The Return of Swamp Thing (1989)

PG-13 | 88 mins | Horror, Science fiction | 12 May 1989

Full page view
HISTORY

The film opens with a title card stating: “Once upon a time…in the Swamp.”
       The following written statements appears in end credits: “Thanks to: Proctor & Gamble, Nostalgia Architectual Antiques, Linen Fair, Beverly Hall Furniture Galleries, A-1 Security, Simco/Mike Simpson, Davis Supply, Harris Nathan, Savannah Cellular, Celebration, Sonny Harris/Candler Biomedical Electronics Department"; "The producers gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of the following in the making of this film: Hon. John P. Rousakis, Mayor of Savannah, GA.; Tom Kaufman; Tony Cope; Oatland Island Educational Center; Betty and Tony Saxon; Uncle Shed's Fishing Camp; Chief Joseph E. Hobley, Savannah Fire Dept.; Chief Wesley Meadows, Southside Fire Dept. and Norman Bielowicz, Georgia Film Commission"; "Financing provided by Chase Manhattan Bank"; "Filmed entirely on location in Savannah, Georgia"; and, "Film Clip from Swamp Thing appears courtesy of De Laurentiis Entertainment Group Inc. The character of Swamp Thing is a Trademark Owned by and copyright ©MCMLXXXIX DC Comics Inc."
       The Return of Swamp Thing is a sequel to 1982's Swamp Thing (see entry). Actors Dick Durock and Louis Jourdan reprised their roles. The 26 May 1988 DV named the project as the first motion picture produced under a renewed production deal between Lightyear Entertainment and Michael Usland and Ben Melniker's Batfilm Productions.
       According to a 15 Aug 1988 People news brief, The Return of Swamp Thing marked actress Heather Locklear’s first leading role in a theatrical feature.
       The character of “Swamp Thing” was created by writer Len Wein and artist Berni Wrightson and first appeared in DC Comics House of Secrets #92 in Sep 1972. The character was ... More Less

The film opens with a title card stating: “Once upon a time…in the Swamp.”
       The following written statements appears in end credits: “Thanks to: Proctor & Gamble, Nostalgia Architectual Antiques, Linen Fair, Beverly Hall Furniture Galleries, A-1 Security, Simco/Mike Simpson, Davis Supply, Harris Nathan, Savannah Cellular, Celebration, Sonny Harris/Candler Biomedical Electronics Department"; "The producers gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of the following in the making of this film: Hon. John P. Rousakis, Mayor of Savannah, GA.; Tom Kaufman; Tony Cope; Oatland Island Educational Center; Betty and Tony Saxon; Uncle Shed's Fishing Camp; Chief Joseph E. Hobley, Savannah Fire Dept.; Chief Wesley Meadows, Southside Fire Dept. and Norman Bielowicz, Georgia Film Commission"; "Financing provided by Chase Manhattan Bank"; "Filmed entirely on location in Savannah, Georgia"; and, "Film Clip from Swamp Thing appears courtesy of De Laurentiis Entertainment Group Inc. The character of Swamp Thing is a Trademark Owned by and copyright ©MCMLXXXIX DC Comics Inc."
       The Return of Swamp Thing is a sequel to 1982's Swamp Thing (see entry). Actors Dick Durock and Louis Jourdan reprised their roles. The 26 May 1988 DV named the project as the first motion picture produced under a renewed production deal between Lightyear Entertainment and Michael Usland and Ben Melniker's Batfilm Productions.
       According to a 15 Aug 1988 People news brief, The Return of Swamp Thing marked actress Heather Locklear’s first leading role in a theatrical feature.
       The character of “Swamp Thing” was created by writer Len Wein and artist Berni Wrightson and first appeared in DC Comics House of Secrets #92 in Sep 1972. The character was given his own comic book series with Swamp Thing #1 in Oct 1972. Canceled after only twenty-four issues, it was revived as The Saga of the Swamp Thing when plans were announced to make “Swamp Thing” into a movie.
       A 31 May 1988 HR news item reported principal photography had begun in Savannah, GA and finished 2 Jul 1988, according to an 8 Jul 1988 HR.
       The film’s budget was $7 million, as stated in an 8 May 1988 LAT article.
Actor Dick Durock reprised his role in the 1990 USA network series Swamp Thing, which ran from 7 Jul 1990 until 1 May 7 1993, for a total of seventy-two episodes. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
26 May 1988.
---
Hollywood Reporter
31 May 1988.
---
Hollywood Reporter
11 May 1989
p. 4, 9.
Los Angeles Times
8 May 1988.
---
Los Angeles Times
12 May 1989
Calendar, p. 7.
New York Times
12 May 1989
p. 17.
People
15 Aug 1988.
---
Variety
3 May 1989
p. 13.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Lightyear Entertainment Production
Lightyear Entertainment Presents
A Benjamin Melniker-Michael E. Uslan Production
A Jim Wynorski film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Based on characters appearing in the Magazine publ
Swamp Thing created by
Swamp Thing created by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Chief lighting des
1st asst cam
2d asst B cam
Key grip
Dolly grip
Grip
Genny op
Stills photog
Grip and elec equip by
Arriflex cams and lenses by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst art dir
Graphic des
Art dept
Art dept
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Props asst
Set dec
Leadman
Set dresser
Set dresser
Greens asst
Const coord
Const foreman
Lead carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Strike team
Strike team
Strike team
Scenic artist
Asst scenic artist
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Ward asst
MUSIC
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Sd ed
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Dail ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Foley walker
Spec vocal eff
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Stereo consultant
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec Eff International
Spec Eff International
Spec Eff International
Spec Eff International
Titles, opticals, and Roto eff by
Eff supv, Motion Optics, Inc.
Opt printer op, Motion Opticals, Inc.
Skull on painting, Motion Opticals, Inc.
Tesla Coil eff, Motion Opticals, Inc.
MAKEUP
Spec eff makeup
Swamp Thing creature makeup created by
Swamp Thing creature makeup created by
Swamp Thing creature makeup crew
Swamp Thing creature makeup crew
Swamp Thing creature makeup crew
Swamp Thing creature makeup crew
Arcane lab mutants created by
Arcane lab mutants created by, Todd Masters Compan
Arcane lab mutants created by, Todd Masters Compan
Arcane lab mutants created by, Todd Masters Compan
Arcane lab mutants created by, Todd Masters Compan
Arcane lab mutants created by, Todd Masters Compan
Arcane lab mutants created by, Todd Masters Compan
Arcane lab mutants created by, Todd Masters Compan
Arcane lab mutants created by, Todd Masters Compan
Arcane lab mutants created by, Todd Masters Compan
Makeup eff/Creatures supv
Makeup eff/Creatures crew
Makeup eff/Creatures crew
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod consultant
Exec in charge of prod
Exec in charge of bus affairs
Prod office coord
Asst prod office coord
Scr supv
Loc mgr/Loc casting
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Transportation coord
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Prod auditor
Asst prod auditor
Craft services
Catering by
Catering by
Catering by
First aid
First aid asst
Antiques consultant
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Post prod supv
Post prod facilities by
Atlanta casting by
Jetskis by
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Fire gag stuntman
ANIMATION
Anim cam, Motion Opticals, Inc.
Anim cam, Motion Opticals, Inc.
Anim cam, Motion Opticals, Inc.
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters in the DC comic book series Swamp Thing by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson (New York, 1972 -- 1976).
SONGS
"Red Hot Hog Women From Mars," composed by Steven B. Small, performed by Dave Nichols, published by Act Fast Music
"Born On The Bayou," composed by John C. Fogerty, courtesy of Jondora Music, performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival, courtesy of Fantasy, Inc.
DETAILS
Release Date:
12 May 1989
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 12 May 1989
Production Date:
31 May--2 July 1988
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Ultra-Stereo®
Color
Duration(in mins):
88
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
29536
SYNOPSIS

Five treasury agents are wading through a bayou in search of moonshiners, when Morty stops to urinate and is yanked under the water by “Leechman,” a creature with a leech’s head and a human body. Leechman grabs another man and drains his blood as the others run. Harry Dugan gets separated from the other agents, trips over a log and loses his glasses. Leechman closes in on Dugan when “Swamp Thing,” a being composed of swamp vegetation, appears, and hurls Leechman into the bayou. Swamp Thing hands Dugan his glasses and chuckles as the man stifles a scream. The other two agents emerge on a trail when a jeep driven by the beautiful pulls up. They ask for help, but she shoots them instead. Days later, Abby Arcane, a florist from California, flies to Florida to confront her stepfather, Dr. Anton Arcane, over the mysterious death of her mother. After a long taxi ride into the Everglades, she is met by Arcane and his assistants, Dr. Lana Zurrell and Dr. Rochelle. Arcane is struck by how much Abby looks like her mother, and Rochelle suggests they can use her DNA. Arcane orders him to covertly acquire a sample of Abby’s blood. That night, Arcane and Dr. Rochelle examine the results of another failed experiment to splice human and animal DNA to create a serum that will produce immortality. Rochelle pulls back a sheet to reveal Morty. The federal agent’s face looks like a Neanderthal with a third-degree burn. Arcane is distracted by a human-coach roach hybrid lying nearby and orders it destroyed in a ... +


Five treasury agents are wading through a bayou in search of moonshiners, when Morty stops to urinate and is yanked under the water by “Leechman,” a creature with a leech’s head and a human body. Leechman grabs another man and drains his blood as the others run. Harry Dugan gets separated from the other agents, trips over a log and loses his glasses. Leechman closes in on Dugan when “Swamp Thing,” a being composed of swamp vegetation, appears, and hurls Leechman into the bayou. Swamp Thing hands Dugan his glasses and chuckles as the man stifles a scream. The other two agents emerge on a trail when a jeep driven by the beautiful pulls up. They ask for help, but she shoots them instead. Days later, Abby Arcane, a florist from California, flies to Florida to confront her stepfather, Dr. Anton Arcane, over the mysterious death of her mother. After a long taxi ride into the Everglades, she is met by Arcane and his assistants, Dr. Lana Zurrell and Dr. Rochelle. Arcane is struck by how much Abby looks like her mother, and Rochelle suggests they can use her DNA. Arcane orders him to covertly acquire a sample of Abby’s blood. That night, Arcane and Dr. Rochelle examine the results of another failed experiment to splice human and animal DNA to create a serum that will produce immortality. Rochelle pulls back a sheet to reveal Morty. The federal agent’s face looks like a Neanderthal with a third-degree burn. Arcane is distracted by a human-coach roach hybrid lying nearby and orders it destroyed in a disintegration chamber. He threatens to experiment on Rochelle if the doctor does not create the serum soon. Chief of Security Gunn appears and informs Arcane that Swamp Thing has been spotted. Arcane orders him to capture the beast, as they need his DNA to complete the serum. Later, Lana and Arcane are in bed when she notices a dry patch of skin on his hand. Arcane calms her concerns, stating they will soon have the anti-aging potion. Across the swamp in a trailer park, Omar, a thin twelve-year-old African-American boy, and Darryl, his pudgy nine-year-old friend, are perusing adult magazines, when they hear a knock at the door. They open it to find Leechman, but before they are killed, Swamp Thing appears and battles the intruder. Leechman hits a propane tank, and the boys barely escape before it explodes. Leechman catches fire and leaps back into the water. The next day, Arcane reads about the explosion and orders Poinsettia and Gunn to hunt down Swamp Thing. That night Arcane dines with Abby and presents one of her mother’s rings. Abby puts it on, and cuts her finger. Arcane removes it and orders Lana to have it fixed. When Abby leaves, Arcane orders Lana to test the ring for Abby’s blood. Upset, Abby takes a walk in the swamp and comes upon two moonshiners intent on raping her. Swamp Thing appears and chases them away. Instead of being frightened, Abby is drawn to the creature and learns he was once Dr. Alex Holland, a famed scientist working on a formula that would double the earth’s food production. Arcane tried to steal the formula, but blew up the laboratory instead. Alex caught fire and ran into the swamp where his formula reacted with swamp slime to transform his damaged body into a sentient plant. After becoming Swamp Thing, he battled Arcane, whom he mistakenly believed he had killed. He finishes his tale by warning Abby to leave Arcane’s mansion, but she insists she must find out what happened to her mother. Poinsettia and Gunn appear with a squad of mercenaries, who open fire on Swamp Thing with a grenade launcher, blowing him to bits. Arcane orders his men to find the creature’s remains, then locks Abby in his laboratory. Later, Rochelle informs Arcane that he will die in seventy-two hours unless they can get Swamp Thing’s DNA for the “immortality serum.” Rochelle suggests he might buy Arcane a little more time by draining the life force from Abby and Lana. Unaware Lana is eavesdropping, Arcane tells Rochelle to prepare the transfer. Outside Arcane’s compound, a green glowing patch of slime swims into the mansion’s sewage drain, emerging from a bathtub faucet, and reforming into Swamp Thing. In the laboratory, Gunn attempts to rape Abby, put she knees him in the groin and jumps in an elevator. She goes up one floor, where the door opens and Lana steps in. She hands Abby keys to her car, but before Abby can escape, she is caught by two guards. Swamp Thing appears, punches the guards and carries Abby to Lana’s jeep. As guards fire at them with machine guns and grenade launchers, Swamp Thing crashes the jeep through the gates and escapes. Arcane finds a piece of the Swamp Thing on his porch and orders Rochelle to ready the experiment. The next morning, Abby wakes up in the swamp and asks Swamp Thing to be her boyfriend. When he protests that he is a plant she replies, “It’s ok, I’m a vegetarian.” Swamp Thing tears a bud from his side and has Abby eat it. They hallucinate that Swamp Thing is human and imagine making love. At the laboratory, Dr. Rochelle shows Lana a serum that causes instant mutations. Lana grabs the syringe, stabs Rochelle and tosses him in a closet. Back in the swamp, the two boys, Omar and Darryl, hunt down Swamp Thing in hope of photographing him and selling the picture to the newspapers. They spot Swamp Thing kissing Abby, but before Omar can shoot the picture, Gunn and his men arrive and grab the two boys. Swamp Thing hears the commotion and knocks Gunn and his men silly, then poses for a photograph. Hearing Abby scream, Swamp Thing rushes back in time to see Poinsettia and Arcane leaving with Abby on an airboat. Abby is taken back to the laboratory to start the transfer, but the procedure is delayed due to Rochelle’s absence. Hours pass and Arcane orders Lana to begin. Abby is strapped into a chair beside Arcane. Lana throws a switch, and Abby’s life force is transferred to Arcane. Outside, Swamp Thing breaks into the grounds and dispatches the guards. Gunn appears driving a jeep equipped with cannons, but Swamp Thing grabs a grenade from a fallen mercenary and blows the jeep up. In the laboratory, Arcane rises and looks at the dead Abby. He is overjoyed to be young again until he notices yellow boils on his hands. He realizes Lana changed the formula and shoots her. Swamp Thing bursts in just as Rochelle, who has morphed into big-headed creature with fangs, bursts out of the closet, sending the door flying across the room and landing on Arcane. The two monsters battle until Swamp Thing hurls Dr. Rochelle into the disintegration chamber. Rochelle is fried, but this causes the chamber to overload, setting the laboratory on fire. As a robotic voice states the chamber will destruct in three minutes, Gunn appears wielding a chainsaw. Swamp Thing disarms him, sticks a grenade in Gunn’s pants, and tosses him into another room where the grenade explodes. He then carries Abby’s lifeless body upstairs as the laboratory explodes, killing Arcane. In the swamp, Swamp Thing uses the swamp's energies to revive Abby, then warns her there may be side effects. They embrace, unaware that Darryl and Omar are snapping pictures. A small flower grows out of Abby’s foot. Later, Omar and Darryl discover they forgot to put film in the camera. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.