The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

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Announcement

Hi everyone, it's been a while since I checked the page, and I wanted to make a few announcements.

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--Matt

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Hell Comes to Frogtown (1987)

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This is it. This is the big one. No blog on bad direct to video films is complete without this cinematic gem. It's like reviewing the best films of all time without putting in Casablanca, or the worst films of all time without putting in National Treasure. Well, I've finally got my shit together and here it is. The review, not my shit.

Hell Comes to Frogtown is an hour-and-a-half of pure awesome starring Rowdy Roddy Piper as Sam Hell, a fertile man captured by the women who rule the world in the post-apocalyptic future. His job is to go into Frogtown and free some women and impregnate them. To make sure he doesn't waste his seed on any frivolous sexual forays, the government has equipped him with a chastity belt that will explode if he tries to take it off. Frogtown is this reservation of mutant half human half frog people that smacks of Mos Eisley from the 1st Star Wars. Piper fights his way through them, saves the women, and takes them back across the border to do his patriotic duty.

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This has to be one of the most amazing things ever committed to film. Piper was awesome, the frog people ruled, there were plenty of hot chicks, and even more random explosions. This was also intentionally funny, especially the stuff with Piper and the chastity belt. It may have taken a lot from Star Wars: not only the Mos Eisley feel, but also the desert and the sand people like dudes; and the jump from scene to scene was similar to the way Lucas did it, where a windshield wiper would seem to shoot across and reveal the next scene. Of course, Lucas didn't come up with that effect on his own, he took it from Kurosawa.

Piper used roles like this one to cement his place in the DTVC Hall of Fame. He plays this to the hilt, totally getting the tongue-in-cheek vibe. There's no one else who could've played this part. One of my favorite scenes he did was with this frog man who was trying to remove the chastity belt with a chainsaw. First Piper's telling him not to do it, because it might explode. But then the tracking device kicks in, causing him immense pain, so he screams for the guy to saw it off. The look on the frog's face is priceless. Any Piper fan who hasn't seen this isn't actually a Piper fan.

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The premise of this is hilarious too. Reading the plot summary off my Netflix package to my friends, they thought it was a porn flick. The idea of a post-apocalyptic future where women rule and most men are sterile is cool to start with. Then throw in the frog people, and you're really cooking. The Piper is just the icing on the cake, and there's a sense that the people making the movie understand who he is, because he uses his patented wrestling moves to get through the frog people.

William Smith is in this as a bad guy, as he usually is. He plays an army dude who wants to kick Piper's ass, then later we find out he's also smuggling goods into Frogtown illegally, using his status in the army and position on the border. This guy is an awesome baddie, and his showdown with Piper at the end is classic. I don't want to give it away too much, but it's cool. Also, Sendahl Bergman plays Piper's love interest. You may remember her as Arnold's love interest in Conan the Barbarian, or as the baddie in Red Sonja.

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If you haven't seen this yet, it's an absolute must. If you've already seen it, you may want to see it again. If you don't want to make the commitment to buy it, at least bump it to the top of your Netflix. You won't be disappointed. A definite cornerstone to a night of bad movie viewing.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093171/

3 comments:

  1. I stumbled across this one by accident, but so glad I did as definatly a true cult classic, especially for Piper who gets all the best lines including my personal fav "Eat lead Froggies!".
    Also love the fact that the mutant frogs only seem to have built a GoGo Bar and little else, bar the Mine they mention but never show. Good review.

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  2. Yeah, it was pretty much everything a movie with Roddy Piper and killer frogs could be, which was fantastic.

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  3. Don't forget Cec Verrel as "Sentinella", who had this cool, bisexual butch energy as the mission's driver and gunner.

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