Hell Comes To Frogtown is centred in a world where nuclear war came and went after the government bigwigs through it would solve all problems and just require a few bombs going back and forth between warring countries… No, it set mankind back ten years (I’m surprised it wasn’t longer). 68% of the male population was wiped out and the world needs a population explosion rather than more atomic ones.
Step forward Sam Hell (the late, great Rowdy Roddy Piper). He’s not quite Snake Plissken, but he *is* the most fertile man on the planet after radiation left most men shooting blanks, hence why a special, controlling chastity belt is in place about his person.
There’s some cheesy dialogue such as when hot blonde nurse Spangle (Sandahl Bergman) teases Sam with some hanky panky and then pulls back, she insists that because she’s got to keep him in a state of arousal, she was ‘just doing her job’, he retorts, “Well, when we get back I’ll have them give you a raise(!)”
Throw in a load of kidnapped women, the solution to which as Spangle tells Sam is: “We’re gonna get ’em out, and you’re gonna get ’em pregnant”; and none of it really makes a great deal of sense, but there’s quite a few laughs in it and I can see this how it would be a cult hit, plus there’s some great special effects work done with the frog outfits, especially the head for Commander Toty (Brian Frank).
He ever gets to deliver his trademark eye poke! 🙂
Overall, there are some great moments in this, but it is mixed in with some uneven sections where not a great deal happens, leaving it feel partly like a cross between Indiana Jones and Mad Max but with frogs. In fact, I can see where Mad Max Fury Road got the idea for that harem from. Oh, and add in a potential for Robin Askwith with Confessions of a Randy Rowdy Soldier 😉
The film is presented in the original 16:9 widescreen ratio and in 1080p high definition. For a low budget movie that’s almost 30 years old, while there’s occasionally a bit of a hazy look early on, the majority of the film shows a print that’s clean and sharp and looks as stunning as Spangle when she shows Rowdy that she’s trained in seduction techniques 😉
The audio is in DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 (mono). It’s fine in all departments with no problems.
The extras are as follows, starting with one I wasn’t expecting, but I’m guessing it wasn’t recorded too long ago:
- Grappling with Green Gargantuans (22:16): Rowdy Roddy Piper reminisces on his time in the film and how he didn’t realise any success the movie had at the time as he was too busy wrestling, and assumed it did badly and carried that feeling around with him for many years. Also, he doesn’t sound too well in this interview.
- Creature Feature Creator (15:25): with special effects supremo Steve Wang, who tells how, at £12,000, he practically worked on the film for free, while behind his back the studio were going to othe companies to find out how much they’d do the same work for (assuming Wang was ripping them off), and the lowest estimate was around four times the price he was charging!
- Amphibian Armageddon (14:10): with Brian Frank, aka Commander Toty, who tells Spangle to dance for her.
- Extended Scene (2:31): An extended version of Sam Hell being captured. It’s in 4:3 and in dodgy VHS quality, but I’d take that over not seeing it on this disc, as this will be the only way to see it.
- Trailer (1:52): I would say it’s full of spoilers, but… it’s a mad movie anyway.
- Reversible sleeve: featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jeff Zornow.
The main menu features a short piece of the music set to clips from the film. There’s the bog-standard 12 chapters here, but surprisingly for Arrow, NO subtitles. Why is this?
Running time: 87 mins
Distributor: Arrow Films
Released: December 19th 2016
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS-HD 1.0 Master Audio (Mono)
Widescreen: 1.78:1 (35mm)
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Donald G Jackson and RJ Kizer
Producers: Donald G Jackson and Randall Frakes
Screenplay: Randall Frakes (based on the story by Donald G Jackson and Randall Frakes)
Music: David Shapiro
Sam Hell: Roddy Piper
Spangle: Sandahl Bergman
Centinella: Cec Verrell
Captain Devlin/Count Sodom: William Smith
Arabella: Kristi Somers
Runaway Girl: Suzanne Solari
Looney Tunes: Rory Calhoun
Leroy: Cliff Bemis
Patton: Eyde Byrde
Bull: Nicholas Worth
Commander Toty: Brian Frank
Crosse: Danelle Hand
Squidlips: Julius LeFlore
The Poor Dufus: RCB
Narrator: Lara Cody (uncredited)