18 June 2024
Trog (1970)
93 min.
Directed by Freddie Francis.
With Joan Crawford, Michael Gough, Bernard Kay, Kim Braden, David Griffin, John Hamill, Thorley Walters, Jack May, Geoffrey Case, Robert Hutton.
Dame Joan Crawford's last cinematic foray was this weird, offbeat horror.

Anthropologist Dr. Brockton (Crawford) is ecstatic when she discovers a living ape creature, because she believes the beast may be a troglodyte: the 'missing link' between primates and contemporary humans.

How can she prove it? First, she captures the trog. Then, she begins to experiment on its vocal chords, in an effort to make it speak like a human.

But after a group of rival scientists unleash the trog back into the wild, will Joan be able to control the seemingly unstoppable beast from wreaking deadly havoc?

Hell, if anybody can, she can.

Trog is an easy target for wise-cracking critics. Marry the word "ape" with "Joan Crawford's last film" and they think they've gone to Sarcasm Heaven.

But it's not the absolute worst thing made. And once you get past the subpar ape makeup, you might realize it does have some strong points in its favor.

It's competently directed by horror veteran Freddie Francis (1965's Dr. Terror's House of Horrors); it features another spirited performance from Michael Gough; and it's got Joan giving you all she's got.

So give her a break.

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