Monster of the Day #1090

So the Metalstorm finally let up (get it?), and we moved onto this classic enviro-horror pic. It starred (of course) Ray Milland in fully grouchy mode and a young Sam Eliot–who never looks right without his mustache–as folks at a remote Florida vacation house threatened by just about all animals and bugs. Actually, the frogs themselves never kill anyone directly, but they are the subject of CONSTANT establishing shots and given the title and all, I guess must be viewed as the field marshals of Nature’s Revolution or somesuch. Because of the traditional folklore view of frogs as malign schemers, I suppose.

It’s interesting how one piece of advertising art can carry a film, and this was a pretty iconic image back in the day. It’s deceptive, or rather metaphorical, I guess. I’d like to see that movie, though. Sadly, The Maze is probably the closest we’ll ever come. Anyway, kudos to however came up with this.

  • Ericb

    I remember the tagline from that poster: “Today the pond, tomorrow the world!”
    I so wanted to see this when I saw the poster but my mom thought it would be too scary for me. She actually did me a favor. It wouldn’t be until I was an adult that my high expectations were crushed.

  • A childhood favorite!

  • Gamera977

    Well, the poster does remind me of the Dungeons & Dragons game where a giant frog ate my Kender (sorta like a Hobbit but cooler). Sucks being a little person sometimes…

  • Beckoning Chasm

    Of course, they did use the title image in the film…after the end credits, as I recall.

    “Frogs” is one of those ’70s films that just constantly shouts “’70s!”

  • Flangepart

    the field marshals of Nature’s Revolution
    Pretty much how MAD pegged it in their parody.

    Poster LIED to us. That lil toon at the end just rubbed our faces in it.

  • Gamera977

    A toad did pee on me once, not sure I’d consider it an ‘attack’ though.

  • Which reminds me of an old Gamebook called Grey Star the Wizard in which the hero and companion are beset by giant frog creatures. Three guess what happened to the companion, and at least one of them ought to be “He croaked.”

    Actually, come to think of it, so does the hero. Every time I tried replaying the game, that is.

  • Flangepart

    Ah-hah! Biochem warfare! Those subtle anphibians…

  • bgbear_rnh

    Just another lost weekend for Ray Milland.

  • Gamera977

    Lol, it might have been hallucinogenic! No idea since I washed it off ASAP.

  • Eric Hinkle

    “Because of the traditional folklore view of frogs as malign schemers, I suppose.”

    Well, if we go with the frog-like Deep Ones of Innsmouth… They were rather malign schemers.

    And I suppose we don’t get any giant frogs eating people in the film, do we?

  • We don’t even get giant frogs.

  • GalaxyJane

    I was pretty bummed that they cut the film off part way the credits, so we didn’t even get the joy of seeing the little cartoon frog recreate the poster art.

  • LT_Harper

    William Girdler pretty much remade or actually ripped off this film when he made DAY OF THE ANIMALS. However, Day was a much better film than this. Which isn’t saying much I guess. But imo, Girdler was one of the few exploitation filmmakers that actually got better with each film. If you watch all his films in chronological order you’ll see the growth he was making. Made his untimely death an even bigger tragedy.

  • Rock Baker

    Pop had a one sheet for this when I was a kid, and it is indeed an iconic image. The movie itself is rather drab (a real product of it’s time) but that poster was dynamite.

  • Chris Metzinger

    As a kid, I always got this mixed up with the 1991 made-for-tv family movie with Paul Williams, so this poster seemed quite baffling…

  • Ken_Begg

    That’s true, its in a little animated teaser after the credit. The kids running B-Fest (sorry, youngsters, I’m 50 now, and if you’re in college you’re a kid) did a great job, but they stopped the DVDs before the very end sometimes, so we missed this bit.

  • Ken_Begg

    Yes, Galaxy Jane brought Abby, which I’d never seen, and I was thinking that exact thing. The Manitou is so fun and such a major step forward, it’s tragic that he died right after that. Of course, Michael Reeves died young too, but his films are so unremittingly bleak that his early death seemed a forgone conclusion.

  • Eric Hinkle

    Wow, what a cheat.

  • The Rev.

    We barely get any frogs, period. It’s almost all cane toads. (Three guesses how filming with those worked out for the local environment…ironically enough.)
    This is a very dull movie; Ray Milland and the occasional attack barely manage to liven it up. The ‘gator attack and the tarantula assault are easily the best part; the former because they actually got someone to wrestle the ‘gator, the latter because it’s one of the most ridiculous things I’ve seen.

  • David Fullam

    Cat on a Hot Tin Roof meets the animals fight back genre.

  • Eric Hinkle

    “the tarantula assault are easily the best part… the latter because it’s one
    of the most ridiculous things I’ve seen.”

    As dumb as the lady shooting a tarantula off her hand with a revolver in KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS?

  • Rock Baker

    I don’t know, that was a pretty realistic depiction of human panic. It’s an exceptionally well-written film, KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS.

  • Eric Hinkle

    Compared to some others, yes,, though that scene still leaves me boggled. As does the whole ‘everything covered in webs’ at the end (tarantulas aren’t web builders) and the nasty fact that, in a movie made to protest the reckless killing of unlovely animals, they really did kill nearly all the tarantulas they used in it.

  • Rock Baker

    Actually, much to my disappointment, they didn’t kill any live spiders while making the movie. Watch it closely and you’ll see how sharply it was edited. Any spider that got smashed was a goo-filled replica. Most every tarantula used in the film was a pet donated to the production by their owners. None of the creepy little monsters got harmed during the filming.

  • Eric Hinkle

    Seriously? Huh, and everywhere else I looked I read that they /did/ kill the tarantulas. Live and learn.

  • Rock Baker

    The editing is that good. But if you’re looking for it, you can see it.