When a trio of amateur spelunkers accidentally discover and unleash a living and frisky missing link from a shallow cave, naturally the interest of the world scientific community becomes secondary to the interests of a local real estate developer whose role it is to be allowed to be recklessly and unexplainably petty while unrealistically interfering with the discovery until it’s rather domesticated nature is so provoked as to create civil disobedience of the type expected of and sadly typical of the climax of a creatively impoverished monster picture. This is Freddie Francis‘ “Trog”.
One of the most thankless labors of the film critic (presuming they are of a serious nature in approaching the cinema as an art form and not merely as a paid shill to sing hosannas over the latest visual illiteracy) is to sit through an offense such as “Trog”, a scandalously unimaginative and tepid offering which not only proves to be a thief of ninety healthy minutes from even the least discerning viewer’s life, but also makes an almost impossible task of breathing language into an intelligibly formed commentary aimed at a film so deliberately vacant, from conception to execution, in both its artistic anemia and thematic inertia. Applying additional insult to ennui, “Trog” signals the motion picture career curtain of one of Hollywood’s most enduring stars, Joan Crawford, being put through valedictory paces so demeaning they could only be considered cruel though, unfortunately, not so unusual punishment.
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Rolling out Joan to give this awful film ‘Star quality’ was indeed unforgiveable. But Michael Gough was also a far better actor than he might seem to be from this performance.
Best wishes, M. Gough Jnr.