The original Swamp Thing wasn’t too hot, but that shouldn’t stop you from thoroughly enjoying this sequel from Jim Wynorski, the director of Chopping Mall and Not of This Earth. It’s cheesy, ludicrous, and borderline brain dead, but damn it, that’s part of it’s charm.
The opening credits appropriately sets the tone of what’s to come. We see some stunning artwork from Bernie Wrightson’s Swamp Thing comics while CCR’s “Born on the Bayou” blares on the soundtrack.
The evil Dr. Arcane (Louis Jourdan) is meddling around in his lab splicing genes trying to find a drug that will give him eternal life. He splices human DNA with elephants, alligators, cockroaches, hippos and leeches, resulting in a group of awesome looking mutants. Arcane’s stepdaughter (Heather Locklear) shows up and since she has the same DNA make-up as her mother, Arcane wants to turn her into a walking medical experiment.
Meanwhile two comic relief trailer trash kids look at porn and interrupted by a mutant leech man who wants to eat them. Luckily, Swamp Thing (Dick Durock) shows up to battle him WWE style. Locklear gets molested by a bunch of moonshiners and Swamp Thing beats them to a pulp, starting a love affair of sorts. (She’s a vegetarian.) Arcane shows up and blows Swamp Thing up, but in the coolest scene of the movie, Swampy rejuvenates himself and comes back in a bubble bath to rescue her and blow Arcane’s mansion sky high.
The make-up for the half-human monsters is impressive and Swamp Thing’s new highly vegetative look is pretty cool, but it’s the non-stop monster mashing makes this flick a lot of fun. There’s very little in this movie in the way of plausibility, realistic characters, or subtle performances, but what do you expect from a movie called The Return of Swamp Thing? Oh, and the “love scene” between Locklear and Swampy is one of the nuttiest things you’ll ever see in a motion picture.
Wynorski equips himself nicely with this modestly budgeted affair (the song rights for “Born on the Bayou” alone probably cost more than any movie Wynorski ever directed) and it’s a shame we never got a Swamp Thing 3 from him.