Swamp Thing (1982) mini review

based on a comic

With the series being released on DVD this past week, I thought I might post reviews of the original movies.

I always forget how much I enjoy Swamp Thing. It's goofy, but the film embraces that goofiness and becomes a modern "B" monster movie. Starring B-movie queen Adrienne Barbeau (Creepshow), this film is based on the DC comic by the same name. (Barbeau also voiced Catwoman in the original Batman Animated Series.) Dr. Alec Holland (Ray Wise, currently the Devil in CW's Reaper) is working in the swamps, attempting to mix plant and animal DNA. Just as Alice Cable (Barbeau) arrives on the scene, he stumbles onto an amazing, explosive formula. As it would happen, the evil Dr. Arcane arrives at the same time, capturing Holland, Cable, and the formula. Holland attempts to escape with the formula, and in the chaos that ensues, drops the formula, which explodes, setting fire to his lab. Engulfed in flames, Holland runs into the swamps, apparently to his death. He re-emerges from the swamp, however, as Swamp Thing.

I don't think this film (directed by Wes Craven, incidentally) is intended to be taken completely seriously, and if you can take that into consideration, it is completely enjoyable. Barbeau plays the love interest well; Louis Jordan is completely comfortable as the obsessed villain, Arcane; Nicholas Worth (Darkman, Barb Wire) plays to type as the stereotypical henchman; and even Dick Durock takes a good turn as the pitiable monster.

See it if you can relax your standards a bit and just enjoy a modern monster movie.

Don't see it if you're expecting a a darker, more serious comic to be adapted in same form.

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