Thursday, November 22, 2012

Turkey Month Turkey of the Month

1970's Trog
By this time, the majority of my U.S. readers have either slipped into food comas from their Thanksgiving meals, or they're camping out in front of Best Buy waiting for Black Friday bargains at 5:00 AM. And here I sit, writing about a very bad movie.

At some point, I suppose one has to start feeling badly for Joan Crawford. I mean, here was a woman who, in the 30's, 40's and 50's was about as A-List as they came. By the late 60's, she was an alcoholic has-been, taking whatever work she could find. Her last film, the 1970 British Science Fiction stinker Trog, is a prime example of how low the mighty can fall. Crawford plays Dr. Brockton, an anthropologist with no first name. When an associate returns from a cave exploration with a tale of terror, Joanie puts on her gear and goes spelunking. She discovers a still-living troglodyte (which she imaginatively names "Trog") and brings him home in attempt to study and  domesticate the beast, though local businessman Micheal Gough (best known to US audiences as Alfred in Tim Burton's Batman films) objects when she plans to breed Trog. Wearing makeup rejected by The Planet of the Apes team, Trog is set free by Gough (who I suppose wants to prove a point, though what point that might be is never made clear) and the "half-man/half-ape" goes on a murderous rampage. Truly atrocious special effects, a dull and exceptionally stupid plot and some of the worst acting anyone has ever seen all help make Trog a true turkey. Critic Ned Daigle said: "Trog is truly ungodly. The performances are rotten, the Trog makeup is so bad it looks, at times, like it will slide right off the actor's face, and everything proceeds at a snail's pace to idiotic situations. It's really sad to see such a huge star be consigned to the Z-grade abyss of films like this. But, hey, a girl's gotta eat." He wasn't very far off the mark.

I suspect that if "Mystery Science Theatre 3000" had gone on to an 8th season, they might have gotten to Trog. The closest they got was 1962's equally stupidly titled Eegah which starred Richard Kiel in the title role of a caveman who goes on a rampage in Palm Springs.

Oh, how I miss that show!

I hope all my U.S. readers and friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

More, anon.

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