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SAM ELLIOTT & RAY MILLAND IN 'FROGS' WITH LYNN BORDEN

year: 1972 cast: Ray Milland, Sam Elliott, Lynn Borden rating: ****
"We’d all be scared," according to the late actress Lynn Borden in an interview about her work on FROGS, and the director, George McCowan.

"We didn’t know exactly how we were going to die… We knew we were going to somehow, but he would scare us." And though more suspenseful and creative than scary, this underrated 1970’s eco-horror has somewhat of a misleading title...

Lynn Borden & Adam Roarke
While the frogs are the instigating generals who take their time to become formidable aggressors, there're also a bevy of lizards, snakes, and gators that encroach upon a mansion in New Orleans owned by greedy industrialist Ray Milland, countered by a young Sam Elliott as a nature-friendly photographer, who happens upon Ray and his pompous clan, including cute and helpful daughter Joan Van Ark, most of whom get picked-off during a traditional holiday gathering.

Adam Roarke is a standout as Milland's playboy/jock son, as is Lynn Borden as his frustrated wife (both worked together on THIS IS A HIJACK and DIRTY MARY CRAZY LARRY). Overall, FROGS is a very well photographed film that, lacking in expensive special effects, shows the reptiles in their natural poses and then, with creatively strategic editing, makes it seem like their curiosity's aimed towards the doomed humans: With a Tennessee Williams aura of the snobby Southern rich given their comeuppance, FROGS is loaded with terrific dialog, fantastic acting, and a first half setting up the characters so when they croak, it matters. This isn’t the cheesy B-movie as the trailers and posters imply, but it'll work either way.
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