For Berserk and Trog, Herman Cohen managed to score Joan Crawford as his star. Indeed, Trog was the last film Joan Crawford ever made. Crawford was in her sixties and by this point she had descended into lunatically over-the-top roles in B psycho-thrillers. She went on the record as saying that she realised that Trog was so bad a film that even the thought of it was something that could make her contemplate suicide had she not converted to Christian Science, and that she had decided to permanently retire from acting as a result. In truth though, Crawford had been languishing in B movie parts for most of the 1960s for all her derision of the role, she seemed happy earning her keep in similar such exploitation parts elsewhere. After Trog, Joan Crawford appeared in two other tv movies, started drinking a quart of vodka a day and then died of cancer in 1977. Needless to say, her presence has granted Trog the status of a Golden Turkey favourite in recent years.
As revived caveman efforts go, Trog is a tiresome affair. It becomes quickly and wholly inundated in clichés characters scream religious bigotry from the rafters and the Trog invariably goes down in a hail of military fire. A lengthy courtroom scene that debates science vs superstition takes up the middle and proves tedious on all points raised. Joan Crawfords performance is fairly laughable she seems to treat the trog more as a pet dog than a person. The scenes with her playing ball with the ape creature have a wonderfully hysterical camp value. There is good support from Herman Cohens regular villain Michael Gough and a fine mime job from Joe Cornelius as the trog. The makeup job on Joe Cornelius is passable, although later scenes unfortunately show that this is something that ends at the neckline. The material seems to even get the better of a normally reliable director like Anglo-horror specialist Freddie Francis.
The making of Trog was briefly depicted in the first season of the tv series Feud (2017 ) concerning the rivalry between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis.
Freddie Franciss other genre films are:- Vengeance/The Brain (1962), Paranoiac (1962), Nightmare (1963), Dr Terrors House of Horrors (1964), The Evil of Frankenstein (1964), Hysteria (1965), The Skull (1965), The Psychopath (1966), The Deadly Bees (1967), They Came from Beyond Space (1967), Torture Garden (1967), Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968), Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny & Girly (1969), The Vampire Happening (1971), Tales from the Crypt (1972), Tales That Witness Madness (1972), Craze (1973), The Creeping Flesh (1973), Legend of the Werewolf (1974), Son of Dracula (1974), The Ghoul (1975), The Doctor and the Devils (1985) and Dark Tower (1987).