Agents of an oil tycoon vanish while exploring a swamp marked for drilling. The local sheriff investigates and faces a Seminole legend come to life: Man-Thing, a shambling swamp-monster whose touch burns those who feel fear.
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Bywater's native Seminole Indians believe the swamp will be bloodily revenged by its guardian spirit, a 'dark warrior', for its 'rape' by Frederic and son Jake Schist's oil-drilling, sold out by their own late chief Ted Sallis. The rig is illegally protested against by hot-head ecologists, who get blamed for vandalism on the site. New, outsider sheriff Kyle Williams suspects immediately local adolescent Billy James wasn't eaten during love-making there by a cayman but by a mysterious monster, which already made and soon makes new bloody victims in weird, inconsistent ways. Several people add to the danger. Written by
Marvel's Man-Thing rips apart rednecks in comic book creature feature!
The Schist oil company is polluting the Bywater swamp and the locals are up in arms about it but that is nothing compared to how the guardian of the swamp, Man-Thing, feels. Man-thing will not rest until the drilling platform has gone, and until then he will kill anyone he can get his branches on.
New sheriff in the town, Kyle Williams, and sexy third grade school teacher, Teri, embark on a quest to put an end to the death and destruction.
Brett Leonard's adaptation of the Marvel comic books is an enjoyable and schlocky monster flick that never gets ideas above its station and is savvy enough to give its core audience exactly what they want; we get moderate gore, a smattering of nudity, a pretty decent monster and a plot that doesn't exactly tax the old grey matter.
The swamp locations are a sufficiently creepy setting for the tale. Swimming in mist and bathed in a spooky green glow, they allow Leonard to use shadows and light for maximum effect - at times concealing the horror and at others, revealing it in its full gory glory.
The effects both the gore and the creature are also pretty impressive. When Man-Thing gets busy on his victims, he doesn't hold back and we get a range of gruesome body parts splashed across the screen during its 105 minute running time.
In fact, the only thing that really lets this film down is its pacing. The film is too long (by about 20 minutes) and too much time is spent with characters either chatting or wandering aimlessly through the swamp. If there had been a little less talk and a little more action, I'd have rated it higher.
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