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DVD Reviews:  Swamp Thing

The Final Say!

Feature Score:
DVD Extras Score

Reviewed by Yianni Pak
Distributed by:
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Running Time: 89 Minutes

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 their formula. 

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 trailer. 

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.

Swamp Thing Features

  • Theatrical Trailer


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