Swamp Thing: When A Bad Movie is Just Bad
Ever heard anyone describe a movie as “so bad it is good?” A good example is the movie Catwoman which I reviewed a few weeks ago. These films are highly enjoyable because they are terrible. The effects are often woeful, the dialogue is unintentionally funny and by the end you wonder why anyone thought this was a good idea in the first place. Last Saturday I went to the Cameo to see the 1982 film Swamp Thing hoping it would “so bad it is good.” Find out what I thought below the cut!
Sadly Swamp Thing wasn’t the good bad movie I had hoped. It was too slow, not funny enough and the story, which should have been over the top and “what were they smoking” crazy was incredibly clichéd.
Alec Holland (played by Ray Wise) is working on a secret formula when evil Anton Arcane tries to steal it. Of course this doesn’t quite go to plan with Holland getting covered in the formula and being turned into Swamp Thing who is played by stuntman Dick Durock. From there the movie descends into a bad chase movie where our female lead Alice Cable (Adrienne Barbeau) is kidnapped and escapes over and over and over again, which is as slow and repetitive as this sentence suggests.
Once Swamp Thing and Cable are captured the movie threatens to become weird. Sadly the weirdness consists of a rather odd dinner party made up of couples, strippers and scientific experiments all happening in the same room. Finally the movie concludes with two men in rubber suits punching each other.
Swamp Thing does try its hardest to be a so bad it is good movie. Louis Jourdan‘s Arcane is wonderfully over the top and has clearly read the Big Book of Villain Metaphors as he sprouts lots of dialogue like:
A man who loves, gives hostages to fortune
Cable has the opposite problem as she deserves to be in a better movie than the one is she is in. Her character is competent who always seems vaguely in control of her surrounding. Well once she changes her shoes from the high-heels she arrives in the swamp in. Shame they have to include a sequence of her bathing topless in the swamp for two minutes which seems to be there for no other reason than to show off her breasts. Overall Swamp Thing feels like a slow episode of early 1980s Doctor Who with the same quality of make up for its monsters. If you are looking for a good bad movie, go and watch Catwoman!