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Frogs (1972)

Nomination Year: 1995
SYNOPSIS:  A nature photographer is invited to the island retreat of a rapacious old industrialist (Ray Milland), whose companies are dumping untreated chemicals into the lake. The photographer warns that nature always has a way of getting back at those who abuse her, but the eccentric tycoon is only concerned about having his 80th birthday party his way and of getting rid of these damn frogs which seem to be everywhere. One by one, the tycoon's family members (each too greedy, self-absorbed, and pantywaisted to stand up to him) die mysterious and gruesome deaths at the claws, jaws, and paws of critters exhibiting abnormally intelligent behavior: one is attacked by spiders; another is eaten by alligators; another by turtles; then lizards...you get the idea. Eventually, the photographer and one or two survivors escape the island, leaving the near-insane old man alone on the island to be eaten (we can only suppose) -- by the frogs.

Most Ludicrous Premise

Where's Jeff Goldblum When You Need Him?
According to the protagonist, the animals are behaving strangely because they're rebelling against Man's treatment of Nature. He explains it to Ray Milland in a darkened room, as a series of non-sequitors.

Worst Cover Copy

Obviously a "Bull" Frog
The cover shows a bullfrog with a human hand coming out of its mouth (badly edited, too). The tagline screams, "Today the POND! Tomorrow the WORLD!"

Smithee Award Winner! "WHAT?!"

The Rare Species of MacGyver Lizards
One of the partygoers enters the greenhouse, where we see slow-moving lizards knocking over bottles of pesticides and other chemicals, causing them to pool together on the floor. I'm sure the film-makers wanted the toppling of the bottles to look deliberate, but nothing can make it look like anything but a puzzled lizard accidentally pushing a bottle in its way. In any case, the human gets right down into the mysterious new puddle and, investigating, "inadvertently" inhales deeply. He keels over satisfyingly. We then see some very small and unmenacing lizards (not the ones in the previous shots) crawling all over the corpse. So, lemme get this straight: the lizards suddenly develop a Ph.D. in chemistry, enough to concoct a poison with materials-on-hand that kills humans -- albeit very stupid and cooperative humans -- yet doesn't harm the lizards themselves.

Worst Special Effect

As If We Needed Proof That Film Could Kill
Stock footage of turtles and alligators kill some people. The humans and animals are never in the same shot.

Actors/Directors of Note
Actor Claim to Fame
Ray Milland  
Sam Elliott Was into Westerns quite a bit 
Joan Van Ark  
Director Claim to Fame
George McCowan  

Bryan Cassidy

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© 2011-2019 Bryan D. Cassidy, Greg Pearson, Matthew Quirk, and Kevin Hogan. All Rights Reserved.