Here, Piper brings his larger-than-life persona that we have become accustomed to seeing within the wrestling ring, and indeed in the aforementioned They Live. There are very few comparisons between these two films. Although it does try, the cheesy comedy elements here just don’t measure up to They Live.
You would be quite right in expecting much humour in a film where the bad guys are mutant frogs, but the biggest laugh is probably when we discover that a frog-man has three penises. None of those great one-liners about “kicking ass” and “chewing gum” here, I’m afraid. In fact, the bad ass character of Sam Hell falls disappointingly short of They Live’s Nada. Despite being a war hero and all-round tough guy, Sam Hell doesn’t deliver the confrontational dialogue to the bad guy’s face as Nada would. Instead, we see him begging for his life upon capture, wincing and jumping about in pain when his testicles are being electrocuted (don’t ask, but Nada wouldn’t even have noticed!) and most upsetting of all for every fan of Rowdy Roddy Piper – as wrestler – he is knocked out cold with one punch.
On to the mutant frogs. It’s not quite clear if these were originally humans who have mutated to resemble frogs, or frogs who have developed into intelligent bipeds. Either way, it doesn’t matter, because this is the 1980s and such details never get in the way of your viewing pleasure. Just as well really, because the mutants look absolutely awful – but in a good way!
Another thing you should disregard in this B-movie, is the logic of the plot itself. You would normally question the reasoning for sending one of the few remaining fertile men on the planet on a deadly mission – even one of the mutants sees sense in this when they decide to strap explosives onto Sam to stop him from escaping their capture.
As you can probably tell from reading this review, this is not a film to everyone’s tastes. If you are looking for some 80s cult viewing to watch in ignorant bliss, you may enjoy Hell Comes to Frogtown. If you are looking for anything more, then move along.
Incidentally, this film spawned (excuse the pun!) the 1993 direct-to-VHS sequel, Return to Frogtown and 1996’s Toad Warrior (also known as Max Hell Frog Warrior).
This Arrow Video release is comes in both high definition Blu Ray and standard definition DVD presentation, a selection of interviews and featurettes – including Grappling with Green Gargantuans with Roddy Piper, reversible sleeves, extended scenes, the original trailer and the collector’s booklet that we come to expect from every Arrow Video release.
Hell Comes to Frogtown is released in the UK on Blu Ray on February 3rd.
Review: Hell Comes to Frogtown
By Andreas Charalambous - 30th January 2014
Hell Comes to Frogtown firmly belongs to that special pool of cult films to come out of the 1980s. Rowdy Roddy Piper – star of the other cult classic from 1988, They Live and countless fond memories of pro wrestling from that era – is the appropriately-named Sam Hell.
Sam finds himself with humanity’s future in his hands (or should that be ‘loins’) as he is one of the fortunate few men of the planet who remain fertile after following the bomb being dropped.
Aided by the gorgeous Spangle - Sandahl Bergman (Conan the Barbarian, Red Sonja, and the strong/silent/cigar-chewing-like-Clint Eastwood-type, Centinella (Cec Verrell), Sam must venture into the nuclear wastelands and rescue the women from the mutant frogs. So far, so typical 80s cheese-fest. This is B-movie magic as you would expect it, if you are of a certain age.