(Re)Animations: Swamp Thing



"Swamp Thing, you are a-mazing. You fight everything... nasty."

When it comes down to muck-encrusted man plants, Swamp Thing is numero uno in my book (sorry, Man-Thing) and despite having infiltrated popular culture back in the mid-late 80s you don't hear much about the elemental wood walker these days. It's a shame really. I think that no one really knew what to do with the poor guy except Alan Moore, whose comic book re-boot would go on to redefine not only the Swamp Thing character but an entire genre.

It all began with what should have been an ├╝ber intelligent horror flick, Swamp Thing (1982) (directed by Wes Craven) instead spawned an unfocused superhero-driven sequel, a horrid television series and a (begrudgingly) Captain Planet-inspired cartoon. There seems to have been a trend of these environmentally-conscious toons aimed at young kids during the early 90s, including the previously mentioned Toxic Crusaders.

All complaints aside, there are still a few really cool fan moments that carried over into the animated series including the "Un-Men" (monstrous mutant henchmen of villain Dr. Anton Arcane) and some nifty special effects such as when Swamp Thing "teleports" by creating a new body from roots and plant life much like a G-rated version of Frank's rebirth in Hellraiser.

Though the series did receive a meek release on DVD in 2004 (only 5 episodes), it has since been re-leased and ranges anywhere from $30+. There has unfortunately been no news since of any plans for future releases. Its definitely one of those cartoons that hearkens back to a simpler time when all a cartoon needed to do was push merchandise, which it did spawn a pretty cool line of toys, but we'll save that review for a future Toychest Time Machine installment. In the meantime kick back and enjoy episode 2 (see above and below)... after all, its got to be Saturday morning somewhere, right?







5 comments:

  1. Ghoul Friday said...:

    I agree that Swamp Thing was cooler than Man Thing (I loved the Wes Craven movie as a kid), though I do have a soft spot for Man Thing, mainly because I have a copy of "Man-Thing: Night Of The Laughing Dead" from 1974 that came with a 45 RPM Record. It belonged to my brother, and I snagged it after he put it out for a garage sale when we were kids.

  1. Strange Kid said...:

    A read-along comic book record?! Too cool Ghoul! I have seriously never heard of these before and wouldn't you know it, they've got a copy on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7qG3ETDs8I.

    They should totally make a horror-themed cartoon with Man-Thing as a sort of Cryptkeeper kind of character. That would rock.

  1. Ghoul Friday said...:

    There was a whole series of the 45s for various comics, but I've never come across any of the others in person. I thought it was coolest thing ever. And my brother was selling it for 25 cents. The nerve of some children! ;)

  1. My brother and I caught this series as kids and bought the VHS tape of the premier. I liked it well enough, but he went hog wild over it and watched it millions of times.

    The toys were cool. They had several versions of swamp thing and for the villians they had these heads that you could place on the figures to change them into the monsters. Pretty cool!

  1. Strange Kid said...:

    @Grey: I bought that VHS on the cusp of DVD insurgence and now... I can't even watch it.

    The toys were pretty cool, I remembering having one where Swampy's hands "extended." There was like a rope inside his arm and he could ensnare villains for some mucky justice.

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