|studio||Vital Fluids Releasing|
|starring||Kristi Russell, Mary Woronov, James Duval, Ariadne Schaffer, Michael McConnohie, Rob Brink|
|tagline||“Can one hot EPA agent bring down this horny toad?"|
|trailer 1||Trailer #1|
You’ve heard the story before… a mutant creature out of control, running rampant and wreaking havoc on humanity. There’s always the hot female scientist/reporter/nuclear physicist/cop/government agent who needs to stop it, and a few sexy love scenes as well. Though the mutant creature is bad, it’s revealed that the REAL threat to humanity is big business, which is dumping nuclear waste/doing unethical genetic experiments/playing with nuclear power/making a germ for the military/etc. So far it sounds like “Alligator”, or “Grizzly”, or “Frog”, or “Food of the Gods”, or “Kingdom of the Ants”, or “Piranha”, or “Barracuda”, or “Rattler”, or any number of other 1970’s/1980’s exploitation film involving a nosy woman and her love interest, as well as a back story about conspiracy, shady money deals, and unlawful business practices. “Frog-g-g!” mocks and does the nearly impossible; exploits the exploitation movie.
“Frog-g-g!” is not a particularly good film. It has a mortifyingly low production value and while some of the acting is decent, some of it is terminally abysmal. Despite the quality of the acting, it sports a strong and familiar cast of actual actors; Mary Woronov, James Duval, and Rob Brink among others. That’s definitely a plus in the low-budget b-movie world. The dialogue is fairly funny for the most part, and has a good balance between the overly dramatic and the overly cheesy. It doesn’t do special effects very well, and in fact, avoids gore and blood as much as possible, shooting instead for laughs and campy references to every mutant animal film ever made.
Cody Jarrett, who writes and directs, decided to make the main character a lesbian, which adds something new to the tired, old, and fairly unoriginal idea. It’s also a good excuse to show two girls having sex and making out throughout the movie. Dr. Barbara Michaels, an Environmental Protection Agency agent, has come out to a small town to investigate the chemicals in the water supply. You see, a local farmer has been complaining about how his fish all have three eyes and two heads, etc. and is afraid that a local chemical manufacturing company is to blame. You think? Well, Dr. Michaels doesn’t let business keep her from pleasure, and she’s hooked up for a steamy romance with a cheap local bartendress named Trixie. So, we have tons of scenes of them licking, touching. And caressing in that lipstick-lesbian way women have on film. She manages to fit in a few investigations though, and does dicover- ! A Dastardly plot by Grimes Chemical Company. You see, they’ve been dumping in the local water supply for years now, and a genetically altering chemical at that. They’ve just been lying about it. Local Sheriff Buford Lawson, straight out of Mayberry, is just not sure he trusts this high-falootin’ city doctoress, and he trusts Grimes Chemical because, well, Mr. Grimes is his brother in law. But lesbians have a way of making themselves heard, and Dr. Michaels won’t stop until the whole town knows the truth. Unfortunately, she’s too late, because a frog has mutated into a giant monster and had gone raping the local townswomen in an effort to reproduce! If only they can stop the frog and make Grimes Chemicals see what they’ve done, before it’s too late…
The most interesting and basic element of this movie is the thing that sucks the most: The Frog. The frog is basically a guy in a really bad Frog outfit, a pseudo “Creature from the Black Lagoon” amphibian with a hopping gait and an expressionless face. The frog is both ridiculously stupid, and not scary at all. The frog makes no noises, and though he rapes women, sports absolutely n o genitalia at all. Possibly as an homage to all the other bad movies where the mutated creature looks terribly fake, “Frog-g-g!” decided to skimp on the one area that could have saved the film from standing out from all the other b-movie homages being churned out like butter from the minds of independent filmmakers everywhere.
Where films like “Alligator” and “Kingdom of the Ants” succeeded is where “Frog-g-g!” Fails; it spends too much time making fun of itself, and not enough time taking itself seriously. The quality that made “Alligator” so great was that it took itself so damn seriously. From the story, to the dialogue, and the creatures itself, the classics never wavered in their own belief in their ability to scare the audience, no matter how ridiculous it seemed. “Frog-g-g!” gives up any attempt to remotely scare or gross out the audience, and instead relies on references to other films and stolen storylines to flesh out what’s missing. Unfortunately, watching “Frog-g-g!” is far less funny than watching the original “Alligator”.