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Swamp Devil
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Reviews & Ratings for
Swamp Devil More at IMDbPro »

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24 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Good cast let down by trashy special effects

5/10
Author: debbiekirk24 from United Kingdom
27 April 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When I saw that Sky 3 were showing a film called Swamp Devil, I decided to watch it for the light entertainment value as I didn't expect the plot to require much mental effort and I felt like winding down. I was therefore pleasantly surprised by the performances of all the main actors, especially the captivating Nicolas Wright who really made you want to know more about his character. It was therefore such a huge disappointment when he morphed into the swamp devil, I mean, you saw it coming a mile off, but the actual transformation was such a let-down and the creature itself raised more than just a titter. Fine if this was a trashy B movie, but the actors involved had already raised it way above that level with their sensitive performances. Clearly the director did not share their emotion and was happy with an animated monster than any self-respecting speed-skating Citroen C4 could put to shame, and a real-life version that had all the agility and grace of the Eddy Monster that comes on stage at the end of an Iron Maiden concert. I got the impression that the director looked at the final version of the film, thought 'Damn, those swamp devils don't really work, but it's too late to do anything about that now.' and put it out anyway. A disservice to a strong cast who did their utmost to make this film believable, which was a truly commendable achievement under the circumstances.

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14 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Awful Sc-Fi Channel 'Creature Feature' Swamp Thing rip-off.

2/10
Author: Paul Andrews (poolandrews@hotmail.com) from UK
17 February 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Swamp Devil starts as city girl Melanie Blaine (Cindy Sampson) gets a phone call from a guy named Jimmy Fuller (Nicolas Wright) who claims to have known her when they were young children in Melanie's home town of Gibbington, Jimmy pleads with Melanie to come back to Gibbington to see her father Howard (Bruce Dern) who is dying. Although Melanie hasn't been in Gibbington for twenty odd years she feels she should make the effort to be with her father so she drives up there where she discovers that her father Howard isn't dying at all & in fact he is wanted for the brutal murder of a teenage girl. The local Sheriff (James Kidnie) & a posse of local men are on the hunt for Howard who is hiding out somewhere in the vast local swamps & marshes, Melanie decides to stick around to find her father but there's more going on that at first appears. Was all the crazy talk of monsters living in the woods by Howard just trying to shift the blame from himself or is there more to it than that?

This Canadian production was the third & to date final Sci-Fi Channel 'Creature Feature' directed by David Winning after he had previously directed the equally awful Something Beneath (2007) & Black Swarm (2007), unfortunately it's not so much a case of third time lucky as third time even worse than the first two. I suppose in broad terms one could say Swamp Devil is a cross between Swamp Thing (1982) with it's similar sounding title & similar looking monster made from swamp weed or branches or whatever it is & A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) with the central concept of a brutal child murderer being killed by vigilantes (including the local Sheriff) & coming back for revenge although one also has to say that Swamp Devil is as bad a cheap 'Creature Feature' as you can imagine. I have seen so many of these things I am beginning to wonder why I bother watching them as they are all generally awful from rubbish scripts that are very predictable & make no sense (there's absolutely no explanation whatsoever as to why or how the killer was resurrected as a Swamp Thing rip-off, there's no reason given as to why it can't cross the county boundary & there's no reason why it hasn't already killed Howard (I mean he's been running from this thing for twenty odd years? Why didn't he just move house?)) to clichéd cardboard cutout character's (a typical local Sheriff, one character who know's about the monster but no-one else believes them) to forgettable dialogue to yet more truly awful CGI computer effects work that render any of the scenes with the monster laughable. The pace is slow, the film is boring & apart from some dull mystery elements that are easy to work out Swamp Devil really doesn't have much, if anything, going for it.

The one thing that might have saved Swamp Devil was some good solid exploitation but unfortunately this is pretty much PG rated stuff all the way with only one scene featuring any blood when someone has possessed vines poked through his leg & shoulder very briefly, otherwise Swamp Devil doesn't feature a single drop of blood. The CGI computer effects are mostly poor, the actual Swamp Devil creature itself when seen looks terrible & has very awkward stiff animation although I will say the possessed vines effects are quite good. The end is very poorly shot & edited with the viewer having to guess what is going on most of the time. There's nothing scary here & apart from the opening & closing sequences it's set entirely in the day which doesn't help the atmosphere, I mean a nice dark spooky swamp at night would be a perfect place to set a horror film but during the day it just doesn't have the same sort of ominous feel.

With a supposed budget of about $2,000,000 one wonders where all the money went, there's an exploding pick-up truck at the end but apart from that nothing happens & you can't tell me those CGI effects cost that much. Although set in the deep south in the US this was filmed in Montréal in Québec in Canada. Most of these 'Creature Features' have at least one name actor & here it's the turn of the Oscar nominated Bruce Dern, Cindy Sampson as Melanie does alright & it helps that she's quite hot.

Swamp Devil is another faceless Sci-Fi Channel 'Creature Feature' the likes of which sort of melt into one another, basically if you have seen a few of these 'Creature Features' before then you have seen Swamp Devil & the lack of any sort of gore or explanations for the events contained within doesn't help matters.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Out on a limb

5/10
Author: ctomvelu1 from United States
4 October 2010

Bruce Dern (!) gets top billing in this no-budget, made-for-cable clunker about a murderous swamp monster (looking suspiciously at times like Swamp Thing or Man-Thing). A young woman returns to her hometown to find out what happened to her missing dad, a former sheriff suspected in a series of gruesome killings. An odd fellow about her age pops up out of nowhere and befriends her, while the local constabulary and a gun-toting local almost kill her upon her arrival. She eventually finds her dad (Dern) hiding in the woods, and together they fight the creature. The creature is typical SyFy Channel CGI, and not particularly intimidating or scary-looking. The director shows way too much of it, and way too early on. Acting is par for the genre. A snoozer, ideal for those having trouble sleeping.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Above-average Sci-Fi Channel Creature Feature

Author: slayrrr666 (slayrrr666@yahoo.com) from Los Angeles, Ca
30 July 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Swamp Devil" is a rather enjoyable and entertaining creature feature.

**SPOILERS**

Receiving distressful family news, Melanie Blaime, (Cindy Sampson) returns to her hometown and runs into old friend Jimmy Fuller, (Nicolas Wright) who informs her how her father Howard Blaime, (Bruce Dern) is wanted for murder. Both believing he's innocent, they come across the local militia, Sheriff Nelson Bois, (James Kidnie) Deputy Jolene Harris, (Allison Graham) and Jones, (Robert Higden) who are interested in finishing the job but leave her alone. When he shows up to offer her a way to help her father, they go into the woods and find him, where he reveals that he's actually a shifting tree creature that is responsible for a long list of deaths in the area and has tied to him from a long time ago, and they have to track him down and stop him before he continues his rampage.

The Good News: This one had some really good stuff to it that works really well. The film does a great job here with the build-up to the creature's identity, taking a lot of different routes and tactics that are quite nicely delivered and make for a rather good mystery. From the involvement of the old picture and the different back-story segments they devote to telling it, as well as the discovery of the newspaper clippings that show the true nature of everything, it works quite well and builds up nicely. The different attacks in here are also quite enjoyable, and several of them are just outstanding. The opening trek through the swamp is one of the better ones, taking place at night which the others don't, and using that and the outlay of the forest to create a great atmosphere coupled with their distant cries for help and her desperate attempt to escape make for a thrilling moment. The creature attack is outstanding, and the final discovery is quite gruesome, effectively bookending this scene quite nicely. Other great attacks, such as splitting up the posse members in the forest with several extended, effects-heavy segments is just a lot of fun, and the stalking scenes are just superb set-ups that are quite nicely done, the attack at the cabin is quite suspenseful and features a lot of good stuff to it, and the last attacks during the attempt to ensnare the creature are just as good with all the different escape tactics, fire-fights with the guns and the general state of the creature during that time. Other big attacks include the initial search together when he reveals his true self in an intense transformation scene, the eventual searching through the woods and trying to avoid him finding them, as well as a car ambush that is quite good from the set-up of the punctured tires and foot-searching as well as the forest coming alive to torment him and the dragging him away, as well as the later scene where the discovery of that one leads up to the ambush later on at the same car, which is a lot of fun as well. Even the back-story flashback is quite suspenseful, with the actions that are suggested playing out quite creepily, the hunter's behavior being justified and making for a really chilling part when combined with the voice-over narration spelling out the events as well. The creature has a pretty good look to it as well, looking like a walking pile of tree-roots and being quite unique. The last plus to this one is the body count, which is nicely supplied by its ample kills delivering plenty of blood and gore, including bodies pierced and punctured by tree-vines, amputations, a head split open and more. These here all worked for this.

The Bad News: There wasn't a whole lot here that didn't work, and they weren't that damaging either. One of the main problems with this one is the ever-present and continually below-average CGI for the creature. It never looks good, rarely interacts normally within the scene and looks really stilted and quite fake. However, this is to be expected and isn't as big a deal as is normal. There's also the fact that it falls into the stereotypical trap so many of these fall into, the treatment by the posse toward the innocent party members despite nothing that says they're guilty. From the moment she steps into the cabin, the others continually harass her and continually treat her as though she's the one responsible, and it's somewhat tiring and doesn't do anything to the film. The last flaw in here is that the film doesn't really do all that much explaining with its story, as this one leaves a lot of holes within it. The story to get her to come out doesn't make any sense, as the logic behind it doesn't work at all and it feels just way too contrived. There's also a lot of missing points for how it acquired its powers, why it's back from the grave and how it came to be done, as these are mentioned to be the root cause but no whys or hows are ever uttered for these questions. It's entirely harmful that these have to be described, because they're important in the functioning of generating scares for the villain, and they fail in this area. The film also takes way too much time to showcase the two driving around town in the beginning when she first arrives, as it takes almost ten minutes of them going back-and-forth before anything happens, and it could've been trimmed. Otherwise, these here are the film's flaws.

The Final Verdict: With only a few minor flaws and a lot of pretty good stuff going on, this one has enough good parts that it's quite enjoyable and entertaining. Really recommended for those who enjoy these kinds of creature features, want a little brainless fun or are interested, while more discerning horror fans should heed caution.

Rated R: Graphic Violence and Language

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Retirement plan

6/10
Author: Neil Welch from United Kingdom
5 July 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

What do actors do when they get old and they have bills to pay. In Bruce Dern's case, you make Swamp Devil.

Dern adds a touch of class to an extremely low budget, low key "horror" movie, filmed in forest-y locations (not the sort of place where you would normally expect to find swamps, I felt), with a cast of several, and special effects which bring a whole new meaning to the word "special."

Plotwise there is absolutely nothing exceptional here whatsoever. The very attractive but otherwise underwhelming Cindy Sampson, in the throes of being reconciled with her estranged (and wanted for murder) father Bruce Dern becomes involved with what turns out to be an unpleasant individual which passes itself off as human (and is exactly the person you expected even though you weren't supposed to expect it was him) and, the rest of the time, as a bad CGI-d bloke made of brambles.

The horror isn't very horrifying, the suspense isn't very suspenseful, and the whole thing is just about an adequate time passer, but only because of Dern's class and Sampson's status as eye candy.

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Bad CG not scary

4/10
Author: SnoopyStyle
27 September 2013

Jimmy Fuller (Nicolas Wright) asks Melanie Blaine (Cindy Sampson) to come home to check on her sick father Howard (Bruce Dern). But there's something worst than sickness going on, Jimmy tells her that her father is actually suspected of murdering a 17 year old girl.

There is something in the woods. Only it's a horrible CG creation. It's horrible in the sense that it's unrealistic looking, and unscary. Part of it is the cheap CG. Part of it is the fact that it's all daylight shots. Everybody knows creepy creatures are scarier at night.

The backstory and the mystery adds a little interest in the movie. If they had more money and better actors, they could have made a passable horror.

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Not very good, but is that a surprise?

Author: Wizard-8 from Victoria, BC
3 June 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I've previously seen several other movies from this production company (RHI), and those movies were pretty bad. "Swamp Devil" is not much better than usual for this company. For a low budget movie, it is lit and shot fairly well. Some of the special effects are also not bad for a low budget. And Bruce Dern does add a little life, but not even his talents can save the movie. Monster fans will be disappointed that there is almost no blood and no gore at all, and there's nothing in the nudity and sex department. But what sinks the movie is the script, which has a number of unanswered questions. Why can't the monster cross the county line? How was the person exactly transformed into a swamp devil? Why did the monster wait so long to get revenge against the Bruce Dern character? What is the exact relationship the swamp monster has with the diner owner? And how is what happens in the final scene possible? Clearly this was an unfinished screenplay, and should have been worked on A LOT more before shooting began.

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Boring with Bad Effects

4/10
Author: gavin6942 from United States
17 October 2012

A young woman (Cindy Sampson) finds out some disturbing supernatural truths about her father (Bruce Dern), who has been a suspect to multiple murder cases.

This film really had nothing going for it. The story was rather boring, and the effects on the "swamp devil" were not very good. I understand it is low budget, but if you cannot make a decent looking creature, please do not have him running around in plain sight for us to make fun of him.

And, sadly, the twist was predictable early on, with the second twist being just as predictable. Whoever wrote this either did not understand how to be subtle, or the director just did not understand how to craft a story.

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This film was weird and had lots of things in this film that was computer generated!

6/10
Author: howellgirl2011 from United States
23 January 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film was okay. I did like the story concept but the action scenes were way off. The concept was that a girl return to her hometown to try and help find her dad who is suspected in lots of crimes around the town. When she meets a guy she learns that he is not who he seems to be. He has been after her father and will do anything to get his hands on her.

I thought the scenes with the swamp like creature were computer generated instead of made out of twigs,vines, and a lot of other stuff. I thought that the creature looked okay but when it was fighting it looked like the thing from the film Man-thing. Because it kicked everyone's butts and scared lots of people around the town limits. I was happy that everything turned out okay in the ending of the film. But it was scary when the hand came out of the water and then came out it's head, it's back and out for blood again!

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7 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

A fun swamp-set horror creature feature

8/10
Author: Woodyanders (Woodyanders@aol.com) from The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left
13 April 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Sweet young Melanie Blaine (winningly played by foxy brunette Cindy Sampson) returns to her small backwoods country hometown of Gibbington to check on her estranged ex-lawman father Howard (splendidly essayed with edgy intensity by Bruce Dern), who's the prime suspect in a series of grisly murders. Nice guy local Jimmy Fuller (an excellent and likable performance by Nicolas Wright) helps Melanie out. Melanie eventually discovers that a vicious monster is behind the killings. Director David Winning relates the absorbing story at a steady pace, offers a vivid and flavorsome evocation of the remote rural setting, maintains an admirably serious tone throughout, stages the attack scenes with flair, and develops a good deal of tension which culminates in a rousing climax. Moreover, the main characters are exceptionally well-drawn and engaging, with Wright a stand-out as the affable Jimmy. Sampson and the always reliable Dern do sterling work with their roles; they receive sound support from Robert Higden as the vengeful, hot-tempered Jones, Allison Graham as eager, scrappy Deputy Jolene Harris, James Kidnie as earnest, upright Sheriff Nelson Bois, and Bronwen Mantel as folksy diner owner Shelly. The gnarly bayou beast that's made up of twigs and mud qualifies as a very cool creature; the CGI effects used to bring it to life are above average and overall acceptable. The smart and compact script by Gary L. Dauberman and Ethlie Ann Vare has an interesting central theme about the fine line between justice and revenge. Daniel Vincelette's crisp cinematography makes nifty occasional use of a gliding Steadicam. James Gelford's shuddery score hits the shivery spot. A really enjoyable fright flick.

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