Swamp Thing (1982)


A brilliant botanist (Ray Wise) is holed up in a government laboratory somewhere in the middle of a swamp, attempting to create some kind of crazy plant steroid. His supervisor, a sexy lady (Adrienne Barbeaux), is due for a visit and when she arrives he’s elbow-deep in a large tub of swamp-water, trying to fish out – you’ll never guess – a live possom! Schwing! Well, the lady is impressed enough to accompany him on a romantic swamp boat ride, where they say the word “swamp” so many times it loses all meaning. Coincidentally, the sexy lady has arrived just in time for Ray Wise to finally discover the correct formula for his crazy plant steroid, which not only accelerates a plant’s growth, it somehow endows the plant with finely honed animal instincts (??). Also, it glows and will explode upon impact with a solid surface. It’s for SCIENCE, though, so nothing could possibly go wrong. But wait, a red light labeled “penetration” is blinking furiously (hee hee, penetration), and all of a sudden there are randombad guys raiding the lab. And that’s when things go horribly wrong. Ray Wise is caught in an explosion caused by his crazy plant steroid, runs flaming from the building and dives into the swamp only to be transformed into SWAMP THING (that’s the name of the movie). Most of the rest of the film is scenes of Adrienne Barbeaux running from the bad guys, getting wetter and dirtier with every passing minute, and of Swamp Thing throwing up his giant, mutated swamp arms and going “RAAAWWR!!!” There is a half-assed attempt at some sort of play on Beauty and the Beast, because, you see, Swamp Thing is misunderstood, he just wants to be loved. But who could love a Swamp Thing?


  • Ambition – 7
  • Presentability – 6
  • Sex/Violence – 5

The flame suit scene was impressive. There’s one naked swamp bathing scene, but you just barely catch a glimpse of anything important.

  • Performances – 6

I’m a sucker for Ray Wise, but most of the other characters stunk.

  • Datability – 4
  • Script – 5

SEXY LADY: “Does it hurt?”
SWAMP THING: “(struggling to speak)Only….when I….laugh.”

  • Relevance – 6

Two lessons, one about true love knowing no boundaries (“would you still love me if I became a horribly mutated swamp monster?”), and one about global warming I think.

  • Originality – 5

Based on a comic book, employs the old standard “Whoops I was doused in chemicals and now I’m a freak with super powers” plot line.

  • Cinematography – 5

The only memorable thing about the cinematography was the dripping ooze screen wipe they used a couple times to cut to the next scene. It was a charming touch.

  • Production Design – 7

There’s something to be said for a high quality latex suit. Fuck CGI.


Changing an old person’s diaper, but getting paid to do it.



~ by mgjk on January 3, 2010.

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