HELL COMES TO FROGTOWN
* * * (1987, 86 minutes, Rated R)
Playtime in Piper's Pit
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You’d think I would know better than to go into a Bargain Bin Review-caliber film with high
expectations. I knew little about this Reader Recommendation, but still: “Rowdy” Roddy Piper in a
post-apocalyptic world filled with mutant frogfolk – what’s not to love?
The film certainly starts off on the right foot: The voice over
narration – What? No text crawl? – tells us that World War
III lasted a whole 10 days, during which time humanity
nuked itself back to the Stone Age. In other words, this will
be the kind of post-apocalyptic film where most of the
action takes place in abandoned lots with people wearing
random items of clothing.
The music tries to tell us that the film will be exactly like
Planet of the Apes. I’m not buying it.
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper is Sam Hell, a wa— oh, I get it! HELL
Comes to Frogtown. Clever. Very good, movie.
Where was I? “Rowdy” Roddy Piper is Sam Hell, a wanted
man who gets a chance to have his record wiped clean
because he’s one of the last fertile men on the planet. All
he has to do is wear a metal diaper (to protect his
“government equipment”) and rescue a bunch of fertile
|"Rowdy" Roddy Piper wants
YOU... to watch his movie.
women from the mutants of Frogtown so he can impregnate them.
Many of you lads will be shocked -- shocked! -- to hear that Sam doesn’t spend the next 20
minutes of the film high-fiving himself. That would be due to the aforementioned metal diaper,
|Sam Hell and his metal diaper.
which functions like a proximity collar. If
Sam gets out of line, he gets a shock to
the junk. If Sam tinkers with his metal
diaper or tries to run off, it’ll blow up.
The woman with her finger on Sam’s
button (so to speak) is Dr. Spangle, who
is the very definition of an ‘80s hot
librarian. Dr. Spangle is also trained in
the “arts of seduction,” and provides
many “sexy moments” in the film. Sadly,
this is what passed for sexy in the late
‘80s. God bless the Internet.
Off they go with the militant Cintinella and her pink roadster with a machine gun mounted to the
Dr. Spangle’s actual plan for rescuing the ladies is never really clear, but it doesn’t really matter
because the plan is run off the rails almost immediately by the mutants of Frogtown. The
Frogtownians are just like the apes in the Planet of the Apes films, but frogs. Their iron-fisted
leader is Commander Toty, who demands that Dr. Spangle perform the “Dance of the Three
Snakes“ late in the film. That’s a scene that I’m still trying to get my head around.
My biggest disappointment with Hell Comes to Frogtown -- and I can’t believe I’m writing this -- is
with Piper’s surprisingly sedate portrayal of Sam Hell. Maybe having women constantly throw
themselves at him has kept him mellow. All I know is that Piper is a master of manic energy (see
below), but here he seems to be channeling The Dude from The Big Lebowski and that’s not as
fun as it sounds.