Saturday, June 05, 2010
Hell Comes to Frogtown (1987)
Following a nuclear war, the remaining inhabitants of Earth are few and most of the women have been left infertile due to fallout. Enter Sam Hell (the incomparable 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper), an oversexed vagabond whose sperm levels just so happen to be off the charts. Captured by the provisional governing body, he is forcibly recruited by the Med-Vac division to impregnate any woman found to still have a light on in their oven. This leads to a rescue mission in Frogtown where several nubile young ladies (how come the women in all these movies are always barely covered up? Are there really not enough tattered rags but for what amounts to a bikini? And better yet, why am I complaining about this?) have been captured by amphibian-human mutants that have been driven from what is left of society and restricted to their own makeshift towns. Hell and his all-female warrior companions kick rubber-masked ass, keep on the look out for more bubble gum (not likely to be easy in the post-apocalypse).
Hell Comes to Frogtown essentially boils down to being an entertaining but rather shallow effort. The humor is solid even if the timing of its actors is not (truth be told, Piper simply chewing scenery would amuse me) and he is most definitely the main attraction here.
The story suffers from a lack of imagination (I know what I just said, bear with me) outside of the interesting premise. We get Hell (in government sanctioned metal briefs to protect their investment) and his companions covering the first act on the road with little progress and a lot of campfires to sit around doing nothing. There is a rather forced love story sub-plot brewing between Hell and the main Med-Vac rep that was pointless and therefore will not be mentioned again.
The film picks up slightly once they finally reach Frogtown (which is basically a rundown construction site in the middle of the desert) and the mutants do look decent for the budget. There is more bantering and Farmer Vincent himself of Motel Hell (1980) pops up to flash his creepy, pearly white smile and get shot (movie has gotta have some heart after all). The kidnapped females are now employed in Commander Toty's harem and no worse for wear because of it. It makes for an odd scene when those that are to be rescued seem content with where they are, but they come along willingly all the same. It all ends as expected.
There seemed to have been a reluctance to discuss (humorously or not) the state of a world where procreation is expected to be the sole purpose for sex. The amphibian people are rightfully pissed about their situation but little is made of their plight or really even the intentions behind kidnapping the fertile women. We are told initially that they are being held for ransom, but then are suddenly held as (not really) sex slaves. There are whole scenes that consistently lead to nothing and have no bearing on the film as a whole. More than anything, I was disappointed in the directionless route that was taken when there was so much potential.
Just watch A Boy and His Dog (1975) again.