The utility is designed to work on the host where the .frm files reside. It does not permit connecting to a remote host to read .frm files.
If something goes wrong during the spawning of the server, use the verbosity option three times (-vvv) to turn on maximum depth debug statements. This will ensure you will see all of the messages from the start of the spawned server from bootstrap onward. Look for errors in these statements as to why the spawned server will not start.