What this movie should've been:
And by "should've been," I mean "something even slightly invoking the spirit of the Bernie Wrightson-drawn stories from the 1970s comic."
It wasn't. It was this:
I don't know that it has held up well.
I remember walking in the front door after seeing it and telling my folks everything bad about the movie—in front of the guests they had over for dinner. The look on their friends' faces was like, "Nice parenting."
In truth, I wasn't a huge fan of the Swamp Thing character in those days. (He's since grown on me.) But it was a comic book movie, and I was 11.
I discovered Swamp Thing on Nickelodeon's 'Video Comics' in the early, early days of Cable TV. Nobody would remember this. It was a half-hour show that opened with Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries," and featured kids on their bikes, pedaling to the drugstore to check out the comic rack. ("Hey, kids. Comics!")
Each episode was basically a camera moving from panel to panel along the inside pages of a comic book, featuring voice-overs and sound effects. Low-tech, but it worked. The ones I remember were Swamp Thing, Green Lantern, Adam Strange, Mystery In Space, and Sugar and Spike by artist/writer Sheldon Mayer. His stuff, often compared to Charles Schulz, is some of the best comic book work ever produced. I don't know how it's been so overlooked.
But back to the swamp. Once again, THIS looks kind of interesting:
But instead, we were given an average-size guy wearing a rubber suit.
Oh, and some fanboats. Did you see the fanboats? This one is considered a cult favorite, but I started to watch it again recently and couldn't get through it. Instead, I broke out the Berni Wrightson artwork and hit PLAY on "Ride of the Valkyries."