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Return of the Swamp Thing

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The Return of the Swamp Thing (1989), starring Dick Durock, Louis Jordan, Heather Locklear, Sarah Douglas

Synopsis of The Return of the Swamp Thing

 Return of the Swamp Thing begins with Abigail Arcane (Heather Locklear) traveling to the Florida swamps to find out the truth about her mother’s death. Once there, she confronts her evil stepfather Dr. Arcane (Louis Jourdan), who had been resurrected after his death in the first film. In an attempt to stave off the effects of aging, Dr. Arcane, assisted by Dr. Lana Zurrell (Sarah Douglas), combines genes from various swamp animals and human beings, creating an army of monsters known as Un-Men. Dr. Arcane tries to use his stepdaughter Abby in his genetic experiments until she is rescued by Swamp Thing (Dick Durock). He’s a scientist previously transformed into a humanoid plant creature after a confrontation with the doctor. Abby and the Swamp Thing fall in love, with the doctor’s minions searching for them.

Review of The Return of the Swamp Thing

Swamp Thing (Dick Durock) and Heather Locklear
Swamp Thing (Dick Durock) and Heather Locklear

Return of the Swamp Thing is a sequel to Swamp Thing is less serious, verging on campy and frankly more fun to watch. The basic plot has the evil Dr. Arcane (Louis Jordan), returned from the dead and back to his human form back to his old tricks. This time, he wants to use his step-daughter Abigail Arcane (Heather Locklear) to create an immortality serum. She, however, is trying to find out if he’s responsible for her mother’s death.

Dick Durock as the Swamp Thing

There’s actually more depth in the sequel.  For example, trying to give Dr. Arcane a sympathetic side as he’s trying to revive the dead wife that he loves.  However, he’s not above stringing along the brilliant Dr. Lana Zurrell (Sarah Douglas) for his own ends …. Only to coldly murder her when she’s no further use to me. His next line, “God will forgive me; that’s His job”. does a good job of summarizing Arcane’s cold, callous nature.

Some things tend to draw you out of the movie such as a psychic, psychedelic love scene between Heather Locklear and the Swamp Thing. Seriously. And Heather Locklear may well have great acting talent but she doesn’t display it here. She won a Razzie award for worst actress for this picture. In contrast, both Louis Jordan and Dick Durock turn in good performances.

In short, The Return of the Swamp Thing is a near-comedy that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is an enjoyable popcorn movie. I rate it 2 stars out of 5.

Haven’t I seen you someplace before?

  • Dick Durock (Swamp Thing)  Swamp ThingStand by Me
  • Louis Jordan (Dr. Anton Arcane) Octopussy, Gigi
  • Heather Locklear (Abigail Arcane)  Melrose PlaceSpin City
  • Sarah Douglas (Dr. Lana Zurrell)  Superman IIConan the Destroyer

Editorial review of The Return of the Swamp Thing courtesy of

Swamp Thing and Arcane's Un-Men in "Return of the Swamp Thing"

The curious cult hero from the vast DC Comics universe emerges from Florida swamp lands into a whole new adventure in Jim Wynorskis [Chopping Mall, Not Of This Earth] cunning sequel to Wes Cravens original monster movie. Determined to confront her evil stepfather Dr. Anton Arcane [Louis Jourdan, Octopussy] for past indiscretions, young and ambitious Abby [Heather Locklear, Melrose Place] is ill-prepared for the chaos and peril ahead of her. Spawned from the crooked imagination of Dr. Arcane, a strange genetically mutated creature is on the prowl and ready to meet his maker. Known only as Swamp Thing [Dick Durock], a veritable freak of nature, his is a mission of cold-hearted vengeance. With Dr Anton firmly set in his sights, the only true distraction for the formidable creature is his beautiful but feisty stepdaughter.

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