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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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
Although it takes place before a few of these, Swamp Thing is pretty much a mixture of elements from The Fly, The Incredible Hulk, and Beauty and the Beast. I'm not quite sure if someone has ever made those comparisons before, but felt like I was viewing something I had already seen done a million time, but with the 80's cheese factor cranked up to an extremely high eleven. It took me a while to finally feast my eyes on this film and part of me is now sad that I did that. Swamp Thing isn't a very good movie, but there is a harmless pleasure in watching this film after so many years have passed by. Released over 35 years ago, this film doesn't date well at all, but if you're in the mood for a laugh, albeit an unintentional one, Swamp Thing may just be the movie for you. As corny as this film becomes as it progresses, there is no denying that there was a bit of an effort put into the set-up for this film. With a few likeable characters, there was a real sense of tension when their experiments began to go haywire. Quite honestly, the portions that come before the inevitable transformation were easily the best parts of the film, in terms of quality filmmaking. I felt invested for about 20 minutes or so, but Wes Craven's early days of filmmaking just had to kick it up a notch on the cheese factor. I would've loved to see a film about scientists exploring new specimens in the swamps, but this film does take it a little too far at times. I found myself noticing quite a few errors as well. Maybe this is just the filmmaker instinct in me, but the continuity was absolutely atrocious here. Please don't get me wrong here, because I'm usually the last person to point out continuity in film, due to the fact that it's so incredibly hard to avoid sometimes, but there is no excuse for Swamp Thing. The character of Alice Cable, played quirkily likeable by Adrienne Barbeau, was easily the best and worst part about this film. Quite honestly, I enjoyed her presence and her performance held the film together for me. That being said, I was also distracted each and every time she was on-screen. I'm not sure if it was purposely done, but every single scene has her wearing a different shirt. You can't tell me that a single day went by on set where nobody realized this. Sorry if I ruin the experience for you, but this aspect makes me uncontrollably laugh, which actually enhanced my first viewing of this film. Look, back in the day, I'm sure that these effects made director Wes Craven extremely happy on set and he couldn't wait to see them in action, but it's not back in the day anymore and these harmless effects now look ridiculous. I do believe it's just a case of the film not dating well, but it just looks like actors running around in high-end halloween costumes. I did find myself caring for the character of Alec Holland (who is turned into the Swamp Thing) throughout one scene, because his line delivery and the line itself deserved to be in a much better film, but for the remainder of the film, even a character death wouldn't have made me feel sympathy for this overly ridiculous premise. In the end, if you don't know what to expect when somebody calls a 1980's movie cheesy, then please stay far away from this film, because you're probably just going to hate it. The funny thing is that the film isn't very good either, so if you don't like it, I completely understand. To me, this is an extremely large guilty pleasure, showcasing a promising set-up, followed by laughable make-up effects, and a love story that isn't built up enough to really care about. That all sounds pretty bad, but there is a harmless charm to Swamp Thing that may have me revisiting it every now and then. This is the perfect film to sit back with a few film fans and crack open a beer to enjoy with it. Looking back on it, I found myself far too amused to give this a negative score.
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.
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