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Swamp Thing
(1981 Film)

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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 "Octopussy".

    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.