"Moving on now, with a favorite of mine--"Swamp Thing." I wanna read you this letter I got back when "Swamp Thing" first came out, February 4, 1982, this is funny. It says, "'Swamp Thing' is NOT a horror film.
Rather, it is a PG-rated fantasy adventure based on the exploits of a comic book hero published by DC Comics, the folks who have brought us Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman." Well, it wasn't exactly PG-rated when I saw it, because it's also famous as the first film where Adrienne Barbeau ever got topless. We won't be unleashin those hooters tonight on TNT--Ted would be upset if we did that--but we WILL be showin you dang near everything else that was in the original. But anyhow, my question is: How come everybody that makes a horror movie always says, "This is not REALLY a horror movie. It's a suspense thriller. Or it's a drama with horror elements. Or it's a PG-rated fantasy adventure." I mean, what's wrong with just saying "Here's a horror flick"? Burns my bacon every time I see that. So anyway, this is the story of how Adrienne Barbeau goes deep deep deep into the swamp where a secret research laboratory is about to solve the problem of world hunger, when--whoops!--some vicious corporate mercenaries show up and accidentally set a scientist on fire and he falls in the swamp and becomes . . . you guessed it . . . Swamp Thing. He's kind of the first environmental superhero. Half-plant. Half-human. Hokey but lovable. This is actually an excellent flick that hasn't been taken as seriously as it might have if it had a different title. Check it out, and we'll talk.
[fading] Isn't this about the fifth time we've had Adrienne Barbeau on the show? She was the favorite actress of both John Carpenter AND Wes Craven in the late seventies, early eighties. You know what she does now? A night-club lounge act. She's a singer. I hear she's got a great diaphragm. What?"
"Swamp Thing" Commercial Break #1
"NICE sloppy kiss there at the end of that scene, don't ya think? Better than your average sealed-lips Hollywood kiss. Why do they even bother? Makes you think all the men are gay. Of course, a lot of the men ARE gay. Don't you hate that, when you can TELL they're gay, and the babe is going to waste? Course, the gay guys are sittin out there, saying, "Don't you hate that, when a perfectly good hunk goes to waste like that?" Let's not dwell on it. Anyhow, good part's coming up now. I don't wanna give it away, but there's a stuntman in a fire suit and . . . if you've ever been around movie sets, you know that when you set a guy on fire, usually the MOST he stays lit is about five seconds, and then the fire extinguisher guys run in and put him out as soon as the director yells "Cut." Well, I just want you to watch HOW LONG this guy stays on fire in this scene. It's amazing. And if that's not enough to hold your attention, Adrienne Barbeau is about to get very wet while wearing that Hawaiian shirt. If you know what I mean and I think you do.
[fading] Last time we showed this movie, bunch of gals wrote in, mad at me. "Why do you talk about Adrienne Barbeau that way?" Look--you don't go to the World Trade Center to stare at the basement. You know what I'm saying?"
"Swamp Thing" Commercial Break #2
"Okay, another great historic scene to watch here. Louis Jourdan, who plays the villain, is hanging around his mansion talking about evil stuff, and there's a beautiful blonde serving his every need. It's the acting debut of Mimi Craven, soon to be the wife of Wes Craven, now ex-wife of Wes Craven--we won't dwell on THAT--but she was a flight attendant for Delta, based in Dallas, and Wes flew on one of her flights, decided she was a star and VIOLA! Put her in the movie and married her. She went on to be in a lot of flicks--you might have seen her in "Last Dance," with her good friend Sharon Stone. Just a little "Swamp Thing" trivia. Just doing my job. Thank you very much. Continue.
[fading] What is it that makes guys go for flight attendants? Naw, let's not EVEN open it up for discussion. I might reveal something here and end up in Sleazeball Jail. GUILTY, okay? Please. I travel a lot."
"Swamp Thing" Commercial Break #3
"I have a question about Louis Jourdan in this movie. The villain. The bad guy. First of all, where'd he get that haircut? Normally you have to go to a state prison to see a haircut like that. Sy Sperling wouldn't call that hair. Secondly, wasn't he, like, a major international star? I mean, I think this is a great movie, but it's still a B-movie horror flick. This is the guy who starred in "Can Can," right? I wonder if he was a happy camper doing this, or whether he was always thinking, "I'm working with a Bozo in a plant suit." Do you ever think about stuff like that? No? Guess that's why we're different. Okay, back to "Swamp Thing."
[fading] You guys don't watch musicals, do you? Shirley MacLaine hiking up her skirt for Frank Sinatra--doesn't ring any bells, does it? Maurice Chevalier? How bout them Packers?"
"Swamp Thing" Commercial Break #4
"Now we're gonna get that beauty and the beast thing going. Adrienne Barbeau falls in love with the now one-armed Swamp Thing. Because she sees his inner beauty--beyond the green fungus on his face. Now. If we were watchin the European version, or the version you can still get at the video store, this is where Adrienne pops her top--for the first time in history. She does it to give the Swamp Thing a little vegetable thrill. I kid you not. It's STILL a pretty amazing scene, even in the TNT version. We go RIGHT UP to that line, and then we make you THINK we're gonna cross it. We kinda TOY with your emotions. Okay, here goes.
[fading] Cable can be cruel."
"Swamp Thing" Commercial Break #5
"Do you notice the OUTFITS they put on Adrienne Barbeau in this whole movie? I don't wanna say anything sleazy here, but when she runs through the swamp, you think she's gonna put both her eyes out, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. Just an observation.
[fading] It's early in the morning. We're all adults here. Well, not really ADULTS. Per se. I could of just said "Get a load of those hematomas." But I went for the restrained version."
"Swamp Thing" Commercial Break #6
"Is this a great movie or what? Louis Jourdan turns into a giant hairy pig-vegetable! Now THAT'S something you don't see on Turner Classic Movies. We don't call it "Monster Vision" for nothin, you know. All right, for the conclusion of "Swamp Thing," check out this bodice on Adrienne Barbeau as she runs around in it AND gets totally drenched again. How many times have they dunked Adrienne in the movie? I don't wanna beat a dead horse, but the cleavage wranglers really earned their money on this baby. All right, that's all I'm gonna say. You be the judge.
[fading] You know what I wanna know? Where do they put her microphone? I mean, I could GUESS. There are times when you REALLY wanna be the assistant sound guy, you know?"
"Swamp Thing" Outro
"And there you have it--the great "Swamp Thing." I can watch that two or three times a year and never get tired of it. One of Wes Craven's most underrated pictures.
Okay, I wanna remind you that next week we have [?]
That's it for me, Joe Bob Briggs, reminding you that it's always darkest before dawn. So if you're gonna steal the neighbor's car, that's the time to do it.
Did you guys hear the one about the elderly couple who are having an elegant dinner to celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary, when the old man leans forward and says softly, "Dear, there is something I must ask you. It has always bothered me that our tenth child never looked quite like the rest of the children, and I must know if he has a different father." The wife drops her head and confesses, "Yes, yes he does." The old man is shaken up and with a tear in his eye, he asks, "Who? Who was he? Who was the father?" The old lady finally musters up the courage to tell the truth and says, "You are the father."
Joe Bob Briggs, reminding you that the drive-in will never die."
Two and half stars.
Joe Bob says check it out.