HELL COMES
TO FROGTOWN

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Kelly Parks
Hell Comes to Frogtown
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SHOULD YOU?
TIP JAR
HELL COMES TO FROGTOWN - 1988
New World Pictures
Ratings: USA: R

U.S. Release: Jan. 1, 1988
Co-wrote, Directed, and Produced by Donald G. Jackson
Co-wrote and Produced by Randall Frakes
Starring: Roddy Piper, Sandahl Bergman, Rory Calhoun, and William Smith

The title makes it sound like a story about a bunch of snooty French jerks getting the comeuppance they so richly deserve, doesn't it? Well this isn't that. This is far more literal.

HELL COMES TO FROGTOWN was directed by Donald G. Jackson (GHOST TAXI, ROLLERGATOR) and R.J. Kizer (GODZILLA: 1985) and was written by Randall Frakes (XENOGENESIS, ROLLER BLADE WARRIORS, BLOWBACK). The story begins with brief narration describing a massive nuclear war that took place ten years ago. The "Provisional Government" is still at war, though it’s not clear with whom.

The first thing we see is a leaning Statue of Liberty in some sort of wasteland. A nice play on the final scene in PLANET OF THE APES resolves when a hand reaches in and picks up the statue, revealing the scale to be far smaller than it looked.

A very strange man wearing goggles and a thickly veiled beekeeper's hat examines the statue for a moment. Then another denizen of the wasteland tries to take the statue and the situation turns violent.

The story jumps to Sam Hell (Roddy Piper: THEY LIVE, DEAD TIDES, MARKED MAN) in the custody of local law enforcer, Captain Devlin (William Smith: CONAN THE BARBARIAN, RED DAWN, ZOMBIEGEDDON). The Captain is upset about Sam's relationship with his daughter and is about to express his displeasure with a broken beer bottle when Medtech shows up.

In this post-apocalyptic world men are in the minority (two-thirds of the male population was killed in the war) and fertile men (and women) are rare because of the radiation. So when Medtech (a branch of the provisional government) discovers Sam is potent he becomes very important to their plan to repopulate the nation.

Physical

His first mission is to impregnate a group of fertile women that have been kidnapped by the "greeners" – mutants that live on a reservation in the wasteland. He's accompanied by his Medtech boss, Spangle (Sandahl Bergman: CONAN THE BARBARIAN, RED SONJA, SORCERESS II), and tough chick soldier Centinella (Cec Verrell: NICE GUYS FINISH DEAD, RUNAWAY). And by the way if you put "greener" together with "Frogtown" and imagine, you know, frog-people, you're on the right track.

I can't maintain my straight face much longer so before I lose it, let's take a quick

!!!SCIENCE MOMENT!!!:
I know I don’t need to tell you that no amount of radiation will turn humans into frog people. But I will mention that radiation does lead to both sterility and the kind of inherited mutations that make you wish you were sterile. So rebuilding your population after a nuclear war would be a real concern.

But would that involve making fertile men wear chastity belts with "Property of Provisional Government" written on them? And would the largely female military really prefer to drive around in pink armored cars? And why would the mutation that makes you a frogman also make you over act?

There are two possible answers to these questions. Possibility number one is that this is a super low budget bad B horror movie trying to be taken seriously and ending up being a combination of unintentionally funny and really annoying.

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Possibility number two (and the right answer, as far as I'm concerned) is that this is a super low budget bad B horror movie that knows exactly what it is and glories in it's Roger-Corman-osity. It's not unintentionally funny – it is intentionally hilarious and a lot of fun to watch. I laughed again and again, especially when they finally get to Frogtown and meet the locals, including the way over the top frog named Bull (Nicholas Worth: SWAMP THING, DARKMAN, STARFORCE) and wasteland wanderer Looney Tunes (Rory Calhoun: NIGHT OF THE LEPUS, REVENGE OF BIGFOOT, MOTEL HELL).

This movie is so bad, it's great! I respectfully give it four negative shriek girls.

Negative Shriek GirlNegative Shriek GirlNegative Shriek GirlNegative Shriek Girl
This review copyright 2007 E.C.McMullen Jr.

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