|RETURN TO FROGTOWN
|1992 York Pictures Inc.
| Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 24 March 2002
- Sam - God forbid, Roddy Piper had plastic surgery and they replaced his face with a moon pie! Oh, false alarm, Robert Z'Dar is playing Mr. Hell this time.
- Spangle - Now that is a trim bikini line; hard to do with dark black hair.
- Ranger Jones - Lou Ferrigno! I think that the Texas Rocket Rangers (TRR) should recruit men with a more aerodynamic build. Lou is a big dude and impressive, but him wearing a rocket pack is like tossing a brick through the air.
- Professor Tanzer - Brion James! A brilliant, yet spacey, scientist forced to create a mutation serum. Shot.
- Brandy - Cordial fellow who is a blacksmith and veteran of the TRR.
- Capt. Delano - Charles Napier and he looks none too happy to be here.
- Fuzzy - Who came up with the idea of making the computer dispatcher a desirable female? Trapped in the middle of Texas, with no hope of relief in sight; talk about frustrating.
- Commander Toty - Cyber toad warrior! After losing to Sam last time he was rebuilt weaker, slower, and prone to skipping like a broken record. Sent to the scrap heap again.
- Zar Frogmeister - Apparently frogs are naturally loyal to a shogun. Explodes after being defeated.
- Zar Junior - Misguided genetic experiments are supposed to punish the creator, not the audience! Arrgghhhh!
|Now here is a textbook example of how not to make a sequel. Any artifice that worked in the first Hell Comes to Frogtown is either tossed out or attempted in a halfhearted way. Remember in "Better Off Dead" when Ricky made that goofy little jump to catch his balloons? That is what I mean by halfhearted. He was not going to stop them from drifting away. He knew that; he still pantomimed the motions just to tell others that he tried. This movie is, in fact, representative of a fat nerd jumping in the air to catch his balloons (but not really trying) for eighty-six minutes.
Zar Frogmeister puts his plan for world domination into effect by ordering the capture of a Texas Rocket Ranger. A commando force of greeners takes over a TRR armory and then steals an improvised attack vehicle (hereafter called the "frog tank"), complete with cannon and heavy machine gun. Thus armed, they intercept Ranger Jones and shoot him down with the .50 cal machine gun. Sam and Spangle are assigned to check on Brandy, scout out Frogtown, rescue Jones if he still lives, and discover what the mutants are planning. For some reason Sam and Spangle appear to be total strangers and he hates her for sexist reasons unknown. There are lots of problems already apparent, so here goes:
A single ranger guards the armory near Frogtown?
The above-mentioned armory is an old wooden shed?
Jones is flying high enough to leave a contrail, but the greeners shoot him down by wildly waving the automatic weapon in his direction. That would be several acres of empty air with one little rocket ranger in the middle. Not to mention exceeding the range of a .50 caliber machine gun.
The convoluted plot's sole purpose is to obtain a human specimen for Tanzer's experiments.
Brandy has been out of contact for several days. Nice radio net. Does anyone in the TRR understand communication procedures?
We also have the problem of Sam and Spangle's dissolved relationship. Last we saw of Mr. Hell, he was among the few fertile men left on Earth and busy impregnating women, but pursuing a sexual relationship with Spangle. What happened, did he become impotent? I mean, that would explain her sudden change of... ...er... ...heart (gotta keep it PG-13, gotta keep it PG-13). The film just leaves the whole mess hanging in midair, much like some chubby nerd's balloons.
The rocket packs are an integral part of the movie, whether it be people jumping to simulate takeoff or crouching if the script calls for a landing. So, when Sam and his partner fly to Brandy's blacksmith shop and borrow a dune buggy, we get to see both of those special effects. They are careful not to fly near Frogtown since the militant amphibians are scanning local airspace with a targeting radar. Personally, if I were a rocket ranger, taking out the radar station would be high priority.
Spangle is captured during the scouting expedition and Sam returns to the blacksmith's shop on foot after frog guards destroy the dune buggy. Toty makes the female prisoner strip down to aerobic class attire, minus the leotard, then perform a lifeless erotic dance. You got it - fat kid jumping. For his part, Lou looks embarrassed during this scene.
Eventually Sam goes back to Frogtown and gets captured himself. Another thing about this movie (imagine my voice changing pitch) is that an awful lot of time is spent with the main characters in cages, Lou Ferrigno most of all. The drug treatments are slowly changing Jones into a frog mutant, but they also leave him weak. With Sam's assistance he walks around to get blood flowing again, then bends the iron bars so they can escape. Huh, Lou Ferrigno with green skin, bending bars. Who would have guessed?
The escape is unsuccessful, as are three or four other attempts. During each one some seriously anti-climatic fight scenes happen. If you remember Commander Toty from the first movie, he was one bad mutha... (You shut yo mouth!) ...this time the warlord of Frogtown is knocked unconscious two or three times, with little effort on the heroes' part. Incompetence is universal; Sam misses two separate chances to sabotage the frog tank.
To test Jones' transformation into a perfectly obedient amphibian warrior, the Frogmeister orders him to kill the other captive humans. The "surprise" rescue happens just in time, largely assisted by greeners waiting patiently for a good guy to punch, kick, or shoot them. Before the viewer can even start to swallow that bowl of mush, the mysterious identity of Frogtown's shogun is revealed in all its idiotic glory.
A few amusing bits save the film from being unmitigated pain. The music, for example, is a wonderfully tacky mix of songs about frogkind. There is even a club scene that comes off like a music video, complete with big-headed singer and (eat the) fly girls. I wonder if having sex with a frog vixen causes genital warts? Ah well, some things mortal man was not intended to know.
The cover said that it was ninety minutes long. Thank goodness they were exaggerating.
|Things I Learned From This Movie:|| |
- Flying at high enough speeds to keep a human body airborne will not move the tassels on a jacket.
- Sometimes having good veins is a liability.
- Either toads cannot spell or they are inherently evil. (Your choice.)
- License plates make good armor.
- Samurai swords are used to bludgeon enemies.
- Nurses wear masks at all times.
- The age of consent for amphibians is pretty young.
- Interrogating a hand puppet is silly, but productive.
- Buckshot contains: wadding, powder, shot, and confetti.
- 8 mins - Teaching the rocket rangers survival, evasion, resistance, and escape must have been on next week's agenda.
- 13 mins - Is that a paper plate?
- 21 mins - "Planet of the Frogs!" Hehehehe!
- 31 mins - Lou Ferrigno saying, "Ribbet!" ladies and gentlemen.
- 45 mins - I might be wrong, but I seem to remember Bull dying in the original movie.
- 49 mins - That is the syringe they use to irrigate a wound with saline...
- 65 mins - Go away movie. I mean it, bugger off.
- 79 mins - Is he shooting a .50 cal machine gun from the hip?
- 85 mins - Of all the asinine plot points. End, damn you, end!
| ||Audio clips in wav format||SOUNDS||Starving actors speak out|| |
||Frogmeister: "All hail the mighty Zar Frogmeister!"
||Toty: "What is the secret of the rocket pack, Texas Rocket Ranger?"
||Sam: "You got any water?" |
Brandy: "Nah, never touch the stuff. Want a beer?"
Sam: "Sure, as long as it's not radioactive."
||Nurse: "Junior, what are you doing?" |
Zar Junior: "I'm here to keep you company."
Nurse: "I don't think so."
Zar Junior: "Oh yeah? Come here, I want to tell you something."
|Theme Song|| Listen to a clip from the soundtrack. |
| ||Click for a larger image||IMAGES||Scenes from the movie|| |
| ||Watch a scene||VIDEO||MPEG video files|| |
|I must say, the radar system used by the frog warriors is unique. Plus, not to split hairs, but how did they manage to hit the rocket pack and not Lou Ferrigno? Especially considering that it is located on his back.
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