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Film / Man-Thing

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Man-Thing is a 2005 horror movie based on the Marvel comic of the same name. It was directed by Brett Leonar (The Dead Pit, The Lawnmower Man, Virtuosity and Highlander: The Source).

The film starts with one Kyle Roberts arriving the town of Bywater to be its new sheriff. He then starts investigating the deaths in the swamp near it, which all seem to be linked to the Schist Petroleum oil rig that's right next to it. It seems that the company's wrongdoings in the area has awakened its guardian...

Examples within the movie:

  • Adaptational Villainy Unlike his neutral comic counterpart, this Man-Thing is clearly a malevolent creature who fully intents to kill. His comic book version only kills villainous characters, here he kills indiscriminately, from a horny teenager to a sheriff's deputy who is just doing his job.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: In the comics, F.A. Schist (here called Frederic Schist) was the closest thing that Man-Thing had to an Arch-Enemy. The film has him be the one responsible for Ted Sallis's death, and thus his subsequent transformation into Man-Thing.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Man-Thing rips Fraser limb from limb before Kyle's eyes.
  • Antagonist Title: Man-Thing is the main antagonist of the film.
  • Blood-Splattered Innocents: Billy's girl in the opening.
  • Canon Foreigner: Most of the characters did not appear in the comics. The only major exceptions were Schist, and the Man-Thing himself.
  • Caught in a Snare: Kyle is caught in one when he is searching for Rene in Darkwater.
  • Combat Tentacles: Man-Thing's vines.
  • Comicbook Adaptation: There was a three-part tie-in comicbook series released in 2004. A prequel to the film, it details insurance adjuster Nathan Mehr's investigation into the attacks against Schist's oil drilling equipment.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Frederic Schist, who has a bodycount of at least three (Sallis, Corely, and Ploog).
  • Darkness Equals Death: Lights go out in Schist's oil rig before Man-Thing attacks Steve.
  • Deep South: Bywater, New Orleans.
  • Evil Laugh: Schists let out one after Frederic tells Jake that the new sheriff will be dead soon.
  • Eye Scream: When Man-Thing kills Pete, we are shown his eyes bursting.
  • Fanservice: Not even five minutes into this film and there's already a pair of bare breasts.
  • Flipping the Bird: Frederic gives Kyle the finger after threatening him near Pete's place.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: How Man-Thing is portrayed, going on a rampage due to the sacred Dark Water being disturbed by Schist Petroleum.
  • Good Ol' Boy: Brothers Thibedeaux.
  • Hollywood Darkness: Played straight, averted and played straight again; most of the nightscenes take place in visible darkness, but when Roberts ventures into deeper parts of the swamp, the darkness is initially displayed more realistically, before returning to more visible output.
  • I Am the Noun:
    Kyle: We'll take this to the county.
    Frederic: I am the county!
  • In the Hood: LaRoque's getup.
  • Jump Scare: The comatose victim suddenly attacking Kyle in the hospital.
  • Karmic Death: Schist is killed by Man-Thing when it fills his body with oil.
  • Magical Native American: Pete Horn, who, when his prayers fail to stop Man-Thing, attempts to appease it by sacrificing himself.
  • Meaningful Name: Town's name.
    Kyle: Why they call it 'Bywater'?
    Boat driver: Because it is by the water.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The rapid cuts showing the swamp as transitions. There's also some guy flipping his slow motion!
  • Mythology Gag: Pete reveals that the Dark Water is this world's entry point to the Nexus of All Realities.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Man-Thing's previous attacks has been chalked up to be 'gator attacks.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Everyone's at some point given that it was shot with an all Australian cast. Rachael Taylor's Teri is the worst, though.
  • Out with a Bang: The end of the Cold Open, which has Billy being dragged off by Man-Thing while screwing Sarah.
  • Putting on the Reich: Schist company logo is very similar to the Nazi-party flag.
  • Race Lift: Sallis, who was a Caucasian in the comics, was in this instance a Native American shaman before becoming the Man-Thing.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Man-Thing; in addition to red eyes, this interpretation of the character also has flickering lights in them.
  • Shout-Out Theme Naming: Characters Steve Gerber, Mike Ploog and Val Mayerik are named after comicbook creators who worked on the Man-Thing comic.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Man-Thing does it to Jake before attacking Steve in the oil rig.
  • Title Drop:
    Kyle: I don't believe it. What is that. That's a man.
    Mike: Oh, yeah?! That's a man, alright, huh!? It's the Man-Thing, man!
  • Two First Names: Billy James, the first onscreen victim.
  • Vomiting Cop: Averted. Fraser almost throws up when he sees the condition of Billy's corpse, but manages to hold himself.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Ploog's dogs disappear after he leaves Kyle to take the picture of Man-Thing near the end.
  • When Trees Attack: Man-Thing resembles some sort of small Ent. It's very helpful for hiding in the scenery.