Swamp Thing (1982)

Written & Directed by: Wes Craven


Louis Jordan ... Dr. Anton Arcane
Adrienne Barbieau ... Alice Cable
Ray Wise ... Doctor Alec Holland
David Hess ... Ferret
Nicholas Worth ... Bruno
Don Knight ... Harry Ritter
Al Ruben ... Charlie
Dick Durock ... Swamp Thing

Release Dates: Theatrical: February 19, 1982

*Images courtesy at: www.houseofselfindulgence.blogspot.com




A scientist Doctor Alec Holland (Ray Wise) has invented a formula to create new species - a combination of animal and plant capable of adapting and thriving in the harshest conditions. He hides away in the murky swamp to keep what he has a secret.
He is greeted by a woman scientist Alice Cable (Adrienne Barbieau) in which he is romantically linked to as he shows her his secret formula and see if it will work on his plants but suddenly an evil scientist Dr. Anton Arcane (Louis Jordan) wants this secret formula and breaks into his laboratory with his goons led by Ferret (David Hess) and Bruno (Nicholas Worth). Suddenly Alec has been burned alive by this potion and runs into the waters of the swamp presumably dead and Anton wants this to be top secret as he kidnaps Alice.
Later on Alice tries to escape and Ferret tries to drown her but something in the water seems to attack Ferret and his goons and saves Alice whom is called the Swamp Thing (Dick Durock) which was originally Alec as he seems invincible and this interests Anton even more as he tries to find any way to capture this creature and find any use on how him or his men can become so powerful.


There's good takes on Ferret and Bruno in the swamp taunting, beating and killing someone as it looked a bit intense.
We spot many good scene's both involving Alice Cable and Doctor Alec Holland with a camera looking up at them in a boat at the swamp trying to look for things there as well as their great chemistry together trying experiments in their science lab.
There's many good blocking shots on Alice with her self defensive actions towards the people like Ferret trying to attack her which looked very well done.
There's nice intense happenings with Ferret and Bruno getting physical towards Alec at the lab throwing him around as well as a good shot on him getting chemicals spilled on him and running outdoors in flames and jumping into the swampy pond.
There's a good camera shot looking up on Dr. Anton Arcane and Ferret standing on a pier with a green light glowing on them with Anton telling Ferret to keep what happened top secret which looked quite effective.
Many good camera takes on Ferret driving a boat in the swamp after Alice with a nice close up shot on him pushing her head down into the water and then later on a great rising hand shot on the Swamp Thing which looked suspenseful along with nice shots on him pulling these goons out of the boat. Then we have some good close up shots on others like Ferret aiming his gun trying to shoot him from a distance away while he is carrying Alice to shore.
There are good camera takes on Swamp Thing sitting on shore looking at a locket and feeling sad.
Good shots on Alice running away in the forest from a jeep driven by Ferret and his goons with many good suspeseful shots on everything that's going on as well as her running on a dirt road and tripping with the jeep ready to charge at her and then suddenly Swamp Thing approaching and stopping the vehicle with shots on him throwing everyone out.
There's many good takes on Swamp Thing in the swamp battling with others in their boats and him jumping in the air as well as a terrific shot on two boats crashing and exploding.
A good shot on Ferret striking Swamp Thing by cutting his arm off with a machette and then a great gruesome close up shot on his hand crushing Ferret's head.
We spot a good discussion between Swamp Thing by telling Alice who he is which looks nice and peaceful as well as them both laughing.
There's a nice shot on Alice bathing in the lake and then the camera panning to Swamp Thing watching from a close distance.
Then a nice shot on him being tied up by a net with the goons lead by Bruno on top of him which looks good wondering if he will escape or not.
There's a good setting of a banquet on some sort with Anton hosting and then telling everyone what's going to happen once he uses the formula on one of his people and a good close up shot on him with his face changing and him gagging and falling down as the moments looked intense. Then we have a shot on him jumping up on the table which looked very kookie on how it was done but again it seemed necessary.
There's a nice shot on Swamp Thing raising his hand while chained up to get to the sunlight which looked good and showing good energy on trying to be free from the chains.
A good shot on Anton drinking the formula and standing next to a balcony and later on a good shot on him breaking out with wide eyes and his skin oozing. Afterwards there's a perfect shot on the monsterous Anton breaking anything in his path.
There's many terrific shots between Swamp Thing and Anton battling in the swamp which is probably the best moments used in this movie ever.
Bottom line is this is a film based on a cult popular horror/sci-fi comic book by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson. Yet it doesn't seem to play off too well as a motion picture. It can be fun at times if you're in the mood for cheesy drive-in movies, otherwise it's a bit of a bore. Like most movies based on comic book there's a scientist inventing a special formula and and evil scientist with his goons to go after it then something turns bad for them like you'd see in Batman, The Incredible Hulk or somewhere along those lines.
I wondered at all if this was a horror film as the Swamp Thing almost reminded me of the Incredible Hulk but yet Swamp Thing seems more monstrous looking. However, he was a good guy. Still, you can use good guy's in horror flicks and close to the end is when the horror really starts with the evil scientist
Dr. Anton Arcane by trying the formula out for himself.
Yes folks it's an action-horror-sci-fi but not a film to be taken seriously as a horror film since it's not really scary even if the music score tries very hard to make it seem scary enough. Plus, this film looked like it influenced the people from Troma Team Entertainment to make a zany spoof called The Toxic Avenger since they tried to use some similar chemistry to it but in a gross out way.
However, this flick reigned in as a cult classic but it didn't do much for me. Not bad but not very good either. Later, the series spawned a sequel and a short-lived TV series.

The acting is quite dated and a bit corny but not terrible. Lead actor Louis Jordan (Dr. Anton Arcane) was perfect as a slick and evil doctor in the film showing a perfect seriousness to his role and came across very well that he was untrustworthy. He also showed a nice evil expression to him to top it all off. His performance on this looked a bit corny after using some of his own formula.
Adrienne Barbeau
(Alice Cable) usually does her character's quite well in anything I've seen her in and she seems passable in this one but that's my point. She's passable but nothing too special. Yet she did present herself well as the romantic type to the monster in this film so I have to give her credit there.
A nice emotional crying from her during a discussion.
Ray Wise
(Doctor Alec Holland) brings on a nice charm to his role as the inventor of the formula he's made and really knew how to act outgoing and being full of life. He brought alot of characteristics to his part in the film.
David Hess
(Ferret) seemed to borrow alot from his role as Krug in Last House on the Left by playing a type of killer in this one. Yet, he doesn't seem intimidating at all like in his previous film. He was a bit corny with his actions in the film but he wasn't terrible. He just wasn't too remembered for his performance in this one since he wasn't anything specatacular. Yet he seemed to do well as a comic book type of villain.
Dick Durock
(Swamp Thing) really stood out terrifically as the Swamp Thing in this film with his gruff speaking and truly knew how to play a monstrous action hero. I give him great credit for what he did in this film.

The Swamp Thing's arm is chopped off
A man's head is getting crushed with blood oozing down
Flesh is tearing off a person while changing into a monster

Harry Manfredini who composed for the Friday the 13th films worked on this project using some of the same elements with some high pitched violin playing and other types of formula but it doesn't seem to suit the film at all. There's also many toned out orchestral playing for the adventureous music mainly the trombone playing which sounds awfully cheesy.