Wednesday, August 25, 2010


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 spelunks.

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:
Her tranquilizer gun also makes a neato loud BOOMing noise when she fires it.

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.
                                                   And furry boots.

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:
Which he does very well.
                                    Coolest. Monkey. Man. Shot. Ever.

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:
                                                      Bad Trog!

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,
Mother Firefly


Thomas Duke said...

I own this movie. True story.

This probably be the most boring King Kong rip off ever made, but every scene is strangely compelling, held afloat by the fact that somebody actually took this shit seriously.

Emily said...

Niiiiiiice. Trog has been hovering in the 10 spot of my Netflix queue for months now and I just keep forgetting to bump it up. Love me some Joany, love me some monkey-ish things, and love me some visual shout-outs with creepy dolls! This September, I will Trog!

Chris Regan said...

That looks awesome. I have to see it.

Mother Firefly said...

TD: You're totally right. Everyone in this movie is taking it seriously. I like to imagine that Joan scared the crap out of them so badly they were afraid not to. And you're right, it's just another version of King Kong except with furry pants. And pants suits.

Emily: Can't wait for your Troglodyte review! Couldn't resist the shout out.

CR: Looking forward to your review also! Another amazing thing about this movie is that Joan is total perfection. She may have been deep into the booze by this time in her career, but you'd never know it by her performance.

Mother Firefly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mandy Ann said...

The end.

Mother Firefly said...

Awwwww, Mandy Ann, I Heart You Too!!! We gotta get together. I got WAY too many good stories saved up for you.
Me and the P. Cash go to Rio West just about every Saturday night, let me know when you can join us. Bring yer squeeze. I'll buy the cake.

Mandy Ann said...

Oh hell. If there are margaritas, we are in.

Lazarus Lupin said...

A very well done review. You capture the fun of the film without having to rip it a new one which really is like kicking puppies. This film reminds me of several films made in the same general period (like the Mind of Mr. Soames) that for some reason everyone took way to seriously. They aren't bad exactly, but tonally they are off. They are interesting though and certainly I wish for a resurgence of at least the willingness to treat SF themes seriously.
Love your stuff!

Lazarus Lupin
art and review

Mother Firefly said...

LL: I agree, Trog may be silly, but it's WAY more interesting (and held my attention better ) then the majority of newer horror movies.
I'm going to see if I can find the Mind of Mr Soames!
Thanks for the swell comments!

Mother Firefly said...

Mandy Ann: Girl, you ain't got none of this cake I am gonna hook you up with at Rio West.

You will wanna KILL me, it's so good.

But don't. Otherwise I can't write no more blogs.

Lazarus Lupin said...

Here's the international movie data base on it.

It has an early terrance stamp performance and is very interesting. By the by, my absolute favorite film of this general period is "The Lost Continent" If you haven't seen it you must. A ship of scoundrels, seaweed that will eat you, and conquistadors floating on big balloons over the seaweed!

Lazarus Lupin

Mother Firefly said...

I looked up Lost Continent and I think I may have seen it on MST3K many years ago.....unfortunately it's now on the one set that I don't own (yet). I did add it to my Netflix, though.

Looks like Mind of Mr Soames will be harder to find...I do love some Terrance Stamp!

Mother Firefly said...

I looked up Lost Continent and I think I may have seen it on MST3K many years ago.....unfortunately it's now on the one set that I don't own (yet). I did add it to my Netflix, though.

Looks like Mind of Mr Soames will be harder to find...I do love some Terrance Stamp!

Lazarus Lupin said...

The lost continent MST3k did was the american black and white film. The one I was referring to is British by hammer and glorious soggy colour.

Mother Firefly said...

Ah....okay - the one I added on Netflix is the Hammer version.

Fat broke and tired said...

I am knew to the blogging stuff so I am just typing like this website, I don't know if anyone ever saw it but I was in the movie "Terror in the Aisles" it was made in the 80's had a blast doing it, met Nancy Allen and now I draw a blank on the actor from oh never mind his name was Donald Pleasance nice guy...thats all oh and the make up on the site is great, I sold stage makeup for 14yrs in Orange county, so no stranger to the theatrics, have a wonderful day..Nancy z

Mother Firefly said...

FBT: I DO remember Terror in the Aisles; I haven't seen it in years but I watched it a few times as a kid....that's WILD that you were in that...what part did you play?

Thanks for the comment!