Hard Ticket to Home Video Classic: Swamp Thing

Swamp Thing carries the three biggest stars of the film to safety.

Swamp Thing carries the three biggest stars of the film to safety.

TRAILER

Brian: I’m thinking about what to say about Swamp Thing.  Should Adrienne Barbeau’s breasts have been more prominent?  Should Dick Durock’s Swamp Thing pants have been less prominent?

Brad: Hell I’m still wondering what happened to that angry British guy who was head of security for Dr. Holland. That was one nasty loose-end if you ask me.

Brian: You fool!  Don’t you see?  It was Dr. Arcane all along!

Brad: Why would Arcane pose as his fake British security officer? I mean Arcane is clearly a very wealthy, sophisticated villain so why would he, himself, put on a disguise to infiltrate Holland’s lab? (If you’re correct and the was no real Ritter) Wouldn’t it be easier and more Arcane’s style to hire someone to do it? Plus what did he actually accomplish posing as Ritter? He shorted out a security camera in a remote part of the swamp. His thugs actually broke in Hollands lab and stole his notebooks not Ritter. It would’ve been a better and easier plan if he as Ritter was able to get access to the safe and simply just steal the notebooks. Wouldn’t that be the point to having a mole/spy/imposter?

What would Arcane in disguise do had Barbeau never arrived in that swamp? It seems he wasn’t able to do squat until she got there right? All that time in a clever disguise in a swamp with a fake accent got him zilch. How long was he doing this rouse and how long was he willing to continue? I pretty much forgot what Arcane did for a living besides be a villain but wasn’t he a rival scientist working on a formula similar to Hollands? When did he have time to work on HIS formula? Or was he too lazy to bother and it was easier to create a great disguise as Ritter to sit and wait until he could steal the formula. And what formula was he looking to steal exactly since Holland created that super-swamp serum just that afternoon? And it’s even possible that any of Hollands people would know what Arcane even looked like so why would Arcane need to pose as someone else entirely? Unless there was in fact a real Ritter who genuinely worked for Holland and was killed by Arcane.

Brian: The whole impersonating Ritter thing not only doesn’t make sense, it’s completely unnecessary.  The only reason I can think of for him to pose at Ritter would be for him to spy on Dr. Holland’s work.  Maybe he wanted to see everything firsthand, and didn’t trust his goons to properly report back information.  But none of it makes sense for so many reasons.  Why wouldn’t he, posing as THE HEAD OF SECURITY, take the notebooks quietly when nobody was around, copy them and put them back, then use the notes back at his own lab, where he should have a team of kidnapped brilliant scientists (or free evil scientists) working on the formula.  Why destroy all of the research in Holland’s lab?  Isn’t that extremely counterproductive?  And the “breakthrough” just happened that day, wouldn’t he wait to make his move until a little more research had been done?

I believe the research was all about regeneration, and somehow making people nearly immortal, according to the confusing speech Arcane later gave that I could barely understand. But then, why would he want to drink it after one guy turned into a bog monster and another guy turned into a rodent?  He’s going to give up all of his wealth and power to turn into a monster that’s easily killed?  Maybe it would have been a little more plausible if Arcane was like terminally ill or paralyzed from the neck down or something.  But he seemed to be doing fine (even though he looked like he was on the wrong side of AIDS).

Don’t act like you’re not intimidated.

Brad: Another thing that bothers me is that days after the explosion of Hollands lab no one ever investigated the crime scene. And it was funded or partly funded by the US government hence Adrianne Barboobs involvement. How classified was this swamp research anyway. And it wasn’t exactly that remote either since Barboobs walks to a gas station. No cops or some one seeing the explosion/fire checked it out or called for help? And let’s not forget Arcane’s opulent mansion was nearby also and I’m sure the authorities have to be not-too-far away from wealthy land owners.

Brian: Maybe it was one of those situations where Arcane owned the local police.  But yeah, you’d think after two days of radio silence someone from the government would go check things out.

Another thing that bothers me/makes no sense is the ending.  Barboobs (very nice) tries to convince Swamp Thing to continue his research and find a cure for his monstritis, but he quickly blows it off because his hands are too big.  And just because he earlier broke a few glass beakers that were in a collapsed building.  Couldn’t he just have Barboobs, or anybody else, hold the beakers for him while he explained what to do?  Or use f’n PLASTIC beakers?  This brilliant scientist saw no solution at all to his big hands problem?  He just says, “To hell with it” and goes off to live his life in the swamp?  Even though his newfound limb regeneration would be extremely valuable to humankind?  Apparently not.  “You need to continue your research!”  “F THAT noise.  I have toads to eat.”

Brad: Also didn’t he think that the glass beakers were deteriorated from the extreme heat as well and it wasn’t just his big meaty swamp paws?

Brian: Yeah that’s what I meant by they were in a collapsed building, that was ablaze the day before and was still on fire in many places, so those beakers probably weren’t in the best of shape, but that was all the proof he needed.  *CRUNCH!*  “Well, that’s that.  I dwell in the bog forever.  Drinking slime and banging alligators can’t be that bad.”

And Barboobs doesn’t even say anything to his lame explanation.  “Oh yeah, I guess those hands are pretty messed up.  See ya!”

Your new swamp skin really bunches up at the knee…

We also need to get into how unbelievably absurd the evil dinner party was.  So all the guests there were evil?  Why were they there?  What did they stand to gain from Arcane’s maniacal pursuit of a that formula?  Were they stockholders in his evil company?  But apparently his only plan was to make himself immortal with the formula.  Did they just want to see him drink it?

Brad: I think the dinner guests were lured there with an alternative motive. Like maybe an orgy cocktail party like Eyes Wide Shut. Maybe they were invited to make evil donations to Arcane Corp?

It must be tough to be an evil villain and be able to throw parties. Like you said were they all evil in some regard? They seemed pretty shocked when Bruno mutated right in front of them however a tied up Barboobs was not worth batting an eye for. Maybe they were shocked because the mutation went awry? But can you imagine you’re rich and have other rich bayou friends who throw a party and you go as usual but the host of the party drugs some goon and he turns into a pig-like dwarf within a minute. That must really bring the party to a screeching halt.

And what if Bruno’s transformation went well? Wouldn’t that put a damper on Arcane’s plan? That’s just scientific mutation thunder stealing. He’s the evil genius who’s too much of a pussy to try it out on himself first and he happens to be right [sort of. It turns out the formula is fine, but somehow its the subjects “essence” that matters. DUMB] and Bruno is mutated poorly. But what if Bruno turned into a decent mutant? Arcane then would have to kill/capture Bruno-Thing as well as Swamp-Thing.

But lets back up a moment, Sure Dr. Holland is a stronger version of himself that can regenerate limbs but look at the cost! He’s a walking scum-pond. So was Arcane hoping that Bruno would be a decent looking mutant? Sure, he could assume that Swamp-Thing looks like a monster because he was burnt to a crisp and left floating in the swamp when he took the formula but even AFTER Bruno’s transformation went south did Arcane still think that 3rd times the charm? Well maybe since I’m a wealthy sophisticated evil genius I’ll just be bigger, faster and smarter not some circus freak. What hubris.

And why did he turn into a wolf-like creature with scales? Bruno just shrank and looked slightly like a pig but Arcane turned into something out of Toho Studios. maybe that’s why he immediately tried to kill Swamp-Thing because he was so pissed that he turned into Wolf-Thing when he wanted something more elegant or cuter, like Dolphin-Thing.

“Anything to drink, sir?” “I’ll have a pair of coffee.”

Brian: They’re definitely all evil because of Barboobs being tied up in plain view and nobody caring.  Unless maybe it’s a bondage orgy party.  Maybe there are big-boobed women tied up all over the house.

Arcane committed a major party faux pas by giving Bruno the formula right at the dinner table.  That could have waited until after the bondage orgy.

You’re exactly right.  Even though Holland’s “essence” was good, he still turned into a hideous swamp creature.  Did Arcane think he was going to turn into a golden god?

I’ll go ahead and say that Arcane is probably one of the top 5 worst movie villains of all time.  Horrible plan, awful timing, doesn’t think things through.

Brad: Another thing that bothers me is the “love story.” Holland and Cable fall for each other within minutes of meeting each other. They spend a measly afternoon looking for a shorted out beacon in the swamp all the while Barboobs thinks he’s married. He is ambushed, burnt to a crisp and left for dead in the swamp eventually transforming to Swamp-Thing. She saves his last notebook because it’s her job not out of love. He saves her multiple times from Arcane’s goons. He watches her bath in the swamp longing for his ability to be normal and not a walking plant man. At this point they have never kissed but the film is trying to play on the Beauty and the Beast angle and it’s completely out of its element. The film didn’t need the romantic angle at all. I can see how it somewhat builds tension or conflict but it’s so rushed and weak.

A match made in heaven. If heaven was a filthy swamp where nothing made sense.

And what was up with Bruno saving Holland’s sister’s necklace and putting it on a bush? Was he in love with her or was this to show he wasn’t that bad of a merc? Wouldn’t that make his essence a tad better than what Swamp-Thing said at the end?

Brian: Maybe I need to watch it again, but did Barboobs really indicate that she was in love with Swamp Thing, or just sympathetic?  Like you said, she only realized that Holland wasn’t married to his horse-toothed sister approximately 8 minutes before Arcane came and destroyed everything.  I think the whole Swamp Thing watching her bathe was more like he was lamenting that he could never have a woman again.  And he probably just really wanted to see her bare breasts, like all of us.

The whole Bruno thing was back and forth.  He really wanted Swamp Thing dead, had no problems with kidnapping Barboobs, yet he does that thing with the necklace, even though he had no idea who that woman was.  I guess being mutated into a rodent was too much for his big heart.

But who wears a necklace with a picture of them and their sibling in it?

I almost completely forgot the most ridiculous aspect of the picture: Swamp Thing’s glowing plant resurrection abilities.  I could buy that he could bring dead plants back to life, since that’s what happened when the formula hit those wooden boards, but how does that translate into bringing a person back from the dead and instantly healing their mortal wounds?  Where does the glow come from?  Is he Jesus Christ?

Brad: Maybe you’re right about Barboobs not really being in love with Swamp-Lug but more or less interested in him slightly and moreso sympathetic. But you can’t disagree that they tried the Beauty and the Beast angle. And the more I think about it Beauty and the Beast counts more when Beauty doesn’t meet the Beast BEFORE he’s transformed into a Beast.

Swamp-Christ! Jesus-Thing? Maybe he has super powerful Aloe hands. Was this picture trying to tell us that using plants for good can cure most ailments including a severe stab wound with a rusty sword in the boob?

No big deal, I’m Jesus.

Brian: Well if she was really in love with him she probably would have tried to be a little more convincing about him continuing his research, instead of letting him wade off into the putrid bog.  “Wait, I can hold the beakers for you!”  “I said GOOD DAY!”

Yeah, so he could have healed anyone on the planet, ended world suffering, stop war and bring harmony to all, but he just really wanted to go live in crapwater.

Kid score: 7 
Adult score: 5 

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