The Return of Swamp Thing 4K Review (Lightyear Entertainment)
The Return of Swamp Thing is a 1989 science fiction comedy hybrid film directed by Jim Wynorski (Chopping Mall, Deathstalker II, Big Bad Mama II, Sorority House Massacre II, Hard to Die, and Ghoulies IV). It’s based off the DC Comics character created by Len Wein. It was the sequel to Wes Craven’s 1982 film Swamp Thing. It was also followed up by a TV series. Dr. Rochelle was originally from Not of This Earth. Jim Wynorski was given 30 days to complete this sequel & he ended up finishing it in 27 days. Dick Durock’s voice was overdubbed by an unknown actor for this. Neither Wynorski or Durock knew about it until the film premiered. Dick Durock became the first actor since Christopher Reeve to reprise the role of a DC Comics hero. Heather Locklear won the Razzie Award for Worst Actress for her performance in this film. They recently did a television show for Swamp Thing in 2019 and they have announced that they are developing a brand new live action feature for the iconic character in the upcoming future!!!!After her mother’s mysterious death Abigail Arcane (played by: Heather Locklear from Firestarter, Money Talks, Spin City, T.J. Hooker, and Melrose Place) travels to the Florida swamps to confront her evil stepfather Dr. Arcane (played by: Louis Jourdan from Swamp Thing, Octopussy, Count Dracula, and Gigi). He was resurrected by Dr. Rochelle (played by: Ace Mask from Ghoulies IV, Munchie, Munchie Strikes Back, and Transylvania Twist) and Dr. Lana Zurrell (played by: Sarah Douglas from Superman 1/2, Conan the Destroyer, Return of the Living Dead III, and Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge). One of their monsters Leechman (played by: Christopher Doyle from Toolbox Murders 1/2, Scream 2, Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death, and Another Day in Paradise) gets loose and ends up causing problems out in public. Locals including two kids Darryl (played by: Daniel Emery Taylor from Road Trip, The Hospital 1/2, Camp Massacre , and Hell House) and Omar (RonReaco Lee from The Shield, ER, and Sister, Sister) notice the unusual behavior near their home. They want to get a picture of Swamp Thing (played by: Dick Durock from Swamp Thing, Swamp Thing TV series, Stand by Me, and Raw Deal) to make some money. Head of Security Gunn (played by: Joey Sagal from Out for Blood, The Chase, and Barb Wire) with his evil henchwoman Miss Poinsettia (played b y: Scream Queen Monique Gabrielle from Deathstalker II, Evil Toons, 976-Evil II, Chained Heat, and Emmanuelle 5) do the dirty work for Dr. Arcane. They go out hunting humans and animals for work in the lab. After many failed attempts that have created some hideous creatures, Dr. Rochelle needs Arcane’s step daughter Abigail for genetic experiments to help with his boss’s aging problem. After meeting her Swamp Thing decides to help her against his rival. All hell breaks loose and Swamp Thing has to battle more villains to save his new love interest!!!The Return of Swamp Thing had a much different approach compared to the original film. It was campy and very silly with more of a comedic vibe to it. It was a true live action over the top “cartoon”. It was great to see Dick Durock and Louis Jourdan return to their respected roles from the first one. Heather Locklear was always easy on the eyes so she was a great addition to the franchise for this follow up. I thought Sarah Douglas, Ace Mask, and Monique Gabrielle really elevated the cast in this. Joey Sagal was a fun villain in this sequel but he kinda came off as a poor man’s David Hess from before and I thought he could have added a unique twist to it rather than something we already seen in the original. The kid subplot took awhile to appreciate here. They came off a little annoying and random the first few viewings of this back in the day. As I get older and revisit this one more, I enjoy their comedic efforts to lighten up the movie a little bit during it’s darker times. The special effects were one of the highlights in this production. Everything looked great from it’s time. I loved how all the monsters had their own style to them. The fights between them and Swamp Thing were some of my personal favorite spots. This is one of those type of things where you just turn off your brain and enjoy all the entertainment. This one is very entertaining and I personally think it gets better with repeat viewings. This sequel is so much fun and it really stands out on it’s own after all these years!!!!Let’s talk about the high definition presentation. I am a big fan of this film so I’ve seen it on every possible format that includes the VHS from RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video, the DVD from Image Entertainment, and the Blu Ray from MVD Rewind a few years ago. This 2160p (1.85:1) 4K transfer looks AMAZING! It’s one of the biggest upgrades that I’ve ever seen for a older film upgraded to 4K format. I can’t believe how much more detail is in this now, it’s kinda like seeing it for the first time. It’s a totally different experience from the past. It has English and English SDH subtitles. It features two different audio options for The Return of Swamp Thing which include English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 & English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0.! It’s really nice to have two choices for this. It really depends on the viewer on which one would be their favorite, they both have their strong points!!!!Let’s discuss the special features on this release from Lightyear Entertainment! Reflections on Swamp Thing 35 Years Later is brand new interview with producer Michael Uslan and it’s exclusive to this 4K release. It’s a little over 32 minutes. He produced both Swamp Thing films. He goes over the history of the comic book adaptations here. He chats about his experiences on these productions for the DC Comics character. The Rifftones “Your Ever Lovin’ Swamp Thing” Music Video is an exclusive to this brand new home video release. It’s almost 3 minutes. 2018 Audio commentary from Director Jim Wynorski, Composer Chuck Cirino and Editor Leslie Rosenthal. They talk about meeting special effects artist Steve Neill on StarStruck. Dr. Rochelle was originally from Not of This Earth. Jim liked him so much that he included that character in this sequel. A decent amount of the actors used in this were from Dino De Laurentiis productions. They chat about the cast and crew. They included their own personal staff as extras and background characters in this. They talk about how there wasn’t that many comic book and superhero movies back then. They used stock footage from Cirio H. Santiago that was purchased from legendary producer Roger Corman. The film was edited in a hotel room and the music was scored in a bedroom. They discuss the locations of the film. A brief mention of Jim’s other Swamp movies. Chuck Cirino talks about some of the samples he used to create the music for this. Frank Welker did all the voices for the monsters. Louis Jourdan didn’t attend the wrap party of this production. They talk about various other subjects and keep it entertaining for the most part besides a quick bathroom break.Audio commentary from Director Jim Wynorski from 2003 that was featured on the original Image Entertainment DVD. He mentions the difficulties of the Swamp Thing suit. He talks about the mansion that they shot in. He brings up all the other locations used in the production. He chats about the cast and crew. He mentions Heather Locklear was the reason that local police let them get away with whatever on their days off. He brings up the DVD controversy of the original film and how it got recalled quick because of the additional nudity. He brings up that Heather didn’t really want to do the love scene. He jokes about blowing up everything on this. He mentions Lethal Weapon stole the scar comparison scene from this. He brings up that he wanted Louis Jourdan to call Monique Gabrielle “Points” but he felt it was too sexual so he didn’t want to do it. He brought up the fact he was in a film called Octopussy which really pissed him off. He says the Outer Limits was the inspiration for the Dr. Rochelle monster. Jim covers all kinds of stuff on this solo track and keeps you listening until the very end.The rest of the extras are located on the blu ray disc. Interview with Director Jim Wynorski runs almost 18 minutes. He says this was one of his favorite films that he made. He mentions Tonya Roberts and Traci Lords were also considered for the lead in this. He chats about Tommy Lee showing up on set during filming. He talks about the script. He chats about the producer going on to make Batman. He brings up that the Swamp Thing costume was better in this compared to the original. He says he wanted his version to be more silly than the serious first one. Interview with Lightyear Entertainment Executive Arnie Holland runs about 5 minutes. He talks a little about the business of this production. He mentions it finally getting a blu ray release here. He talks about setting up an interview with Heather Locklear and Howard Stern to promote the project. He brings up Harvey Weinstein took over the marketing for the theatrical run and Heather didn’t like it. Interview with Composer Chuck Cirino that runs almost 7 minutes. He talks about this film being the largest budget he ever had for a score. He brings up how he had to get creative for the Louis Jourdan piano scene. It was already shot and the actor didn’t know what he was doing but it was a close up so he had to make it work. He talks about working with a sampler for the music. Interview with Editor Leslie Rosenthal that runs 9 minutes. She talks about how she got the job. She mentions how she edited this in her hotel room. She chats about the hardest scenes she had to cut in this feature. All kinds promotional material which includes Original Theatrical Trailer (New HD Transfer from original 35mm materials), 6 Promotional TV Clips, 2 TV Spots, 2 Greenpeace Public Service Announcements, 5 minute 1989 Promo Reel, and 2 minute Photo Gallery (accompanied by Chuck Cirino’s film’s score). Trailers for otherreleases are included. It also comes with a slipcover and a blu ray copy. This is a rarity when it comes to 4K upgrades. Swamp Thing provides a few additional extras besides adding better picture, sound, and subtitles to this new home video release. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from me! Pick it up ASAP!!!!