Saturday, June 28, 2014

Saturday Double Feature - Snakehead Swamp (2014), Incredible Melting Man (1977)

Is it Saturday again already?  My gosh, the week flies by fast.

I couldn't decide which crappy monster movie to review tonight, so you get two!  Aren't you lucky?

Let's start with The Incredible Melting Man (1977).  This movie opened opposite Star Wars.  At the time, nobody cared about Star Wars.  This movie, on the other hand, was touted as the next summer blockbuster, with groundbreaking special effects by Rick Baker!  Well, we all know how that turned out.  Star Wars became a six-plus movie franchise, and nobody has ever heard of the Incredible Melting Man.  Mores the pity.  I was always a Star Trek fan, myself.

An Astronaut is sent to explore the rings of Saturn.  I guess at the time, people thought we could actually land on Saturn, because that's why the Astronauts were sent to explore it.  Nowadays, we know now that Saturn is a gas giant, and anyone who could actually stand on the surface without dying from the noxious gases, getting torn apart by the hurricane force winds, or drowning in the poisonous, acidic seas beneath the clouds (because who the hell knows what's under the clouds?) would be crushed by the gravity, which is a tad greater than Earth normal.  Anyway, this astronaut gets hit by a solar flare while cruising through the rings, and everyone in his space capsule dies except him.  Irradiated so badly his flesh begins to melt off his bones, the man nevertheless makes it back to earth.  Escaping from a hospital, he kills a nurse, and basically becomes a mindless, irradiated zombie, hunting for human flesh, getting stronger with each passing hour.  A military search ensues (I use the term loosely), but there's a time limit.  A second expedition to Saturn is almost underway, and they have to know, what went wrong?  WHAT WENT WRONG???

There's a lot of funny stuff in this movie, that's not intended to be funny.  Spoilers to ensue.  I mean, the movie came out in 1977.  If you were planning to see it at the theaters, I think you missed your chance.  So the first funny thing, is the biggest nurse I have ever seen, running away from this shambling, shuffling corpse of a man, runs RIGHT THROUGH a glass door.  I mean, look, the door opens from the inside.  It has a push-bar on the inside.  You just give it a little shove, and whee, it opens right up for you.  Nope, she just RUNS RIGHT THROUGH IT OHMYGOD OHMYGOD ITS A DOOR I DON'T KNOW HOW TO USE A DOOR HANDLE OHMYGOD.  Yea.  Funny stuff.  Then we've got the "military search."  Some general, who wants the escape to be kept a secret, who hasn't even leaked the information that the entire first expedition to Saturn was a disaster, tells the lead doctor looking after the melting man to... go look for him.  By himself.  Yea.  I can't even tell if it's an actual hospital the guy is in.  There's long hallways that look big enough to drive a truck through, lined by row after row of doors.  It looked maybe like a warehouse.  In fact, in one scene, the two doctors, the lead guy and his assistant, are riding along some sort of giant cargo conveyer that's rolling down the hallways through their entire conversation.  I don't want to sound like a moron, but...  the thing's moving at a snail's pace, it's like 3 feet off the ground, and why the HELL don't they just walk?  lol  Next, we have the good doctor's search!  He gets home from his work day, hours and hours after the melting man ran away, giving the shambling zombie about 5 or 6 hours head start, instead of going after him immediately.  The general calls him the minute he walks in his door to check and see if the guy's been found yet, and the doctor is like "I just got home!"  lol  So eventually, after a nice dinner, and a good night's sleep, the doctor sets out with his geiger counter to find the radioactive zombie.  While following the trail of lost body parts, dripping bloody bits of goo, and dead bodies, the doctor is shouting things like "It's me!  I'm your friend!  I'm alone!  I'm unarmed!  I'm just here to help you, all by myself!"  He may as well be shouting "Kill me, I'm easy prey!" if you ask me.  Strangely, the zombie shuffles and moves slowly around the important players, like the doctor's wife, and runs like a ninja when he's killing the extras.  Odd, that.  Also, you got to love an army general who goes to the doctor's house, hangs out with his wife, and sits around in flannel and denim, raiding the doc's fridge for leftovers, while the doc is out searching.  By himself.  lol  And there's the part at the end, where a dead body suddenly opens its eyes and raises a hand.  Oops!  Too early, scene wasn't quite done yet.  lol

It's a little slow at first, but the chase scene (such as it is) is.... okay, they're just running through the woods.  It's not that exciting.  There's the part where the old people stop for lemons, that's grippingly thrilling... okay, it's really lame.  It's not really any surprise this movie didn't do as well as star wars.  lol  I'm a little confused about the end, too.  I mean, why make the zombie have any human feelings at all?  Why paint it as a human being that cares, when it's just going to, well, melt like a wax figure left in the oven too long?  Seems sort of silly to me.  There wasn't even any nudity.  Or cute chicks, really.  Huh.  Waste of good celluloid.  Or is it cellulite?  Hmmm.  The Incredible Melting Man is on Netflix if you'd care to check it out.

Snakehead Swamp (2014) is playing on Syfy channel.  Right now.  As I write this.  It's got nine minutes left, better get there fast if you want to see it!  lol

Snakehead Swamp is about a delivery truck, carting... something...  through the Louisiana swamps.  Something on the truck, called Specimen 0, escapes, releasing a swarm of an aggressive variety of Snakehead.  Snakehead, if you don't know, are basically Killer Fish from Asia, similar to Piranha, but bigger and less pack-hunter-y.  Anyway, the snakehead fan out, killing people in the water, out of the water, running away on land, pretty much all over the place.  There's a park Ranger, her estranged husband, their kid, his love interest, and assorted sexy teenagers doing the usual "party, get drunk, get eaten by killer fish" deal.  Plus the usual "Curse of Blackbriar swamp", and a voodoo man.  You just can't have a swamp movie without a good curse and a voodoo guy.  I think it's Louisiana state law.

I'm not sure how they got the monsters into this movie.  I think what they did was come up with a rubber fish design, and then generate a computer image of that.  I guess Syfy considers that a step up from it's usual simple computer generation, but...  uh... not quite.  The "rubber fish" effect just...  makes the whole thing worse.  lol  Also, one thing, these fish move like molasses on land.  Yet there's a scene in the park where people are getting yanked off their feet and pulled away like they're being dragged off by horses.  What the hell is doing that?  Because it's sure as hell not a Snakehead.  lol  However, there's some love story going on, and hot teen girls with big boobs wearing bikinis, betrayal, curse-breaking, family healing, and lots of monster fish eating people.  What's not to love?  Standard Syfy saturday night movie crap.  lol

In other news... It's hot!  Too damn hot for June.  We've been averaging 5 to 10 degrees above normal all month, and it's only getting hotter!  We hit 92 today.  And this is Buffalo, NY!  We usually average 80 in July, and July hasn't even started yet.  Told you it was going to be a hot summer, didn't I?  You're goddamn right I did.  I wish my fat would melt.  Could use a little fat-melting this summer.  Instead, I just LOOK like I'm melting.  lol

That's all for tonight!  I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Fourth of July next week.  Try not to drink so many beers that you blow your liver clean out of your body with a half-stick of dynamite.  Yea, I know, you're saying, "Once is enough!"  And so it should be.  So it should be.

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