The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

HELL COMES TO FROGTOWN (1988) ***

Rowdy Roddy Piper once again shows why he’s the best actor to come out of professional wrestling in the cult classic Hell Comes to Frogtown. It’s no They Live, but hey what could be? Still, if I could only bring three Piper flicks with me on a desert island, this would be right up there with They Live and No Contest.

Piper plays Sam Hell, one of the last fertile men in the post-apocalyptic wasteland. The government finds out about his potency and scientist Sandahl Bergman fits him with a high tech chastity belt to protect his junk. When they receive word that some virgins have been captured by mutant frog-men in Frogtown, they hop into their pink car and set out to rescue (and impregnate) them.

I first saw this movie on USA’s Up All Night and it was a special experience. (I’m going to resist the temptation to reminisce about Up All Night because then I may never get this review back on track.) Ever since, I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for this movie. It’s flawed and never quite lives up to its title, but I love it warts (no pun intended) and all. Besides, I’m naturally inclined to like any movie in which a guy has to bang a bunch of hot chicks in order to insure the survival of the human race. Add in the fact that it stars Rowdy Roddy and it takes place after the apocalypse and I’m all over it.

The first half hour of this movie is flawless. It feels almost like a post-apocalyptic version of a 30’s screwball comedy or something. Piper and Bergman make a great team and their constant bickering is pretty hilarious. However, once the action switches over to Frogtown, the flick loses a bit of its comic momentum. It’s still fun and goofy; it’s just that it’s nowhere near as inspired and funny as the first half.

The supporting cast is terrific all around. In addition to Sandhal Bergman we have the one and only Cec Verrell as a sexy soldier. If her name is unfamiliar, all I have to say is that Cec played the title character in Cirio H. Santiago’s Silk. Remember her now? Thought so. Wowsers is she ever hot. We also get William Smith as the villain, essaying villainy as only William Smith can. Motel Hell’s Rory Calhoun also shows up as Piper’s buddy.

And what can you say about Rowdy Roddy Piper? He’s simply the man in this movie. I had the opportunity to meet him at a convention and he was gracious and kind and seemed genuinely touched by my appreciation of his talents. They don’t come any classier than that.

Special Note: Image put this out on DVD as a double feature with Defcon-4, but I’d say it would make a better double feature with Ice Pirates (or maybe A Boy and His Dog) instead.

Bergman and Smith also appeared in Conan the Barbarian.

AKA: The Hunter. AKA: Transmutations.

Tags: action, comedy, h, sci-fi
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