100 Essential Superhero Movies – You Decide! Swamp Thing
Part of finishing off this list of 100 essential superhero movies is bringing in my audience, and so when I got down to the last 15-20 movies, I decided that I would let you decide. And what better than to reach out to other movie critics and reviewers to let them argue the case for a superhero movie that they are a fan of and at the bottom of the post, there is a poll where you can vote whether or not you agree if it should be included in the 100 Essential Superhero Movies list. But I didn’t want them to have all the fun so today I will be defending the case for the 80’s DC pseudo-horror movie Swamp Thing directed by none other than Wes Craven.
Swamp Thing is almost a quintessential superhero movie when you strip it down to its basic elements. You’ve got a scientist working on a secret project when an accident causes things to go terribly wrong leaving Dr. Holland played by the great Ray Wise to become a hideously deformed Swamp Thing made up of plants. On the other side of things there’s also a typical megalomaniacal villain in Arcane who wants to take this scientific discovery for himself to use for various evil purposes and ends up creating his own strange swamp-like creatures and even becomes one himself. The only difference is that the entire thing is told through a cheesy B-horror movie lens, complete with a strong, but prone-to-trip-a-lot female protagonist who isn’t afraid to show her breasts. But even with the topless moment, there’s really no blood or gore in this PG rated movie which leaves plenty of room for Dr. Holland as Swamp Thing to be a superhero. Not to mention that this is one of the few DC movies in this era that weren’t Batman or Superman.
I mentioned the fact that this was directed by master of horror Wes Craven, and even though there aren’t a lot of opportunities to do any typical gory horror effects, the Swamp Thing itself is still a pretty impressive display after all these years, though I do have to admit that they obviously spent less time and money on the make up effects for Arcane and his henchmen. The action may get a little silly at times, but it is still a very good superhero movie for this era and worthy of being included in the 100 Essential Superhero Movies. What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Make sure you vote in the poll just below on whether or not Swamp Thing will be included in this list. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.
Posted on June 2, 2014, in Blogs, Polls and tagged Blog, DC, film, movies, poll, Superhero. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.
Yes, this is a good addition. However, I noticed a dearth of early superhero films. In chronological order, I would strongly recommend the Flash Gordon serial from 1936, The Adventures of Captain Marvel serial (1941), The Max Fleischer Superman cartoons from the 1940s, Fearless Frank (1967), and Barbarella (1968).
I originally excluded serials and only counted full length films, though the Fleischer shorts were an earlier “you decide” and currently has the most votes.
I haven’t seen Barbarella but someone else suggested that one as well, I always thought of it as just sci-fi, and I haven’t heard of Fearless Frank.
If you wanted to write a couple paragraphs or so on any or all of those I would be willing to add them to this “you decide” series going on through June.
Thanks, but I haven’t got the time, so I’ll leave it as a “No…YOU decide.” I enjoyed reading your list though, and your reviews are snappy and fun.
No problem! I appreciate the kind words and introducing me to Fearless Frank which I look forward to tracking down.
This is really deserves a place in superhero movie history. It suffers from the budget, but it’s one of the first true comic to movie translations. You have yourself a gr8 rest of the day.
Yeah, it’s a fun one but still on the b-movie side of things. You have a great weekend as well!
Yes on Swamp Thing. Not a great movie but it is of some importance to the genre. Besides I have a hard time thinking there are 100 better than this one. Glad I stumbled upon this site. Anyplace holding a discussion on superhero movies is a place I want to be.
I do my best. I didn’t see it until recently, but I thought it was a fun movie.
This is a definite must add. Must agree with Maurice on that one. It is indeed a very well thought out translation that suffers from the old “we ran out of money” trope. Too bad. Craven could have really done wonders with more money. But that aside, the film is what it is and remains a cult classic that never disappoints whenever I watch it. Good job, Bubbawheat and I like that poster you found, too!
I almost always use the Mondo poster if they have one available. They are amazing!
They are! Totally agree. I love the one for Carpenter’s The Thing.
Absolutely a “Yes” on this one. Sure, it may not be the A+ film that Superman is, but it’s a film that’s both under-the-radar and important for its place in superhero movie history, in addition to being entertaining on its own merits.
It was quite a pleasant surprise for me on many levels.
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