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YMMV / The Incredible Melting Man

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  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The scenes of Judy's mother (and her boyfriend) come out of nowhere and clash in tone with the rest of the film.
    • It makes sense when you learn that the movie was originally intended as a straight-faced B-Movie parody and this scene was a remnant of the original product.
    • There's also a scene early in the film where Ted Nelson and his wife argue interminably about crackers. Mike and the Bots are completely baffled, comparing it to the steak scene from Raging Bull; they make it into a Running Gag.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The protagonist is a loser, the villain is a pathetic Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, the violence and gore quotient is through the roof, and virtually everyone with a speaking part dies, including the hero. Then it ends with the villain melting and his remains scooped into a bucket. Certainly among the most unremittingly bleak movies to grace Mystery Science Theater 3000 (and yet is one of the funniest as a result.)
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  • Designated Hero: Ted Nelson doesn't do a single heroic thing at all. Hell, the woman who cut off one of Melting Man's arms when he tries to kill her comes off as more heroic.
  • Fair for Its Day: Bad as this film is, it's quite progressive for a horror movie. Dr. Loring is the only black character in the film, and his role is pretty brief, but also has the distinction of being one of the only characters to survive. There's also the plus-size nurse who isn't reduced to being either a background character or comic-relief, scenes of unmarried elderly romance, and the character General Perry being a laid back guy compared to most movie generals in the horror genre.
  • Fan Nickname: Since Mystery Science Theater 3000, Steve's earned the nickname "Melty".
  • Just Here for Godzilla: The gore and Body Horror, courtesy of famed makeup artist Rick Baker, are commonly cited as the only reason the watch this film as they're one of the few good things to come out of it.
  • Narm: Plenty; the nurse's slowed-down running scene near the beginning, or the fisherman's line, "Don't scare away the fishes."
    • The elderly citrus thieves are completely bonkers.
    • "DON'T SHOOT! I'M TED NELSON!" (blam!)
    • When Steve rips the bandages off his face and sees that its starting to melt, he goes berserk and starts trashing the hospital room... with a strip of bandage still sticking to his nose.
    Mike: Uh melt, you got a little something there.
    • All of these are almost certainly artifacts from the original plan to make the film a spoof. There are tons of things left in the flick that could have very easily been played for laughs, only they weren't.
  • Narm Charm: Helen and Harold, the elderly couple, are funny and adorable.
  • Nausea Fuel: Pretty much the entire movie. You wouldn't have wanted to be the person who had to mop up the theaters where this was screened. The astronaut even leaves puddles of himself behind with every step!
    • The Melting Man's death scene is particularly gruesome, though. (But hilarious!)
  • Padding: Dear God, yes. The same "You've never seen anything til you've seen the Sun through the rings of Saturn!" transmission, and so on.
  • Special Effects Failure: The Melting Man gets his arm cut off by a woman and, from that point on, spends the rest of the film with only one arm. However, there are a few scenes where you can tell that the actor just has his real arm tucked underneath his shirt.
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  • Squick: As you might expect.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The idea of a man exposed to outer space radiation and his physical appearance and overall sanity slowly deteriorating as a result could've made a good horror movie if not for the shoddy writing, dull characterization, and loads of Artistic License. By that same token, it could've made a good parody, as was originally intended, but MST3K films have shown us (on more than one occasion, in fact) that switching genres halfway through the filmmaking process leaves two halves of a movie that rarely form a coherent whole.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: A non-acting example, but Rick Baker clearly didn't slouch when it came to the special effects.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: As noted several times on this page, Baker's makeup effects. While not enough to save the movie, the Melting Man is very highly detailed and convincing, with perpetually dripping flesh, leaking fluids, and a visible skeleton allowing for him to look like an actual melting man. As such, the effects are widely agreed to be one of the film's few saving graces.
  • Wangst: Okay, we get it - more horror movies have a callous attitude towards death and that death itself is not something that should be taken lightly, but everyone in this film, especially Ted, wildly overreact to it.


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