Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Return of Swamp Thing (1989)

There’s not one single frame of The Return of Swamp Thing that I don’t like. Jim Wynorski has created a fun, cheesy, tongue-in-cheek comic adventure which never seems like a cynical cash-in on the first movie. Yes, the heart is on the right place and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves to the max.

To be honest, I don’t remember so much from the first movie, but Dick Durdock is back as Swamp Thing, roaming the swamps, saving people and being heroic. But it’s not a nice swamp nowadays, when Dr Arcane’s (Louis Jordan) mutations is running around killing people out there. One day the stepdaughter of the evil doctor, Abby Arcane (Heather Locklear) shows up trying to figure out what happen to her mother. She soon becomes friend with Swamp Thing and helps him take down her evil stepfather!

A few to many words for a very thin plot actually, and the plot isn’t the most important here. It’s just a good old monster-romp with an underground lab, a small army of stupid henchmen, the sinister assistant to the bad guy (here played by the great Sarah Douglas) and a couple of comic relief kids running around, getting themselves in danger.

It’s colourful and cheesy, but never boring and enough action to please everyone that likes explosions, rubbermonsters and matinee adventures. The make-up effects looks cool and over-the-top, but it’s a pity we see so little of the other creatures in the lab. The main monster-protagonist is lovely and fights with Swamp Thing a couple of times, but the main fight is with a mutated scientist and is very short – but fun.

All actors are fun and inspired here, but I wonder if Heather Locklear isn’t the highlight. She’s obviously in on the joke and it’s easy to see that she has a lot of fun playing the heroine falling in love with a… plant. Dick Durock has the right twinkle in the eye and is perfect as the absurdly heroic and witty plant monster. Yes, even Jordan slumming in a movie far beneath what he’s done before do a good job.

The Return of the Swamp Thing is one of the silliest, funniest and craziest little sequels I’ve seen. It has monsters, cartoon-violence, stupid jokes, good actors and wild stunts. Not bad, not bad at all!

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