"Water meadowland and small shot for the ducks. He walks in the mud, moves aside the reeds. No clapping of wings, no motions around. Just a singing wind in an ominous silence." Why, you may ask, am I quoting the lyrics to "The Bog" by Bigod 20? Well, at first, even I didn't know. But then it dawned on me, the lyrics to that sinister dancefloor jam (I highly recommend the "Techno Duck Mix") and Swamp Thing, a moist chiller from director Wes Craven (The People Under the Stairs), bare a striking resemblance to one another in terms of foggy tone and murky relevance. It's true, I could have started off on a tangent that compared the Adrienne Barbeau cleavage festival with "Swamp Thing" by The Chameleons. But if you check the lyrics to that song, you'll quickly realize that the words being sung/uttered have very little to do with an actual "swamp thing." Or maybe they do, and I'm just looking at them from a too prosaic point-of-view. Ironically, both songs were played heavily at Toronto area nightclubs like the Boom Boom Room and Catch 22 circa 1991.
While the self-satisfied sensation I'm feeling over the fact that I managed to tie together songs by Bigod 20 and The Chameleons with a film that features Reggie Batts is intoxicating, I'd really like focus primarily on the cinematic work known as Swamp Thing (a.k.a. "Das Ding aus dem Sumpf"). In my defense, it should be noted that I have already alluded to the ample division that separates Adrienne Barbeau's breasts, and I've already used a number of adjectives of a slippery and shadowy nature.
By the way, if you should come across a review of this film that fails to mention Adrienne Barbeau's chest region at least once, the person who wrote it is obviously divorced from reality.
Even though I think they can be unwieldy at times, I do have fond memories of looking her animated cleavage in an ad for the film located inside Sgt. Rock #364 back when I was a smallish woodland creature.
The wettest film ever to emerge out of the festering stew that was the early 1980s, Swamp Thing, based the D.C. comic of the same name, involves a male research scientist, Alec Holland (Ray Wise), falling for a female research scientist, Alice Cable (Adrienne Barbeau), in the seasonally flooded bottomlands of dewy Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.A. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Only problem being that commandos under the command of a corrupt businessman, Anton Arcane (a ham-and-couscous-filled Louis Jourdan), raid the their laboratory compound just as their relationship was about to blossom and junk.
In the melee that follows, Dr. Holland is transformed into a green monstrosity after being doused with some volatile iridescent sludge, while Miss Cable flees into the swamp with the knowledge of the whereabouts to the final notebook containing the formula for the aforementioned iridescent sludge. The malevolent Arcane wants to procure the recipe in order to use on himself. Mind you, not to become a walking and talking vegetable, but so that he can harness its power to do some evil bullshit.
What transpires after Holland and Cable are cast into the swamp is a serious of commando attacks, followed by a last minute rescue. The commandos, lead by Ferret (David Hess from The Last House on the Left), would chase and harass Adrienne Barbeau, and just as her ass was about to get snuffed, Holland's green thing (portrayed by Dick Durock when in shrub mode) would jump out of the brush to help her just in the nick of time.
As you would expect, this gets tiresome after awhile. The only repetitive motif I enjoyed during all this swamp-based action was the fact that the commando played by the always excellent Nicholas Worth (Don't Answer the Phone) is violently tossed in the water not once, but three times by the Swamp Thing (it might have even been four times). Anyway, it got to a point where I anticipated his dunking with bated breath.
Surprisingly, it wasn't spacious cleavage and regenerating limbs that caught the bulk of my attention. No, what interested me most was the awesome performance by Reggie Batts as Jude, the youthful, bespeckled gas station attendant who assists Adrienne Barbeau in her mad scramble not to get murdered in a swamp setting. There was just something about his head-on line delivery that tickled my fancy. Of course, as with the majority of great film performances, Swamp Thing would end up being Reggie Batts' sole movie credit. Joining the likes of the legendary Madeleine Reynal from Stephen Sayadian's Dr. Caligari and the unheralded Kristen Riter from Student Bodies, Reggie has cemented his place in the possibly made up Panthéon of one role film careers.
The assertiveness of Adrienne Barbeau's character during the film's first third was mildly glorious, especially when Arcane's hired guns are attacking the research complex–she makes a fool out of Nicholas Worth and guns down a nameless commando. Unfortunately, this scrappiness soon turns to timidity, as she slowly evolves into a bit of a damsel in distress. She doesn't even lend a hand to Mr. Swamp Thing during the climatic battle with Arcane. It doesn't exactly ruin the movie, but it was, nonetheless, a disappointing turn of events.
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