Swamp Thing (1982)

DVD Cover (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Reissue)
Genres / Traits: Sci-Fi Action, Science Fiction, Superhero Film, DC Comics
Dr. Alec Holland, hidden away in the depths of a murky swamp, is trying to create a new species - a combination of animal and plant capable of adapting and thriving in the harshest conditions. Unfortunately he becomes subject of his own creation and is transformed. Arcane, desperate for the formula, attempts to capture the Swamp Thing. An explosive chase ensues that ultimately ends with a confrontation between Holland and a changed Arcane... --TMDb
Wes Craven Wes Craven
Louis Jourdan Louis Jourdan
Adrienne Barbeau Adrienne Barbeau
Ray Wise Ray Wise
David Hess David Hess
Nicholas Worth Nicholas Worth
Movie Connections:
DC: Swamp Thing
> Swamp Thing (1982)
> The Return Of Swamp Thing (1989)
> Swamp Thing: Season 1 (1990)
> Swamp Thing: Season 1 (1990)
> Swamp Thing: Season 2 (1992)
> Swamp Thing: Season 3 (1992)
> Swamp Thing: The Series, Vol. 1 (2008)
> Swamp Thing: The Series, Vol. 2 (2008)
> Swamp Thing: The Series, Vol. 3 (2010)
> Swamp Thing: Season 1 (2019)

4.9 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: April 11, 2011
The Swamp Thing character has always been one of my fond recollections from childhood, but oddly enough, I really didn't remember the film itself. I remember seeing it repeated over and over again on cable, I remember enjoying the cartoons as well as the live-action series, and hell, I even remember having a handful of the action figures... but as for the actual content of the film, I found myself drawing a blank. Today, I decided to remedy that and watch the film with adult eyes to see how well it held up. Shockingly, it wasn't as bad as I expected it to be, but it was by no means as horrible as it could have been.

We begin with an introduction to Doctor Alec Holland (Ray Wise), a scientist holed up in the swamp who is attempting to merge together animal DNA with plant DNA in order to create plants that can withstand extreme temperatures so as to produce more food for the world's population. He immediately bonds with his new assistant Alice Cable (Adrienne Barbeau), the two start to produce some amazing results with his serum, and everything is looking good... until, that is, a bunch of soldiers led by the dastardly Ferret (David Hess) crash the party. Holland is covered in the goop, caught on fire, and presumedly drowned in the swamp while Cable runs for her life.

Cable eventually finds herself at a small gas station run by the slow-minded Jude (Reggie Batts), and there, she calls in the project superiors to let them know what has happened. Unfortunately, the superiors are the ones who put the whole raid into motion, due to Dr. Anton Arcane's (Louis Jourdan) desire to steal the formula and take credit for it - and now that she has called them, they know exactly where she is. She runs back to the swamp with the soldiers hot on her heels, and there, she makes a shocking discovery: Holland did not die, but he was instead transformed by the serum into a regenerating half-man / half-plant mutant with super-strength known as the Swamp Thing (now played by Dick Durock). Swamp Thing wants to protect the little lady while also getting some revenge on the men who did this to him, but Arcane will stop at nothing to get the formula and capture the beast created by it.

Swamp Thing is one of those guilty pleasure films, I will definitely say that much. There are a lot of things wrong with it: a silly plot, slow pacing, wooden acting, and a villain costume that is so awful that it actually turns out to be pretty damned funny. However, with that said, I did enjoy the movie to an extent. Yes, it is bad by all means, but it does have a bit of charm to it. I mean, honestly, how can you go wrong with a man in a green rubber suit throwing people around, crushing skulls, destroying cars, and flipping over boats while Adrienne Barbeau shows off her two most valuable assets in a rare display of her "talents"? The acting is horrible, but really, how can you complain about the acting abilities of a creature who spends half the movie yelling and screaming or of a woman who spends all of the movie either topless or wearing a barely-there outfit? It's pure and simple cheese and it's not for everyone, but I did get a kick out of revisiting the movie.

On the positive side, the swamp setting that the filmmakers used was downright awesome. It's a swamp that barely covers an old church, so there are loads of spooky-looking trees, knee-deep water covering everything, and the occasional tombstone rising above the water. It's a very good setting, so thumbs up for that. The costume used for Swamp Thing isn't horrible by any means, but I wouldn't really call it great either. The villain costume that pops up towards the end, however... now, that is a bizarre costume. If you see a picture of it and have never actually seen the movie, you will definitely laugh at it. If you watch the movie, you'll still laugh at it, but it's so over-the-top that it starts to work. I mean, it's a half-man, half-plant, half-pig creature covered in fur wielding a giant sword. It's silly, it's laughable, and again, it is pure cheese.

Swamp Thing is a fun movie. It's bad by all accounts, but it's so silly that it actually starts to grow on you. I wouldn't recommend it to those of you looking for a serious film, but those of you who want something that you can down a couple of beers to while laughing at the screen could definitely do much worse. 6/10.
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