Hell Comes To Frogtown (1988)

Hell Comes To Frogtown (1988)

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Roddy Piper just realised he wasn't going to win any awards for this movie.
Roddy Piper just realised he wasn’t going to win any awards for this movie.

Twitter Plot Summary: Roddy Piper has women throw themselves at him, and he’s asked to impregnate them. There are also mutant frogs.

Five Point Summary:

1. Roddy Piper’s genitals are property of the government. Hah.
2. She’s too skinny, throw her back, Roddy.
3. Froooog people…
4. Chainsaw versus the groin of Roddy Piper.
5. Flares – a frog mutant’s natural enemy!

In a post apocalyptic future, war has killed off the vast majority of the population and Roddy Piper’s Sam Hell is one of the few remaining men who is capable of impregnating women. We meet him strapped to a chair and under the control of militant nurses who want to use his high sperm count to impregnate a few women and help save the human race. Complicating matters is that the stock of fertile women held by the militant nurses have been kidnapped and stolen away by some mutant frogs from Frogtown, and so they rope him into an adventure to reclaim the women and er, set him on his path. As it were.

It is of course a deliberately amusing premise and very much played for laughs. Perhaps not from the perspective of the director (Donald G Jackson is renowned for his trashy output), but the cast at least seem to be aware of what kind of movie they’re featured in and play it up for laughs. Exposition is spouted with reckless abandon, and the acting quality is only ever so slightly higher than the Troma routine, so very quickly you get a good feeling for how things will proceed. From the opening few minutes of daftness it just gets sillier and sillier, with the occasional foray into cheesy action territory for good measure. When Roddy Piper has to fight off the advances of a mutant frog woman, however, that’s when events take a turn for the entirely ridiculous and the threat of his genitals literally exploding rears its ugly head – and not for the first time.

Yes, that is a mutant frog wearing a fez. Fezzes are cool.
Yes, that is a mutant frog wearing a fez. Fezzes are cool.

It’s hard to believe that Roddy Piper was a viable movie star during the 1980s, although it’s easy to see why he decided to take this script. Women of all shapes and varieties, and in various states of undress, fling themselves at him on a regular basis. Despite the somewhat suspect quality of the women involved in the production (including a woman who’s apparently supposed to be attractive but looks like she could do with a few hot dinners inside her), he probably still had an absolute blast. Fair play, that man.

The mutant frogs are very poorly designed, and every single one of their lines of dialogue is said with elaborate levels of gusto, to the point where they’re practically the best thing in the film. They’re only just slightly behind Roddy Piper and his strange ability to act as though he’s cutting a wrestling promo at every opportunity. Which to be fair, was his day job at the time, so we should be perhaps a little less harsh on him for that. The influences on the script and production are clear to see for anyone who has even a passing interest in the genre. Mad Max in particular is the most obvious, with a dash of Star Wars Tatooine and a blatant rip of that episode of original Star Trek where Kirk fights the Gorn.

To call Frogtown a good film would be absolutely untrue, but it’s entertaining and any film where Roddy Piper shouts “Eat lead, froggies!” can only be a good thing.

Score: 2.5/5

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