The Return of Swamp Thing (1989)

JIM WYNORSKI

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5

USA, 1989Screenplay by , , based on the character created by , .
Cinematography by Produced by , Music by Production Design by Costume Design by Film Editing by .

The sequel to the 1982 Wes Craven film has its tongue firmly in its cheek, so don’t think yourself too smart if you point out its flaws to the rest of us.  comes to visit her stepfather () and is shocked with what she finds at his mansion, an array of experiments that involve genetically splicing humans with animals that are producing some very upsetting results.  She is even more shocked when she meets the Swamp Thing, a leaf-covered creature who inhabits the boggy water around Jourdan’s house, and finds him to be a kindred spirit, both for his erudite manner and his gentlemanly consideration of her safety.   Their friendship will come in handy when it turns out that, *surprise*, Jourdan is evil and has nefarious plans to elongate his life by using her in a very nasty experiment.  Great production design only emphasizes the fun to be had from the film’s commitment to its B-level status, but it’s a shame that the filmmakers don’t create something even more ridiculous than what we have here; the film’s being honest with itself about its intended quality almost robs it of its potential as a fun night at a midnight madness screening, usually its the sincerity of films thinking they have a shot at being great (like The Room) that makes audiences fall in love with them.  It also doesn’t help that Locklear, while game for the operation, doesn’t seem to be having a good time, and all her scenes with the Swamp Thing (played by an actor with as promising a name as ) are awkward and lack chemistry.

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