The Return of Swamp Thing

Synopsis: A Jim Wynorski film

Everyone’s favorite muck-encrusted plant-man is back in this tongue-in-cheek action-adventure starring Louis Jourdan and Heather Locklear. Sequel to the original cult classic Swamp Thing and based on the award-winning D.C. Comics series, this visually dynamic film plants our moss-infested superhero in a dangerous love affair.

When beautiful horticulturist Abigail Arcane visits her stepfather, Dr. Anton Arcane, in his high-tech laboratory, she is determined to resolve the mysterious death of her mother. Unfortunately, Arcane is bent on taking her life for the creation of his immortality serum. coming to Abigail’s rescue is the former Dr. Alex Holland (now Swamp Thing) who sweeps her away to the heart of the bayou where they soon fall head over heels in love. But their romances goes awry when Arcane ruthlessly hunts down these unlikely lovers with a fiendish array of weaponry.

Will the insane Arcane ever turn over a new leaf? What really happened to Abigails mother? And can a vegetarian and a houseplant ever find true happiness without driving each other up a tree? Chock-full of witty, campy dialogue, The Return of Swamp Thing features dazzling stunt work and striking special effects make-up.

The Return of Swamp Thing 5.5

Why oh why would I return to the ‘Swamp Thing’ series after such a dismal first opening, you wonder? What can I say? I’m a completist by nature and I like to get the full scope of a series, filmmaker’s output or actor’s craft before I make a definite opinion.

Sometimes, that means suffering along the way.

I am happy to report that ‘The Return of Swamp Thing’ isn’t a completely joyless affair. While it’s hardly a great cinematic treat, it’s a step up over the first one (not that this would be hard to beat)

What makes this one palatable is the fact that it clearly doesn’t take itself seriously; it knows that its main protagonist is a giant clump of moldy spinach with Hulk-lite powers. So it turns up the comedy to compensate. Thank goodness for that.

While the humour is stale and the delivery is frequently rote, they get some extra points for effort. And it does serve to paint the film in a different light – which is much needed, in this swampy mess: so much ickiness, dirt, bad rubber monsters… eegad!

Another big plus is the quality of the actors this time around. They’re not A-listers, but at least they didn’t take the crew (or the crew’s friends!) to save a few bucks. In particular, they have Heather Locklear (hardly a tremendous actress, but she delivers here. And boy did I have a crush on her many years ago: extra points), and Sarah Douglas (I wish we had seen more of her; ‘Superman II’ just wasn’t enough for me – I has a SERIOUS fascination with her, and still do to a certain extent: bonus bucks).

So, while I should probably give it lower mark (objectively, it probably deserves a 3.5 or 4.0), I really enjoyed some parts of it enough to boost it mildly. Then again, maybe my gauge is off after watching so many dreadful films in the last few days.

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