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Film / The Return of Swamp Thing

Go To the Swamp.

The Return of Swamp Thing, is a 1989 sequel to Swamp Thing. It is directed by Jim Wynorski with the screenplay by Neil Cuthbert and Grant Morris. It was released on May 12, 1989.

Dr. Alec Holland, or rather Swamp Thing, is still living in the swamp, avoiding Dr. Arcane's men and helping people when needed to. Anton Arcane (Louis Jourdan) himself has managed to regain his humanity, thanks to his current assistants Dr. Rochelle and Zurell (Sarah Douglas), and is still searching for Swamp Thing in hopes of gaining immortality from his DNA. He has invited his stepdaughter Abigail (Heather Locklear) to his mansion, as he needs her DNA as well for the operation. Ignorant to his motivation, Abigail agrees to visit him in hoping that she'll learn what happened to her late mother. Later on she meets up with Swamp Thing, and a romance develops between the two as he fights it out with Arcane's men and mutants.

The Return has the additional examples:

  • Actor Allusion:
    • When Abby is leaving her plants in a friend's care at the beginning of the movie, she notes that they enjoy watching that show "T. J. What's-his-name." Heather Locklear was a principal character on T.J. Hooker.
    • Poinsettia got one of her scars at a Mötley Crüe concert — where Locklear's husband Tommy Lee would have performed.
  • Alliterative Name: Anton Arcane and his stepdaughter Abigail "Abby" Arcane.
  • Attempted Rape: When Abby runs across two Hillbilly Moonshiners who haven't seen a woman so long that they have forgotten what one looks like, they attempt to rape her.
  • Batter Up!: Darryl brings a baseball bat to his and Omar's short journey to find Swamp Thing. Once they are captured by Gunn and his men, Swamp Thing uses Darryl's bat to beat up the bad guys before posing for photos.
  • Battle in the Rain: Swamp Thing's second battle with the Leech Man happens on a rainy and thunderous night.
  • Big Eater: Darryll. When he and Omar are searching for Swamp Thing, he ends up eating all of their food, except for two apples.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Dugan in the beginning falls down while running away from Leech Man, losing his glasses. He then starts blindly fumbling around, searching for them. He finds Leech Man instead, but just when it seems that he is a goner for sure, Swamp Thing steps in to rescue him. Afterwards, Swampy hands his glasses back to him and introduces himself.
  • Body Horror: Dr. Rochelle's studies has resulted in a "zoo full of misshapen monstrosities", as Arcane puts it.
  • Breast Attack: Poinsettia got one of her breasts bitten during a Mötley Crüe tour. We aren't told the details, we just see the scar.
  • Camp: Oh yes. You wouldn't guess that this is the sequel to a Wes Craven movie.
  • Car Cushion: Swamp Thing throws Leech Man into a car, breaking its windshield.
  • Chainsaw Good: Gunn wields a chainsaw during his last attempt at Swamp Thing's life, which he easily knocks aside before finishing off Gunn with a well-placed grenade.
  • Chairman of the Brawl: Swamp Thing throws a chair at Arcane when he sees that Abby is dead.
  • Cradling Your Kill: Arcane does this to Lana after he shoots her and lays her down carefully.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Every battle between Swamp Thing and Gunn. First time Gunn isn't aware of Swamp Thing when he is knocked out with a baseball bat, the second time he is knocked out with the jeep he is on with a grenade, and for the last time, his chainsaw is useless as he is blown up by an another grenade.
    • The mutated Dr. Rochelle puts up very little fight, limiting his offense to goofy yells while Swamp Thing tosses him around and whales on him.
  • Damsel in Distress: Dr. Arcane kidnaps Abby from Swamp Thing's care, forcing him to storm his mansion in order to rescue her.
  • Dead Hat Shot: After Leech Man captures Morty (of the office workers looking for the moonshine distillery in the opening) offscreen, his hat is found floating in the swamp, signifying that he is dead.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: After being set on fire from an exploding RV, the burning Leech Man runs to a bog and promptly explodes upon contact.
  • Doomed Expedition: The office workers' search for the moonshiners in the opening. Two of them are killed by the Leech Man, and other two are tranquilized by Poinsettia and used as guinea pigs by Dr. Rochelle. One survives, telling the papers about Swamp Thing.
  • Dramatic Thunder: Used gratuitously when the camera is panning over Arcane's mansion in a scene after Abby's arrival. This goes as far as showing Arcane's portrayal, which shows skeletal features on each lightning strike (which are accompanied with Instant Thunder).
  • Explosive Overclocking: Dr. Rochelle's death in the incinerator reserved for mutants causes a chain reaction which makes Arcane's mansion to blow up.
  • Eyepatch of Power: One of Arcane's mooks wears an eyepatch.
  • Flatline: Abby's energy is completely drained to restore her stepfather, which is signified by the equipment attached to her showing a flatline.
  • For the Evulz: The two Hillbilly Moonshiners whom Abby comes across claim to enjoy stealing cars, running over animals, rape, etc.
  • Groin Attack: When Gunn is trying to come on to her, Abby gives him a swift knee to the groin which is then followed by a beaker to the head.
  • Healing Hands: After Abby's death at Dr. Arcane's experiments, Swamp Thing carries her to his home and uses his green glowing hands to restore her back to life.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Dr. Zurell ends up working against Arcane once she hears him tell Dr. Rochelle "to do whatever is necessary" after learning that her DNA can be used to help his condition.
  • Highly-Conspicuous Uniform: Arcane's Mooks wear orange. No wonder that they have never managed to locate Swamp Thing.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Dr. Rochelle dies in the incineration chamber which was reserved for his failed experiments.
  • Hollywood Silencer: Miss Poinsettia uses one to deal with two office workers who run across them in the opening, with one silent shot for each.
  • Immortality Immorality: Anton Arcane's motivation to get DNA samples from Holland and Abby is to gain immortality.
  • Mental Affair: Thanks to biting on some plant that grows on Swamp Thing, he and Abby have some mental sex, which makes him appear human for her pleasure.
    Abby: Was it real?
    Swamp Thing: As real, as you want it to be.
  • Moment Killer: When Gunn's and Poinsettia's Scar Survey are about to culminate with a kiss, one of the mooks interrupt them.
    Gunn: Doesn't anybody knock around here? *Dope Slap*
  • Mook Lieutenant: Gunn leads Arcane's orange-clad gunmen. One brief scene indicates that his assistant Ms. Poinsettia leads the female side of the mooks.
  • My Brain Is Big: Mutated Dr. Rochelle sports a big cranium, but he doesn't show any gained extra intelligence as he fights Swamp Thing.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Anton Arcane and Mr. Gunn.
  • Nerdy Inhaler: Dr. Rochelle carries one with him, which he uses occasionally. After turning into a mutant, he throws it away after using it for the final time.
  • Out of the Inferno: Swamp Thing casually strolls out of the fire that destroyed the Leech Man, and is given thumbs up by Darryl and Omar. He returns the favour.
  • Porn Stash: Omar and Darryll are about to dwell into one when Leech Man knocks on the door and attacks.
  • Pulling Themselves Together: After being blown to bits by a grenade, Swamp Thing's remains travel to Arcane's mansion and regenerates himself in a bathtub meant for Dr. Zurell.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: The group of men in the opening constantly point loaded guns at each other while talking.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Leech Man has red irises.
  • Redemption Equals Death: On a critical moment on her boss' rejuvenation, Dr. Zurell switches samples out of pity for Abby. After learning about it, Dr. Arcane leads her to believe that everything is all right before shooting her.
  • Rescue Romance: Develops between Abby and Swamp Thing.
  • Revenge of the Sequel
  • Scar Survey: An argument between Poinsettia and Gunn on about being the next official Mook Lieutenant come to a halt when they find out that they are both covered in scars and start comparing them with each other.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Swamp Thing's fight with the Leech Man causes an RV to blow up, with various cars in the close proximity following the suit.
  • Sword Sparks: It's not sparks that fly when Swamp Thing and Leech Man are fighting with metal poles, the fight creates sword lightning.
  • Talking to Plants: Abby talks to her plants, and she even has names for them. Before leaving, she instructs her co-worker Eunice to read to them ("especially the sports section") and to leave television on at all times.
  • Tested on Humans: Dr. Rochelle's method of conducting experiments is to splice DNA with human subjects, resulting in many grotesque exhibits behind bars.
  • There Is a God!: Exclaimed by the moonshiner Gurdell, when he and his buddy hear Abby's voice, just after talking about how neither of them has seen a woman (or a sheep) in months.
    Gurdell: Who says there ain't God?
  • Third Time's The Charm: It takes three times before Swamp Thing gets rid of Gunn for good.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Gunn's hilarious reaction when Swamp Thing pulls the pin on one of his grenades and stuffs it down Gunn's pants:
    Aw shit, man!
  • Those Two Guys: Omar and Darryll, the two bumbling Plucky Comic Relief kids.
  • Touch of the Monster: The poster is pretty obviously designed to parody more typical uses of the "monster carrying a girl" imagery.
  • Two-Faced: Two of the caged mutants in Dr. Rochelle's laboratory, who are results of his DNA-splicing methods. One has a reptilian right half and other has an entire elephant face covering his left half.
  • Use Your Head: Abby uses a headbutt against Gunn. Turns out that ten years of karate study in Okinawa has nothing against a two day vacation in east LA!
  • Video Credits: The end credits start with displaying characters with the text indicating their actors.
  • Weaponized Car: Gunn tries to take Swamp Thing out with an armed jeep.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Poinsettia disappears from the movie after her Scar Survey with Gunn.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Arcane only sees his stepdaughter as a mean to gain immortality.
  • You're Insane!: Abby says this to Anton in the halfway point and near the end. In the latter instance, he notes that he has never felt saner.