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.
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 surroundings, but she is soon wooed by Dr. Alec Holland (Ray Wise). Holland is working on a concoction that combines plant and animal cells. Arcane (Louis Jourdan) is the criminal mastermind who is trying to steal the secret recipe for the potion. When Arcane and his mercenaries break into the government camp, they kill Holland's sister Linda (Nannette Brown) and the scientist is accidentally doused with his own formula and bursts into flames, then dives into the swamp. Arcane's men pursue Cable, but she is rescued by a mysterious green man. It takes several rescues for her to understand that the Swamp Thing (Dick Durock) is Dr. Holland, transformed by his own formula. … More
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as Alice Cable
as Doctor Alec Holland
as Dr. Anton Arcane
as Ferret, Arcane's Co...
as Bruno, Ferret's Hen...
as Swamp thing
as Arcane Monster
as Dr. Linda Holland
as Young Agent
as Little Bruno
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Critic Reviews for Swamp Thing
The film is too lazy to provide any actual jokes with its send-up of the genre.
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.
One of those movies that fall somewhere between buried treasures and guilty pleasures.
[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.
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.
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.
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.
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