Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hell Comes to Frogtown (Donald G. Jackson and R.J. Kizer, 1988)

What do you mean I'll have plenty of time to write about a lingerie-clad Sandahl Bergman being led around a post-apocalyptic wasteland on a leash? I want to write about it now! Her taut, muscular calves encased in the finest fishnet stockings money can buy, Sandahl's well-toned physique caused my putrid genitals to become engorged with a syrupy brand of off-kilter... Stop! As your legal counsel, and as your part time spiritual guide, I advise that you to ease into writing about this particular film's more fetishistic and sadomasochistic tendencies. You don't want to come off as some kind of weirdo who is obsessed with all things debasement-related. Pretend that you're interested in the film's convoluted premise, or better yet, share that anecdote you were telling us the other day about Harry–you know, the one about your pet frog who hopped away when you were five. It will give people the impression that you care about the films you write about. Excellent idea, my imaginary friend. Normalcy now, lunacy later. Underneath her frilly white panties lay an aching crevice just waiting to be... Whoa, I'm sorry. I have no idea where that came from. Let me try that again. The only film that I know of to take place in a radioactive universe where talking frogs wear welding goggles and pink ambulances are equipped with M-60 machine guns, Hell Comes to Frogtown is here to enlighten, entertain, and maybe enlighten so more, if it's got the time. I'm not sure if you know this, but I had a pet frog as a smallish child (don't laugh, but I was much smaller during the early stages of my existence). In other words, I know a thing or two about living in a world where frogs and humans coexisted in relative harmony. You'll notice I used the word "relative." Well, that's because the threat of nuclear annihilation constantly hangs over the head of frog-human relations.

In this particular film, the threat in question is no longer hanging, it has fallen on the relationship's head in the worst possible way. After a bunch of nuclear warheads go off during an unnamed armed conflict (let's call it: World War 4: The Quickening), the surviving humans discover that they can no longer produce offspring at the rate they're accustomed to. Their frog revivals, on the other hand, have developed the ability to walk and talk. Unsure of what to do with these upright amphibians, the humans do what they always do with things, people, and frogs they don't understand, they put them on a reservation, which, of course, is called "Frogtown."

Okay, that sort of explains part of the film's title, but what about "Hell"? How does this made-up netherworld filled with fire and a lacklustre amount of brimstone factor into this froggy tale? Well, it has nothing to do with the place, Hell's a person. Yeah, that's right, his name is Hell, Sam Hell (Roddy Piper), and he's come to Frogtown to ejaculate his potent sperm into the sheathlike structures pulsating between the legs of a fertile group of kidnapped human females.

While that may sound like a far-fetched, and, some might say, obscene thing to say, every word of it is true. You see, after, to quote the prologue of Café Flesh, "the nuclear kiss" destroys a good-size chunk of the planet, the survivors of the two warring sides struggle to replenish their ranks. It would seem that the majority of the population have lost their ability to reproduce. Those who can, however, are treated like heroes, and are encouraged by the provisional government to copulate as often as possible.

In charge of overseeing these widespread acts of patriotic fornication is Medtech, an organization whose sole purpose is to make sure the right people are fucking. When they get word that a man responsible for a string of pregnancies has been arrested by Captain Devlin (William Smith), a reactionary lawman with a grudge against the members of the female-dominated provisional government, Medtech send over a couple of technicians to commandeer the contents of his robust crotch for themselves.

Declaring the genitals attached to the body of Sam Hell to be the property of Medtech, two of their most qualified personnel, Patton (Eyde Byrde) and Spangle (Sandahl Bergman), show up to secure his "loaded weapon." As expected, this particular action causes the resentful policeman to whine and complain. However, a perfectly implemented Sandahlian Judo throw puts an end to his bellyaching. After running some tests (his sperm count is through the roof), fitting him with an electronic chastity belt (this will protect his precious junk from threats, both foreign and domestic), and making him sign some papers, Patton explains the details of the mission they want him to partake in.

Just to let you know, it's when Patton is going over the aspects of the operation that Sandahl Bergman utters he first line. Other than looking fabulous in her black-framed glasses and lab coat combo, Sandahl's character has been mute up until now. Well, that all changes when Sam makes an inquiry about expelling urine (making a pee pee while wearing a cast-iron codpiece could be fraught with foreseen complications). Looking at the confused musclebound mound of unejaculated sperm, she simply tells him, "there's a flap."

His mission is pretty straightforward: Locate a group of fertile women who have been kidnapped by an unruly gang of rebel greeners ("greeners" are what the humans call the frog people), rescue them from hostile mutant territory, and then, if he's still got any energy left, impregnate them. Accompanying him to make sure everything goes smoothly is Spangle and Centinella (Cec Verrell), a tough chick who seems most at ease while wielding the M-60 machine gun that is poking out from the top of their pink Medtech ambulance. The whole urination issue I alluded to earlier tests Spangle and Sam's relationship almost immediately, as he tries to make a run for it while pretending to take a piss. As he's making his escape, Sam feels a sharp pain in his groin. It would seem that Medtech have booby-trapped his crotch. The white earrings affixed to Spangle's earlobes are more than just a bold fashion statement, they also control and monitor the chastity belt. One earring is a proximity sensor (it sends a mild shock through the wearers genitals), while the other is a directional finder (a beeping sound helps Spangle locate the cherished privates whenever they go missing).

While it's quite obvious as to what Centinella's function is (provide security, throw the occasional dirty look in Sam's general direction, and cause the lesbians in the audience to soak their rough-and-tumble drawers), Spangle's duties are much more complex. On top of keeping tabs on the whereabouts his external sex organs, Spangle must also follow Regulation 12, which clearly stipulates that she assist when it comes to promoting potency. Since the highly valued contents sploshing around inside his loins must be ready to spew at any given moment, Spangle strips down to her camouflage bra and panties and dances erotically in order to maintain spermicidal integrity.

Much to the delight of her legions of fans, Sandahl Bergman's erotic dancing is actually required two more times in Hell Comes to Frogtown. After finding one of the kidnapped women (Suzanne Solari) wandering the desert (she somehow managed to escape), Spangle employs some of the seduction techniques she learned at Medtech. Applied in order to help persuade Sam into penetrating the fertile woman with his magic penis (her camouflage lingerie has been replaced with white lingerie), Sandahl's Spangle thrusts her... Wait a minute, what kind of man needs to be coaxed into having outdoor intercourse with a dishevelled woman he just met? In all my travels, I've never come across a man who didn't jump at the chance to fill a hole with his cock. Anyway, the other instance comes when Spangle is forced, at gun point, to perform the dance of the three snakes for the amusement of Commander Toadie (Brian Frank), leader of the rebel greeners. The way Sandahl Bergman utilized the flowing nature of her transparent garment during her dance will definitely remind the cooler people in the audience of her work in Xanadu.

When I saw Kristi Somers' name in the opening credits, I thought to myself: Yes! I loves me some Kristi Somers (she brought a plucky energy to Tomboy and Girls Just Want to Have Fun). However, I did not expect to see her playing a mutant frog woman. A dancer at a semi-popular Frogtown watering hole (come for dingy atmosphere, stay for the radioactive beer), Kristi's Arabella is introduced in a manner that was actually quite clever. Panning up her lithesome frame as she danced on the bar (a greener in a motorcycle helmet powers a small boombox by turning a crank), the camera tricks us into thinking we about to see an attractive woman. But instead, we're shown a mutated frog lady with killer legs. I love it when traditional titillation quickly turns to revulsion.

Judging by the twinkle in your eye, it's looks like you're about to go on some kind of lingerie-based tangent relating to the film's sadomasochistic content. Well, before you do that, let me ask you a question: Are you aware that you have already mentioned the sight of a lingerie-clad Sandahl Bergman being led about on a leash? You bet I am. Aren't you ashamed of yourself? Not in the slightest. Up until this point, Hell Comes to Frogtown has been mainly a testicle tormenting affair, with Spangle holding sway over the structural well-being of Sam's reproductive future. The balance of power shifts somewhat when Spangle devises a plan to get both her and Sam's sperm into Frogtown without arousing suspicion. Sheathing her healthy body in black stockings (their gravitational fortitude is assisted by garters attached to an unseen garter belt), a black bra, and black tattered smock (the frayed edges allowed for an unpredictable distribution of undercarriage-based Sandahl skin), Spangle bounds herself with manacles and hands Sam a leash.

The idea is to pretend Sam is a bounty hunter and that Spangle is a new sex slave for Commander Toadie's harem. While this sounds like a recipe for disaster, it actually turns out to be pretty solid rouse. Only problem being that Sam seems to be having way too fun yanking Spangle's leash. However, even though she's let her hair down and taken off her glasses, Spangle is still the one wearing the white earrings in this relationship. Meaning, she can still zap his scrotum with the flick of a wrist.

Things start to go downhill,absurdity-wise, when Sam's chastity belt and Spangle's lingerie are removed (a mutant greener played by Nicolas Worth uses a chainsaw to remove the chastity belt), and the film morphs into a stale action movie. Without the chastity belt, Roddy Piper is just some musclebound dude not wearing a chastity belt. You might as well have cast Peter North (now there's a guy with tremendous spunk) as Sam Hell. In fact, I hear that Hell Comes to Frogtown was supposed to be an adult feature, but then got re-branded as an action comedy. It's true, I would have liked to have seen more perversion and less action, but the film's wacky premise does carry its bloated corpse far enough through to the desert to make the trip feel like a worthwhile endeavour.

video uploaded by justking81


  1. Good review! Thought this was ok. Could have been better. Roddy Piper and Bergman were decent in it.

    The sequel "Return To Frogtown" is hilariously bad!

  2. I think pornstress Jill Kelly was in one of these films... Max He'll Toad Warrior perhaps? I'm too lazy to open another tab ;-)

  3. So, I'm reading this week's EW, and in the review of the MMA movie, Warrior, Owen Gleiberman writes, "In this film, [Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy], are closer to the second coming of Tom Berenger and Michael Pare. Owen an Eddie and the Cruisers fan?!?

    I'm trying to figure out what Gino Vannelli was doing on CFNY's 87 of 87.

  4. @Ty: Return To Frogtown?!? No thanks. ;)

    @Darius Whiteplume: Max Hell Frog Warrior?!? I had no idea the Frogtown films were so fruitful.

    @Karim: Oh my god, I think you might have just outed OG as an Eddie and the Cruisers fan.

    I haven't looked at this week's issue yet. (Jawbreaker and Mommie Dearest were mentioned in the previous issue.)

    Random Jeopardy rerun thought: You should be rewarded for not being able to finish Cold Play lyrics.

    Gino Vannelli's "Black Cars" (look better in the shade) was a tolerable jam, but I totally understand your confusion.

    I'm still trying to get over the fact that you called "I Wanna Be A Flintstone" a good song. Just kidding. (CFNY used to play the hell out of that one.)

    Sonic Boom, the semi-iconic Bloor Street music store featured in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, has moved into Honest Ed's.

  5. Ah, Max Hell Frog Warrior, which did indeed have Jill Kelly ( and likely puts none of her true talent to good use; but can you blame her for wanting to branch out?