Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Frogs!

Well, I've done Killer Bees, Killer Snakes and Killer Dogs, so why not Frogs?
Frogs (1972) is a fun eco-horror piece from American International Pictures, and when you see the AIP logo, it's like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval of b-movies. 
A family has gathered to celebrate their patriarch's birthday at a plantation house near a Florida swamp.   Snakes, lizards, frogs, birds and insects beseige the family, taking them out one at a time.
But to me, it's like the weirdest version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof ever.
Ray Milland plays Jason Crockett, Big Daddy-esque patriarch.  His grandson Clint and Clint's wife Jenny are rather like Brick and Maggie, high school sports hero and cheerleader wife, both feeling the years beginning to add up.  Clint spends his afternoons drinking and his dialogue with an outsider to the occasion, Pickett Smith, a photographer whose boat Clint had overturned, while the two are drying off from having fallen in the lake could be seen as (as the kids say) slashy.  It helps that Pickett Smith is played by a young and shirtless Sam Elliott.
Milland is appropriately domineering and browbeating of his family, as good as Burl Ives or Rip Torn were as Big Daddy.

(After I'd written this, I did a google search- it seems I'm not the only one to see the similarity.)