Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Overlooked Movies: Swamp Thing

I could tell you that Swamp Thing is a wonderful movie, one that the whole family will enjoy.  But that would be Wrong.  That would be A Lie.  Probably only a few people, of whom I am one, would enjoy this, mainly because I can't resist swamp movies.  And Adrienne Barbeau.

You might already the story.  A sane scientist (Ray Wise) is trying to combine plant and animal cells to end world hunger.  Barbeau is a government agent (hey, if Denise Richards can be a nuclear physicist, Barbeau can be a government agent) sent to the swamps to investigate.  Louis Jourdan is the villain with his own private army, and he's of course bent on world domination, which he'll achieve if he gets Wise's formula.  But accidents will happen: Wise spills the formula, there's a small explosion, and Wise, engulfed by flames, runs out of the lab and jumps into the waters of the swamp, where he becomes the Swamp Thing (Dick Durock in a rubber suit). 

Barbeau escapes with the notebooks containing the formula, and Jourdan's not-so-well-regulated militia hunts her down. They catch her, and the Swamp Thing rescues her.  This happens several times.  Finally, Jourdan decides that the only way to catch Swamp Thing is to use the formula on himself, which leads to the climactic battle between one guy in a bad rubber suit and another guy in a worse rubber suit.  Guess who wins.

The crappy quality of the trailer posted below doesn't reflect the actual movie very well.  If you watch it, I hope you get a better print.  Barbeau is good, and Jourdan is tops as the villain.  The movie's worth watching just for those two, and it's good cheesy fun if you're in the right mood.   

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

But it IS a wonderful movie! Adrienne never lets you down.


Jeff

Todd Mason said...

I tend to think of it as endearingly pleasantly mediocre...though I haven't looked at in over thirty years, most likely...

pattinase (abbott) said...

She has a way of capturing hearts.

Nik said...

A pity they couldn't have used Alan Moore's comic scripts - the film's plot and script were not great... but I enjoyed it, hoping for a better Swamp Thing to come along later (still waiting!) And now the special effects would do the story justice. PS - Why do they change the characters' names?!

Bill Crider said...

Moore's version came along after the movie and was kind of his first big hit, wasn't it? I have no idea why they change the names. Movies are weird like that.

Phillyradiogeek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phillyradiogeek said...

Bill: you are correct that Moore didn't work on the character until after the movie was released.

It's to be noted that there was a sequel released in 1989 that was played purely for comedy, costarring Heather Locklear, followed by a serious TV series on the USA Network in 1990. The late Durock portrayed Swamp Thing in all of these projects.

Bill Crider said...

I missed the sequel, but I did see a couple of episodes of the TV series.

James Reasoner said...

I never saw the movie or the TV show, but I loved the early issues of the comic book when it was written by Len Wein and drawn by Berni Wrightson. I never cared that much for Alan Moore's run on the title.