Film & Water #87 – Swamp Thing/Man-Thing

THE FILM & WATER PODCAST

Episode 87: SWAMP THING/MAN-THING

It’s a muck-encrusted mockery of a podcast! For this double feature, Rob welcomes back artist Jarrod Alberich to discuss 1982’s SWAMP THING, followed by 2005’s MAN-THING!

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24 responses to “Film & Water #87 – Swamp Thing/Man-Thing

  1. I will be listening to this episode with great anticipation tomorrow as I’ve not seen either of the movies. I hadn’t realized Wes Craven directed Swamp Thing. Back in the mid-1950s he went to high school with both my parents. They all attended Collinwood High School on Cleveland’s east side. It was a mostly working-class Italian neighborhood with some Irish and Eastern Europeans in the mix. My mother was friends with Craven and she recalls him as being very smart but something of an outcast in school. His parents were extremely conservative Christians who didn’t allow him to see movies or watch much (if any) TV. She also recalls that he would come dressed very formally in a suit to school.

    He had a column in the school newspaper called “Craven’s Raven.” I always suspected that all those teenagers he killed off in his movies may have been meant to be my dad & his friends.

    Craven was a nice guy and I believe he came to their 50th high school reunion several years back. He was nice enough to sign a movie poster which I donated to the Browne Popular Culture Library at BGSU.

    1. I’ve heard a lot of good stories about Wes Craven–how erudite he was, how thoughtful. People who didn’t know him couldn’t believe this professor-y guy directed movies with such unrelenting violence.

      Hope you enjoy(ed) the episode!

    2. What a great story. My parents both went to high school to the west of Cleveland in North Olmsted. Boy, did they miss out on a cool experience.

  2. I’ve talked about Swamp Thing before, but I first saw it on HBO at my Grandparents’ house. I seem to recall it was the version with the nude scene, because I remember thinking “I shouldn’t be watching this, especially here” and I was like 8 or 9.

    Cindy brought home a donated VHS copy from the library a few years back. I popped it in and watched it for the first time in decades and enjoyed it. Rob’s right, the sincerity of the production shines through past it’s limitations. This VHS was definitely the version with the nude scene. When it got to that scene, the tracking went NUTS, as if the previous owner had watched, re-watched, and re-re-watched that scene over and over. Hmmm. I wonder why?

    I’ve never seen Man-Thing…and I honestly probably never will. Jarrod, I admire your commitment to watching every comic movie ever, but in some cases like this one, I kind of pity you as well.

    Great to hear your son weigh in on it. Any kid that knows Flash Gordon is being raised right.

    Chris

    1. s if the previous owner had watched, re-watched, and re-re-watched that scene over and over

      NOW I know what happened to my copy!

      And yeah don’t waste your time with MAN-THING. In the 90 mins it takes you could record another SMP!

    2. Jordan is a great kid – thanks for the kind words! His full name is Jordan (as in Hal) Scott (as in Alan). And his little brother is Jay (as in Garrick) Westallen (you get it) :-) #nerdparents

  3. Firstly, Return of the Swamp Thing is a classic. Superior make-up effects, better Swampy suit, and Abby Arcane! And it’s directed by videostore hero, Jim Wynorski! I expected better of you, Robert.

    Man-Thing shares a director with Highlander: the Source, the worst of the sequels. Can’t wait to cover that with Rob.

    Great segment by Jordon and animated series theme closer!

  4. What a great episode!
    I haven’t seen Swamp Thing in many years but I can remember enjoying it enough as a kid. As you said, there weren’t comic book movies back then. If you are dying of thirst, anything will help quench.

    As you say, Adrian Barbeau is a nice addition to the movie as she was in Escape From New York.

    I did laugh when Rob said ‘there is only one redeeming thing about Return if Swamp Thing’. The answer … THE ONLY ANSWER … is Heather Locklear. The answer to all questions is Heather Locklear!

    I haven’t seen ManThung. As for the beginning, what more could 15 year old Anj want? In my early teens, I watched a ton of schlock horror movies and this opening sounds like the In a microcosm. Now mind you, I watched a ton but I was discerning, I liked the Hellraiser movies because thy were ‘cerebral’.

    Thanks again! This episode was a blast!

    1. I guess I missed the Heather Locklear train. She never did anything for me, even I was of the age that someone like her would be catnip.

      The problem with MAN-THING is that its BORING. I have a taste for B, C, and D-level garbage too, but the movie is mostly a slog.

      Glad you liked the episode!

  5. I first saw Swamp Thing on TV rather than in the theater. In fact, up until this moment, I had assumed that Swamp Thing was a made-for-TV movie. Regardless, I enjoyed it. Even though I’d never read a Swamp Thing comic book, I knew he was a hero, and, as Rob said, there were precious few live-action comic hero movies to watch back then.

    Regarding Man-Thing, I was not aware that this movie existed prior to seeing the title of this episode, and I’m happy to forget it exists. Thanks for taking one for the team, gentlemen, and thanks for another entertaining episode.

  6. My memories of the Swamp Thing films is dim indeed, and wow, Man-Thing sounds terrible! But it made for an entertaining episode!

    Very cute minisode at the end there.

  7. I left a Secret Origins Addendum commentessay over at Midnight… covering my memories of seeing Swamp Thing ads in new comics but not catching the movie itself until UHF reruns that I only half-watched. I’ve got nothing against Adrienne Barbeau, but she was never my type and I wasn’t much into fellow UHF watches The Fog or Escape from New York either. I caught Return of the Swamp Thing on VHS and liked its cheapjack camp a lot better. I love the soundtrack on RotSW, both the score and the CCR over the comic images. The costumes and action are better, it features an actor named Ace Mask, and the little kids are performing with all their inadequate, squeaky-voiced might. RotSW knows it’s crap, and just has a good time wallowing in the muck, which makes it more fun in a low stakes, LCD, Married… With Children way. Heather Locklear was also never my type (Sarah Douglas tho’) but she was better at selling the sitcom quality than Barbeau managed with the original’s drama. It ranked pretty favorably among comic book movies released up to 1989, and is a damned sight better than many (I’m looking at you, foreign-release-only Captain America ’90) that immediately followed it.

    1. P.S. Ray Wise is always first and foremost Leland Palmer, and more recently Emily Gilmore’s rebound. I can’t have been the only one hoping that he would murder Rory and leave her wrapped in plastic on the Stars Hollow gazebo, especially around ten minutes into the musical on the third episode of the Netflix revival. Plus: Jeepers Creepers 2.

  8. Super fun combination of films to review! My memories of Swamp Thing primarily come from watching on TV in the 80s. I do have a brief story how this film got me into trouble. If memory serves, in one of the scenes with Anton, someone uses the word “bastard”. As a youth, I picked up just about any phrase I heard on TV. So sure enough I called one of my family members a “bastard” that evening. Let’s just say I don’t remember much else from that night.

    Regarding Man-Thing… It wasn’t made for TV?!?!? I’m shocked this was originally intended for theatrical release. I’ve only seen it once and I loved it for the absolute cheese of it! Not in a good way, but in a really bad Sci-Fi Channel sort of way. I agree with Jordan, the Man-Thing puppet was pretty good looking!

    And it was great hearing Jarrod & Jordan on this episode! I’m proud to say I brought Jarrod into the podcasting world (this is me bragging) and he’s become an awesome podcaster! And I’ve met Jordan face-to-face and he is one of the nicest, most polite young men I’ve ever come across. Seriously. Great kid and sounds like he’s got a future in podcasting himself!

  9. This “bogcast” – yes, I’m still trying to make “bogcast” work – was tons of fun. I liked being the newcomer to the 82 classic & the quasi-defender of the 05 turd sandwich. And I LOVED bringing Jordan in. All you F&W guys are his heroes since we listen a lot on school drop-off/pick-up trips. Your positive feedback for Jordan will really make his day. Thank you all! Special thanks to Rob for having me & Jordan on – Jordan comes to me about twice a day with podcast ideas now! And to Shag – who took an absolute roll of the dice, booking a guy with ZERO podcast experience for one of his shows…and now I host 1, co-host 2, & appear anywhere people will have me!

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