, I've watched it all the way through and it's not as bad as I thought it was! First off, we have Sam Elliot as a nature photographer who's scouting around Ray Milland's island seeing a lot of dumped waste and rubbish everywhere. Milland's island itself is host to a large family who only care about their money it seems. But the frogs nearby are getting sick and tired of the pollution from the family and start getting their revenge. There are so many shots in the film of frogs just watching and croaking. It's almost as if they are telling every other animal on the island to kill any human they see and that's what happens! Once the first death begins, the deaths just keep on going until the end of the movie. We have tarantulas, lizards, almost every snake in existence, leeches, alligators, a snapping turtle, crabs, even birds and butterflies contribute a little bit. All of them killing everyone in their path, even the frogs get their own back on Milland at the end. It's not so much scary, but more squeamish and creepy, especially the bit with the tarantulas. It makes me shiver just thinking about it! But 'Frogs' does have its bad points too. Milland's character is a bit too unbelievable, after all of his family's deaths he still wants to celebrate his birthday. The first twenty minutes as I said before are devoid of anything remotely interesting.

A snapping turtle killing a human also seems pretty silly to me, although I found out afterwards that snapping turtles actually ARE perfectly capable of killing someone. When we see birds attack someone, it is unclear whether the people were killed or just ran away, but I assume that we are meant to think them dead as they dropped their bags and stuff. Also half the animals in this movie aren't probably even native to the area where it is filmed.

Despite its bad points, I really liked this film and it still delivers shocks albeit in small doses.
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Incredibly evocative and flavorful title sets up the viewer for what is to come.
Poseidon-311 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Almost a decade after seagulls and crows wreaked havoc on Tippi Hedren's coiffure in "The Birds" and just one year after "Willard" let his rats do the dirty work, this Nature vs. Man flick came along to continue the legacy (a legacy which would gain even more steam in the wake of "Jaws," with man thereafter having to fend off every beast and insect imaginable except for gnats!) Elliott plays a photojournalist, canoeing off an island owned by Milland, who is capsized by Milland's irresponsible grandson Roake. He is invited to Milland's mansion for a shower and some dry clothes just as an annual family celebration is taking place. The family is more commandeered to appear there by Milland rather than taking part out of pleasure, but they are present nonetheless. Before anyone can even cut the cake, a groundskeeper has been found dead from a snakebite and it isn't long before members of the family are being picked off, one by one, by snakes, spiders, iguanas, turtles(!) and pretty much everything EXCEPT frogs, which sort of watch and ribbit as the bodies pile up before staking their claim at the end. Top-billed Milland is wheelchair-bound here and barks his lines at the cast of lesser-knowns. He is appropriately steely, stubborn and unpleasant and not a little bit foolish! Elliott, near the start of his lengthy career, is hunky and appealing. His eye-poppingly revealing jeans belong in some sort of museum for erotic denim. Van Ark, also in one of her early roles, is fresh and pretty and compliments Elliott well, though her character is given precious little to do. Roarke, better known for playing tough bikers, lends a surprising and mystifying sense of homoerotica to his womanizing role. Borden plays his frustrated and complaining wife and is given one of the sillier scenes in the movie when she is "stuck" in some ankle-deep mud and gets assaulted by a giant turtle. Pace makes an impression as the model girlfriend of one of the grandsons. She's one of the few people who will give Milland what for. Irving is a memorably batty presence, traipsing off into the swamp after a rare butterfly. Others in the cast are basically on hand to croak at the opportune moment. There's an attempt here to suggest that Everglade animals finally had their fill of man's oppression and pollution and decided to retaliate. Elliott photographs endless debris over the opening credits to where one expects a teary Chief Dan George to drift by and bemoan the situation. This is rather briskly forgotten as the increasingly preposterous attacks and deaths begin to mount up. The situations of these encounters, paired with the amateurism in the acting, provide unintentional humor in ample quantities! Regardless of the fact that this is a rather shoddily-written and choppily-edited movie with some silly scenarios and, in some cases, really poor acting, it remains entertaining and compelling for most of its non-oppressive running time. Oddly, the trailer for the film shows many different takes than those which appear in the finished movie. One key scene in particular, involving quicksand/swamp water, only appears in the trailer and on the video case. The Nature vs. Man genre would continue to pop up throughout the 70's until Irwin Allen's massive bomb "The Swarm" slammed a temporary lid on the trend.
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