Director – Jim Wynorski (Not of This Earth, The Lost Empire)
Starring – Louis Jourdan (Swamp Thing, Octopussy), Heather Locklear (Firestarter, Scary Movie 5), Sarah Douglas (Conan the Destroyer, Superman)
Release Date – 1989
Rating – 3.5/5
Blu Release – 4.5/5
Tagline – “America’s favorite super hero is back”
It’s rare that you come across a sequel better than the original but it does happen occasionally. Some of my favorite films are actually sequels that are better than the originals. It doesn’t always happen but it can. When I was younger I watched Swamp Thing several times and remembered liking it. As I got older I thought I had watch the 1989 sequel a few times.
Sometime ago MVD released The Return of Swamp Thing on blu as part of their MVD Rewind Collection. I tossed it in and quickly realized I had never seen this film and must be confusing it with an episode of the live action television show. Either way, it was a treat to check this out on blu. Thank you MVD for sending this one my way.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows Abby (Locklear) who visits her estranged step-father Arcane (Jourdon) to discuss matters around her late mother. Arcane survived his battle with Swamp Thing in the previous film and has returned back to his unmutated self. He has a lab hidden under his mansion and is still running experiments on the serum that created Swamp Thing. He has created several monsters with his experiments and a few of them has escaped into the swamps nearby causing havoc. Arcane uses his step-daughter to further his experiments when it is revealed she has the same DNA sequence as her mother but Swamp Thing intervenes and the two try to stop Arcane once and for all.**Spoiler Alert**
I was shocked by how much more I enjoyed this one over the first film. I remember checking out the cartoon as a kid and really liking it and I was under the impression I had seen this one before but I clearly had not. With that being said, why had I not seen this superior film?
The acting in this one is solid but the main characters are not what glues the viewer to screen. Viewers are watching for the mutants and the fight scenes over the petty characters and confusing discontinuity errors.
The story for this one dives deeper into what fans really want…mutants fighting and explosions. The science-fiction angle around the film is a little weak and filled with huge plot holes but those are easily overlooked for the fun monsters fighting scenes and all the action. We moved from a goofy looking film with the first to a goofy sounding film in the second and that is something I can live with.
Finally, this films has superior practical effects over the first film. Swamp Thing looks tremendously better and the other creatures are fucking fantastic. I loved their look and how they put me in mind of The Guyver. I loved the effects and would have loved some gore with it. Overall, The Return of Swamp Thing is one of the few times when the sequel is better than the original. The movie is fun and one I would really enjoy watching in a setting with a bunch of friends and beer. Check it out now on blu from MVD.
Brand-New 2K High-Definition Transfer
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition (480p) DVD presentations of the main feature
Original 2.0 and 5.1 Stereo Audio (Uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
NEW Audio commentary from Director Jim Wynorski, Composer Chuck Cirino and Editor Leslie Rosenthal
Audio commentary from Jim Wynorski (from 2003)
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)
2 TV Spots (SD)
6 Promotional TV Clips (SD)
2 Greenpeace Public Service Announcements (SD)
1989 Promo Reel
Photo Gallery (accompanied by Chuck Cirino s film’s score)