Blood & Guts Rundown | 'Swamp Thing' Is A Goofy Masterpiece

For the fourth year, I am watching at least 31 horror movies in October.  Two years ago I tried writing reviews for each movie I watched, and quickly realized I don't enjoy writing reviews.  So this year, I thought I'd bring back the concept, but adjust it.  I will be making a post with various tidbits I find amusing for each movie, heavily inspired by the style of The Real Gentlemen Of Leisure's X-amining X-Men series.

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Release Date: Feb. 19, 1982

Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Wes Craven

Premise: A scientist is accidentally turned into the Swamp Thing when mercenaries try to steal a formula his team has created.  He uses his new powers to fight the mercs and protect a woman.

Trailer

Pick My Brain

This movie made me realize how much Wes Craven loves mixing humor and horror.  I guess I should have realized that sooner considering A Nightmare On Elm Street and Scream are probably his two most famous movies, but even The Last House On The Left had that out of place theme song, and The Hills Have Eyes definitely had some bizarre elements that were probably just thrown in for fun.  Here, Craven goes headlong into a '50s monster movie tribute complete with some laughably bad creature costumes and enough screen wipes to convince you this movie was edited in Windows Movie Maker.  The movie's never really scary, but I thought it was fun the whole way through.

Sometimes They Come Back... Again

This was Wes Craven's fifth time directing a horror movie after The Last House On The Left, The Hills Have Eyes, Deadly Blessing, and the TV movie Stranger In Our House.  It came out two years before he really hit it big with A Nightmare On Elm Street.  David Hess, who played Krug in Last House, appears as the mercenary leader Ferret here.

Star Adrienne Barbeau is a bona fide scream queen, appearing in 20 or so horror movies including The Fog, Creepshow, and Two Evil Eyes.

Ray Wise, who plays Swamp Thing's human form before his transformation, has also had a sizeable horror career that includes Cat People, Jeepers Creepers II, and the horror-adjacent TV show Twin Peaks.

Additionally, the score to Swamp Thing was provided by Harry Manfredini, well known for his work on the Friday The 13th franchise.

The Book Was Better

This movie is based on the DC Comics character created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson.  While Swamp Thing's rubber suit charmingly fits the aesthetic of the film, Wrightson is considered the end-all be-all of horror comics artists.

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Freddy's™ Coming!

The original comic book run of Swamp Thing had been cancelled in 1976.  To coincide with this movie, DC brought back the series in 1982.  While the first two years of the revival aren't that notable, Alan Moore took over as writer beginning with issue #20 in 1984.  Moore would prove himself to essentially be the Stanley Kubrick of comics, completely mastering and revolutionizing the artform with works such as Watchmen, V For Vendetta, and Batman: The Killing Joke.  His run on Swamp Thing in particular also heavily influenced Neil Gaiman's Sandman, another landmark comic book.

It Came From The IMDb Trivia Section!

  • Ray Wise was originally going to play Swamp Thing too, but he looked too different in the make up from his stunt double, Dick Durock, so Durock was used for the role.  Durock went on to reprise the role in both the sequel and live action TV show.
  • With the 1989 sequel, Durock was the first actor to reprise a DC hero role since Christopher Reeve.
  • Even though DC Comics has been owned by the same company as Warner Bros. since the late '60s, this movie was released by MGM.
  • The names of the water vessels which glide across the swamps are known as airboats or fanboats.

What The Hell Is That Supposed To Be?!! 

(screenshots without context)

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