Ghoulish Delight #4: Trog (Freddie Francis, 1970) | DaysAreNumbers
Halloween, eh? It’s all about the silly masks. And they don’t come much sillier than the frankly abysmal mask the poor actor (one Joe Cornelius) playing the title creature of this 1970s Britsploitation “classic” was lumbered with.
Trog is of course short for Troglodyte, a prehistoric man, and that’s exactly what scientist Joan Crawford (!) has discovered in a cave. Naturally enough, old Mommie Dearest wants to study the wretched creature, but some sniffy, stiff upper lip types in the science community would rather have it destroyed.
As I’m sure you can imagine, based on that brief synopsis, Trog features numerous scenes in which Joan as Scientist Woman sort of trains her charge to be a bit more human by getting him to perform various menial tasks such as playing with balls etc. In fact, these scenes make up the vast majority of Trog, and as such it’s a little boring. The hairy blighter doesn’t get to go on his highly-anticipated bloodthirsty rampage until well into the final third, attacking and killing an impressive three people in just under as many minutes.
Still, the only thing you’ll probably remember Trog for is for boasting the most amateurish prosthetics job ever captured on celluloid. That and the fact that la Crawford (in her last film role) is clearly, and perhaps understandably, sozzled throughout. This is far from director Freddie Francis’ finest hour, too. Most famous for helming seminal Amicus horror anthology Dr. Terror’s House of Horror’s (which is set in a train compartment, not a house), he also turned in a selection of underrated mini-classics, such as Hammer’s little seen attempt at Hitchcock, Hysteria, and the Oliver Reed starring Paranoiac.
Anyway, watch this bloody trailer for Trog and you’ll see what I mean. I will personally give a hearty handshake to anyone who goes to a Halloween party dressed as Trog, with a special prize of ten pounds for whoever makes the best… No, make that worst, Trog mask.