Polar Blair's Den Menu Page
Back to "Movies" Main
"Super-Powered" Main Page
"Adrienne Barbeau" Main Page
Swamp Thing (1981):
This is a movie that you have to like for what it is. The
acting's top notch. The story is cool, and within the realm of
possibility. The special effects? Not so much. True,
there is a lot of great stuntwork, with boats flipping over,
explosions, gunplay, etc. The monsters looked corny. Hey,
they did the best they could with 1981 special effects. But I
guarantee that if this same movie was remade with today's special
effects it would attract a pretty large audience.
Adrienne Barbeau, the leading lady of the picture,
has actually become this film's biggest draw over the years.
She's stunning, AND she can act. I don't think a lot of people
give her the credit she deserves for acting ability for two obvious
reasons (wink wink). Hey, she's 34DD, of course it's going to
distract! But she IS good as Alice Cable, and should've appeared
in ALL of the Swamp Thing shows. I think audiences were cheated
when the next film and the TV series came out.
Ray Wise does well as Dr. Alec Holland, the
ecologically-minded scientist who becomes Swamp Thing. The Swamp
Thing monster was played by legendary stuntman/actor Dick Durock, who
really gave a pretty good performance. This is one of the few
movie monsters that has a significant speaking part, and
expression. He did well.
Louis Jourdan plays Dr. Arcane, the evil scientist
who is responsible for Holland's transformation, and himself turns into
a savage monster in the movie's climax. Jourdan has the
capability of playing characters that are so d*** evil that they're fun
to watch. For further evidence, watch him in the James Bond film
Dr. Holland develops a formula for growing plantlife
large, plentiful, and in locations where farming doesn't usually
permit. His success is short-lived, as he is attacked by Dr.
Arcane and his men. Dr. Holland's sister, Dr. Linda Holland, is
shot dead, along with everyone else at the facility, save for Alec and
Alice. Alec, victim of a horrible accident with the formula, runs
into the swamp water on fire (this IS a great special effect for the
movie) and is believed dead. Alice runs into the swamp and
hides. But while Alice is running, Arcane's goons are
chasing. Fortunately, a giant, green, unrecognizable monster
comes to her aid at every turn. Arcane dubs him "Swamp
Thing". Alice soon learns this monster was Dr. Alec Holland and
together the two exact their revenge on the mad scientist Arcane.
A strange romance develops between Swamp Thing and
Alice Cable. Although she desperately wants to remain by Alec's
side and act as his assistant at the end of the film, he reluctantly
tells her to go public with their story and that someday they will meet
again. Unfortunately for us, we NEVER see Alice Cable again in
the next movie or in the TV series. To me, this kind of stinks,
because she would have made a great sidekick in subsequent
movies. But at least we can enjoy her in THIS movie.
"Swamp Thing" is a very well-made film and I was
quite surprised by its quality. A lot of people today try to
judge this by modern movie standards and you can't. Only so much
could be done with special effects back in the day. I think it's
notable that they made the attempt. Watch this film for great
acting, a cool story, and fantastic action sequences.