So 7 years after the original movie came out, someone decided to make a sequel. I honestly don’t know why they did so but they did just that. Anyways, they decided to go in a slightly different direction with this movie, making it more of a horror comedy than it’s predecessor, with Jim Wynorski directing. Now, let’s see if the change made today’s movie, The Return Of Swamp Thing, any more entertaining.
The plot: A group of government agents are wandering through the Louisiana swamp at night in order to try and find an illegal moonshine still when they are attacked by a bizarre leech monster. The creature kills two of the agents and the others make a run for their truck but get separated. Two of the agents encounter a mysterious woman, Miss Poinsettia, who proceeds to shoot them with tranquilizer gun, while the third encounters the creature but is rescued by Swamp Thing. In Malibu, Abby Arcane, the step-daughter of Dr. Anton Arcane, is complaining to the plants in her store about how she keeps being told to confront her step-father in order to get her life on track and decides to pay him a visit in Louisiana. Meanwhile, Arcane, who had been resurrected and returned to human after the previous movie, heads down to his secret lab, where Dr. Lana Zurrell and Dr. Rochelle are attempting to recreate Hollands formula to create a hybrid, but their test subjects are complete rejects, including the two agents that were just captured. The sheriff comes by to speak with Arcane about the account of the surviving government agent, as the encounter occurred on his property, and Arcane passes it off as the man had simply been overcome by the swamp gasses and hallucinated the monsters to explain his friends drowning, then has Poinsettia escort him around the property. Some time later, Abby shows up at the house and Arcane is excited, as he feels her genetic makeup might be just like her mother’s, which could him reverse the aging process afflicting him. Arcane greets Abby and introduces her to Lana and Rochelle, and Abby takes an instant dislike to Lana, insinuating that she has a relationship with Arcane that is more than just business partners. That night, two kids, Omar Darryl, are looking at porn magazines while the parents are out of the house when the leech monster attacks them. The two quickly run out of the house, where the monster chases after them when Swamp Thing shows up and begins fighting with the monster. The leech monster seems to get the upper hand on Swamp Thing but when it tries to hit him with an oar, Swamp Thing dodges and he hits a transformer, causing it to explode and catch the leech monster on fire, causing it to dive back into the swamp, where another explosion occurs. The next day, Arcane sends his security team, led by Gunn and Poinsettia, to comb the swamp looking for Swamp Thing but they have no luck. Meanwhile, Arcane has dinner with Abby and gives her a ring that belonged to her mother but it cuts her hand and she gets upset and leaves, while Lana quickly takes the blood to test it. Abby wanders out into the swamp and eventually finds the still, where two rednecks were drinking and quickly grab her. Abby is rescued by Swamp Thing, and when he learns that she is Arcane’s step-daughter, he tells him about how he became Swamp Thing and warns her that she has to leave but she says she can’t, as Arcane knows what happened to her mother. Suddenly, Arcane’s security team shows up, capturing Abby and attacking Swamp Thing, eventually blowing him up with some grenades. Abby is taken back to Arcane’s mansion, where Arcane tells her that her mom was helping them in their work to cure Arcane, then orders Gunn to lock Abby up. Later that night, Arcane and Lana are lying in bed when Rochelle asks to speak with Arcane in private so Lana goes to take a bath but secretly listens in. Rochelle tells Arcane that Abby’s blood will not be enough as he will need a second blood type to bond with it and the only people with the blood type are one of the security guards and Lana. Arcane tells Rochelle to do what ever is necessary, which upsets Lana. Unknown to her, Swamp Thing’s essence had made it’s way through the swamp into Arcane’s pipes, causing the bath Lana had started to fill with gunk from the swamp, which Swamp Thing uses to form a new body. Meanwhile, Abby had tricked Gunn into letting her out of her cell and manages to escape from him. When she takes the elevator out of Arcane’s lab, she encounters Lana, who gives her the keys to the jeep outside and tells her to leave. Abby attempts to leave but is captured by two of Arcane’s guards, who start to take her to Arcane , but she is rescued by Swamp Thing. The two get in the jeep and fight their way out of the grounds but as Arcane watches them leave, Gunn steps in a piece of Swamp Thing that had been shot off and Arcane quickly grabs it to use for the experiment. The next morning, Abby and Swamp Thing talk, acknowledging their attraction to each other. Back at Arcane’s lab, Rochelle is doing a transfusion of the guard with the correct blood type to store the blood for Arcane’s treatment but Lana enters the room and speaks with Rochelle, then injects him with a serum before locking him in a secret cage. Meanwhile, Omar and Darryl head out into the swamp to try and take a picture of Swamp Thing, as Omar wants to sell it to a tabloid for $10,000. As they make their way through the swamp, they are captured by Gunn and some of his men, who were looking for Swamp Thing and Abby, but Swamp Thing rescues the kids. Omar asks Swamp Thing if he can take his picture and Swamp Thing agrees if Darryl is in it with him but before Omar can take the picture, they hear Abby scream and Swamp Thing quickly runs back to her, only to find Poinsettia and Arcane have captured her and are taking her back to the mansion. Abby is strapped to a machine and she asks Lana to help her but Lana says she can’t just as Arcane enters. Arcane lays down on another part of the machine and has Lana activate it, and Abby’s life force starts flowing into Arcane, curing him of his affliction but Abby dies in the process. Meanwhile, Swamp Thing makes his way to the mansion and starts fighting his way through the guards to get inside. Back in the lab, Arcane is observing himself in the mirror when he notices something isn’t right and checks the vials in the machine to discover that Lana had switched one of them so he shoots her. Swamp Thing enters the lab and heads over to Abby just as the mutated Rochelle breaks out of his cage. Swamp Thing battles Rochelle and ends up throwing him into the disintegration chamber, then kills Gunn before taking Abby’s body and leaving the lab, while Arcane, who had been trapped by Rochelle’s door falling on his legs, is left to die as the chamber and lab explodes. The next day, Swamp Thing uses his powers to bring Abby back to life and they embrace, unaware that Omar and Darryl had taken pictures of them. Swamp Thing warns Abby that there might be side effects and she tells him they will find out together before hugging him again, as a flower begins blooming on her foot.
The Return Of Swamp Thing met with poor results from the critics, earning a 33% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. There isn’t a critical consensus on the site but the the majority of the critics felt it was a poor effort, especially considering the run that Alan Moore had just finished with the comics that occurred at the same time. Jim Wynorski wanted Louis Jourdan to refer to Monique Gabrielle’s character as “Points” but Jourdan refused as he knew it was just a sexual innuendo referring to her breasts. When Wynorski questioned the fact that he had just been in Octopussy, Jourdan refused to speak to him for the majority of the shoot. The movie was a box office dud, only earning $192,816 at the box office.
I know this was a bad movie and there is nothing really redeeming about it but I can’t help but laugh every time I watch it as it really is a bit of silly fun to watch. The acting was over the top in a truly campy sort of way, with Dick Durock doing a better job in his role of Swamp Thing, though I thought it was weird that his voice was overdubbed by someone else. The story was honestly pretty weak and left some plotholes, especially how Arcane’s surviving the first movie. The special effects weren’t that good but I really liked the suit design for Swamp Thing better in this movie. Silly, ridiculous, but it has a couple of laughs in it.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5