In The Return Of Swamp Thing, Swampy falls for sexy Abigail Arcane (Heather Locklear, Melrose Place, Dynasty), stepdaughter to the world’s maddest scientist, Dr. Anton Arcane (Louis Jourdan, Swamp Thing, Gigi, Octopussy). Abby owns a plant store, and is more comfortable talking to her plants than to men in the local singles bar. However, when she meets the half human/half plant, she immediately sees beyond the horror of his physical form and falls in love with Dr. Alec Holland, the man behind the muck, who also happens to be busy saving her from her father’s nefarious and murderous plans.
What We Thought:
The Return Of Swamp Thing is an absolute cult classic. Is it a good film? Oh heck no, but it’s a film I remember from my childhood and enjoyed catching up with on this new 4K release which looks really good, sounds even better and has a ton of bonus features for the ultimate collector.
If you haven’t seen the first film, there’s a flashback sequence to explain how Swamp Thing came about. I probably haven’t seen the first film since the 1980s and barely remember it. Obviously the movie is pretty sad by today’s standards, but that’s also what makes it enjoyable. You have to have a soft spot for pre to early CGI effects. There is a scene where Swamp Thing gets hit with a grenade and he’s able to come back together. The oozy effects and green lights are laughable. As are most of the explosions. One of the other creatures he has to fight makes a trailer and a bunch of cars explode. I’m not sure why the cars exploded, but they certainly took their time going up in flames. The make up effects and practical effects of the creatures aren’t what we are used to seeing today, but it’s what I prefer actually.
Even for its day this was a B-movie. I was too young to watch TJ Hooker and Dynasty so Heather Locklear wasn’t someone I was familiar with as a kid. She plays the classic damsel in distress that falls in love with the creature and even with a classic storyline like that, it still feels B-movie-ish. There’s a sort of love scene that’s super creepy and weird and makes the 1990’s live action Beauty & the Beast TV show look high class. It’s all very laughable.
The Return of Swamp Thing is cult classic personified. I love seeing practical effects that we just don’t get nowadays. The acting, the story, the look of the film are all pretty bad with cliched henchmen (with no sleeves on their shirts of course) and hillbillies and young kids. If you are a fan of the movie, this is a must own because it has been restored from the original interpositive with Dolby Vision HDR Mastering for an optimal viewing experience. The film didn’t look great in the first place, but this is the best it’s ever looked.
Brand New Special Features Include:
- Reflection on Swamp Thing 35 Years Later with Producer Michael E. Uslan
- RiffTrax Music Video Your Ever-Lovin’ Swamp Thing
In addition to the brand-new special features, additional bonus programming from the original Blu-ray release includes:
- Audio commentary from director Jim Wynorski, composer Chuck Cirino and editor Leslie Rosenthal (2018)
- Audio commentary from director Jim Wynorski (2003)
- Interviews with director Jim Wynorski, editor Leslie Rosenthal, composer Chuck Cirino, and Lightyear Entertainment executive Arnie Holland
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- 6 Promotional TV Clips
- 2 TV Spots
- 2 Greenpeace Public Service Announcements
- 1989 Promo Reel
- Photo Gallery (accompanied by Chuck Cirino’s film score)