I could probably wrap this review up very quickly with the words “it’s Rowdy Roddy Piper fighting giant mutated frogs.” That’s all you need to know really. The retired legendary grappler who graced the rings of the world’s biggest promotions had a neat sideline in acting (and really we could do just a Cult Film Review: Roddy Piper Season with no trouble).
OK sure, his filmography isn’t exactly all killer, no filler – the distinct opposite in fact – but when he struck gold he made jewellery. Aside from the subject of today’s review, Piper hit it big in John Carpenter’s conspiracist wet dream They Live (1988) and… umm… fine, OK. That’s it. Two good movies. Check for yourself. He was even in Super Sweet 16: The Movie for chrissakes.
…but this isn’t the Wrath Of God we’re trying to fix on him here, so let’s get down to business.
Hell Comes To Frogtown has everything you’d expect of a film about a man called Sam Hell – starting to see it now? – and his enforced journey in the post-apocalyptic and irradiated wastelands of… drum roll… Frogtown!
Given the radiation that would tend to follow widespread nuclear fallout, humanity limps on towards a fruitless future. “Limp” and “fruitless” are the key words in this instance, as the vast majority of the world’s population have been rendered infertile. Naturally, those who do have the ability to breed are big prizes indeed. If that wasn’t bad enough, the localized area that the audience finds themselves in is split into two somewhat distinct camps: the human part and Frogtown. Guess what lives there?
That’s right, suckas. Big, bipedal, sass-talking, chainsaw wielding and mildly sex crazed mutant frogs. To be found in any good city, really. But mainly the bad ones.
But in a vague twist that was probably never purposefully deployed anyway, Hell isn’t on the run from and captured by these lilypad leapin’ lunatics. It’s the humans he fears most initially, with a group warrior nurse nuns capturing and keeping our man Hell to do nothing but breed.
Hey, not a bad situation to be in, is it? All the sex you can eat and all the food you can fuck – or something – but it’s not exactly the sweet deal you’d believe it to be. You see, Sam Hell has to wear a device which kinda… well… milks him for all he’s worth. There’s no sexytime here, just harsh farming methods applied to male genitalia. And they say women are the fairer sex, indeed.
Held quite literally by the short and curlies, Hell is also forced into infiltrating Frogtown to rescue some of these hard-as-nails warrior nurses who have been captured for much the same purpose by those dastardly Frogs. Hell does indeed break loose.
Hell and his escort – Spangles – are INEVITABLY CAPTURED and so it becomes an escape flick. The movie slides into a sub-Jabba’s Palace deal when Spangles is dressed provocatively and forced to dance for a sleazy, mutant beast. It’s probably how the girls at the Playboy Mansion feel.
A few pithy comments and action sequences later… well, you can probably guess how it ends in some fashion, but this little gem of a movie has enough unpredictability to keep you distracted from the inevitably happy ending.
With enough one liners to fill a pond, ridiculous action sequences, good old fashioned 80s hair and a sequel so unnecessary and bad that NOT ONE of the original cast returned, it’s a wonder why this film didn’t make more a leap into the public consciousness. And we got through the entire review with making a near-the-knuckle joke about the French. That’s got to be worth something.