Lord knows Mama loves herself some Joan Crawford. Especially her later movies, when the good jobs dried up and Joan found herself making some CLASSIC horror films like Strait-Jacket and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? So I'm not sure how I missed out on Trog for so long. It's Joan's last film and possibly her silliest, but no matter - Joan still acts the SHIT out of it. Which is a pretty neat trick when you consider the monster is basically a dude in a bad monkey mask with a rasta wig attached.
Trog (short for Troglodyte) is discovered by a team of explorers who come across a cave that's never been explored before. And what do they get for their trouble? Killed and attacked by the monkey man in the cheap wig - leaving behind one very traumatized young man and another who decides the smart thing to do is to take his injured friend to see Dr. Brockton (Joan Crawford) an anthropologist and author of the book 'Social Structure in Primates'.
You'll feel better if you tell Mommie Dearest all about it....
And of course, the only reasonable reaction Joan has is to go down in the cave and find this monster monkey man for herself:
Joan manages to capture this on camera:
And then the town and the police get involved, and eventually Trog finds his way to the surface - scaring people and just generally causing a commotion. Thank God Joan is there, because she's the only one in the town with a weapon, apparently:
Joan takes Troggie back to her lab where they feed him lizards and fish n stuff:
Joan teaches Trog to play with toys while she narrows her crazy Joan Crawford eyes at him:
Booga! (This one's for you, Emily)
And Trog finds out that toys are FUN (pay attention to the FORESHADOWING in this scene.
What I find most nifty about Trog is not that he managed to survive underground all those years, but that somehow, someway, he managed to make himself some SHORTS.
But because we need some bad guys in this movie, some people think Trog is bad news and needs to be destroyed. And these two creeps want to see Joan get fired as well.
Which doesn't go down well with Joan:
Sometimes Joan takes Troggie outside and lets him play:
But monsters will be monsters, and eventually there's problems involving a neighbor's dog:
And then Joan has to put on her best pants suit and go defend the Trogmeister:
But Joan has a plan: She invites all her scientist friends over for some Trog's Greatest Home Movies:
And then they operate on Trog, then strap him down and make him look at slides of dinosaur bones - which makes Trog remember the good old days, apparently:
What's cool about these scenes is that they appear to be from the Ray Harryhausen/Willis O'Brien made short on dinosaurs from a documentary called The Animal World:
Which is an extra on the Black Scorpion DVD.
Evidently the surgery, slides, and trip down memory lane have quite an effect on the Trogster, because after all that, he develops the power of speech.
Or so I have to believe what the scientists say, because I have no Frickin' idea what this monkey is babbling about.
Well, you know movies about monkey men are just never going to end well, and this one is no different. One of the bad dudes decides to break into the lab, get Trog all riled, then let him out to wreak havoc on the locals:
Trog hits the playground....
And now it's time to remember that bit of foreshadowing I pointed out earlier.
Trog takes his prize back to his cave, but Joan aint' having it. She follows Trog in and lays the Smack Down:
And then, as always happens with big monkeys on the loose, the military shows up and puts an end to all the fun:
And there you have it.
I dug Trog. I think probably one viewing was enough - but the movie's easy to watch and if you love the Crawford half as much as Mama does, you'll have fun with it.
I hope nobody picks a movie called Trog intending to take it seriously - so just relax, sit back, and maybe have a Pepsi while you partake in the fun:
After all, Joanie would want it that way.
No more Troglodyte hangers,