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.
The Man-Thing is a mindless monster living in the Florida Everglades made up mostly of a shambling mound of plant life, in which there is something that was formerly human. There is something else very strange about Man-Thing... its skin exudes a flammable acid that is activated by the emotion of fear, so that "whatever knows fear burns at the Man-Thing's touch..." Left brainless except for the ability to sense emotion, Man-Thing acts like an emotional mirror, being calm and peaceful around those who are calm, and violent and dangerous around those who fear him (which is nearly everyone). Specifically, this movie focuses on a real estate tycoon named F.A. Schist (get it?) who wants to drain parts of the Everglades to build an airport, which is protested by the local Seminole Indians (who are being pushed out of their historic homelands). As the developer's crewmen delve deeper and deeper into the swamp, one of them shows up dead, leading Schist to blame the tribe. The Seminoles know, however, that there is "something" in the swamp, something that burns those who know fear...
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