Wednesday, July 4, 2012

For The Love Of Freedom, Warts And All

Although it may often seem that the US is sinking into a pit of its own stupidity and that our government has become irreversibly dysfunctional, this is still (we hope) the greatest country on Earth, damn it, so in celebration of Independance Day and all the wonderful freedoms we Americans enjoy, the latest Retro Shock Theater column looks back fondly at 1972's 4th of July-set favorite, Frogs.

When I was a kid, Frogs was in regular rotation on the 4 O'Clock Movie on Channel 30 out of Hartford, Connecticut and it never failed to give me the creeps. Even though its sillier aspects became more apparent to me as time went on, I still think it's an effective horror yarn. I don't know if it's the best of the nature attacks films of the '70s as it has plenty of competition for that title (Kingdom of the Spiders might have a leg - or even eight! - up on it) but its all-star cast of critters makes Frogs the most emblematic of its sub-genre.

So on this 4th of July, I'm saluting not just the flag, but Frogs. It's a movie that has America written all over it. Like this country, loving Frogs means accepting the occasional troublesome, ugly, and possibly incurable, wart.


Mummbles said...

I've never seen Frogs but it doesn't look the Frogs are very scary or actually kill anyone.

knobgobbler said...

I'm late to dinner on this DWMJ post but I just had to chime in with my childhood fright over Frogs!
Lots of movies scared me as a kid but they were usually of the sort with a specific big bad monster... a vampire, a ghost, zombies. Frogs was my first experience of a less focused, omnipresent feeling of dread... there isn't some monster the hero can vanquish... there's not a logical reason for what's going on... it's just this malevolent creeping, crawling doom that you can't escape from because it's everywhere and nowhere in particular.
Frogs scared me but it also put my kid-sized brain into a sort of existential downer for good long while.
I think it has a lot of the 'weird' that I later found compelling in H.P. Lovecraft's stories... that uncanny sense of things not being 'right' and realizing that your sense of 'right' was just an delusion anyhow.

Good choice for the 4th!

Jeff Allard said...

Glad you approve, Knob! Frogs is a neat little movie in my book - although it's probably best first experienced at a young age.