Hell Comes to Frogtown (Movie Review)

Director: Donald G. Jackson & R.J. Kizer | Release Date: 1988

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Sam Hell (Roddy Piper) is one of the only fertile men left on Earth after a nuclear war. He's been forced via explosive chastity belt by what remains of the U.S. government to head to Frogtown (a town run by mutant frog people, obviously) to rescue a group of fertile women.

That's a synopsis I actually just wrote.

If you imagine a movie that's a cross between Escape from New York and Road Warrior and then added in ridiculous frog people and mild sex comedy you'd have something close to Hell Comes to Frogtown. In case you can't tell from the film's title, it's pretty apparent that the filmmakers understood the extreme level of ridiculousness in what they were doing. The problem is, despite that self awareness, the film just isn't very interesting. There are actually quite a few sections during which the film feels rather slow. Not only that, but there's not a whole lot of quality comedy milked from the film's ridiculous premise. It feels like the filmmakers were depending on the mere premise of the film to carry it through, rather than doing anything with it.

There are a couple highlights that do keep the film from deserving a fate of complete obscurity, the first of which being Roddy Piper. Frogtown doesn't provide him with anywhere near the level of memorable moments as something like They Live, but the guy was just innately charming in the context of cheesy material like this. It's hard not to root for the guy

The makeup effects on the leading frog people are the other highlight. Considering the low budget nature of the film it's actually pretty impressive that they pulled off the level of quality they did. Sadly, the gap between these lead frogs and the secondary mutant makeup is really apparent. It's hard to blame them for devoting as much money and effort to the few lead characters as possible though.

At the end of the day, if you're in the mood for some quaint, b-movie shlock, there are worse movies to go with than Hell Comes to Frogtown, but it's hard not to go into the film expecting a level of absurdist joy that it just doesn't manage to reach.

Ben

I fell in love with a guy named Freddy at the age of 6 and I've never looked back. We've seen other people over the years: Jason, Michael, Pinhead, and numerous others for my part, and assorted buxom coeds on his. It's all been for the love of horror though.
Apart from having a love for most things horror, I'm an aficionado of heavy music, movies of the non-horror variety, literature (anywhere from classy to trashy), comic books, and burritos. Always burritos.

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