OK, this is a difficult one to
judge. You see, Swamp Thing is a terrible movie, directed by well-known horror
auteur Wes Craven. And I can’t for the life of me figure out if it is
intentionally bad, which would make it quite a funny parody of 50’s horror
movies, or accidentally bad, which would make it, well, a really crap film.
Either way it has one of the best “man on fire running around like a man on
fire” scenes that this reviewer has ever witnessed.
The basic story goes like this.
A female government agent is assigned to a secret base where scientists are
working on a secret formula for a sort of “super-fertilizer” for plants. The
formula looks suspiciously like the fluid inside those glowing cyalume sticks
that ravers love to hang around their necks. After the development of the most
one-dimensional love story in the history of film, the scientists complete
Naturally, there are others who
want the formula for themselves (presumably their gardens at home are looking
a bit shabby), and the camp is soon overrun by greasy and imbecilic
guerrillas. With one scientist shot in cold blood, the other struggles with
his captors, naturally leading to a freak accident involving him being doused
in the coveted formula and spontaneously combusting. He leaps into the swamp
and disappears and our heroine manages to escape her captors.
It seems this amazing fertilizer
also works on humans too, as it becomes apparent that the unfortunate doctor
has been transformed into the “swamp thing”, a large and supposedly scary
humanoid who is still in love with the female government agent. Shenanigans
ensue as the swamp thing monkeys around protecting her from harm, etc etc. Can
a woman with large 80’s hair love a swamp thing? Who knows, but rest assured
that Toxic Avenger is a far better example of this kind of thing.
Swamp Thing LOOKS really, really
good. The scenes in the bayou are incredibly vibrant and colourful, and well
presented on this DVD. The cinematography is great. The sound is pretty good.
The performances from the actors are dire, but once again I don’t know if
that’s intentional or not. The only extra on the disc is the theatrical
And therein lies the problem.
It’s too hard to tell if this is satire, or just a plain awful movie. If
you’re a fan of B-grade horror flicks, especially those from the 50’s, then
there’s a pretty fair chance that you’ll get at least some enjoyment out of
this. If schlocky horror movies isn’t your cup of tea though, then I’d advise
you to avoid this at all costs.