A brilliant scientist transforms into a plant monster
after being doused in an experimental chemical formula.
Swamp Thing (1982)
Written and Directed by Wes Craven
Starring Adrienne Barbeau, Louis Jourdan, Ray Wise, Dick
Durock, David Hess, Nicholas Worth, Don Knight, Reggie Batts
Based on characters from DC Comics
Swamp Thing has all the makings of an 80's classic. You've got a great genre director like Wes Craven at the helm, Adrienne Barbeau in a starring role, and a celebrated comic book series to mine from. And yet, this film looks and feels like an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. This is a terrible movie that wastes so much potential. The chemistry among the actors is bad, the story is dull as hell, and the makeup is ridiculous even for the early 80's. This was two years after Superman II and seven years before Batman, so it's not outside the norm to get a great superhero movie back then. But this was just a complete swing and a miss.
Adrienne Barbeau stars as Alice Cable, a government worker who is assigned to work at a top secret biolab in the Louisiana bayou. There, a scientist named Alec Holland (Wise) is trying to create a formula that can make plants stronger and give them animal tendencies. When an evil rival scientist named Arcane (Jourdan) attacks the lab and douses Holland in his own formula, Holland is transformed into a swampy plant monster called Swamp Thing. He then spends the rest of the movie wandering into situations where Alice is in danger, and that's about it. The ending sees Swamp Thing fighting Arcane, who has consumed the formula and transformed into the goofiest monster I've ever seen. He looks like the product of the Big Bad Wolf having an intimate evening with one of the Three Little Pigs.
Swamp Thing completely misses the mark, delivering a shitty, soulless sci-fi flick. The villain is bland and forgettable, as is the hero in this case. This is easily Wes Craven's worst film and a perfect lesson in how not to adapt a comic book. The only thing this film has going for it is Adrienne Barbeau's performance. She tried, but the film around her sucked so hard that it didn't really matter in the end.