A 1970s B-movie horror film about evil amphibians starring Sam Elliot sounds like everybody’s dream, doesn’t it?
Well, let me introduce you to Frogs, a “Hitchcock-inspired” animal horror that’s full of toads playing frogs, crotchety old wheelchair-bound men shooting snakes of chandeliers, and full denim outfits.
The two big delights of Frogs are the increasingly bizarre deaths and the incredibly 70s costumes. Sam Elliot’s Pickett Smith wears full denim (the fabric choice of a hero!), Adam Roarke as “Clint” (credited with said speech marks on the DVD, as if Clint’s true identity is a mystery known only to the frogs) looks incredibly groovy, but the greatest of all is Michael. Clad in skin tight bright red trousers, Michael also gets one of the best death scenes ever committed to film. In the greenhouse, a smiley looking gecko roams the shelves, and knocks over a bottle clearly labelled “POISON” for the viewer while Michael is inside. Then, as Michael slowly chokes to death, the camera cuts back to the gecko, mouth open in a mocking, sadistic grin. It is the greatest acting from a reptile you are likely to ever see
Surprisingly, Frogs does defy convention. Instead of the tried and tested “black guy dies first” formula, some of the film’s only survivors are Crockett’s waddling black butler Charles and his family. Meanwhile, the rich white folks continue to die in increasingly ludicrous ways. Was this an attempt at social commentary? Probably not.
So why should you watch Frogs? In short, it’s brilliant. Like Birdemic, it is exactly what happens when a director tries to take something completely not scary and turn it into sheer terror. Unless you’re a fly, though, it’s impossible to do that with frogs. But you have to admire the enthusiasm and dedication with which the director and script makes the attempt. Plus, Sam Elliot in full denim, surely that’s everybody’s fantasy?