Monday, September 21, 2015

Hell Comes to Frogtown - 1988

Rowdy Roddy Piper passed away pretty recently, at the end of July this year.  He had battled cancer several years ago and I had actually thought he'd died in the late 2000's, but he ended up beating cancer and then dies of a heart attack...  Geez, that sucks.  Well, he will ultimately be known for his wrestling and his movies, such as the immortal They Live, but this movie too is pretty well known in terms of cult films.

It's my opinion a movie like this became well known because of, initially, it's name.  People, it is a good tactic to name your movie something that sticks out.  I mean, sometimes it doesn't mean much to name your movie something really cool, but then again, I've seen movies based entirely their name.  You have a name like Hell Comes to Frogtown, a wacky actor like Roddy Piper, and a plot that involves the post-apocalypse, you are really guaranteeing yourself a cult following.  I'm just saying, it's like a formula.  You collect a list of things that make cult, and then just check 'em off.  But also, don't be self aware.

Hell Comes to Frogtown succeeds because of what it still has:  practical effects, enough of a budget to make the practical effects look cool, a neat desert looking location, kooky characters, good ol' camp feeling to it, and no self aware mood killer.  This movie is self aware, but for some reason that didn't used to mean they would make fun of themselves.  The movies that are self aware now are poking fun at their own fucking movie - it's like fucking Charles Band shit, naming his movie Killer Bong and having the CG villain break the fourth wall and talk to the audience....that's the kinda shit that just pisses me off.

It's again post-apocalypse, which destroyed all buildings and most hints of civilization (again except the strange cars) and most men and women are sterile.  Roddy Piper plays Sam Hell, a wasteland warrior who keeps to himself and does his own thing.  The remains of the government find him and ascertain that he is in fact not sterile.  By having him impregnate the remaining fertile women, the government can have more people which will give them a stronger position in the ever ongoing wars with other nations.  A female group of government workers attaches a steel fixture around his groin, keeping him as theirs, and goes around trying to find females.

One group of females is being held captive by a race of mutated frog-people, the Frog Men, who live in the titular Frogtown.  So now it's up to Hell and the government women to rescue the fertile women from the Frog Men.

It does work, it is cult, but for me it wasn't a great movie.  It runs okay, it doesn't hurt, but it's mostly unremarkable.  It's not classic in that like "must see" kind of a way.  I'd seen it before, years ago, and I remember thinking that same thing then.  For some reason, it just didn't stick with me.  I've seen a whole lot of cult films in my day, and this might be one that I honestly don't understand.  I'm not saying it doesn't deserve to be cult....or maybe I am saying that.

I just don't know how to really say that it wasn't a great movie other than that.  Maybe I had my expectations too high.  I am not that sure why.  I'll give it 2.5 stars.

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