Return to Frogtown (Frogtown II) (1993)
Return to Frogtown (Frogtown II) (1993)

Genre: Sci-Fi Adventure Running Time: 1 hr. 30 min.

Release Date: August 1st, 1993 MPAA Rating: PG-13

Director: Donald G. Jackson Actors: Robert Z’Dar, Denice Duff, Kelsey, Michael Nyman, Linda Singer, Lou Ferrigno, Don Stroud, Brion James, Charles Napier, Rhonda Shear, Ken Davitian

 


 

T

he leader of the segregated, transfigured frog people, Czar Frogmeister (with his offspring Czar Junior, a tiny puppet channeling Salacious Crumb, perched on his shoulder), relegated to the wastelands of “Frogtown,” has prepared a serum that will change all humans into similarly mutated frog/human hybrids. It’s formulated by Professor Tanzer (special appearance by Brion James) and administered by Nurse Cloris (Linda Singer). If the Frogmeister can control the strongest of the Texas Rocket Rangers (a legion of warriors tasked with keeping the peace between civilizations), no one can stand in his way. When a small band of toady troopers ransack a weapons stash and shoot down Ranger John Jones (Lou Ferrigno), flying around on sky patrol with his rocket suit (which resembles something out of “The Rocketeer” but with a much bulkier, almost laughable beak), the device that must not fall into the hands of the “greeners” ends up right in the antagonists’ webbed mitts.

Soon, the celebrated Ranger Sam Hell (Robert Z’Dar) is tasked by Captain Delano (Charles Napier) with the rescue of Jones, and is given a new partner, Dr. Spangle (Denice Duff) – the very same female scientist who previously supervised his governmental repopulation mission. Oddly, Hell doesn’t act like he knows her (indeed, with all the copulating he had to do with countless women to save mankind, it’s likely he doesn’t remember her at all). The duo joins specialist Brandy Stone (Don Stroud) on the borders of the reservation, where the creatures have broken the peace treaty upheld since Commander Toty (Kelsey) was thought to have been killed in the Frog Wars years ago. When the makeshift buggy Hell acquires is destroyed and Spangle is captured, his mission instantly doubles in complexity.

The rubbery, slimy, grotesque masks and “Mad Max” styled postapocalyptic gear are once again momentarily amusing, even though the budget has clearly decreased and the exploitive factors of this sci-fi B-movie have correspondingly diminished. Several of the townsfolk are bandaged up like lepers, evidently to obscure the use of complete (and more expensive) facial makeup, and the sets are limited to just a few shadowy interiors and baked desert fields. Punches and sword slashes miss their targets by very noticeable inches, as if the film is intentionally trying to meet every stereotypical element of poor moviemaking (except that it isn’t). And Spangle is once again forced to strip, though replacement actress Duff (the role was formerly played by Sandahl Bergman) isn’t paid enough to show the goods (muttering “Kinky horny toad!” during her tease).

The acting is terrible, the script is pointless, the dialogue is atrocious, frogkind voices are blandly unvaried, the music sounds cheap (even with more than one song written and performed specifically for the film – with the song “Frogtown” by Terry Jones Rogers of the Byrds of particular silliness), the action sequences are slow and uneventful (culminating in an Old West shootout and the most boring swordfight in cinema history), and the editing and cinematography leave a lot to be desired. For a 90-minute production, the plot plods along with numerous moments of drawn-out imagery, as if padded to fill the already limited runtime. It’s a genuinely excruciating experience to get through. But actor Z’Dar is a sight to behold, sporting jowls so disproportionately bulky that one can’t help but stare at his face. He steals every scene he’s in simply by unavoidably thrusting his uncontainable chin in, across, and about the insufficiently tiny frame.

– Mike Massie

  • 1/10

 

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