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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When a greedy oil baron sets his sights on drilling in a Louisiana swamp, a monstrous creature is awakened. The baron and his associates are killed in the swamp thicket, spurring an investigation led by Sheriff Kyle Williams. Although the Seminoles are initially suspected of the murders, the swamp creature, known as Man-Thing, is the killer. A gruesome creature made of plants and vines, Man-Thing possesses strange and dangerous powers.
One of the better Sci-fi channel originals I've seen...
Something evil is living in a swamp, something that kills all that enter its territory, the "dark waters". As more people are killed, the local town sheriff learns that a swamp-monster of Indian legend is responsible. Can he stop the creature before it can continue killing? "Man-Thing" has gotten primarily bad reviews here on IMDb, but I thought it was not terrible. Not great either, loaded with clichés, yes, but I've seen much worse films released courtesy of the Sci-fi channel. Any of you ever seen of "Boa Vs. Python"?!?!? There's plenty of stuff to like here. The swamp photography is beautiful. The shades of greens gave the film a very nice look, and the swamp is setting is effectively creepy. Director Brett Leonardwho you may remember as the guy behind 1992's "Lawn Mower Man"gives the film good atmosphere, and there were even a couple of creepy moments towards the finale. The monster was scary and looked very, very impressive, to say the least. There was some pretty weak CG used for its tentacles among other things but thankfully the creature itself is a good old-fashioned man-in-a-suit creation, and a darn good one at that. Kudos to the effects team on this memorable, nasty-looking beast. Oh, there's the abundant gore too, which is certainly a plus. I won't give away what happens in the film, but I will say gore fans will be very happy. I also liked Roger Mason's creepy, atmospheric score.
Problems begin with two things: The script and the actors. The screenplay offers lots of typical horror conventions: Throwaway monster victims, cheap pop scares, greedy and unrealistic bad guys, wise Indians who know about the monster, and so on. If you know the genre, you're probably familiar with this set-up by now, and it can be very tiring. The actors are mostly weak (Save for lead actor Matthew Le Nevez who wasn't bad), and those "southern" accents sure sound Australian if you ask me!
"Man Thing" is flawed and offers a familiar set-up, but if you can overlook that you'll be treated to a gory, creepy monster movie. Better than most made-for-TV horror films I've seen, and I've seen a lot.
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