Sunday, July 13, 2014

Swamp Thing - The Motion Picture(1982)

My love for this film only increases every time I kick back and fire up the ol' VCR.
It's not a great movie, don't get me wrong. I'm a filmmaker, and I can see the low-budget decisions and "who cares?" compromises that left it what it is..
But...  I like the goofy B-Movie that we did get. I like the tone of it, and it's earnest intentions. Then there's Adrienne Barbeau. I grew up in the 70's with Maude, and I love Adrienne Barbeau.
"I should rub those - you'll feel better.."
Love.

Back to the movie, it was some thrill for me as an eleven year-old boy, who had just discovered his new favorite comic book character(#1 of Saga of the Swamp Thing), to discover he had his own movie too. Keep in mind, this was 1982, and at this point, not even Batman had a movie(that took him seriously), leaving Swamp Thing and Superman as the two DC comic characters with films. By it's simple fact of existing, it was pretty special. Then we watched it - sure it's got bad decisions, goofy writing, and a whole ton of reasons not to like it but how could we not like it? It was a Swamp Thing movie, for better or worse - and we just loved it. My buddy Bill Murphy and my brother Pad and I all watched it together - damn fun day, with giddy laughs and mad love for Adrienne Barbeau's "Cable". I was sad ARCANE wasn't an evil old man but Louis Jordan's presence does make it deliciously "B", as movies go. At least he's European.

Only as an adult did I understand the decision to change Linda Holland to a sister, and Cable to a female love interest. It works for me now, and the movie is ultimately another version of Beauty and the Beast. That's cool.
We even liked the rubber suit. Yup.
"I think I look great, and you can all fuck yourselves."
Sure it's wrinkly and obvious a couple times but that's Swamp Thing running around - and in a real swamp!! The cinematography is actually pretty good, and some of the far-off scenes of Swamp Thing roaming the shadowy bayou are really impressive. It's just fun to think of Wes Craven and his gang fighting to get great shots of that rubber suit by day - I wish I could go back in time and join the shooting crew. I bet they cursed a lot, and laugh plenty looking back.
I'll watch the sequel again soon, but that one's a trickier sell, even for this Swampy-Super-Fan.

Swamp Thing's co-creator, Len Wein has written a really cool reboot film script, and if the property ever escapes development hell, it'd be a blast to see him up there for a third time. I had a great chat with him in New York about the script, and do really hope it happens, as it could generate a new TV show or groovy sequels.
I see a lot of CGI in any future Swampy iteration - which might be bloody amazing, but I do love my cheapy analog mockery of a man movie. It takes me back to boyhood, and a very different filmmaking climate.

Simply put, Swamp Thing is a really charming little monster movie. You'll smile if you watch it - trust me.

AC

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Justice League of Bloggers - Steve Garcia's SWAMP THING: "Creation"

Today TWENTY-TWO Bloggers have come together to bring your attention to the work of a brilliant artist - Steve Garcia.
I love good clean design - strong lines and silhouettes are an instant moment of recognition, and a cleverly simple way to present a visual character.
Swamp Thing is a messy vision and whereas a lot of Swampy art has been down and dirty ..mucky wet marshes and rotting monsters, SG takes his shape and makes it clean and perfect, while maintaining the "muck encrusted mockery".


There's a nobility in the work - like Alex Ross' best stuff, but this is more accessible. I love his style, and not just for comic book characters either - he is incredibly talented(Go to his site below) and an inspiration for someone like myself who makes movies - very visual movies. Fact is, creation is my singular raison d'ĂȘtre, and I'm happy Mr.Garcia attached that word to my green friend.

Tell me that wouldn't make a brilliant teaser film poster(in 50 shades of green, of course) - Love it, and I just want to say Thanks to Steve Garcia for the obviously affecting work, and Shag Mathews for bringing us all together again.

These CROSS-BLOG-ADVENTURES are a lot of fun, and here's the full gang of us JUSTICE LEAGUE OF BLOGGERS celebrating the work of one really groovy artist.


Can't forget about these cool "Posts from the Past" on Steve Garcia too - good stuff, and well worth a look...


And one last thing - Go check out his page on DeviantArt, and just try not to drool too much...



Cheers,
Artimus

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Swampy and the New 52 - Yay or Nay?

Well, it's been over 2 years since DC ripped up it's continuity and started everything over ..almost.

I got the impression at the time that DC had not really planned the New 52 as exhaustively as they should have, and two years in it feels like fact.
I'm really enjoying Swamp Thing as a monthly and as a comic book again - it was sad to watch so many artists and writers, in the various series since the 80's, trying to recapture that magic that had its day.

The book is a blast, but it's that damn continuity that messes it all up. Why is an Alec Holland SwampThing dealing with a young Jason Woodrue when Moore's Swamp Thing battled an older version 3 decades back?
Why did Batman, Green Lantern, Swampy and only a handful more KEEP their old continuity, when all of the supporting players would not?
My problem while reading these issues(and I'm about to sound like a codger) is that none of it makes any sense. DC's world is an effing disaster, and I finally can say that I wish they would scrap the New 52 - no offense to Swampy and the creators making the comic - I love it, and will continue to buy it - I just wish I knew what the hell DC is thinking - where is it going, and is there a solve?
Maybe we need another earth for continuity, or have DC simply abandoned the one thing they sooo embraced all these years?

We will see.
Sadly, my vote at this point is NAY.
A.