Here’s how I figure it: there’s the love theme, obviously, and there’s a fight theme, a chase theme, and a general unease theme. There’s a discovery motif and a commando motif, and absolute silence for Arcane. There’s probably other stuff as well.
Writing about the soundtrack was a lot easier in the Superman posts, because there’s a whole industry full of people who would like to explain John Williams scores to you. I’m flying solo this time.
Continue reading Swamp Thing 3.35: Swamp Music
And then, after a goofy boat fight, a knee to the groin and a thrill kill, Swamp Thing does something unexpected: a good scene.
Continue reading Swamp Thing 3.34: The Secret Life of Plants
In my last post, I wrote about what an incredible moment it was in Swamp Thing when the lead character said somebody’s name out loud, got his arm chopped off by editing, and then crushed a dude’s skull with his hand, which basically says everything about how low your standards can get, when you spend weeks and weeks writing about a grade-C movie like Swamp Thing.
And meanwhile, up in the cinema stratosphere, there was another 1982 movie about a misunderstood monster, who also gets chased through the underbrush by mean science thugs, takes a long time to learn how to say other people’s names, and heals his friends with his magical glowing fingers.
That film was E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the simple story of a friendship between a boy and a telepathic mad-science space botanist, and it made more money than any other movie ever made so far, and held that record for the next ten years. But Swamp Thing got a sequel and E.T. didn’t, so who’s laughing now, space boy?
Continue reading Swamp Thing 3.33: Meeting the Monster
Let’s see… Knight Rider, Manimal, The Fall Guy, The A-Team… a mini-series called Ocean, and a horror movie called Nutcracker… and then there’s Fallen Angels, Used, The Steppes, and The House That Wept Blood.
Phew! I’m in the clear. David Hess, who unfortunately plays Ferret in Swamp Thing, has twenty-seven more credits on IMDb, and none of them are superhero movies. So unless I decide to write about terrible horror movies from the 2000s, which obviously I won’t, then this is the last time I ever need to look David Hess in the face again. You have no idea how comforting that is to me.
Continue reading Swamp Thing 3.32: Mostly Armless
At this point in the movie, we know that eccentric millionaire Arcane wants three things: the girl, the notebook and the creature. His current high score is one out of three, and she’s probably not thrilled about being called “the girl” as often as she has, so far.
Agent Alice Cable is currently involved in a high-stakes game of keep-away involving the notebook, which is full of important secrets. The notebook is now in the care of the creature, who should be but is not currently destroying it by chucking it into the swamp water. I mean, if it’s vital for the world that Arcane doesn’t get his hands on the notebook — and I am not entirely convinced that it is — then why don’t they tear it up, dunk it in the water, and let the tannic acid take it from there?
Continue reading Swamp Thing 3.31: A Tale of Two Kisses
Marvel had the Glob, Skywald had the Heap, Warren Publications had Marvin the Dead-Thing. There was the Bog Beast at Atlas Comics and the Monster in the Muck at Charlton, while Gold Key Comics offered the Lurker in the Swamp, and the Beast of the Bayou.
As bizarre as it sounds, there was actually something of a vogue in early to mid ’70s funny-books for human corpses emerging from the murk, walking the earth shrouded in goo, and getting involved in other people’s problems. If these stories teach us anything, it’s that some things just refuse to die, especially the propensity for comic book writers to copy off each other.
Honestly, the fact that even one of these lunatic ’70s swamp monster characters managed to survive through the decades as the star of a superhero comic is hard to believe, and yet we find ourselves blessed with two of them: DC Comics’ Swamp Thing, and Marvel Comics’ Man-Thing. It just goes to show what you can achieve, when you put an infinite number of monkeys in charge of your pop culture.
Continue reading Swamp Thing 3.30: And Another Thing
“These people are blemishes at your love feasts,” Jude declares, “eating with you without the slightest qualm — shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.” I know, right?
“But you, dear friends,” Jude continues, “by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.”
But naturally, we don’t have time to wait for the mercy of J. Christ; the movie is only 91 minutes long, and the clock’s ticking. We’re going to need a quicker way to dispense eternal life, and here it comes, courtesy of a big soggy swamp zombie.
Continue reading Swamp Thing 3.29: The Book of Jude
“I’ve got to go back and help,” says Cable, and the audience asks: Help with what?
I mean, the way I understand the current scenario, Agent Cable has completed her primary mission. She’s trying to prevent a magic spell from falling into the wicked hands of a sinister wizard, and the spell is written down in a little red leather notebook, which is the only place to keep anything. Cable currently has possession of the notebook, and the bad guys are busy having stupid boat fights with a big green monster, so this would be an opportune time for Cable to start looking around for some car keys. Cable wins, bad guys lose. End of movie.
Continue reading Swamp Thing 3.28: The Notebook
“Every time you’ve seen the girl, you’ve seen the beast,” says international villain Arcane, issuing instructions to his demented henchmen. “We’ll find the girl; the beast will follow.” That’s a good plan, except now they have to find the girl.
Luckily, Cable has managed to find an excellent hiding place: in the middle of a lake outside of Los Angeles, about 2,500 miles away from the South Carolina swamp where they filmed the rest of the picture.
Continue reading Swamp Thing 3.27: The Boat Fight
There are a lot of things that Swamp Thing doesn’t say in this movie, and here’s one of them: “Who knows how far up the rot goes in Washington? You’re not safe calling anyone!”
Which is probably for the best. I’ve been having a good time lately, kicking holes in this silly rubber-suit movie, so it’s time for me to put the stick down for a minute, and appreciate a good decision.
Continue reading Swamp Thing 3.26: The Chatterbox