Swamp Thing Reviews
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.