Hell Comes To Frogtown (1987), or Nothing Makes Me Laugh Like A B-Movie

8 03 2009
So... You DONT serve frog legs here, then...

So... You DON'T serve frog legs here, then...

So, picture this. The year is 1996. The time is 2:00 A.M.. I, Eric “Cinematronica” Young, am just a wee lad. As my father dozes off in his coarse brown recliner after a Saturday night of watching movies together, I am still wide awake and alive with interest while the TV Guide channel scrolls down at a snail’s pace. Looking for anything to sate my nascent mind, I come across a bizarre listing on TNT for a movie called Death Race 2000. “What the fuck is this,” my mind’s filthy mouth inquired as I read the description. It was a movie about a futuristic sport where sadistic drivers would travel across country in souped-up cars and run people over for points. Dressed in ridiculous costumes allegedly reflecting how people would dress in the far-off year 2000, the cast included David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone. I watched it into the twilight hours, and often laughed so hard that my father would stir in his slumber. This was really the beginning of a love affair that would last all the way into my adulthood, a love of ultra-silly B-movies; movies with plots so incomprehensible, dialog so inane, and characters so rock stupid that I am smiling as wide as I can as I am writing this. In the end, will they write the words FILM SNOB on my tombstone? Probably, with all my high-brow artsy-fartsy foreign dramas and art-house films that I love so much. But I hope one person will also remember that I watched Johnny Mnemonic one day and The Remains of The Day the next. I bring this up because today’s film is so bad it’s good. It’s almost so bad it’s carcinogenic, but it dodges the bullet here because I don’t feel any tumors on my eyeballs yet.

Hell Comes To Frogtown might as well be called Huh?, because the idea is so preposterous that it almost becomes high art. Roddy Piper returns in the role that made him famous; a big beefy guy. He plays Sam Hell, a fertile man in an ever-more sterilized post-apocalyptic society. The sperm count allegedly went down for everyone after WWIII and the nuclear holocaust, of course. Sam is just your run-of-the mill asshole dystopian criminal looking out for numero uno, and he is taken in by your run-of-the-mill dystopian totalitarian government remnant. He is about to be roughed up big time by their leader, Captain Devling, when the Medtechs, futuristic sci-fi nurses, decide to take a look at him. What they find is that his sperm count is off the charts (Hell, just take a look at Roddy Piper; I could have told you that!). Anyway, the totalitarian police decide to make a deal with him. In exchange for letting him go, Sam has to go around the wasteland and impregnate women with his super spunk! What a deal, right? Who is gonna say no to that? He wisely agrees to this proposal, setting the wheels in motion for this crazy romp of a picture. He is given both a partner/chaperone named Spangle, a hot Medtech babe, and a very dangerous assignment. Apparently, the nuclear holocaust messed with some frog DNA and turned them into humanoids (!!!), and not only have they created a society and a town not far away from Captain Devling’s totalitarian zone, but they have rounded up a number of fertile women, ripe for the impregnating! So it’s up to Sam and Spangle to deal with this deadly situation! It’s guns, babes, and frog guts on the nuclear frontier for our hero! Can he actually save the human race from extinction? Will these cunning half-frog half-men beasts be the death of Sam Hell? Oh, and did I mention that HE IS FORCED TO WEAR A CODPIECE THAT WILL EXPLODE IF HE STRAYS FROM THE MISSION?

What an awesome movie! I loved every single minute of this! While it is horrible, and I make no excuses in its defense, it is a lot of fun. It’s not a stuffy kind of bad, where they wanted to make something artful and engrossing (see Twilight). It’s not a painful kind of bad, where I cannot in good conscience tell anyone else to watch it, even as a practical joke (see Bangkok Dangerous). It’s the kind of self-aware bad, where the cast and crew know they’re not making Shakespeare but they still want to have fun with the idea.

Roddy Piper again receives a big thumbs-up from me as a generic badass who you can count on in a pinch. I can’t wait for him to reprise this role one day. And if you love wrestler genitalia (and who doesn’t, really?), this movie’s main focus is Roddy Piper’s junk! Sandra Bergman, who has only ever been known for her role in Conan the Barbarian is not very memorable in this as Spangle, Hell’s partner and guard. She is your average post-apocalyptic babe, and she performs well enough, but you can’t really follow up Piper’s exploding codpiece as a mere actress. No, to do that, you have to jump into a giant frog costume! The frog effects for the frog society are fantastic! I was very impressed with the costumes considering the budget was probably collected for a whole month of allowance from the producer’s parents. Keep a look out for Commander Toty, the leader of the frogs, and his own interesting set of genitalia! I won’t give away the surprise, but let’s just say there will be enough for seconds or thirds if anybody wants some!

Yes, it’s horrible. Yes, it’s tasteless. But if you love this kind of thing like I do, you will have a lot of fun with this one. I’ve had a smile the entire time while writing this review just thinking about it (not Roddy Piper’s genitals; the movie), and I know there are some people out there that feel the same way. Officially, as a movie, I have to give Hell Comes To Frogtown 3 exploding codpieces out of 10. It is a bad film that will not appeal to a lot of people. But for those of you who are gluttons for punishment and post-apocalyptic mischief, this movie gets 8 alarmingly-high sperm counts out of 10! Check it out if you feel adventurous!

See you tomorrow, where we take a bite out of Taken as part of The Night Out!