Swamp Devil (2008) Poster

(2008)

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5/10
Out on a limb
ctomvelu14 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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5/10
Good cast let down by trashy special effects
debbiekirk2427 April 2008
Warning: 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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2/10
Awful Sc-Fi Channel 'Creature Feature' Swamp Thing rip-off.
poolandrews17 February 2009
Warning: 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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8/10
A fun swamp-set horror creature feature
Woodyanders13 April 2009
Warning: 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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4/10
Bad CG not scary
SnoopyStyle27 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 not scary. 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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7/10
Above-Average Sci-Fi Channel Creature Feature
kannibalcorpsegrinder24 November 2015
Arriving in a small town, a woman attempting to help clear her father's name who's accused of murder finds the real culprit is a lot more monstrous than she figured and tries to stop it's revenge-fueled rampage.

This was an overall decent creature feature. One of its better features here is the rather fine action scenes here which are quite enjoyable for how frequent they appear in this as the rapid pace becomes very important to these scenes. The opening attack in the forest is highly enjoyable, as the foot chase through the area provides some nice action before the creature emerges for a fine shock kill and eventual discovery, the shots of the posse stalking after the creature in the woods, a series of early attacks with the different parts of the creature come into play with all the vines and tree roots attacking cars and pulling victims along to their deaths in quite graphic fashion all come off rather nicely as these set-up the longer, more involved scenes rather well. The woodland encounter that shows off the creatures' true identity is a big reason for that as it's a truly enjoyable a scene with the triple stand-off, the transformation sequence is stellar as it leads into the frantic firefight and tense stalking of the creature around the forest which is quite fun and a later attack on their cabin features tons of action with the vines crashing through the dilapidated house and chasing them through the house with a flurry of gunshots before leading them away for another great encounter through the woods makes for a great highlight. The finale is another good one, presented as a high- speed chase to put the rather unique weakness into effect for a lengthy action scene as it tries it's tactics to stop them which is quite fun, and all of these action scenes are what move the film along. Given the unique design for the creature as it's a walking tree with plenty of roots and branches sticking out all over so it literally looks like a walking tree and the pretty graphics kills from the high body-count, these are what hold off the few flaws here. The film's biggest factor here is the main plot-point of getting the girl to come out, which makes no sense. There's little reason to believe that having her come out because her father is charged with murdering a local as that doesn't seem all that likely to occur in real-life. That this also leads to plenty of time driving around the town meeting up with the locals who are none too interesting spilling further information about the back- story, or she's interacting at the cabin doing even more investigations which aren't all that enjoyable or make the story any clearer. The last flaw here 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. These here are what hold this one down.

Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence and Language.
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Not very good, but is that a surprise?
Wizard-83 June 2013
Warning: 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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1/10
Swamp drivel ...................
merklekranz28 December 2012
Bad, and not even close to good bad. Bruce Dern, a good actor, is unfortunately trapped in this nonsense of a film. It's as if the entire story was made up by a ten year old. The CGI stick man monster is cartoon-like. All of the actors, including Dern, look embarrassed being involved with such drivel. Worst of all the reason for the stick monster's existence, and his demise, seem to have been given minimal thought, and the result is beyond ridiculous. This is one to be avoided at all costs. To put things in perspective, I would say that "Swamp Devil" is even worse that "Manticore", another preposterous Sci Fi Channel dud. ..... MERK
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4/10
Boring with Bad Effects
gavin694217 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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4/10
Is rather lacking, but could have been much worse
TheLittleSongbird31 August 2012
Swamp Devil was not a good movie, but it is not a terrible one either and it could have been much worse. It is decently shot, has some good scenery, has an eerie score and the cast are above average particularly from Bruce Dern and Nicholas Wright. However, the effects are very poor, often crude above all else and the transformation sequences are just as bad. The monster does lack any kind of menace, you know nothing about why it behaves like it does and it is over-used which dilutes any sense of tension. The dialogue is very clunky, while the story rarely does engage often coming across as predictable with no sense of tense atmosphere and any lack of suspense in any scenes featuring the monster and the characters are little more than underdeveloped cardboard cut-outs. All in all, could have been worse, but is lacking in a lot of areas. 4/10 Bethany Cox
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6/10
Retirement plan
neil-4765 July 2010
Warning: 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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(3/10 stars)Bad.
board-525 September 2010
Awards:4 wins,but please don't disturb,or take the time for this bad creature feature type of film.

It was far long for a little good it's contains.Memorable parts:0/all.Good and original ideas:0/all.Acting:4/10.Scenery:5/10.Dialogs-dialogs ? Sorry,well:3/10 but only if you watch the film ironically.Others say the script has lot of elements that was another movies own before this was made,and this is not a new thing,lot of other movies steals from somewhere else,or from another film.But despite some fun moments,this movie is just boring and could not entertain me.
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2/10
Barely worth your time
Leofwine_draca3 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
SWAMP DEVIL is a B-movie that commits the cardinal sin of being boring. This clichéd, unoriginal film follows a well-ploughed route and barely justifies the running time with a threadbare plot that bears little resemblance to reality. Once again there's a rarely seen monster out in the woods that kills a handful of people in campy death scenes, until the main characters finally team up to tackle it. Aside from a few cool moments of not-bad monster action at the climax, this is boring stuff indeed.

It doesn't help that the CGI effects used to animate the vine-man are pretty diabolical; they reminded me of something you might see in a superhero flick and the analogy is made clear when a central character reveals his ability to transform into said creature. This blows away any vestiges of credibility and it doesn't help that the guy playing the monster is an absolutely terrible actor. With the opening scene of a scantily-clad blonde being pursued through the woods at night by an unseen predator, I thought this might be mildly entertaining, but I was mistaken. A lame twist ending and barely any bloodshed to speak of work against this one as well. I did like the idea of the monster not being able to leave the town boundaries but I'm sure that's been ripped off from a previous movie as well.

Sci-Fi Original movies seem to be a hit and miss affair, usually miss though. The only one I can say I've really enjoyed has been AZTEC REX, but stuff like IN THE SPIDER'S WEB and VIPERS are bottom of the barrel, just like this film – but I think SWAMP DEVIL is even worse than those two movies. The old-timer in the cast is Bruce Dern, who you have to feel sorry for, although lead actress Cindy Sampson manages to portray an inner integrity which makes her more than appealing. Otherwise SWAMP DEVIL is barely worth your time.
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1/10
Boring and predictable trash!
metalrage6668 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Don't let the varying covers of this movie trick you into thinking that there is some interesting viewing ahead, as I can assure you there is nothing remotely interesting about this mess.

Movie starts with some kind of prologue that occurred 17 years ago. A young girl running from something in the swamp, runs into a man who turns out to be a deranged killer. The then local sheriff and some men track him down and instead of bringing him to justice they beat him within an inch of his life and then throw him in the bog.

Flash forward to "today", and there is another young girl, albeit sightly older & more developed, running through the swamp who then gets dragged to her death and is found floating up in the marshes. The townspeople all suspect the former sheriff, who's now an old man so they set about bringing him to justice.

Enter the old man's estranged daughter; lured back to the town under the false pretence that he was dying. Once back into town the story of him being a suspected murderer is revealed and she's there in the hope to help catch him.

Long story short, the man who tricked the daughter to come back to town turns out to be the creature responsible and after a few ridiculous deaths and seemingly endless chases through the same part of swampland, father and daughter reconcile, creature killed and everybody lives happily ever after. The reason all this happened is that the swamp devil has been hunting down all those who "wronged" him and making their deaths look like accidents or suicides, plus by his own admission he just loves killing.

The worst thing about this is not the cheap CGI, the boring deaths, the highly derivative story or the poor acting, what really got under my skin is that the identity of the killer/creature is actually given away within the first 5 minutes and then repeatedly throughout the movie. For some stupid reason the killer thrown into the bog 17 years ago simply didn't die, he instead bonded with the bog itself and became the swamp devil. Sure why not. That wouldn't be so bad except that he can somehow change from being human to vine creature at will, yet he leaves inexplicable muddy footprints wherever he seems to go and no one takes any notice. In addition he seems to be bound by the city limits, never being able to cross the county boundary line. Let's not forget the constant attempts at shooting at this thing which never works, (it is largely a plant after all) but they keep trying and of course failing and you wonder why they don't try fire, it is as I said largely a plant.

So how did they manage to kill this thing? They drive to the edge of town with the creature on the back of a pick-up truck where it jumps off just before they cross the line. It then stood around like an idiot knowing that certain death was a mere 2 feet away until the old man in a car ploughed into it and threw it across the county line where it exploded in an shower of dirt, roots and vines.

And like all cheap and nasty monster movies, going all the way back to the 50's, there is some kind of epilogue where the woman who owns the diner goes into the swamp and then lovingly caresses a skeletal hand shaped vine coming up out of the bog indicating that the "horror is due for a return". All I can say is, I certainly hope not!
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10/10
Powerful Horror With a Superb Lead Performance
jlthornb5125 June 2015
The gifted David Winning directed veteran actor Bruce Dern to one of his finest performances in the deeply effecting horror film Swamp Devil. Dern gives his character a depth and humanity seldom seen in such film and his presence in this motion picture gives a great deal of gravitas. A truly excellent supporting cast also does some outstanding work here and one can sense their devotion to this project. With special effects that astound and make-up artistry of sheer genius. the touch of dedicated craft people can also be clearly viewed. The terror is intense as the director creates an environment of stunning dread and overwhelming fear. With a standout lead performance, unrelenting horror, and superior production values, no one who sees this film can ever deny the crushing horror that is Swamp Devil.
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6/10
Watchable
drystyx19 January 2015
This is a B movie horror science fiction all the way, and makes no bones about it.

There are only a few characters, and it looks low budget, although nothing is really "low budget", as the numbers for "low budget" is usually enough for a person to retire on for life.

We have a deadly creature that seems deadly, then doesn't seem deadly. It's not very "congruent", and it's filled with plot holes.

Still, the characters are pretty good, and rate as "credible characters in an incredible situation", which is the best science fiction.

It doesn't do much more, but it is "watchable", and is best viewed as "elliptical entertainment" or "treadmill TV".
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6/10
This film was weird and had lots of things in this film that was computer generated!
howellgirl201123 January 2011
Warning: 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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