The Incredible Melting Man (1977)
Mission Log: Unlucky astronaut Steve West gets some sort of allergic reaction to Saturn’s solar flares or something and when Brough back to Earth his flesh starts to slowly ooze away. Plus he becomes a cannibalistic madman!
Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:
- Not sure if these are solar flares or if this is footage or the bile rising in my stomach from having to watch all this schlock.
- We’re hiring voice-over about the astronauts’ lift-off but the screen is showing a slow moving object’s POV already in space.
- Probably a bad omen to name the space program Scorpio. Couldn’t go with a less ominous horoscope name?
- I don’t know if the solar flares from Saturn are causing Astronaut Steve to be in immense pain or if it was the pork sandwich he ate before he lifted-off.
- So now we see Steve back on Earth (I’m assuming) and the doctor is baffled that he was only one to survive. My question is, how did Steve return safely home when he was all the way in the middle of the solar system? There’s no way he successfully navigated back from Saturn in all that pain.
- This hospital looks like a high school classroom with hospital equipment.
- The doctor has to get Ted Nelson! Ted will know what to do!
- Who’s Ted Nelson?
- Yeah, give him Whole Blood, none of that 2% crap. And definitely not skim blood!
- Steve’s face is all bandaged up and he’s harnessed to the hospital bed like a criminal. Why?
- Steve breaks free and unwraps his bandages and looks at his already melting face in the mirror and goes berserk!
- He’s now terrorizing the nurse, who’s running down the corridor of this “hospital” which to me, looks like a Self-Storage Unit facility.
- I thought he was chasing her but I don’t see him behind her as she’s just running for her dear life. In slo-motion. For about 35 long seconds. I’m not kidding this is laughably too long.
- Hahahaha. She was so terrified that she ran right through the glass door! With no injuries! Maybe she’s on PCP.
- Still not sure how Steve is catching up with her now. Hell, I’m not sure why he’s chasing her.
- Steve kinda looks like Dante from Clerks.
- Is the dead body that the doctor and Ted Nelson are looking at the nurse? They’re really not showing its face.
- Apparently there’s a conspiracy/coverup involving Steve and his condition. Why? Beats me but it probably has to do with the fact that this film is too cheap to hire any more actors.
- Nelson says that Steve survived the ordeal because he was stronger than the other astronauts. I call bullshit on that. Steve is your garden variety business man/accountant type-looking fella. Now if Jean Claude Van Damme was in that vessel, then I’d believe it. Have you seen his splits?
- Nelson also says that he’s getting stronger. First of all how does he know? Steve could’ve gotten lucky killing that out-of-shape nurse (not gonna sugar-coat it, she was portly). And secondly, how would a man whose flesh is literally melting off become stronger?!
- Steve is now terrorizing some fisherman and making some type of Darth Vader breathing noises.
- Nelson and the other doctor are chatting about Mrs. Nelson’s current pregnancy. What does this have to do with the plot?
- What is this kind of hovering platform that they’re on? It makes no sense.
- Steve threw the fisherman’s decapitated head into the stream. I guess he ate the rest of him. Not a fan of head cheese.
- “Ouchka!” Nelson burnt himself on a pot of soup and exclaimed “Ouchka!”
- There’s a ton of family drama for a movie about a astronaut who’s running around killing people with a melting face.
- Ted really wants his crackers! Dammit, why didn’t his wife get him those crackers! Now he has to eat his soup cracker-less like a fucking common peasant!
- OK, we’re still following that fisherman’s head’s travels in the stream. It’s important!!
- Now we’re watching two young boys smoking a cigarette. And then one of them asks a little girl if she wants to play doctor. I’m sure these kids are all doing well and good nowadays.
- Yeah, real bummer that some bully big kids knocked down your fort kid. Now where’s the Incredible Melting Man?!
- Girl counts to 50 because she’s the seeker in hide-n-seek and as soon as she’s done she yells out “Hey where are you?” And then “I don’t wanna play anymore!” Man, what a drag.
- She then finds Steve with a 30% missing face and I was expecting a much worse reaction from her. My kids freak out more when the see a bug in the bathtub.
- Nelson is going around the woods with a Geiger counter looking for Steve. How he knows Steve could be in this particular woods is a good question. Did he start at the hospital and follow the radioactivity like a trail of breadcrumbs?
- Steve is leaving bloody goopy body parts all over the countryside! Talk about leaving a carbon footprint. Steve’s leaving carbon feet behind!
- Now we’re treated to a random model photo shoot. The photographer is attempting to persuade the model to take her top off. I would assume nothing less from this film.
- This sleazy photographer begging for for boob shots is getting more creepy to watch than Steve’s melting face.
- Extra sleazy now that the photographer sexual assaulted the model by ripping her tube top off.
- Nelson doesn’t know how to drive stick apparently. That could be a plot point later on.
- Yeah, why is the rapey photographer still at this crime scene taking pictures of the dead fisherman? If I was him I’d hightail it outta here before the girl starts accusing him.
- C’mon Doc, you know there’s no more bears here! Not after the great Bear Holocaust of 1974!
- So is it solar flares (which the movie is clearly showing in this flashback) or Saturn’s rings that caused Steve to slowly melt? It’s a little confusing.
- I still don’t understand why Steve’s breathing sounds like he’s wearing SCUBA gear.
- Aqualung my friend, don’t start away uneasy. You poor old sod, you see it’s only me.
- Now Judy Nelson is inviting General Perry and the other doctor over to dinner tonight. Don’t they have better things to do—you know—like find a killer walking bag of goop, AKA Steve.
- AND now there’s Mrs. Nelson’s folks also coming over for dinner?! And believe it or not they are this film’s comic relief.
- Helen is really horny and has a hankering for lemon meringue pie. Besides trying to be amorous with Harold, she makes him stop on their way to the Nelson’s to steal lemons from a nearby grove. Holy shit is this so dumb.
- Oh I don’t know…where will you keep the stolen lemons Harold!?
- One bustle of leaves in the distance and Helen and Harold are spooked and start to leave! Those old cards!
- Steve attacks them when they get back in the sedan. At least I think it was Steve. For some reason the camera was out of focus and there was glare everyway.
- General Perry was taking a nap at the Nelson’s? Weird.
- I’m halfway through and really wishing this movie was more inept to be enjoyable. Most fo the run time is Steve lumbering along the countryside feeling sorry for himself. It’s a real long boring slog. Like the flesh off Steve’s face.
- I’m also kinda glad I never saw the MST3K episode of this film, although I’m sure they did a much better job. But then again, they were paid to watch those films.
- General Perry could really use a drink right around now. Coincidentally, so can I.
- Hahahaha. Ironically, Steve arrives at the Nelson’s house. If only if Ted’s nagging wife didn’t force them to leave to find Steve a few minutes ago!
- Judy hears glass break in her house and hopes it’s Ted. But she goes and investigates it anyway. In the dark.
- Oh it was just Elsie the clumsy cat.
- You take it easy Ted! You’re not the one worrying about an Incredible Melting Man!
- Oh I don’t think you’ve been acting like an ass lately Ted. We’ve only just met, you could always been an ass your entire life.
- Judy keeps saying that her mom’s dead and that she can just feel that she’s dead. She’s not mentioning her dad though. He could be dead too you know. Someone’s got daddy issues.
- Ted’s sad reaction to he being told on the phone that his in-laws are dead was not that convincing.
- OH, that was Judy’s mom and her boyfriend. A lot makes sense now.
- I still don’t know why Nelson and Perry have to find Steve by themselves and can’t alert the authorities. He was an astronaut whose mission went awry by a freak accident. He wasn’t a secret military experiment that they have to conceal from the public. If anything, not getting help from the authorities or experts is only delaying this nightmare’s end and leaving more deaths in Steve’s wake. And since he was an astronaut shouldn’t NASA be involved somehow?
- And why isn’t General Perry getting more military guys to help out? Surely he’s in command of soldiers that could help him and still keep orders that this is a cover-up. Why is this all on him only?
- Steve is leaving detergent residue all over the Nelson’s windows. Unless he got excited watching Judy and left his melted cock on the window.
- The sheriff is really hammering hard on Ted about wanting to know what’s going on with all the half-eaten bodies in the area. Seriously, Ted just fucking tell someone to help you because you know damn well you can’t find Steve by yourself. You couldn’t find sand if you fell off a camel.
- Ted agrees and says that the sheriff can’t tell anyone not even his wife and the sheriff says, “You know, Ted, I’m not married.” Not sure if that was a joke or not. Seriously, I’m not sure if this whole movie was a joke or not.
- For some reason, other than for something to actual happen, Perry opens up a door and on the other side is Steve ready to kill! There was no noise or knock for Perry to open up the door in the first place. Did he just want to go outside for a breath of fresh air in the middle of the night?
- Ted interrupts the Sheriff’s anecdote about delivering a baby in the back seat of his squad car. Rude!
- Now we get a new random couple going to be the next victims to Steve’s gloppy attacks.
- Yeah, Judy’s alright and that’s all that counts. Dead General Perry on the front lawn—doesn’t count.
- How funny would it be if this woman who’s barricading the kitchen door with her fridge, get attacked by Steve who enters from the other door that is on the other side of the door she’s barricading?
- This lady actually chopped Steve’s arm off with a meat cleaver! I’m sure with his melting flesh at this point a paring knife would’ve done the job.
- How can Steve even run!? This makes no sense. He’s literally melting like a leper using napalm shampoo!
- He stumbles close by a hobo shanty town and the hobos are concerned about their booze. More comic relief.
- Why in the hell does Nelson not want the sheriff to shoot him?! I get that he’s his friend but does Ted really expect to be able to save Steve from dying a slow and agonizing inevitable death? Killing him ASAP would be a Crom-damned mercy killing!
- Maybe Steve owes Ted money?
- Steve gives chase in a factory. Just like Terminator and Terminator 2!
- Maybe they can freeze Steve with liquid nitrogen also.
- But seriously, if Ted doesn’t want Steve harmed, what’s his plan to stopping Steve, especially if he’s radioactive and shouldn’t be touched? Is he hoping to trap him in a room or find a net lying around someplace? Or does he plan on sweet talking Steve into giving himself up.
- The sheriff gives Ted a pistol but Ted throws it away when the sheriff runs off to find Steve.
- Finally, Ted and the sheriff got Steve cornered! I’m sure the sheriff will die any second now.
- After two shotgun blasts to the gut, Steve absolutely annihilates the sheriff by throwing him off onto high wires, frying the poor son of a bitch. Great scene. It was further made entertaining by Ted’s nonchalant pleading to Steve to stop hurting the sheriff.
- Man, the sheriff is burnt to an absolute crisp!
- Ted is trying to appeal to Steve’s good side but Steve’s not having any of it.
- Steve lets Ted dangle off the side of the staircase for a bit until he realizes that Ted’s his friend. I’m not sure how Steve can hear since his ears have melted off long ago but whatever, Steve finds his light side and helps Ted up.
- Two factory security guards are in pursuit of the situation and threaten Steve. But Ted again pleas with them to not fire. But they didn’t give a hot shit who Dr. Ted Nelson is and shot him in the face.
- Oh c’mon, they cut away from Steve killing the security guards! Why is the movie being shy now?
- I still don’t understand the science and logic of this movie monster. His radioactive flesh is slowly melting off him but he’s stronger and impervious to bullets. None of this makes any sense.
- So now for the last 4 or 5 minutes we get to watch Steve quickly degenerate. Which is nice. Still doesn’t make any sense that moments earlier he was killing able-bodied men single-handed and taking shotgun blasts.
- The next morning, a kindly old African-American worker at the factory moseys into work and finds a huge mess outside the main office, gets annoyed and starts to clean up the remains of Steve as if he was a heap of some sick dog’s vomit. Dude, put your gloves on, that shit is gross.
- MORE SOLAR FLARES!!!!!
Phobia Level: Only if you have a fear of tuna melts will this flick give you the willies.
Sick Bay: While the film lacks in, well, most good things, the special effects and gore are the one thing I can give it some credit for. Rick Baker did the effects and it’s great. However it didn’t elevate the film much. Having Rick Baker do the FX in this film is like eating a big juicy steak with a side of mashed dogshit.
Heavenly Bodies: We did see some shots of the model, Rainbeaux (yes, that’s her name) Smith’s boobs but considering she was being sexually assaulted it did put a damper on the situation.
Best Transmission: I’m gonna go with this lunch exchange at the Nelsons:
Dr. Ted Nelson: Steve escaped.
Judy Nelson: Oh God. What’re you gonna do?
Dr. Ted Nelson: Uh… did you get some crackers? I told you yesterday that we needed some crackers.
Judy Nelson: Oh, I forgot. I knew there was something… Y’know there’s uh, there’s a pad right by the phone y’know, you could write it down too. So what about Steve?
Dr. Ted Nelson: So, we don’t have any crackers?
Judy Nelson: Ted. Steve?
Dr. Ted Nelson: Steve? I’ve got to go out and find Steve.
Most Successful Experiment: I really liked the death of the Sheriff by electrocution. One of the more impressive death special effects I’ve seen in a while.
Experiment Gone Awry: Really any scene where Ted Nelson has to act. But also the scene involving the two old geezers was completely pointless.
Damage Report: I was expecting a lot better from this film. I’ve always heard of it (I think it was featured a little bit on It Came From Hollywood, a sci-fi/horror clip movie featuring Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, and Cheech & Chong that I used to watch a lot as a wee lad) so I assumed it had its bright spots. But alas, it was a tough, boring, slow watch. Like I said, the special effects were great (for its time) but not even the genius Rick Baker could carry a movie all on his own. The story was non-existent really. Astronaut returns home and immediately has a bad case of melting flesh disease and starts a killing rampage in a small area of woods somewhere in rural California. There’s like a dozen actors in this so there’s not even that much of a killing spree to highlight the gore effects. If only it was slightly better or even slightly worse then this film would be more entertaining. Overall, I’m not sure if I would recommend this since it really isn’t worth the time spent watching it.
Kobayashi Maru Score: