Trog (1970): Crawford’s Last Film, Cheesy Sci-Fi Horror

The cheesy British sci-fi horror feature, Trog, directed by Freddie Francis in 1970, became Joan Craword’s last film in a career spanning over four decades.

The screenplay, about the discovery of a living troglodyte, was written by Peter Bryan, John Gilling, and Aben Kandel.

Set in contemporary England, the film centers on Dr. Brockton (Crawford), a scientist who learns about the existence of a troglodyte in the countryside, which, with some training might be domesticated.

Committed to science and excited about the groundbreaking discovery of the “missing link” (which was the film’s original title), she gets the creature, while the rest of the townsfolk and police express fears for her experiment.

Dr. Brockton holds a tranquilizer gun, turns the creature into submission, and brings it back to her lab for study.  In the process, she conflicts with those opposing the existence of a monster in their town.  Prime among them is local businessman Sam Murdock (Michael Gough), who’s afraid of the negative commercial consequences and is suspicious of the real motives of the powerful woman.

The creature, named “Trog,” is taught by Dr. Brockton to play and share.  His the capacity for language is induced by surgeries and mysterious hypnotic device that causes Trog to see or relive the ice age.

Disturbed by Dr. Brockton’s experiments, Murdock releases Trog, hoping for his capture and death. Trog wanders into town and kills three men before clubbing Murdock to death. Trog then snatches a little girl from a a playground and retreats to his cave.  

Dr. Brockton arrives at the cave, pleading with the police and army to let her reason with Trog and safely retrieve the little girl. Trog initially behaves aggressively, but ultimately surrenders the girl.  Trog is then killed in his cave, felled by army bullets.

The story ends when a reporter asks for a comment on Trog’s death, but the disappointed Dr. Brockton shoves the reporter aside, and walks away with grief.

Trog was the second of two films that Crawford starred in for her friend-producer Herman Cohen. The first was Berzerk in 1968, in which she also co-starred with Michael Gough.