Swamp Thing (1982)

swamp thingThe worst costumes I’ve ever seen and some of the most terrible acting and dialogue I’ve ever seen too. Stunning, really.

Scientist discovers awesome formula whilst experimenting in the swamps. Shady, rich guy orders militia to steal the formula for his own evil gains. Scientist transforms into monster in horrific accident.

I was drawn to Swamp Thing as I’ve been reading Alan Moore’s run on the comic book. His stories are a world apart from this film, but it was interesting to see the base level of tripe that Moore decided to better.

The militia in particular are infuriatingly bad. Ferret, played by Rambo-look-a-like David Hess, leads the troupe through bumbling scenarios and facepalm’d tactics in what more closely resemble a Three Stooges film. Expository voice-overs during chases and fight scenes sicken me. You know, the sort of scenes in which a car of soldiers chase a woman but all the audience hear are “there she is!” and “get her!” from a voice INSIDE the car. Ugh.

Adrienne Barbeau (who does decent voice-over work on most DC productions nowadays) plays the damsel and gets her tits out for no reason whatsoever. There’s an even stranger brothel scene in which a soldier whips out a waitresses baps too.

The film is best in the first 20 minutes before anything actually happens. As a set-up, the storyline stays close enough to the original comic book and characters are introduced well enough. There’s a slight element of romance and some harrowing acts to kick things off. But the pointless fights and scrapes during the middle section really slow the story down. The damsel escapes more times than I can remember and is saved more times than I care.

The last 30 minutes are just insane though. One of the buffoon militia transforms into a werewolf midget, but sadly nowhere near as awesome as Eddie Munster. And then the genius villian Arcane, played by Louis Jordan, morphs into a giant plastic scab and then a furry sword wielding bin-bag. This is all well and good in silliness stakes although the film takes itself relatively seriously for the first half. There are no particular jokes or funny characters aside from a brief 20 seconds involving a muskrat and maybe some scenes with the little retarded swamp dwelling kid who monotonously guides the damsel.

So another terrible film if it takes your fancy, and it’s online too, although it’s not worth watching anything aside from the last 30 minutes if you’re only interested in wtf costumes, silly fights and tacky dialogue. This was directed by Wes Craven as a side-note. Pre-Nightmare on Elm Street, of course, but I still don’t know what to think about that.