Swamp Thing (1982)



Critic Consensus: Unabashedly campy -- often to its detriment -- Swamp Thing is not without its charms, among them Adrienne Barbeau as the damsel in distress.

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Movie Info

Director Wes Craven, who went on to fame as the force behind blockbuster horror films such as A Nightmare on Elm Street, departed from his favorite genre to film this unique cult classic -- a spoof on the mad scientist movies of the 1950s. Adrienne Barbeau stars as Alice Cable, a government agent sent to replace a man who has disappeared while guarding a secret experimental lab in the middle of the Louisiana bayous. Dressed in heels and a skirt, Cable professes unease at her strange new … More

Rating: PG (adult situations/language, nudity, violence)
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Comedy, Cult Movies
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 14, 2001
Nelson Entertainment


as Alice Cable

as Doctor Alec Holland

as Dr. Anton Arcane

as Ferret, Arcane's Co...

as Bruno, Ferret's Hen...

as Ritter

as Charlie

as Swamp thing

as Arcane Monster

as Dr. Linda Holland

as Secretary

as Messenger

as Young Agent

as Little Bruno
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Critic Reviews for Swamp Thing

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (5)

The film is too lazy to provide any actual jokes with its send-up of the genre.

Full Review… | July 9, 2012
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Short on thrills and laughs.

Full Review… | April 16, 2007
Top Critic

Craven tries to do this 'veggie-man' horror in a suitable DC Comics style; and with Louis Jourdan as arch-villain 'Arcane', not to mention Adrienne Barbeau (Mrs John Carpenter) as the Thing's object of desire, he's definitely on the right track.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

One of those movies that fall somewhere between buried treasures and guilty pleasures.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

[The film] wants desperately to be funny and, from time to time, it is. However, you might wish it would trust the audience to discover the humor for itself.

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

This campy adaptation of the DC Comics series has always been the odd title out in Wes Craven's horror filmography. It's all the better for it, since it's one of the few movies from this overrated auteur that I can personally stand.

Full Review… | August 17, 2013
Creative Loafing

Audience Reviews for Swamp Thing

One of the better received and critically lauded films of Wes Craven's early career; "Swamp Thing" has a long and fortuitous history that I for one never could have foreseen. Originally a DC comic (eventually Vertigo Comic) of the same name, Swamp Thing was billed as an action film, starring the same characters from the comics. Craven has said that this was film was a send-up of the monster movies of the thirties and forties, including "The Creature from the Black Lagoon." The film is definitely more action than horror, containing far more scenes of boats launching off algae covered rocks than anything akin to monster movie magic. The story is set in the swamps of Louisiana, following a group of scientists who are working with plant life. Dr. Alec Holland (Wise) is heading the project, and has just found that he has discovered a way to grow plants on organic materials, including wood. Government agent Alice Cable (Barbeau) appears on the scene, wearing her heels and gender neutral clothing, and falls for the scientist. Inadvertently Dr. Holland is transformed into the mutated being of the swamp thing thanks to the raiding of the compound at the hands of Arcane's henchmen. Most of the film contains swamp thing taking care of the defenseless and frankly ignorant Cable, who keeps getting captured, or run down by boats, and the highly weaponized men atop them. Looking more like a cheap eighties horror film (which it is) than the action film promised, "Swamp Thing" still did surprisingly well with critics and even spawned a nineties television show. Still, there's nothing new or extraordinary about this underwhelming film, except maybe the crafted movie makeup of stuntman Dick Durlock; otherwise it's as trashy as it looks.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

A rather embarrassing film that offers nervous chuckles as it's biggest form of entertainment. With someone like Wes Craven, I expected at least a bit of suspense or terror. Instead I got a slapstick comedy that wasn't very funny. Luckily my love of monsters, bad movies, and the character in general, made me enjoy it enough. There are some great things. A badass female scientist puts up a fight before being taken. A large lumbering villain has a soft heart etc. It's just all too familiar, and the suit is atrocious for any age/budget. It just looked like one big human sized green condom with a face. By the end, we see Swamp Thing fight against a big ginger pig monster wielding a sword. At this point is seems like the film goes undirected.

Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

An interesting monster movie, a little late on the scene, monster movies weren't so popular anymore in the 80s I don't think. It's not bad, but it's not good either.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

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