Terror in the Swamp (1985)


Written & Directed by: Joe Catalanotto & Martin Folse

Produced & Story by: Martin Folse & Terry Hebb

Story by: Billy Holiday


Billy Holiday .... Frank
Chuck Bush .... Jesse
Michael Tedesco .... T-Bob
Chuck Long .... Deputy Bruce
Ray Saadie
Claudia Wood .... Crazy Sally
Gerald Daigle

Release Date: Direct-to-Video: July, 1985





A brutal mutation created by two scientists escapes from a labratory and into a swampland that is wildlife friendly however it slays away hunters in the area and a lwaman named Frank (Billy Holiday) and Deputy Bruce (Chuck Long) tries to go and hunt for this creature and ward away anyone else that's in the area but seems to avoid their warnings in which he brings on a bunch of others including two burly backwoods siblings named Jesse (Chuck Bush) and T-Bob (MIchael Tedesco) to try and snuff this thing out but is put in danger.


The title seemed interesting and so I started watching it and it seemed cheesy and funky with the red opening credits rolling up on a black screen as this seemed like one of those drive-in type's and kept watching but suddenly it started to really lack big time showing the camera rolling over in the swamp lands with a cheesy ferocious growl and of course we spot in the background of a swampy area where there's dead trees surrounding some bigfoot type of beast along with redneck hunters trying to go hunting and this beast appearing and attacking in fast motion which looked pretty lame and not at all scary.
We also spot some backwoods hillbilly's named Jesse getting dominating towards his younger brother T-Bob acting like a wimp in which this was supposed to offer some slapstick into the horror story here but it's not the least bit funny at all. Plus more trashy moments with their Pa acting obnoxious and when I was watching all of this I was thinking to myself "What is the point in all of this???"
Then we have one of the people working for the law named Frank coming in to try and snuff this beast that has killed a few residents in the swampy area and getting tough with the backwoods siblings in which this was laughable but in a bad way without a doubt. While watching all of the storylines I was about to bomb this crappy movie.
It does seem to improve a tiny bit to give it a 1 bat like a crazy local named Sally almost being grabbed by bigfoot as well as Frank questioning her while she's lying in shock which seems to work for a horror plot here.
There's some emotional moments with the siblings after they find out that their Pa has been slaughtered in which this did look corny but you can tell that the makers tried very hard to make this a serious and touching moment.
There's even a moment with a helicopter zooming towards some hunters telling them that they have to get off the land and one of them is shooting towards the helicopter with a rifle which almost seems to grab your attention wondering if they will kill these people.
There's even the odd witty and interesting moments like a plane zooming closely towards a bunch of hunters in boats discouraging them as for a small independent film this was not bad at all with hiring someone to do this.
There's some bad one liners once more with some people about to walk into some shallow water in a swamp and one of them said that they can't swim and Sally tells them the water is shallow and you can tell that it's shallow but what seemed clever to watch making you think there's a catch here cause Sally is cackling giving you the impression that there's quick sand below and we guess right. However when they sink to the bottom it looked amateurish and not susenseful at all.
There's alot of suspenseful gunshooting with alot of the characters firing away trying to snuff bigfoot as this seemed well done but that's about it here.
Bottom line is this flick seemed to pay a tribute to those old fashioned drive in monster films. In fact almost seemed like a spoof on those but it is terribly boring and not the least bit scary at all as we all know what's going to happen here. All of it was rushed and roughly done too as well as terrible performances and writing which didn't help at all.

The acting is terrible for the most part I must say and seemed to have very little or none at all with experience doing a show. Lead actor however Billy Holiday (Frank) was better than most of the cast members showing an average seriousness to his role and seemed to get a bit of attention here along with his tough behavior too. Yet it isn't too much to brag about here. Him discussing a murder incident in which he was supposed to show some concerns here really lacks and showing no effort with the surroundings. He swings punch towards someone and getting violent in which the blocking here looked amateurish and sloppy.
Chuck Bush (Jesse) had the perfect burly looks as well as looking mean and tough but yet he is way too over the top whenever he tries to perform this and needed some acting lessons too. Him acting aggressive and threatening in a scene which looked too laughable and not intimidating like it was supposed to be. However he seemed to do not too badly during the middle of the film by being sympathetic as well as acting vengeful too but he wasn't overly great by any means.
Michael Tedesco (T-Bone) as his burly wimpy brother certainly performed wimpy and acted way too corny to be taken seriously and couldn't act his way out of a wet paper bag. He was very mellodramatic and it seemed like he was trying to do a whacky comedy show than a horror flick. However, he seems to do well with his actions commanding others to go hunting as there is the odd good energy put in here. Other than this.... Sorry dude no points for you here.
Chuck Long (Deputy Bruce) had the clean cut guy next door appeal to him but his looks did more than his acting as he seemed fairly wooden. However you could tell that he really tried to show some energy and enthusiasm into his role. Still it didn't cut it but could improve over time in future acting gigs.
Claudia Wood (Crazy Sally) seemed to stand out fairly well as a backwoods madwoman with her cackly type of speaking and strangelike features. She wasn't the greatest actress but seemed to pull off her character not too shabbily. She showed some decent energy into her role and definetely showed off her wild like attitude. She also seemed to do fairly okay in a scene by lying down acting disturbed discussing by what she saw like she was in a trance but this seemed a tiny bit conry nevertheless.

A bloodied face is revealed from a corpse in a swampy area.
A dead remains of a body is discovered but this doesn't look too gruesome.

The music sounded very dated with some clarinet and some cheesy style orchestral adventurisitc music that didn't really suit the film but had the odd brief moments when people were about to do battle while trying to snuff out bigfoot in which this was put together by Jamie Mendoza-Hava.