Combustible Celluloid
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With: Louis Jourdan, Dick Durock, Heather Locklear, Sarah Douglas, Monique Gabrielle
Written by: Neil Cuthbert, Grant Morris, based on the comic book character created by Len Wein, Berni Wrightson
Directed by: Jim Wynorski
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 95
Date: 05/12/1989

The Return of Swamp Thing (1989)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Boggy Down

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

"B" Movie veteran Jim Wynorski (Chopping Mall, Dinosaur Island) directed this ultra-cheap sequel to Wes Craven's original Swamp Thing (1982). It's not so much that Wynorski's version is better, it's just that it's a lot more fun. Louis Jourdan returns from the first film as the evil Dr. Arcane. In an attempt to stave off the affects of aging, Arcane combines genes from a series of swamp animals and human beings, creating an army of monsters. At the same time, Arcane's stepdaughter (Heather Locklear) arrives to try and sort out what happened to her mother. Arcane decides to use her in a deadly experiment, but fortunately the Swamp Thing (Dick Durock) is on hand to kick lots of butt. Sexy scream queen Monique Gabrielle turns up wearing a black tank top as one of Arcane's hired hands. But for some reason, Wynorski included two young kids who run around the swamp snapping at each other and trying to get a photo of their hero. Wynorski provides plenty of cheap thrills and laughs, using Locklear's considerable charm and humor to lay most of the groundwork. But the film succeeds provided you can overlook the gaping plot holes and stupid storytelling. In an early interview, Wynorski claimed that he hated Jourdan, who had previous worked with the likes of Alfred Hitchcock, Max Ophuls and Vincente Minnelli, but in the disc's commentary track he merely says, "we got along." Incidentally, Jourdan's character keeps a pet parrot named "Gigi" after Jourdan's most famous film.

DVD Details: The funniest reason to pick up Image Entertainment's The Return of Swamp Thing DVD is to see Wynorski's public service announcements with Swamp Thing warning against littering.

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