Hell Comes to Frogtown, 1988.
Directed by Donald G. Jackson & R.J. Kizer.
Starring Roddy Piper, Sandahl Bergman, Julius LeFlore, RCB, William Smith and Brian Frank.
In a post-nuclear war USA, a fertile man is sent into mutant territory to rescue the last fertile women in the country in order to replenish the human race.
At the end of the 20th century nuclear war has turned Earth into a barren wasteland and rendered most men infertile. However, ex-con Sam Hell (Roddy Piper – They Live) is one of the few remaining fertile men left and is recruited by the government to impregnate a harem of fertile women in order to continue the human race. Sounds like a dream job but the women he must ‘engage’ with are being held captive in Frogtown, which is home to a gang of mutated frog people who don’t take kindly to Hell’s intervention.
So we’re not talking highbrow when it comes to plots here but Oscars were never on the cards for this one. If you can imagine a cross between Troma, Mad Max, Flash Gordon and Masters of the Universe with a little bit of The A-Team thrown in then you’re probably somewhere near the target that Hell Comes to Frogtown (do you see what the title means now?) is aiming for, and it takes a certain person to fully appreciate that sort of combination but you wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t up for some cheap B-movie nonsense every now and then, would you?
Roddy Piper may not be up for any awards for his acting skills but he does have a likeable screen presence, riffing off of Kurt Russell’s Jack Burton in Big Trouble in Little China but being not quite as hapless, and he does have something of a chemistry with co-star Sandahl Bergman (Conan the Barbarian), who plays Spangle, the government official assigned to make sure Hell completes his mission. There are no other performances of note but the frog people themselves look pretty good, the animatronic frog masks giving the film a Planet of the Apes feel, and the action may seem a little tame by the sci-fi standards of today but it is nice to be reminded of a time when you could make out what was happening on the screen without manic jump cuts and CGI blood covering up a multitude of filmmaking sins (although the decent HD transfer of the film probably reveals more than it should in certain places when it comes to visuals).
To be honest, there’s not a lot else to add about the film as you can tell from the title and the lead actor whether it is your thing or not. Extras include interviews with Roddy Piper, actor Brian Frank and effects wizard Steve Wang plus an extended scene and a trailer so if it is your jam there is plenty of background stuff to get into. It is a whole heap of fun if you can tune into that wavelength of low-budget B-movies that exist solely for entertainment and nothing deeper than that, and on that level Hell Comes to Frogtown delivers.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★