RETURN TO FROGTOWN
1992 York Pictures Inc.:
Submitted by WingedSerpentTHE CHARACTERS
Sam Hell-Robert Z’Dar. Hero of the movie. Nice to see Jay Leno’s descendants survived the apocolyspe.
Dr. Spangle-Denice Duff. A tough female rocket ranger who says she can handle herself just fine. Spends most of the movie crying in a prison cell after being caught by frogs.
Commander Toty. Villian of the first movie. Turned into a cyborg. De-cap-i-toaded
Nurse Cloris-Linda Singer: Just a sexy nurse, a traitor to her own kind or the true hero of Frogtown.
Ranger John Jones-Lou Ferrigno Get turned green and strong and I will not be making that observation.
Brady Stone-Don Stroud: Former rocket ranger, apparently quit because of some reason. Not being able to fly because he only has one eye was clearly not the reason.
Professor Tanzer-Brion James: Looks like Larry fine but is a brilliant geneticist. Shot in the back by the Czar.
Captain Delano-Chrales Naiper. Gives orders to Sam and Dr. Spangle. Only real companion is a VR woman.
F.U.Z.Z.Y-Rhonda Shear: Artificial Intelligence that tries to make everything sound sexy.
Czar Frogmeister: New ruler of Frog town and owner of one of the most awesome villain names in Cinema history. Commits suicide due in part to his son’s betrayal.
Czar Jr: Czar Frogmeister’s son. Puppet. Somewhat annoying. All you really need to know.
Bull: Czar Frogmeister’s presumably forth in command after Jr and Toty. Killed by a one-eyed man in a robo duck outfit.
The Frog People (Greeners): Now liked to be called Americans of Amphibian descent.THE PLOT
Return to Frogtown is one of those sequels that sort of ignores the previous one. The movie implies that similar events took place, just not the same ones. In this movie, human existence is pretty much returned to normal. No more high value on still fertile males and just about everyone is getting along fine. Maybe rather than a direct sequel, this is a lateral one that takes place in some alternate time line. Similar but different. Frogtown: Earth 2.
The audience is quickly introduced to the main villain as a deep unseen announcer calls out "ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY CZAR FROGMEISTER". That has got to be one of the greatest opening lines in all movies.
The Czar sends a small group of frogmandoes to get some supplies. First off is some guns that are kept in a small shed guarded by one person. It would seem dangerous to have a small arsenal so easily acquired, but then again, this is taking place in Texas. Next is a muscle car with a machine gun and an old Atari game system for radar. The final item on the shopping list is the strongest of the Texas Rocket Rangers. That would be Ranger John Jones played by Lou Ferrigno. The Czar's plan is to turn him into a frog/human hybrid. (Lou Ferigno being turned green-No I will not make the obvious reference).
Jones is out patrolling when the Frog Tank's main gun shoots him down. He calls to F.U.Z.Z.Y for assistance. F.U.Z.Z.Y is the AI system with a woman’s face and voice that helps run the Rocket Rangers. (No, we are never told what F.U.Z.Z.Y stands for.) Jones is forced down and is quickly taken hostage.
I could file the entire quotes section just with anytime somebody mentions F.U.Z.Z.Y. or Czar Frogmeister by name.
At RR headquarters, Captain DeLano (Charles Naiper) gives the orders to rescue Jones and see what the Sam Hell is going on to Sam Hell. Gone is Roddy Piper, and now replaced with human Easter Island statue Robert Z'Dar. and his new partner Dr. Spangle is being portrayed by Denise Duff. Both original actors have been replaced and both have personalities much different than before (Remember, this is Frogtown Earth 2). They fly off using the rocket suits which have the appearance of the Rocketeer if it had been designed for a pelican. They land at the shed of Brady Stone-the one eyed former Rocket Ranger, whose house will serve as a checkpoint in the movie.
At the Wild West reenactment center that is Frogtown, Commander Toty and Nurse Clorris have been using a secret formula to turn Jones into a big green man (still won't make the obvious joke). Commander Toty is back thanks to the Czar turning him into a cyborg, and I think he may have removed a snake or two to make him more controllable. Nurse Clorris is a sexy nurse with green skin, or the true hero of the movie. (I'll give my reasons why later).
Hell and Spangle take off from Brady's in an ATV built for two and soon find themselves in a driving montage. They run into a couple of frog soldiers. Shots are fired, frogs die, model cars are blown up, Spangle is captured, and Hell is forced to walk back to Brady's.
Spangle is brought before Commander Toty, who first orders her to strip then orders her to entertain him and some of his troops. Down to just her underwear and boots, She decides this is the best time to try out her new comedy improv act. She asks for the name of a famous person and an occupation that requires a lot of talking on the phone. No, not really-although that would have really been something different. In reality, Dr. Spangle does the most half hearted sexy dance ever. This is no "Dance of the Three Snakes". Not a lot of dancing, and Toty's snake looks uninterested. Like I said earlier, he was made more controllable. So since he is not feeling...uhmmm...up for anything else, he has Spangle taken away the jail cell to cry-as how she will spend most of this movie. Poor Denise though. She really looked uncomfortable during this scene.
Czar Frogmeister and his puppet son JR are getting impatient with the creator of the trans-frog-mation formula: Prof. Tanzer. They want the process to be quicker.
Sam Hell lands near Frogtown, hides his rocket, and then lightly jogs toward Frogtown. He steals the uniforms from some frog sentries and heads to the one place he knows he can get some valuable information. The Night Club. It is after all Saturday night.Inside we get another one of the films more fun moments. Standing on the stage is a frog band, complete with dancing girls, singing the song Meaner and Greener. The music is really catchy. Also notice the dancing girls. They're singing along, smiling, laughing, etc. You can tell that a lot of people where just having fun with this part of the movie.
It's here where the hero and real heroine of the movie meet as Nurse Clorris introduces herself to Hell, quickly finding out he's human. She agrees to give him some information for some something else. Seeing how some frog women look like normal women, just with green skin. Some sort of attraction between the two might not seem so strange. Clorris is infatuated with Sam, and Toty seems to have a thing for human women. And in this internet age, it's still relatively normal compared to some of the other stuff you can find out there.
So just as the audince is seeing some green skin on giant chin action, Toty, and JR bust in on the two. Clorris tells Toty that Sam was trying to have his way with her and he is taken away. Selling our Sam Hell, or setting herself up as a possible ally on the outside?
In the jail, Sam gets John feeling stronger even though he's now very green thanks to the treatment. (Nope, still not going to make obivious joke about Lou Ferrigno being stong and green). But just enough, before Toty, Tanzer and Clorris arrive to give them all their shots.
Sam tells the now feeling better and greener John to break through the cell bars so they can escape. O.K. I'll finally say it. Lou Ferrigno's character is an obvious reference to super strong and green comic book character. That's right, he's THE MARTIN MANHUNTER. I mean, his name is even John Jones. And as we all know, in the comic, Martian Manhunter goes by the name John Jones, a variation of his martian name J'onn J'onzz. There! Finally got the obvious reference out of the way.
Meanwhile, Commander Toty is talking to Tanzer. Unbeknownst to them all, is Tanzer has created a phony frog formula and is about to dispose of the real stuff. Nurse Clorris asks him an innocent question and Tanzer freaks out and hits Toty with a beaker. A real act of random violence. It's out of nowhere. Instead of telling a lie, or something else, Tanzer's only real instinct is to hit the robo-toad over the head with a glass beaker.
Sam and the other bust into the lab and seemingly knock out Toty. Tanzer won't leave until he's destroyed the real formula. Nurse Clorris offers to help if they take her with them. Sam agrees but before anything can happen, Toty, who was playing possum, gets the drop on him.
The humans are thrown back into jail, and are ordered to be executed at dawn. Johns will perform the execution to see if he is loyal, while Nurse Clorris will recreate the professor's formula to make sure Tanzer is no longer needed.
Sam is brought to the lab so Nurse Clorris can use the serum on him, but instead she grabs JR and shoves him in a cabinet under the sink. She then releases Hell, saying she's doing it because she likes him. (I have a different theory. I'll get into that later.) The two interrogate JR to see if they can get him on their side. If JR helps, he might get to take over when they overthrow his dear old dad.
Sam and JR escape leaving Nurse Clorris in the lab. Sam knocks out the same couple of sentries he did before and YOU LEFT NURSE CLORRIS IN THE LAB?!?! You just left her there? I know JR is easier to move, but you could have at least helped her get a head start. She did help you after all. You don't know that she'd be put in the cells with the others. Toty might have executed her right there on the spot.
Sam lightly jogs to the bush where he hid his rocket (Get your minds out of the gutters). Bull and a couple of frog solders go chasing after and eventually recapture him.
Sam, Tanzer, Spangle, and Nurse Clorris are tied to the front of a store so they can have Ranger John Jones execute them. As Jones is struggling to resist, the killing is halted by Brady landing in the middle of the town square, shooting Bull, some frog solders, and probably a couple innocent amphibians who were out for a morning walk. During the distraction, Hell, and Spangle escape
Tanzer is about to revel some deep dark secret about Czar Frogmeister, but is shot before he can say it. Czar's a pretty good shot because he hits Tanzer with just one bullet from his gattling gun. Sam flies up to the tower to confront the Czar but first must meet Toty in a final sword fight. Doesn't end well for Toty. He croaks. (I’m so sorry for that one)
Sam and Czar Frogmeister exchange dialog, as the Czar says mankind's time is up. Before he can shoot, JR distracts him and Sam is able to get the six foot heavy piece of anti-personal firepower away from him. Time for the big reveals.
First off, JR is a failed genetic experiment, which explains his size and appearance. Sam says Czar Frogmeister should have given him a chance. In the Czar's defense, he did allow JR to oversee some very important parts of his place. Also, he never really seemed mean to JR. He could have killed JR when he stopped growing, but instead made the little puppet thing his son. I actually image that until this movie, they may have had a healthy father/son relationship: complete with fly fishing, baseball games and even helping with homework.
The second big revel is that Czar Frogmeister isn't a real frog either. He's really Prof. Tanzer's twin brother. Sporting some strange half frog face, he gave up on humanity and decided to side with the amphibians. Out of options, surrounded by rocket rangers and just betrayed by the creature he called son, it all becomes too much for the poor man so he commits suicide by activating his suit's electro bomb.
The day is saved. Mankind is safe. The rangers head back to human civilization taking Jr with them. Sam says goodbye to Nurse Clorris and...
Hey Sam, remember your promise? That if she helped you escape, you'd take her with you? Your taking JR instead? That's gratitude. Yes, there are some lines at the end that reveals if the frogs stay out of trouble for a year, they'll be allowed to leave Frog Town, but here's the thing. In my research I discovered there are actually TWO more sequels to Frog Town-and neither Nurse Clorris nor Linda Singer are mentioned in the descriptions.
Remember when I said Nurse Clorris is the true heroine of the movie? If the Czar's plan had come to fruition, the army would have been sent in. Even with the expanded citizenship of Frog Town, many would have been killed. As someone close to the plan, Nurse Clorris might have realized the consequences and tried to stop the incoming war by allying with the Rangers. She was actually working on the goals, as opposed to Dr. Spangle, who only shows some fight until the end.
If you're a fan or the first Frogtown movie, you might not like this one. The movie never goes for the over the topness that the original had, and in a type of movie like this, it needs it. Everything is muted when compared to it. Even on its own, most of the acting isn't that good and the plot is nothing really special. The effects are also a step down. The animatronics heads now only seem to be able to move their mouths when they talk. And speaking of speaking, often you won’t see the mouths on other frogs move when they talk. Sometimes, you don’t know whose doing the speaking. It’s good for some unintentional laughs.
But still, I'd be lying if I didn't say that I have a soft spot for this movie. It does have some highlights, enjoyable moments and can be real fun in the way a bad movie can be. Some of those include Brion James' Proffesor Tanzer, as he gives the character a sort of bumbling charm. And of course, Nurse Clorris who was the real heroine of the movie.
So what happened to Nurse Clorris? Did she become a social pariah by helping the humans? Did a vengeful frog end her life one sad night in the rain? I like to think she had a better fate. Maybe escaping Frogtown and seeing the world. Becoming some sort of ambassador between the frogs and humans. Maybe she found peace and redemption working helping the citizens in a sort of prairie doctor.
So to all fan-fic writers who are looking for what is a mostly untapped franchise, I give your next great heroine.LESSONS LEARNED
Amphibian social structure is based on Russian Autocracy.
Texas was home to several different ancient civilizations.
Frogs make excellent ventriloquists.
Without the other two stooges, Larry is actually quite competent.
In the future, your choices of beverage will be alcoholic, caffeinated, or radioactive.
“Going Green” carries some disturbing implications
Depth perception is not necessary for flying a jet pack.STUFF TO WATCH FOR
1:29. Weiner dogs do make the best guard dogs.
6:29. Somebody just threw their action figure into the lake.
8:20 Is that a spice rack back there?
29:18. Check it out. You can see the hand operating the puppet.
34:01 The only time the word “intermittent” has been sexy.
40:31 Why does she where the mask to the club? Is she worried about SARS?
44:59. A frog man in poka dotted underwear? Still, he won’t be the only frog person we see without pants.
48:37 RANDOM GRATITOUS THONG SCENE!
48:58 Grandpa forgot to take his meds again.
59:14 Oh come on. Now you’re just asking for a unlawful use of character lawsuit.
1:00: 37. RANOM ACT OF VIOLENCE!
1:05:48 RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A PUPPET!
1:07:18 Sam Hell summaries the movie for those just joining it know.
1:15:34 Aww, you made Nurse Clorris cry.
1:17:17 RANDOM FALLING FROG PERSON!NOTABLE QUOTES
Bull: ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY CZAR FROGMEISTER!
Sam Hell to Dr. Spangle: Hey Spanky, better let F.U.Z.Z.Y know that Captain Delano know that we’re alright.
Dr.Spangle: Ranger Spangle to base. Come in F.U.Z.Z.Y.
Nurse Cloriss to Sam Hell: Howdy Stranger. Care to buy a girl a drink.
Sam Hell: No thanks, I’m not thirsty.
Nurse Clorris: Maybe, I should buy you a drink. My name is Clorris.
Sam Hell. I’ll have a whiskey, no back.
Nurse Clorris. Barmaid. I’ll have a beer with a straw. A whiskey. And a side of flies.
Commader Toty: Why is the trans-frog-mation not working on the ranger? He’s greener, but he is still weak.
Nurse Clorris: Ugh, I hate men with uhhh.. green legs, and ewe.. green you-know-whats.
Bull: Commander Toty! Czar Frogmeister wishes to see you in his chambers!
Sam Hell: “Czar Frogmeister? (laughs) Give me a break.”
Commander Toty: SILENCE!!
Czar Frogmeister: I wanted a world where everyone was green. It would solve so many problems. But now, evolution must struggle on without me.