In May of 2015, I had the honor of meeting “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. I told him that when I was kid, when I watched the former World Wrestling Federation, he used to scare the teetotal hell out of me. He laughed, I laughed, and I’m proud I was able to share a laugh with such a cool, talented, great man.
Once I saw John Carpenter’s They Live, my fears evaporated (I shared that with the Rowdy one, too). I saw him in a different light, so to speak. My favorite scene is the “out of bubblegum” scene and he shared some behind-the-scenes anecdotes about shooting it. I wish I hadn’t been so starstruck that I remembered to ask him what it was like being groped by a mutant frog chanteuse.
In the near, or maybe far, future, nuclear war has left the world in shambles. Some of the side effects of the war are mutants (frogs in particular), and also mass sterilization due to all that radiation. There are a few fertile people, and the government collects them to put them to work repopulating the earth.
One such fertile man is Sam Hell (Roddy Piper). Sam is captured by militant nurses (they run the government) after they’ve tracked him by the trail of pregnant women he’s left in is travels. Sam’s a nomad, a fighter and lover, and he doesn’t take to well to being conscripted even if it is to, uh, be fruitful and multiply with a harem of beautiful women. I mean, he’s going to cooperate, of course, since it’s for the betterment of society, but he doesn’t necessarily like some of his new bosses’ tactics, such as the chastity belt they slap on him.
Before he gets to that governmental harem, though, he has to rescue a group of fertile women being held captive in the forbidden zone, the titular Frogtown. Helping him is Spangle, a nurse/scientist, and the guard Centinella who want to know if all the rumors of Sam’s virility are true. As it turns out, Sam’s reputation precedes him with most of the women he meets, even the mutant frog ones.
When they get to Frogtown, Spangle poses as Sam’s slave to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. You don’t want to know what the mutants do with the women, just know it involves the Dance of the Three Snakes. In their undercover mission, Sam and Spangle discover someone named Count Sodom has been dealing weapons to the mutants in an attempt to overthrow the new woman-centered government.
If you need proof that Roddy Piper was the best wrestler-turned-actor (sorry Rock), check out Hell Comes to Frogtown (or They Live or It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia). I think he gives a better performance in this movie than the Carpenter film, and he was pretty good in that one.
When a movie is titled Hell Comes to Frogtown, you expect it to be kinda outrageous and it doesn’t disappoint. It has most everything you could want from a low-budget, straight-to-video, B-movie from the 1980s and, possibly, it gives us a little more.