Swamp Thing (Blu-ray / DVD)
Directed by Wes Craven
Distributed by The Scream Factory
Swamp Thing wasn't the Wes Craven I watched the most as a kid by any means (Nightmare on Elm Street FOREVER!) but what I always loved about this movie in particular was that it felt like a softer and kinder side of Craven as a storyteller with his approach to this feature film adaptation based on the popular DC Comics series.
Swamp Thing 's story follows a well-meaning scientist named Alec Holland (Ray Wise) who decides to take his biogenetic research into the middle of a swamp but things don't go as Holland planned when a group of thugs swoops in to try and steal a special serum he'd been working on to speed up the growth of vegetation. The thugs set his facility ablaze, Holland accidentally is covered in his special serum and when he jumps into the swamp to find safety…well, you can probably guess what happens next based on the film's title.
And as basic as that might sound, what really cements Swamp Thing as a classic story in my eyes is Holland's love affair with a government agent played by the always wonderful Adrienne Barbeau; their romance always felt like it took some cues from wonderful films like Bride of Frankenstein and Phantom of the Opera or even the "Beauty and the Beast" fairytale. I don't know if Craven ever really made another film like Swamp Thing during the rest of his career and that's probably why it's always remained so memorable to me throughout the years.
Scream Factory does a pretty good job with their Blu-ray of Swamp Thing too; it's clear that the movie wasn't kept in the best of conditions over the years as the film has an overly aged look from time to time. Some of that also may be due to the fact that Craven was working with a micro-budget on Swamp Thing which meant he didn't have the biggest resources at his disposal (again, something that really adds to the movie's charm). From a technical standpoint this isn't much of a step-up from the DVD in terms of picture quality and sound, but it's still definitely a step-up. Regardless, I hadn't seen Swamp Thing in about 12 years and revisiting it on Blu was definitely the way to do it.
In comparison to their other releases, Scream Factory plays it a little light with their special features on their Swamp Thing Blu; there are two audio commentaries (both great for different reasons) and a few interviews but other than a trailer and some photos, that was about it. I think my big thing was while I liked hearing about the special effects, I think I would have rather seen some kind of presentation on them instead.
Overall though, the Swamp Thing Blu is just delightful and perfect way to reconnect with Craven's charming little spin on the iconic DC character.
3 out of 5
3 out of 5