Swamp Thing (1982)


*. A comic-book film before comic-book films became a dominant (or the dominant) film form. And for once I regret the lack of CGI. The Swamp Thing is just a guy in a rubber suit, a sort of poor man’s Creature from the Black Lagoon. I think they’d do a better job with this material today.
*. I think it’s a terrible, irredeemably juvenile movie. As with today’s comic-book fare, it’s a bit entertaining on a first viewing but I can’t imagine anyone wanting to see it twice.
*. I do like the character of Jude. He gets all the best lines, and never misses with his flat, low-key delivery. “Does anything work around here?” Barbeau asks. “Just me,” he replies.
*. Jude the obscure? I’m not sure  how he gets by. That run-down store doesn’t look like it’s seen any business in years. Which at least means that he has no problem dropping everything and heading out into  the swamp with Cable when the bad guys arrive.


*. That neon green goo had to come from Re-Animator, didn’t it? But no! Re-Animator came out three years after this movie. So perhaps this is where they got it from.
*. Poor Adrienne Barbeau. She could have been given more to do here, but in the end the movie just wants her for her tits.
*. To be fair, the movie only wants Louis Jourdan for his accent and a touch of class. I’m not sure who ended up being embarrassed the most.
*. Oh no! Not the old “drop down under the table during the transformation scene, and then pop back up as something else” routine! But by that point, you couldn’t have been expecting anything better.
*. I know some people, perhaps feeling nostalgia for the ’80s, find a kind of cheesy charm in all the cheap stunts and effects. I think it’s clichéd, and the clichés weren’t very interesting to begin with. If Wes Craven has a heart, then I don’t think his heart was in it. But the burning man stunt is one of the best of its kind I’ve seen, and the laughable creature Arcane turns into at the end is worth waiting for.



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