May 26, 2017
Review #939: Swamp Thing.
Ray Wise (Alec Holland), Adrienne Barbeau (Alice Cable), Louis Jourdan (Anton Arcane), Dick Durock (Swamp Thing), David Hess (Ferret), Nicholas Worth (Bruno), Don Knight (Harry Ritter), Al Ruban (Charlie), Ben Bates (Arcane Monster), Nannette Brown (Dr. Linda Holland), Reggie Batts (Jude), and Mimi Craven (Arcane's Secretary) Directed by Wes Craven (#474 - A Nightmare on Elm Street, #558 - Scream, and #633 - Red Eye)
With all of the superhero/comic book movies that have come out in the past decade (and the ones that will come in the next few years), it is a bit refreshing if not interesting to see one from a different time and what better than an 80s flick? Based off the DC Comics character of the same name, Swamp Thing is a more grounded kind of hero movie, feeling like a mix of monster and horror movies that make for a serviceable kind of film. Wise does well in the time he has on screen, making his character fairly relatable prior to his transformation. Barbeau is the one we see more of throughout the film (the eponymous hero takes a while to show up, naturally), and she pulls off a fine performance; her scenes with Swamp Thing are also enjoyable (one of the best parts is him answering her question if he is hurt: "Only when I laugh", with him soon laughing). Jourdan is a fair villain, being a bit overblown in his genius without being an over-the-top foe. His henchmen aren't too noteworthy, though Worth has an amusing scene with the two main leads after they all escape. Batts (in his only film role to date) does a capable job in a comic relief role. The film does have its moments of amusement, but it never veers towards outright slapstick, managing to keep a good balance while not being overtly campy. Craven does a fine job directing, handling the horror and sci-fi pretty well. The action scenes are enjoyable, and the suit for Swamp Thing looks pretty decent. The film also has a nice look to it as well (filmed in South Carolina); the swamp is fairly good to look at, mainly because the movie doesn't have a blurred effect to it (in other words, the special effects and the sets don't blur into each other). Though the movie lasts just 91 minutes, it certainly runs at an efficient pace, keeping itself going quite well. It isn't a great superhero flick, but it is a capable kind of movie worth considering.
Overall, I give it 7 out of 10 stars.