The Return Of Swamp Thing: 30th Ann. Edition
(Louis Jourdan, Dick Durock, Heather Locklear, et al / DVD / NR / (1989) 2021 / Lightyear Entertainment)
Overview: Everyone’s favorite muck-encrusted plant-man falls in love with Dr. Arcane’s sexy daughter and must rescue her from her father’s nefarious and murderous plans!
Heather Locklear stars as the vegetarian plant-lover in this superhero comic book adaptation that also starring Louis Jourdan, Dick Durock, and Sarah Douglas, with elaborate mutant creatures designed by the legendary Carl Fullerton.
DVD Verdict: After Wes Craven churned out the DC comic Swamp Thing into a 1982 feature length, film-maker Jim Wynorski would couple years later helm the low-budget sequel The Return of Swamp Thing and take it down a totally different path.
Wanting to solve the mystery of her mother’s death, horticulturist Abigail Arcane goes to stay with her stepfather Dr. Anton Arcane. However he has plans for her, which involves stealing her DNA to achieve immortality.
Finding out she escapes into the swamp where she is rescued by Dr. Alex Holland, who now finds himself half-plant, half-man known as Swamp Thing.
For better or worse, he camped it up and played it for laughs. However that’s not taking anything away from it, while it can get silly it still was rather enjoyable and the make-up FX (involving the mutants) was very well pulled off for the day.
The opening sequences involving comic inserts and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Born in the Bayou used as its theme song do set the mood. I think it actually starts off rather strongly, then if anything kind of falls away when Swamp Thing and Heather Locklear’s character come together (the sweet love-story) midway through.
The script is very tongue-in-cheek and the performances are rather self-aware, even that of Dick Durock as Swamp Thing. Louis Jourdan returns as Dr. Arcane and does a wonderful job bringing this sly character to life.
Locklear is looking great, but her character was somewhat an annoyance and to my mind the support fair better with the likes of Sarah Douglas and Ace Mask.
Wynorski doesn’t hold back as he eccentrically seems to pile on the set pieces and effects with very little story holding it together, but he sure does make it feel like a live-action comic strip with some imaginative brushes, bang-up action and good use of the atmospheric swamp terrain.
In closing, the overall tone did feel uneven as there are childish elements mixed with adult themes here, and the actual ending was a little anticlimactic also, but if you take this work of art for what it is, you will never be disappointed! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and now comes with the the Bonus Features of:
NEW! 2K High-Definition Transfer!
NEW! Audio commentary from Director Jim Wynorski, Composer Chuck Cirino and Editor Leslie Rosenthal!
Audio commentary from Director Jim Wynorski!
NEW! Interview with Director Jim Wynorski! (HD)
NEW! Interview with Editor Leslie Rosenthal! (HD)
NEW! Interview with Composer Chuck Cirino! (HD)
NEW! Interview with Lightyear Entertainment Executive Arnie Holland! (HD)
Original Theatrical Trailer (New HD Transfer from original 35mm materials!)
6 Promotional TV Clips (SD)
2 TV Spots (SD)
2 Greenpeace Public Service Announcements (SD)
1989 Promo Reel (SD)
Photo Gallery (accompanied by Chuck Cirino’s film’s score)