Aces Go Places (1982)

King Kong (Sam “God of Song” Hui) is a cat burglar who wants to make good, so he teams with Albert “Baldy” Au (Karl Maka), a goofball American detective, and Superintendent Nancy Ho (Sylvia Chang), who is driven crazy by both of these foolish, yet heroic men.

The first in a series of movies, Aces Go Places is very much a spy movie mixed with cop and comedy elements. Known as Mad Mission in the U.S., I hope that more people track this down and watch it. It’s utterly hilarious and heartwarming in the way that it wants to entertain you.

There are also some cool gadgets, like the exploding remote control cars and King Kong’s awesome alarm clock. And hey! The bad guy’s name is White Gloves. I thought that was pretty cool for some reason.

Hotline (1982)

Originally airing on CBS on October 16, 1982, this made-for-TV movie was directed by Jerry Jameson, who also was the in the director’s chair for movies like The Bat PeopleAirport ’77 and the Gunsmoke and Bonanza reunion movies.

Lynda Carter (TV’s Wonder Woman as well as Miss World USA 1972) plays Brianne O’Neill, an art student who is getting stalked by The Barber, a man who claims to be behind several killings in the paper.

Who is The Barber? Is it Justin Price (Granville Van Dusen, who was the voice of Race Bannon on The New Adventures of Jonny Quest)? Deranged killer Charlie Jackson (James Booth, Airport ’77)? Former actor Tom Hunter (Steve Forrest, Mommie Dearest), who has been in love with Brianne for a long time? Her boss Kyle Durham (Monte Markham, Jake Speed, We Are Still Here)? Or her co-worker Barnie (Frank Stallone!, Ground Rules)?

Look for Harry Waters, Jr. in this movie. He played Marvin Berry in Back to the Future, the guy that Marty McFly used to steal rock ‘n roll from black people.

There’s a death by harpoon gun, so this movie has that going for it. Consider it an early 80’s American low budget made for TV giallo and you’ll be fine.

Star Wars Droppings: Dünyayi Kurtaran Adam (1982)

The Man Who Saved the World is the true name of this movie, although nearly everyone refers to it as Turkish Star Wars.

Murat and Ali crash their ships on a desert planet that is no way Tatooine. That said, the footage of their crash is from Star Wars and footage of both the US and USSR space programs. Ali thinks that only women live on this planet, so he does a wolf whistle because in a galaxy long ago and far away me too does not exist. The whistle backfires and they fight skeletons on horseback before they are forced into the gladiator pits.

Our villain is a thousand-year-old wizard who has been stopped from destroying the Earth by a “shield of concentrated human brain molecules” or, as George Lucas would call it, the Death Star.

Our heroes escape to a cave where zombies attack and turn the children into the living dead, which gives the wizard more power, so our heroes and a girl go to a bar that is not in Mos Eisley . The villain gets them back and offers them all sorts of power and women to help destroy the Earth. He already has a golden brain and now all he needs is a real human brain.

There are more montser battles and escapes and then Murat finds out about a sword made by the 13th clan from a melted down mountain that is shaped liek a lightning bolt and protected by ninjas. Ali goes nuts though and for some reason, tries to steal the golden brain and this awesome sword and then get skilled by Turkish cinema.

Grieving for his lost friend, Murat melts down the word and the golden human brain and forge them into a pair of gloves and boots. He uses the Force, err, beats the unholy monster dung out of skeletons and beasts and even karate chops the villain in half. Then he does what you or I would — he flies away in the Millennium Falcon.

Making this movie even better is the fact that it shamelessly steals music from every movie that you love. It’s main theme is “The Raiders March” by John Williams. However, it also lifts themes from Moonraker, The Black Hole, Ben-Hur, Flash Gordon, the Giorgio Moroder’s remix of Battlestar Galactica, Planet of the Apes and Silent Running.

The decision to just steal the footage from Star Wars was a necessity. Suposedly, there were elaborate spaceship sets made on a Turkish beach that were destroyed by a storm and the studio refused to pay for new ones. Director Cetin Inanc bribed a guard at a Turkish film distributor and got the footage from a print of Lucas’ film. However, all of the footage was spliced in from an anamorphic print — while this movie was shot in a different aspect ratio — making the Death Star look positively tiny.

It gets even sillier. The evil wizard has a wife who transforms into an old hag and a spider. There’s a yellow vortex that turns men into zombies. Plus a man turns into a hairy ogre. All of these moments are also stolen from Bert I. Gordon’s The Magic Sword.

Hey, you know how it goes. After all, Lucas stole quite a bit too. Ask Jack Kirby, The Dam Busters and Kurosawa. Maybe this movie brings balance to the Force.

You can watch this at the Internet Archive or just use the YouTube link attached right here.

Don’t Go to Sleep (1982)

This Aaron Spelling produced TV movie originally aired on ABC on December 10, 1982. It’s a star-studded affair, with Valerie Harper, Dennis Weaver and Ruth Gordon in the main roles. It’s also a great example of when TV movies ruled the world.

Plus, you get Oliver Robins as one of the kids. He’s the only surviving child actor from the Poltergeist films.

Phillip and Laura (Weaver and Harper) are the parents of Kevin and Mary, but they once had a daughter named Jennifer who died in a car accident. They move back north after that tragedy and the loss of Phillip’s job to move in with Grandmother Bernice (Gordon), who gets along with no one.

Mary begins hearing the voice of her dead sister under her bed, which soon catches on fire. Even when her brother tries to be nice to her, Mary reacts with violence. She hides under her bed and starts chanting “Kill me” when her dead sister shows up and offers to take care of things.

Soon, everyone dies. Grandma gets frightened by Kevin’s iguana and has a heart attack. Kevin falls off the roof. Phillip is electrocuted in the bathtub.

Then, we learn why. Kevin and Mary disliked their sister, thinking she was always treated better than they were. So they did an innocent prank and tied her shoes together, but after the car accident, this kept her from being able to get out of the car.

This is a fun TV movie ghost story, told well and acted decently. Director Richard Lang was all over 1970’s TV, directing the pilot of Fantasy Island and the movie Night Cries.

Sadly, like so many TV movies, it’s not available on DVD or streaming.

PURE TERROR MONTH: Double Exposure (1982)

A photographer for a men’s magazine keeps having dreams where he’s killing all of his models. Then, it just so happens that the models begin to die in real life, which means that he may be the killer.

Director William Byron Hillman was also behind the Gary Busey dog reincarnation film Quigley, as well as The Photographer, which is similar to this movie, and he also wrote the 1984 movie Lovelines, which is all about a phone romance line and a battle of the bands.

The lead, Michael Callan, was in Cat Ballou and Leprechaun 3, which is quite an arc. There are also roles for Joanna Pettet (Casino Royale), James Stacey (who was Johnny Madrid Lancer on Lancer), Pamela Hensley (Princess Ardala from the TV version of Buck Rogers), Cleavon Little (Blazing SaddlesOnce Bitten), character actor Seymour Cassel, Robert Tessier (who was in The Sword and the Sorcerer as well as Starcrash), Misty Rowe (Class Reunion), Sally Kirkland and Jeana Keough.

While the version you can find in this set and on Amazon Prime is pretty rough to watch, Vinegar Syndrome has released a better blu ray of this.

Honeymoon Horror (1982)

I kind of love the copy that was used to sell this movie: “Imagine every newlywed’s fantasy, a rustic secluded lover’s paradise — Honeymoon Island. What starts as a weekend of love, turns into a nightmare of blood and terror for three young innocent couples. What lurks in the shadows of Honeymoon Lodge? Is it the caretaker, or perhaps something more fiendish and deadly? Honeymoon Island, where newlyweds joined in holy matrimony spend their wedding night screaming in terror!”

This movie was filmed at the Austin Patio Dude Ranch in Grapevine, Texas, which was built at the head of DFW Airport’s main landing strip. In case you didn’t realize, like the filmmakers, this is a busy airport, so all of the planes kept interrupting the movie.

Yet somehow, this was one of the very first direct to video films purchased by Sony Home Video and released to rental stores. Somehow, this movie isn’t available on DVD, despite how successful it was for Sony. They spent $50,000 on the film and made around $22 million off of it. Then again, I got that statistic from IMDB and it could very well be bull.

Director Harry Preston only has one other credit to his name, a movie called Blood of the Wolf Girl that was never released and may have never ran in a theater.

I’m telling you all of these facts to cover up for this film, because it’s one of the more pointless slashers you’ll ever seen. Perhaps the only reason to watch it is for the fat sheriff, who is so ineffectual that he locks his keys in his car, meaning that he doesn’t even catch the killer, who is a burned up ex-husband. Actually, he’s a good reason to see this, too.

Actually, let me be honest again. As bad as this 1982 slasher is, it’s better than any that came out this year. Talk about dwindling returns!

Midnight (1982)

Midnight is the movie Rob Zombie keeps trying to make. It’s seriously demented and filled with so many truly unlikeable characters. Most of them make you want to take a shower just watching them.

Written and directed by John Russo, one of the creators of Night of the Living DeadMidnight was shot on location outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and features special effects by Tom Savini. While never prosecuted, the film was seized and confiscated in the UK as a section 3 video nasty.

How can you not love a movie that starts with a girl caught in an animal trap getting killed by a bunch of children who all pray to Satan while they murder her? And hey look — one of the killers is John Amplas, Martin in the flesh.

Midnight is really about Nancy Johnson, who runs away from home after her police officer stepfather Bert (Lawrence Tierney, berserk as always) tries to assault her. She gets picked up by two guys, Hank and Tom, who also grab a Baptist preacher and his daughter.

As they stop to see the preacher’s wife’s grave, the older man is soon killed. To top that off, the killer delivers the body to his daughter’s door and then kills her with the same machete.

After racists in the town refuse to serve Hank, the three heroes steal groceries before they’re stopped by some even more racist cops. The two men are quickly gunned down and Nancy goes on the run. Of course, the house she ends up in just so happens to be the one where her friends are being cut into pieces.

The movie then descends into even more depravity, like locking our heroine in a cage to witness a Black Mass, her insane stepfather tracking her down and finally, our heroine discovering herself in time to wipe everyone out with extreme malice.

The original ending had the crazed family — who had already killed the cops and stolen their uniforms — getting away with the murders. However, the distributors demanded that the film have a more uplifting ending, which is why the one that is in here happens so quickly. It works for me — it’s really shocking.

While the film was released as Backwoods Massacre, I’d compare it to more of a Western Pennsylvania Texas Chainsaw Massacre in tone.

2019 Scarecrow Psychotronic Challenge Day 29: Pandemonium (1982)

DAY 29. COMEDY OF TERRORS: A matter of laughter at the splatter of the matter. A funny one, duh.

There was a time, let’s call it 1983, where we couldn’t just sit down and instantly find any single movie from anywhere in the world and any point in time. You might think that that would have been a dreary existence, but it was actually kind of awesome. You were at the mercy of the HBO Guide, whatever was on TV that day and whatever new releases were in your video store. Now, it’s all very robotic.

Pandemonium is exactly one of those movies, a film that would just show up on HBO to my delight and one that I’d often stare at on the video shelves. Did it belong in horror? Did it belong in comedy? What kind of maniacs would make this?

Alfred Sole, that’s who. It’s the last movie he’d direct. If anyone knew what slashers were — and had the timing to make fun of their conventions — the director of Alice, Sweet Alice was more than up to the task.

Welcome to It Had To Be, Indiana. It’s a place where football is king and Blue Grange (Tab Hunter!) wins the 1963 National Championship before he goes on to professional glory. As the game ends, Bambi the cheerleader (Candy Azzara, who played Rodney’s wife in Easy Money and was almost Carol — she was in the second failed pilot — on All In the Family) tries to win his heart before the rest of the cheerleaders kick her out. Seconds later, they’re all skewered together by a javelin.

Almost two decades pass and the cheerleading camp remains closed due to this tragedy, but Bambi comes back to town to start it back up. I just love how the words EXPOSITION and STILL MORE EXPOSITION flash on the screen while she explains her backstory to Pepe (David Landers, who was Squiggy on Lavern and Shirley) and his mother, Salt.

As each student arrives at the school, they’re labeled VICTIM #1, 2, 3 and so on and so forth. The first is Candy (Carol Kane!), who is basically Carrie as she gets into a fight with her mother about dirty pillows at the bus station.

Then there’s VICTIM #2: Glenn Dandy (Judge Reinhold), who comes from a strange family made up of Kaye Ballard (who was in Spike Jonze traveling group of musicians and would use her catchphrase “Good luck with your MOUTH!” on shows like The Patty Duke Show and The Perry Como Show) and Donald O’Connor from Singin’ In the Rain. And VICTIM #3: Mandy, whose dad (James MacKrell, who played Lew Landers in both Gremlins and The Howling) introduces her as if he were Bert Parks (look for Victoria Carroll from Nightmares In Wax as her mom).

VICTIM #4 is Sandy (Debralee Scott, Cathy Shumway from Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, a show that probably will elicit blank stares from, well, anyone), who gets a ride from Ronald Reagan. And then there’s Andy and Randy, VICTIMS #4 and #5, played by Mile Chapin (Richie from The Funhouse) and Marc McClure (Jimmy Olson himself!).

“Candy, Mandy, Sandy, Andy and Randy,” they all shout.

“And me, Glen.” Everyone stares at Glen.

“Glen Dandy!” This line makes me laugh like a maniac. Look, I was 11 when I first saw this.

After meeting all of these folks, we get to know Sgt. Reginald Cooper (Tommy Smothers), a mountie who is the U.S. for some reason. He’s on the trail of a convict named Jarrett (Richard Romans, who provided voices for Heavy Metal), who killed his family with a drill and turned them into bookshelves. Perhaps he can meet up with The Breather from Student Bodies and they can discuss bookends. Anyways, he’s escaped and Warden June (Eve Arden, Our Miss Brooks and Principal McGee from Grease) has no idea where he’s gone.

This is where I should mention that Johnson, Cooper’s assistant, is played by Paul Reubens in an almost proto-Pee-Wee Herman mode. In fact, much of the cast are Groundlings, so you get appearances by a young Phil Hartman and John Paragon as a prisoner.

The movie turns into a slasher as the killer makes his way to campus and Cooper falls in love with Candy. Glenn gets blown up on a trampoline. Mandy is trying to brush her teeth for hours when she gets drilled.

But it’s not Jarrett or another killer named Fletcher or ever Dr. Fuller from the mental hospital that’s behind it all. The real killer is still at large, with Bambi getting drowned in a tub full of milk and cookies. Randy, Andy and Sandy are killed after a game of strip poker. And now the killer is after Candy, revealing that he’s…

Well, don’t you want to watch this for yourself?

Other notables that show up are Alix Elias (Coach Steroid from Rock ‘n Roll High School), Pat Ast (Edna from Reform School Girls), Don McLeod (T.C. Quist from The Howling), Edie McClurg (who was in, well, any role that needed a funny redhead mom in the 1980’s) and former pro wrestler Lenny Montana (who was most famously Luca Brasi in The Godfather).

Will you like it? Well, I know some people that love Full Moon High and Wacko, while I dislike those films. And I’ve read plenty of folks online who have negatively compared this film to those. But this is just so much better, in my eyes. Sole has a great eye for a gag and some innovative camera movements. And despite the racism of the Japanese Airlines scene, having Godzilla as a stewardess that uses atomic breath to warm up coffee is still hilarious to me.

Devil Returns (1982)

Imagine, if you will, a movie with the termenity to steal large chunks of Halloween while also taking most of its soundtrack — and some ideas — from The Omen and The Exorcist. Then you’d have Jing hun feng yu ye, or as we would say in America, Devil Returns.

It is as amazingly ridiculous as you’d hope it would be.

Our heroine Mei-hsun Fang called for the wrong cab. Its driver is a wanted robber and serial rapist who attacks her and leaves her to die. But she survives and her testimony puts him in front of a firing squad. Even though she can see his death in her dreams, he hasn’t left her memory and she begins to fear that the life growing in her womb isn’t from her husband, but from that killing machine.

Her attempt to have an abortion ends with the nurse attacked and the doctor being violently hurled from the operating room and out a window. By violently, I mean that this is a Hong Kong movie where life is cheap and stunts are painfully real.

What would you do now? Throw yourself down a flight of stairs? How about throwing yourself down the stairs accompanied by Jean Michel Jarre’s “Oxygene?” Could it be because the second part of that song was also used in Jackie Chan’s Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow?

Well, that doesn’t work either and the baby is born. Mei-hsun is so fearful of the child that she refuses to name it. And when no one is around, the baby torments her, crying non-stop. Luckily, an exorcism turns the child to the side of good.

The killer is enraged that his son is no longer evil, so he returns back to the world of the living, wiping out everyone in his path, from the nanny who suggested the exorcism to a young couple.

Finally, the movie settles into straight-up Halloween ripoff mode, except you know, with the Asian twist of the murderer being covered in wine to banish his evil spirit before he’s shot several times.

This movie plays with the issue of motherhood and the changing role of women within Chinese culture pretty well until it decides that someone needed to see an Asian version of Jamie Lee stab those knitting needles into the eyes of a killer all over again.

Of course, this is also a movie that takes large bits of its story from When a Stranger Calls and Black Christmas, so you can’t fault it from stealing as much as it can.

However — can these movies claim to have a scene shot in a karaoke parlor where the singer outright brutalizes every single man in the club with her lyrics that take down each one of them as they try to laugh it off? Nope. They cannot. It’s moments like this that make this movie shine.

As you watch this clip, you may notice that my copy of Devil Returns isn’t a high-end boutique blu ray release. No, it’s a shoddy VCD downloaded off the internet, featuring hardcoded Asian and Chinese subtitles, while each line of dialogue is spoken in both Cantonese and Mandarin. The strange feedback from all of this information overload makes this movie somehow even better as a result. It’s also a grainy mess, transferred from VHS to a CD-R, with no care whatsoever for quality. Magical.

2019 Scarecrow Psychotronic Challenge: Day 21. Swamp Thing (1982)

DAY 21: POWER PLANTS. One where the vegetation fights back.

Swamp Thing can trace his roots — yes, it’s a he — back to “It,” Theodore Sturgeon’s short story that ran in the pulp magazine Unknown in 1940. The story is all about a man — Roger Kirk — who dies and is reborn in a swamp.

This was an influential tale whose roots — pardon the pun — took hold throughout comic books, which were the younger brother of the pulps. In Air Fighters Comics #3, published in 1942, Sky Wolf (a World War II fighting ace given to wearing the mask of a wolf and helping Airboy battle the Axis) the muck-encrusted form of World War I German pilot Baron Eric von Emmelman returned from the grave in the same way that Roger Kirk did two years before.

Thanks to his immense force of will and the help of the goddess Ceres, as the Baron’s body decayed, he became one with the vegetation of the swamp that he was shot down over. Now, he was more marsh than man, and fought Sky Wolf until discovering the fanaticism of his countrymen.

Before long, The Heap was the heroic star of his own backup in Airboy Comics, with adventures lasting from 1946 to 1953. He’d return in 1986 as part of Eclipse Comics’ reboot of Airboy before being bought by Image Comics, where he’s now part of Todd McFarland’s Spawn Universe.

After EC Comics (the creators of Tales from the Crypt and The Vault of Horror amongst others) and other horror comics publishers were taken to task for their extreme material, the Comics Code Authority outlawed all monstrous characters unless they had literary roots. In fact, until the year 1989, you weren’t even allowed to say the word zombie in a mainstream comic book (Marvel got around this by calling them zuvembies, if you can believe that).

As the CCA relaxed its rules at the start of the 70’s, two different characters that  both grew from the Heap started at both Marvel Comics and their cross-town rivals, DC.

Man-Thing was created by Stan Lee and Roy Thomas (who’d go on to write Fire and Ice and adapted plenty of Conan stories, including the one that would be filmed for Conan the Destroyer). A series of conversations led to five different potential origins for the character, with the name being recycled from another character that had already appeared in Tales of Suspense #7 and #81.

Thomas would tell Alter Ego that Lee “had a couple of sentences or so for the concept — I think it was mainly the notion of a guy working on some experimental drug or something for the government, his being accosted by spies, and getting fused with the swamp so that he becomes this creature. The creature itself sounds a lot like the Heap, but neither of us mentioned that character at the time.” Lee also had the name for the character, which would lead to perhaps by favorite comic book title of all time: Giant-Sized Man-Thing.

While you’d think that Man-Thing would be a one-note character — he never speaks and he just kind of shows up in the swamps — but he grew from his first appearance, where he battled Marvel’s Tarzan-esque Ka-Zar to become something much different thanks to the deranged hands of Steve Gerber, who made Man-Thing the center of the Nexus of All Realities, which just so happened to be inside his swamp.

Once biochemist Dr. Theodore “Ted” Sallis and a former co-worker with Dr. Curtis “The Lizard” Connors, the man who would become Man-Thing was working on a version of Captain America’s Super Soldier formula with Dr. Barbara Morse (who would become Hawkeye’s wife Mockinbird, man, I read too many comics as a kid) when techno soldiers from Advanced Idea Mechanics (A.I.M.) and his betraying wife attacked. The result? You guessed it. Fused with the swamp, no brains and a tendency to wander. That said, Man-Thing also gained the ability to burn anyone who felt fear in his presence, so he had that going for him.

Man-Thing became a story engine for Gerber (who contended that he was just a reporter for the very real tales of the character, as he appeared as a fictional character within the comic), who used these stories to introduce sorceress Jennifer Kale, the barbarian Korrek who emerged from a jar of peanut butter, the serial murdering Foolkiller, Dakimh the Enchanter and Howard the Duck. Yep, Gerber’s Man-Thing was pure imagination writ large across the comic book page. After leaving comics, Gerber would write for plenty of cartoons, including Dungeons & Dragons, which his work had a major influence on.

At pretty much the same time, Len Wein came up with the idea for a swamp-based character as he rode the subway. “I didn’t have a title for it, so I kept referring to it as that swamp thing I’m working on. And that’s how it got its name!” Master illustrator Bernie Wrightson (he drew the comic cover for Creepshow) designed the character’s visual image and helped tell his first few adventures.

The Swamp Thing was once Dr. Alec Holland, who was working with his wife Linda to invent a solution for the world’s food shortage problems. After some thugs blew up their lab, his destroyed body was coated in one of his formulas and grew within the swamp, transforming him into a conscious plant with all of his old memories. Of course, once Alan Moore came on board — after this movie brought the character back to comics — we would learn that Swamp Thing was really the latest in a long line of Earth elementals that protect the Green.

If this all sounds like DC was stealing ideas from Marvel — well, they were all stealing from the Heap who was stealing from Theodore Sturgeon — let me blow your mind a little further. Swamp Thing writer Len Wein and Man-Thing’s co-writer, Gerry Conway, were roommates.

Despite the first version of Swamp Thing appearing House of Secrets #92, Len Wein would later say, “Gerry and I thought that, unconsciously, the origin in Swamp Thing #1 was a bit too similar to the origin of Man-Thing a year-and-a-half earlier. There was vague talk at the time around Marvel of legal action, but it was never really pursued.”

It was decided that this was just a strange coincidence and after a while, the characters became so different, no legal action was necessary.

If you’d like to learn more about the fascinating lives of comic book swamp men, I recommend TwoMorrows’ Comic Book Creator 6: Swampmen

Whew! I told you all that so I can tell you this: In 1982, Wes Craven wrote and directed an adaption of the comic, long before comic book movies were a thing. His intent was to show the major Hollywood studios that he could handle action, stunts and major stars, all while doing it under his $2.5 million dollar budget. Good news — he succeeded.

A top-secret bioengineering project in the southern swamps is dealing with sabotage, so Alice Cable (Adrienne Barbeau, playing a mix of the comic’s Matt Cable and Abigail Arcade) has been dispatched to replace one of the scientists who has been killed. She soon meets lead scientist Dr. Alce Holland (Ray Wise) and his sister Dr. Linda, who together have developed a glowing plant with explosive properties, as well as a combination animal/plant hybrid.

The real issue is that the secret base is being eyed by the evil Anton Arcane, a paramilitary leader who wants the fruits — and vegetables — of all this labor for himself. He’s played by Louis Jourdan, who is absolutely perfect in the role, oozing menace from every pore while remaining aloof and almost high cultured in his pursuit of evil.

Soon, Arcane’s forces attack, murdering Linda and blowing Alec up real good. However, just like the comic, he now rises as the Swamp Thing, played by stuntman DIck Durock (who was also the pie-eating champion in Stand By Me). Now, he must protect Alice and his notes, keeping them both from Arcane.

The movie differs from the comic in that Holland’s formula unleashes whatever the dominant personality trait exists within each person. For Holland, it’s the ability to heal and transform his inner strength into outer muscle. Yet Bruno (Nicholas Worth, who played the heavy in plenty of films and lent his voice to the Reaper in The Hills Have Eyes Part II), the biggest of Arcane’s henchmen, becomes a small rat-like creature and Arcane himself becomes a gigantic boar.

Another of Arcane’s henchmen — Ferret, the one who gets his neck snapped by Swamp Thing — is played by David Hess, who was Krug in The Last House On the Left. Also, Karen Price, who plays one of Arcane’s messengers, was Playboy‘s Playmate of the Month for January 1981. I tell you that because it’s her centerfold that appears on the tail of Gyro Captain’s copter in The Road Warrior.

There was one bit of controvery this film caused, more than a decade after it was released.

In August 2000, MGM released this movie on DVD and althought it was labeled PG, it actually included the 93-minute international cut, which amps up Adrienne Barbeau’s ample charms and nudity in the skinny dip sequence. Two years after that, a woman rented this film in Dallas for her kids and was shocked and dismayed by what her family saw. Trust me — they should be so lucky!

Durock and Jourdan — along with much of the crew, including producers Michael E. Uslan and Benjamin Melniker — would return in 1989 for The Return of Swamp Thing. It’s directed by Jim Wynorski and features Heather Locklear as Abigail Arcane, who heads to the swamp to confront her stepfather Dr. Arcane. He’s been brought back to the dead by the evil Dr. Lana Zurrell (Sarah Douglas, Ursa from Superman) along with an army of mutant Un-Men, all ready to do battle with Swamp Thing.

If anything, that movie gave us more than a series on the USA Network and a cartoon complete with Kenner action figures (of course I bought every single one). It also gave us this, a PSA where Swamp Thing speaks for Greenpeace.

Good news. Today you learned way more than you ever thought you would about 20th century popular fiction involving swamp based creatures. Would it help even further if I told you that Man-Thing also appeared in a 2005 SyFy movie directed by Brett Leonard (The Dead Pit, The Lawnmower ManHideaway)? I sure hope so.

You can watch this for free on Tubi. You can also grab the blu ray from Shout! Factory and the MVD blu ray reissue of the sequel from Diabolik DVD.