Trog

I woke up and watched the CBS This Morning chef segment.  Some of Melba Wilson’s signature recipes were Finger lickin’ ribs, Melba’s tres mac and cheese, sweet ‘n’ savory coleslaw, hush puppies, Uncle Herman’s sour cream pound cake, and muy fruity sangria.  I looked up the American Top 40 playlist for the weekend. The Top 10 songs on May 18, 1974 were “You Make Me Feel Brand New,” “(I’ve Been) Searchin’ So Long,” “Midnight at the Oasis,” “Band on the Run,” “Bennie and the Jets,” “The Show Must Go On,” “The Loco-Motion,” “The Entertainer,” “Dancing Machine,” and “The Streak.” I worked my shift and took a nap before going out to see “Hello, My Name is Doris” again.  I didn’t really believe that Baby Goya would have picked out Doris from that crowd and have her be a model.  I thought I detected a bit of “Annie Hall” with the girlfriend singing in public for the first time, and “Manhattan” with the party guests.  I noticed that Doris looked older in scenes when she was unhappy and younger when she was happy.  I kept looking at her neck throughout the movie.  I went out to buy groceries, then went home to sit in front of the television.  I saw an All in the Family episode about Edith going through menopause.  I also saw The Mary Tyler Moore Show, with Mary and Rhoda planning a vacation to Mexico.  I had just heard about the death of William Schallert, and so I sat around watching the classic Star Trek episode “The Trouble with Tribbles.”  I had to wonder if Scotty violated any rules in the way he got rid of the Tribbles.  I watched the DVD of “Trog,” Joan Crawford’s jaw-dropped last movie.  First of all, after the Planet of the Apes and 2001, Trog’s face looks terrible because it is inexpressive.  It feels like they made the character a troglodyte because the ape costume left over from 2001 was damaged.  It is laughable, of course, that the victims should stand still in order to get attacked.  The camera has to get the shot.  The extras were awful.  It felt like it took them an hour to react, and they ran past a Pepsi sign, giving Joan her product placement.  Audiences had to be laughing out loud when Joan was teaching Trog how to play with a doll.  She is supposed to be a supporter of science, and I couldn’t believe how seriously she was taking these scenes.  At least that’s what I think she was doing.  Joan had gone from winning a Best Actress Oscar to doing this cheap film, which was released one week before Halloween in 1970, and somehow managed to be Number One at the box office for a weekend.  It looks like Joan’s wardrobe cost as much as the movie did, and I am assuming that she brought along her own clothes because of the movie’s low budget.  Why does Joan wear nail polish when she’s giving Trog a shot?  The shots that try to capture several actors in one shot are terrible, and little things like an actors brushing against a curtain are distracting.  The scene where they’re showing Trog the slides is something like “A Clockwork Orange,” but then they insert dinosaur movie footage, which was very funny.  This is supposed to be one of the most enjoyably bad movies ever made.  In the story, we see who want to see this creature destroyed.  I hope that this script did not inspire any part of “E.T.”  I noticed that Trog had shoes, and I almost expected to see him wearing a wristwatch.  After a violent outburst from Trog, I almost laughed out loud when Joan yelled out, “Trog, stop it!”   She had compared him to a retarded child, in her words, at a hearing.  The grocer reminded me of Wally Cox, and you’re not supposed to laugh at violent death, but the image was ridiculous.  What was also ludicrous was this King Kong connection with a little girl who reminded Trog of the wind-up doll.  I noticed that Trog had his fingernails clipped.  Maybe he did it himself.  I could imagine him with a nail file.  Trog tipped over a car, and it caught fire.  These British male authority figures give a lot of orders, and nobody seems to pay attention.  Trog was supposed to be in a secure, guarded cage, but he’s all alone for the bad guy to set him loose.  There was a slight bit of suspense in what Joan’s last onscreen moment would show.  If she was going to cry, I was going to laugh out loud.  Joan looked like she might have had a few years left, but I suppose no one would approach her after this monstrosity.  I don’t think she even handled that dart rifle too well.  In this wacky way, the movie was moderately entertaining, although if you have almost anything else to do with your time, that’s what you should do.  The director, Freddie Francis, actually won two Oscars for cinematography, for “Sons and Lovers” and “Glory.”  He also worked on “The Elephant Man.”  How many of Joan Crawford’s movies were in color?  It seemed to be that every other of her movies I’ve seen was in black and white.  Some of the people who died on May 15 include Emily Dickinson (1886), Edward Hopper (1967), June Carter Cash (2003), and Barbara Stuart (2011).  Today is a birthday for George Brett (63), Chazz Palminteri (64), and Jasper Johns (86).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for May 15, Tony Bennett won the Grammy for Record of the Year for “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” while Robert Goulet won the Grammy for Best New Artist in 1963.  In 1971, Three Dog Night was Number One on the singles chart for a fifth week with “Joy to the World.”  In 1976, the Sylvers had the Number One single, “Boogie Fever.”  In 2003, June Carter Cash died of complications from heart valve surgery at age 73.

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