Thursday, October 15, 2009

Caveman Dearest



THE PLOT: The film starts off with buddies Malcolm, Cliff and Bill wandering aimlessly through the countryside. They stumble upon a cave that wasn't on the map and decide to go check it out. They spelunker for what seems like a half hour before they reach the bottom of the cave. Once there they find a channel of water that goes to another part of the cave. Taking up the fodder role early, Bill decides to go check things out.

Once Bill gets over to the other side he comes face to face with...gasp...um...a rather silly looking monster with a bad ape mask on it's head and a human body. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you terrifyingTrog ( snicker). Trog (later described as a Troglodyte) make a mess of Bill. Cliff, who was in the middle of the way over during the assault, finds the body thus making him rather sad.

Cut to the local science institute where Inspector Greenham (he will not eat it here or there by the way) is asking around about the expedition. Primarily the fact a youth disappeared without a reason. He quickly gets introduced to a Dr.Brockton played by the late Joan Crawford in her last movie role. Yes we all know how evil she could be off screen but seriously, my gut wrenched at the fact she went out in a film like this.

Brockton brings in Malcolm who answers a few questions. Cliff is unable to due to the fact he is in a bit of a catatonic state. After Greenham leaves, Brockton talks to Malcolm about exploring the cave which they do. Without any real effort they find Trog, take it's picture and proceed to head out of convenience- ville. Greenham sees the pictures and has trouble buying it 100%. I'm personally assuming that's because the monster looks very lame. However,Brockton insists the creature is real and is a missing link.

Greenham agrees to check out the cave in the pursuit of justice. News crews surround the site as a group of highly inept people set out to explore it. I say that because although this dangerous half-man/ape is down there, no one figure they should bring like a weapon or something. During the expedition, a Mr. Sam Murdock arrives to stir sh*t againstBrockton. Why...well...I don't know. Murdock is played by the late Michael Gough who later let Kim Basinger into the Batcave ironically.


"When I said 'No Wire Hangers' I meant it!!!"

All hell breaks loose when Trog takes out most of the people in the cave. Trog proceeds to the surface and Brockton, who is apparently better equipped than local law enforcement, takes him down with a tranquilizer gun. After this they chuck Trog into a small cage where he is served the breakfast of missing link champions, raw lizard and fish. Brockton's daughter Anne joins up in the research team because I guess favoritism is in their hiring practices. The press all come out to viewBrockton's new discovery and they ask her about how he survived. Brockton says, in so many words, (deep breath)

Trog existed millions of years ago during dinosaur ages and somehow became cryogenically frozen and his frozen body eventually thawed because of shifting earth and warming climates thus releasing him from the binds of ice. Gasp...ok...go back and read the nonsense again if need be. One time I really wish a person explaining sh*t in these types of movies would say, "I really don't know".

Anyhow, one of the press people snaps a photo which pisses Trog off. Murdock, who kept popping up in this film no apparent reason, eggs on the press into publishing negativity against Brockton's find. Brockton takes up her active research with Trog which starts with introducing him to toys. Um...alrighty then...Trog hates a spaceman toy and destroys it but takes a liking to a dolly which he caresses. After Trog learns to be nice to his toys, he gives Brockton and Anne a "I'm sow-wee..." kind of reaction about the spaceman toy. Indeed this film is getting more idiotic by the seconds folks.


"I don't care what you say Anne, its your
turn to clean the sh*t out of the cage. And
since you complained, wipe his ass while
you're at it too.

The quack research goes on and on, all the while Murdock keeps trying to mess with Brockton. He enlists the help of one of Brockton's colleagues, Dr. Selbourne to sink her. Selbourne's betrayal takes place during a hearing on whether or not Trog is to be destroyed. The person overhearing the issue tells Brockton that he will allow Trog to live for now until he comes to an ultimate decision.

Here is where the film takes a major turn in plot stupidity. A bunch of scientists arrive to examine Trog and I should point out one of the female ones actually resembles him. Yep that was low and I did "go there". Anyhow, they install some kind of device intoTrog's chest which I really didn't care to learn about. Just know that it somehow allows Trog to show them his inner most thoughts on film.

Some of the thoughts mentioned above we have the "pleasure" of seeing. The film at this point kills about 10 minutes of screen time with stop motion visions of dinosaurs fighting. I guess we're to believe thatTrog was an observer to all this. Either that or he watched an substandard B-movie on dinosaurs before surgery. This somehow leavesTrog capable of speech and he says Anne's name clearly. I just threw up my shoulders at this point and called it a day.

Sigh, moving on. Brockton brings her latest findings to another hearing. Murdock once again keeps pipping in like he has a point until they kick him out. I was wondering when they were going to do that. Anyhow, Murdock decides to infiltrateBrockton's workplace to set up Trog. He wrecks the lab and lets Trog loose. However, Trog follows him to his cart and beats the snot out of him. I guess Murdock wasn't a great planner. Trog heads out for a walk in the woods and gets 40 winks in.

Trog wakes up the next morning and decides a rampage is in order. He heads into town and takes out a few shop keeps, tips over a car and terrorizes a bunch of children at the local playground.Trog also abducts a little girl who looks like the wind up dolly from earlier. Oh Christ, here we go with the human side angle of the monster in the movie. Of course this leads toTrog hauling her back down to his lair. The armed forces arrive on the scene but Brockton heads down first. She rescues the child which leaves Trog to go out in Tony Montana fashion. With Trog dead, Brockton slumps away presumably heading towards a rather lousy career future.

Trog is one of those films that tries it's damnedest to be taken seriously but simply ends up coming off as immensely silly. I personally put a major blame of that aspect onTrog's appearance. I just couldn't find him threatening as a monster. Its almost as if the special effects crew had a good idea from the neck up and said "screw it" for the rest of the body. Either that or they ran out of money during the makeup application process.

Believe it or not when it comes to acting there is little to pick on. Yes, feel free to pick your mouths off the ground now...TheDarkSider actually liked the acting in this film. Crawford, although a bit withered at the point in her career, really seems to take the role seriously. Especially when she scoldsTrog which I'll admit I found unintentionally funny. Gough plays a wonderful prick in the form of Murdock although I couldn't really figure out what his character's angle was. Perhaps he just enjoyed being a prick. The film itself is well produced and pretty tight editing wise. However, there is much that dampers all said above items.

Trog by far will not go down as the anything near the best monster movie ever. However, there is something there that could have been. All the film had to do was evolve. Get it? Evolve...cavemen...ok forget it.

YOU'RE A GRAND OLD A-HOLE
(the A-holes of the film get their moment)
Trog

The first ever winner of the "Mr. But-his-face" competition.

Murdock

Don't make him mad or he'll
get snooty on you...snoooooty.

OVERALL GRADE


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