Frogs (1972)

MARCH 31, 2009


If you watch a horror movie called Frogs, and the frogs don’t actually provide any of the horror, does it make a sound? Or, I guess, a visual imprint? Wait, I guess movies have sound too, so... wait...

Look, it’s fucking dumb to name a movie Frogs when the frogs don’t kill anyone. All I'm saying.

I don’t blame our amphibian ancestors though. Frogs are pretty creepy (I am afraid of pretty much any water-dwelling creature though, including if not especially fish), but they don’t really have any sort of attack power I can discern. Do they even have teeth? They got those giant tongues, but unless the frog itself is giant (which these frogs are not, they’re merely “slightly bigger than normal”), I can’t see the tongue causing much damage to someone.

So does the film have a complete lack of kills? Quite the opposite - the movie actually has a higher body count than I expected. As I pointed out in the Home, Sweet Home review, you don’t have horror movies centered on family gatherings all that often, because that means you are wiping out someone’s entire family instead of their friends and neighbors. And 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. Maybe that’s why the movie was named after them? The producers felt bad for not letting them in on any of the carnage?

In fact, the frogs are so unthreatening that a little kid actually casually walks by a few on the porch during the “escape” that serves as the “that was it?” climax of the movie. No theatrics like waving a torch in their direction or anything, he and the others just sort of mosey on by while the damn things sit there doing nothing, much as they did for the 80 minutes before.

And without an actual villain, the movie has no climax either. Like Twister, the movie ends when whatever scene is occurring around the 90 minute mark has reached its logical conclusion and everyone calls it a day. The big finale goes down like this: the hero (a young Sam Elliott!) clubs a snake, hands a kid a shotgun, and then they all get into a car with a good Samaritan who is in no way puzzled as to why a shirtless man with a shotgun and a trio of obviously upset women and children doesn’t care to explain what happened or where his car is. Awesome.

Another hilarious thing about the movie is that everyone calls the old guy “Grandpa”. Either there’s some weird incestuous shit going on, or the family has skipped a generation. He’s also a wonderfully horrible old man; he hardly cares when his grandchildren are killed, and also shoots a snake hanging over the dinner table before ordering everyone to sit down and eat, without bothering to have his black sla-, er, servant clean up the snake guts first. He’s also a selfish ol’ bastard - the family has gotten together for a week to celebrate four birthdays, but he repeatedly refers to “his” birthday being ruined or whatever. Spread the joy, asshole.

And this is supposed to be scary, but I just found it kind of heartbreaking:

Let him in! He obviously won’t fucking do anything.

What say you?

And now, Horror Movie A Day and Happy Hour Comics would like to present the newest in an ongoing series of HMAD-inspired comic strips. I hope you enjoy!! (Click to enlarge)


  1. I saw this film when it came out (on a double bill with THE CONQUEROR WORM) and I remember being disappointed that the frogs don't actually kill anyone.

    On the other hand, I like the silly implication that they are acting as "general," directing the mayhem perpetrated by the other animals.

  2. Haha, I remember getting this movie for $1 at a garage sale a good few years back. It's so ridiculous, it's awesome. The death of the lady who runs into the moss and then gets attacked by myriads of snakes and leeches is probably the greatest death scene ever created. Damn I need to watch this again.

  3. Frogs rules! I can't get anyone to appreciate it with me! They just don't get it!

  4. That was a hilarious review- trying to get my sissy sisters to watch it with me, they are all 'afraid' it will be scary or something.......I'm getting another copy just in case I need a back up- my favorite bad movie!

  5. As I recall, one of Andy Warhol's favorite horror movies.

  6. Trailer int scary. Nothing bout this film is scary so why call it a horror. Its a comedy lol!!!
    Frogs dont do awt. Snakes just rule cos they kill both the peeple. As for the old man and the heart attack...yeah he justt had frog-phobia

  7. Was it really one of Andy Warhols fav's? I lov e this movie. Alwyas have. I enjoyed this review as well. Bravo!

  8. I would love to see a remake of this movie in the horror/comedy genre w/o all the FX movies have now. It could spawn dozen more "ECO" films! How about killer cocroaches that electracute you!! ( Oh, that movie was already made, I think)

  9. And here I thought it was going to be Aristophanes


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