DEF-CON 4: THE LAST DEFENSE. THE LAST HOPE. Howe (Tim Choate), Jordan (Kate Lynch), and Walker (John Walsch) are three astronauts who return to earth two months after a nuclear holocaust and must confront a new and terrifying reality. All the cities and towns have been destroyed. Shanty towns have been constructed from the refuse of the old world. Civilization has given way to barbarism. And the battle for the future of the world has just begun.
HELL COMES TO FROGTOWN: WELCOME TO THE FUTURE. A MUTANT-FILLED INDUSTRIAL NIGHTMARE. Sam Hell (Roddy Piper) is a muscle-bound combination of wise guy cool and deadly force. It’s up to Hell and the armed and dangerous beauty Spangle (Sandahl Bergman) to brave the barren wasteland once known as Earth and ruled by slimy, green overgrown amphibians. Their mission: to perpetuate the race by impregnating as many fertile women as possible. Humanity’s last hope for survival lies in the abilities of a beauty and a beast!
Hell's adventure begins when a group of scientists working for something called Med Tech (or some such thing) save his life from a sadistic soldier, a Captain Devlin (William Smith), bent on killing the fertile fool. It seems Sammy impregnated this guy's daughter and attempted to mosey on down the road, something the soldier finds reprehensible. As part of the bargain for rescuing Hell from an early demise, Med Tech insists that he sign on to a most peculiar mission. He must rescue a bevy of fertile women from the clutches of humanoid frogs. Just in case Sam attempts to run away from his duties, the scientists saddle the hapless dupe with a rather painful looking chastity belt that will explode should he attempt to remove the device or flee. Heading off to Frogtown with a sexy scientist and a punk rock looking bodyguard, Hell and company spend most of their time schlepping around the desert making crotch jokes. Predictably, his two female companions hit on him, the chastity belt inflicts pain on several occasions, and the trio picks up a ratty looking girl in the desert. If you're not laughing so hard by this point that your sides hurt, you can keep watching for more hijinks as Sam and his gang stroll into Frogtown.
From the moment Hell walks into a bar inhabited by numerous mutated frogs, the film takes on a weirdness and utter ridiculousness I have rarely witnessed in any other movie. There's a vivacious frog stripper with eyes for male humans, a sadistic thug frog who seeks to do humans harm, and Rory Calhoun as an elderly miner named Looney Tunes. Lots of chase scenes, "exotic" dancing, and explosions follow as Hell attempts to free the women and fulfill his contract. Tricking human sized frog creatures bent on controlling the human race is never easy, but Piper and the rest of the cast sure give it the old freshman try. The movie tries hard to have a twist ending, but by the time Count Sodom and his cronies arrive on the scene I began to divorce myself mentally from the proceedings. Regrettably, the man called Sodom shows up at the end of the film, meaning I actually paid attention for most of the movie. It's not that "Hell Comes to Frogtown" is a bad B budget film; rather, the problems I had with the picture seemed to revolve around the fact that I watched it while I was awake. My bad.
It's easy, too easy in fact, to bash this movie for its cheesy production values, ridiculous eighties haircuts, and ludicrous plot. It takes a hardy soul indeed to overlook the myriad flaws in this film. I found the experience more bearable when I concentrated on the familiar actors and actresses parading across the screen. You've got Sandahl Bergman, of "Conan the Barbarian" fame, playing the role of Spangle, the sexy scientist charged with guarding Sam Hell on the trip to Frogtown. William Smith plays the dual roles of Captain Devlin and Count Sodom with his usual gravel voiced charm. Don't spend too much time scratching your head over the appearance of Rory Calhoun as the oddball Looney Tunes. This actor, whose career stretched back into the Golden Age of Hollywood, was apparently willing to take any role as he entered the 1970s and 1980s. He's probably best known to B movie lovers as the grinning Farmer Vincent in "Motel Hell." His appearance here is ample proof that earning a paycheck in the movie business beats working a real job any day. Really, the only redeeming quality of "Hell Comes to Frogtown" is Roddy Piper in the lead role of Sam Hell. Piper isn't a great actor by any stretch of the imagination, but there is always something fun about watching him tackle a part. He's much, much better in "They Live," of course, but his presence helps this movie immeasurably. Piper's ability to keep a straight face here should win him some sort of award.
Amazingly, the picture quality of this DVD is quite good. It's even in widescreen. The only extras are a trailer and a commentary track from the director and writer. Why they didn't let Piper make a few remarks is a mystery and a sad omission. Seriously, most fans of cheap science fiction will want to give this one a watch if for no other reason than to see giant frogs with human attributes pummel Piper senseless. Watch it as a double feature with "They Live."