DK Canada’s Monsters in the Movies brings me to the end of their chapter on Atomic Mutations with this delightful and so bad it’s enjoyable film starring Roddy Pipper, Sandahl Bergman and William Smith… Hell Comes to Frogtown.
A decade after humanity has been almost completely wiped out after a planet shattering nuclear war, a government brigade known as Med Tech roam the wastelands to track down virile men and fertile women. The male population is lower than it has ever been before, and male virility is now a rare thing.
Enter Sam Hell (Piper), a very virile specimen, he is snapped up by the government (and his junk locked up with an explosive device to prevent tampering or removal) and contracted into service, and will service any women that the Med Tech unit, led by Spangle (Bergman) with Centinella (Cec Verrell) as he armed support.
Venturing into the wastelands, they come across an escapee from Frogtown where is seems mutated, man-sized frogs, headed by Commander Toty (Brian Frank) have themselves a harem of human woman. The rescue is planned, the lines are terrible, and the action hilarious.
I won’t lie, I had a surprisingly good time with this one. I think my expectations were especially low, but I found myself laughing a lot, as there are role reversals, some truly execrable dialogue, and some very funny ideas brought to life on screen. In fact, I quite enjoyed it, and it’s easy to see why this is a film that achieved cult status. There is an appeal to it that speaks to the juvenile and base humour, and it works.
It’s a decidedly low budget foray, but I will say the animatronic masks that bring Toty and some of his cohorts to life are pretty damned exceptional, and it’s easy to see they paid a lot of attention to their design and creation.
Everything about this one is just out there, and if you’re willing to follow it, it’s badly enjoyable, and Piper’s acting skills, or lack thereof, serve the film perfectly as he mugs his way through the story.
The film was designed as a possible franchise launch, though whether that meant Piper would continue to return through the series or not is unknown. And I imagine it would only have spawned direct to video sequels that just got worse and worse, and considering where this film starts, that means they would have gotten pretty horrible pretty quick.
But as a one off, this one was an unexpected delight, and appeals to those with a silly, off-beat sense of humour, and are looking for something a little different.
Don’t believe me check it out today, or pick up a copy of DK Books’ Monsters in the Movies and find something monstrous to watch tonight!