Swamp Thing (film)
Theatrical film poster
|Directed by||Wes Craven|
|Produced by||Benjamin Melniker
Michael E. Uslan
|Screenplay by||Wes Craven|
|Based on||Swamp Thing
by Len Wein
|Music by||Harry Manfredini|
|Editing by||Richard Bracken|
|Distributed by||Embassy Pictures
(Sony Pictures Entertainment)
|Running time||91 min.|
Swamp Thing is a 1982 American science fiction film written and directed by Wes Craven. It tells the story of scientist Alec Holland (Ray Wise) who becomes transformed into the monster Swamp Thing (Dick Durock) through laboratory sabotage orchestrated by the evil Anton Arcane (Louis Jourdan). Later, he helps out a woman named Alice (Adrienne Barbeau) and battles the man responsible for it all, the ruthless Arcane. The film was based on the DC Comics (later Vertigo Comics) character of the same name by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson.
In the swamps of Louisiana, Dr. Alec Holland works with his sister Linda on a top-secret bio-engineering project to create a plant/animal hybrid capable of thriving in extreme environments. Government agent Alice Cable arrives just as Holland makes a major breakthrough, and begins to develop feelings for him. However, a paramilitary group led by the evil Dr. Anton Arcane, who is obsessed with immortality, kills Linda while trying to steal the formula for their own purposes. During the attack, Alice escapes and Allec is covered in chemicals, caught on fire, and runs screaming in the swamp, presumably to die. However, he returns as a monstrously mutated plant creature. As the Swamp Thing, Holland battles Arcane's forces to protect Cable, and eventually takes on the mad doctor himself, who has also mutated from his incomplete understanding of the Holland formula.
- Ray Wise ... Doctor Alec Holland
- Adrienne Barbeau ... Alice Cable
- Louis Jourdan ... Dr. Anton Arcane
- Dick Durock ... Swamp Thing
- David Hess ... Ferret
- Nicholas Worth ... Bruno
- Don Knight ... Harry Ritter
- Al Ruban ... Charlie
- Ben Bates ... Arcane Monster
- Nannette Brown ... Dr. Linda Holland
- Reggie Batts ... Jude
- Mimi Craven ... Arcane's Secretary (as Mimi Meyer)
- Karen Price ... Karen
- Bill Erickson ... Young Agent
- Dov Gottesfeld ... Commando
- Tommy Madden ... Little Bruno
- Richard Jennings[disambiguation needed] ... Motor Boat Driver (uncredited)
The film received generally average to positive reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 60% based on 30 reviews. Of the early Craven films, this was regarded as one of his finest.
Author John Kenneth Muir notes that Swamp Thing differs in many respects from Craven's usual work, in that Craven's intent was to show the major Hollywood studios that he could handle action, stunts and major stars. Craven substituted his usual focus on the problems of the family and society for pure entertainment. Nevertheless, Muir points out, some of Craven's usual themes and images do appear in Swamp Thing. For example, as in The Last House on the Left (1972), and The Hills Have Eyes (1977), Craven shows a close connection between the landscape and his characters. The film was adapted in comics form as Swamp Thing Annual #1.
A low-budget sequel entitled The Return of Swamp Thing was released in 1989.
In 2009 Joel Silver announced plans to produce a reboot of the Swamp Thing movie franchise. The story is written by Akiva Goldsman. In April 2010 Vincenzo Natali was confirmed to direct, but on May 12, 2010, Vincenzo Natali decided to delay the Swamp Thing reboot to pursue other projects.
DVD release and controversy 
In August of 2000, MGM released the film on DVD in the United States. MGM inadvertently used the 93 minute international version that contained more nudity than the PG-rated, 91 minute US theatrical cut for the US version of the DVD, while erroneously labeling the former as the PG-rated 91 minute cut. In May of 2002, a Dallas woman rented the disc from a Blockbuster Video store for her children and reported this discrepancy. MGM recalled the disc and reissued it in August of 2005, with the proper US theatrical cut.
- "Swamp Thing". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-02-22.
- Muir, John Kenneth (1998). "Swamp Thing (1982)" in Wes Craven: The Art of Horror. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co. ISBN 0-7864-0576-7, p. 95.
- Muir (1998), p. 90.
- Muir (1998), p. 91.
- "Swamp Thing" Makes Akiva Goldsman's Heart Sing, DreadCentral.com, October 21, 2009.
- "Vincenzo Natali Talks Swamp Thing".
- Vincenzo Natali says no Swamp Thing 3D movie anytime soon, "Beyond Hollywood", May 12, 2010.
- Blockbuster's snafu outrages Dallas Mother, "Lubbock Online", May 5, 2002.
- Swamp Thing DVD Review, "DVD Talk", August 20, 2005.
- Swamp Thing at the Internet Movie Database
- Swamp Thing at AllRovi
- Swamp Thing at Rotten Tomatoes
- Swamp Thing at Box Office Mojo