Review : Frogs (1972)

Frogs, directed by George McCowan and released in 1972, is a killer animal flick attempting to deliver a message in defense of the environment. The film takes place on a Florida island. Picket Smith, a nature photographer, is canoeing while taking pictures of the effects of pollution on the environment. While on the water, his boat is tipped over by a young man, Clint Crockett. To apologize, he takes Pickett Smith to the family estate and offers dry clothes and food. While there, the photographer soon finds out nature is fighting back pollution and especially the Crockett family, who has little respect for the environment.

As silly as the story first appears, the film does try to deliver a strong message in favor of the environment : nature should be cherished and not abused. The film doesn’t do a particularly good job at delivering this message but it at least gives a deeper meaning to the killings. Unfortunately, the killings are my biggest issue with the film. When you watch a film about killer animals, entitled Frogs, you have every right to expect frogs to perform the killings. Never have I watched a film with such a misleading title. A variety of animals participate in the killing of the Crockett family : spiders, snakes, alligators and even a turtle. Never does a frog ever kill anyone…or even does anything besides observing the killings. The frogs are almost like the mob of the forest : they orchestrate the crimes while never actually participating. This was, to say the least, extremely disappointing.

The majority (if not all) the death scenes are hilariously bad. They consist in a character overacting, screaming and running with the addition of animal footage (most likely stock footage) which never matches the action. Every time the animal footage is shown, it is so out of touch with the rest of the scene that it makes absolutely no sense. No effort was put into making those scenes appear slightly plausible (even the backgrounds never match). One fight scene in particular needs to be pointed out : the alligator scene. I am not sure if the man was fighting the alligator or hugging it or dancing with it. It is horrendous to the point where you will laugh hysterically. Overall, the production value is extremely low.

Frogs, with its misleading title and poorly-made killing scenes, falls in the category of films you might enjoy precisely because it is quite bad. I cannot recommend this awful attempt at a killer animals flick but if you want a good laugh, a lot of scenes will surely deliver !


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