''The Incredible Melting Man'' is a cheeseball 1977 American sci-fi horror film about an astronaut who is exposed to outer-space radiation and then comes back transformed into a hideous monster. The good news is that [[Film/MonsterAGoGo unlike the last time this happened, there really IS a monster here!]]

The bad news: that's not good news.

You see, Doctor Steve West's time over on Saturn has left him slowly melting into glop while simultaneously giving him superhuman strength and an insatiable appetite that only human flesh can sate (and a little aside for any monsters reading this: How do you guys know that only human flesh will satisfy your unholy urges if you'll never ''try'' something different? Geez). Don't bother asking about [[FridgeLogic how he can easily pull victims apart with a rapidly deteriorating musculoskeletal structure]]; that'll just get in the way of all the ooey-gooey makeup effects! To its credit, this is one of the few things the movie does do well; Creator/RickBaker's nastily convincing special effects really do look every bit like a man slowly liquifying before our eyes, and the movie is packed with NauseaFuel and graphic violence that really stood out at the time.

Okay, now for the bad stuff: The movie is also poorly written, dimly lit, loaded with uninteresting characters, and contains an extremely bad and unsatisfying ending in which nearly everyone with a speaking part dies and the Incredible Melting Man [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin melts. Incredibly]]. And is thrown away by a janitor. The director wanted to do the movie as a parody, which could have indeed worked—several things left in the final film even hint at this original plan—but sadly, [[ExecutiveMeddling the studio forced him to turn it into a straight horror flick]], resulting in the ludicrous mess moviegoers wound up seeing.

As one might expect, the film became a classic Times Square grindhouse film, getting noticed by The Phantom of the Movies (Joe Kane) and Joe Bob Briggs, before getting additional fame as an episode of ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000''.

''Not to be confused with The Molten Man, a Franchise/SpiderMan supervillain.''

For the ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' episode see ''[[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S07E04TheIncredibleMeltingMan here]]''.
!!This film provides examples of:

* ActionSurvivor: A random woman is not only one of the few people to survive a close encounter with the melting man, but she's also the ''only'' person in the entire film who manages to seriously wound it (by chopping off its arm) and drive it away.
* ArtisticLicenseAstronomy: Saturn, being a gas giant, doesn't have a surface on which a spaceship can land or from which it can take off. In addition, the StockFootage isn't of the rings of Saturn.[[note]]They don't even remotely look like the rings of Saturn, in fact.[[/note]] It's footage of the Sun, complete with [[IncendiaryExponent Coronal Mass Ejections.]]
** However this film gets a pass because that discovery was not made until a few months AFTER the movie was released.
* ArtisticLicenseBiology: The fisherman's head seems to be made of papier mache, filled with a liter's worth of red temper paint.
** Human bodies don't tend to go up like fireworks when they land on power lines...
* BlackDudeDiesFirst: [[spoiler: Amazingly the black Dr. Loring is one of the few characters to survive, in his case by virtue of disappearing from the film halfway through.]]
* BodyHorror: Good God, yes. While ridiculous, the premise is inherently horrific: imagine being afflicted with a mutation that causes your body to slowly start melting, and nothing but engaging in cannibalism can even temporarily slow it down.
* CatScare: A particularly nonsensical one.
* ContrivedCoincidence: [[spoiler: As soon as Judy mention's that her mother and Harold are coming over for dinner, they show up on screen to become Steve's next victims. Even worse, he somehow manages to stumble onto them in the middle of nowhere.]]
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: [[spoiler: The Sheriff]] is manhandled onto power lines by the Incredible Melting Man. Instead of merely being electrocuted [[ShockAndAwe he lights up like magnesium in a microwave...]]
--> '''Crow:''' "Oh, why did I go on that high-phosphorus diet?"
* DangerTakesABackseat: The melting man kills an elderly couple when he creeps into the back of their car before they come back.
* {{Deconstruction}}: Of TheFifties monster movies. The film started out as a comedy, which is why a lot of the typical monster movie conventions are subverted. For example, instead of the young couple in a car being attacked by the monster, it's an elderly couple -- who are just as randy as teenagers.
* DidntThinkThisThrough: As the sheriff points out (right before he's killed), Dr. Ted Nelson apparently never considered what they would ''do'' if they ever caught up with the Melting Man.
* DownerEnding. And a bizarre one. [[spoiler:Ted Nelson ''might'' have been able to save his friend if he could have studied him, but then he randomly gets shot by a security guard. Steve kills the guards in retaliation and ends up melting to death.]]
* DullSurprise: Ted Nelson, when he isn't experiencing severe {{Wangst}}.
-->'''Steve West:''' "Amazing! You've never seen anything 'till you've seen the sun through the rings of Saturn!"
* DyingAsYourself: [[spoiler: Steve finally recognizes Ted, and when the latter is killed, he kills the guards in revenge. Unfortunately, it doesn't save him, and the real FridgeHorror is Steve being fully aware now of who he is - and melting to death as he does.]]
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: No, seriously, there is no story.
* GenreBusting: As pointed about by ''[=MST3K's=]'' Mary Jo Pehl, the film is quite progressive, depicting an African-American doctor ([[BlackDudeDiesFirst who isn't even killed]]), a plus-sized nurse (though her uniform is a tad... tight), unmarried elderly romance, and even General Perry is fairly laid-back when not engaging in GovernmentConspiracy, having cold turkey and beer.
* {{Gorn}}: Ugh, the film is ''[[{{Pun}} dripping]]'' with it...
* TheHeroDies: [[spoiler:Ted Nelson is shot and killed while trying and failing to convince a security guard that the melting monster is a man in need of rescue.]]
* ImMelting: Well, obviously. Though it must be said that the melting man seems to melt at the speed of plot.
* KillEmAll: [[spoiler: Not that you'll care, really.]]
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: One bizarre moment, when Ted speaks ''directly'' to the camera when consoling Judy, blaming himself for his emotional distance.
* MoralDissonance: Judy's mother and Harold opt not to buy candy as a gift for their visit because they don't want her eating candy while pregnant. Eventually they decide to buy a bottle of wine.
** Ted, a doctor who should really know better, gives his pregnant wife drugs so she can sleep.
--> '''Servo:''' Meanwhile, her baby is discovering the wonders of goofballs.
* MySignificanceSenseIsTingling: Apparently, Judy felt a disturbance in the Force as she gets the (correct) feeling her mother and her boyfriend were dead. Justified a little in that she knows there's a deranged killer wandering around out there.
* NeutralFemale: Judy. Though to her credit she does end up shouting at Ted and the General to put some actual effort into looking for Steve.
** Ted is a good example of a Neutral Male since he [[spoiler: stands by and does absolutely nothing while the Melting Man overpowers the sheriff and subsequently tosses him into some power lines.]]
* NonIndicativeName: Oh, there's a Melting Man, alright, but that name conjures up images of a [[TheFifties 50's]] Universal-International B-Movie, rather than a cheeseball [[TheSeventies 70's]] Drive-In fare, which is what it is.
** ''Almost'' overlaps with GenreBusting; it's a low-rent 70's horror film in the vein of ''Film/TheGiantSpiderInvasion'' and ''Film/TrackOfTheMoonBeast'', with a retro-chic title, and [[{{Gorn}} gorny]] effects pointing to the BodyHorror epics of [[TheEighties the 80's]], a la ''Film/TheThing1982''.
* {{Novelization}}: Yes, there was actually a book based on the screenplay by Sachs, released a year later. Phil Smith actually gives a new reason for Steve's affliction: he was infected by a Martian virus while on an expedition to Mars (rather than going to Saturn).
* ParentsAsPeople: Despite being ComicRelief, Judy's mother is having an affair with a man she's not married to. They joke and snark around with each other in a loving way. Even for TheSeventies, it was an unusual to depict older unmarried couples having an active sex life.
* SayMyName: "I'M TED NELSON!" ''[[spoiler: BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!]]''
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: Judy's mother when guard dogs start attacking them when they're trespassing on a lemon grove.
* TheSeventies: Nothing to clearly indicate it, but the score lifted from ''Series/TheIncredibleHulk'' and Judy's odd body shape give it away.
* ShockAndAwe: [[spoiler: The fate of the Sheriff]]
* ShootTheShaggyDog: The eponymous character is an astronaut who has been irradiated on his way back from Saturn and who is slowly melting to death. There is no cure whatsoever. Only killing and consuming people stops his pain, even briefly. [[spoiler:In the end, during a confrontation at a power plant, his best friend is endangered and the astronaut regains a bit of humanity and saves his life — but said friend is shot to death by a pair of random security guards. The astronaut kills the guards, collapses and expires. A janitor cleans up what's left of the astronaut the next day and throws him into the garbage. Oh, also? ''More'' astronauts are headed to Saturn.]]
* SoundtrackDissonance: The sheriff's radio is playing a sprightly Country-Western song when he finds the corpses of Judy's mother and her gentleman companion.
* SuperStrength: [[BlessedWithSuck Apparently a side effect of the melting.]]
* TokenMinority: Dr. Loring has the only non-white speaking role.
* TooDumbToLive: Ted Nelson. [[spoiler:And he doesn't.]]
* TragicMonster: Dr. Steve West seemed to be a nice-enough guy before his mutation, especially given Nelson's positive statements about his friend. But his space voyage to Saturn caused his skin to start melting and forced West to hunt down and eat people to stave off the pain.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: The trailer showed Melty becoming a pile of goo at the end, but since it was the film's MoneyShot, it was probably too good to not tantalize viewers with.
* UnusualEuphemism: '''HOTCHGKA!'''
* [[YourHeadAsplode Your Head Falls Onto a Rock and Bursts Like a Watermelon]]