SWAMP THING THE SERIES VOL 2
Starring Dick Durock and Mark Lindsay Chapman
Released by The Shout Factory
Volume two of the DVD release of the SWAMP THING television show actually picks up with the first half of the third and final season. In one of those real oddities, season three ran for 50 episodes!
Once again we head back into the swamp and pick up the adventures of Dr. Alec Holland, once a great scientist and now a shambling muck monster (played by Durock) who is deeply in touch with the local flora and fauna. Holland protects the locals from threats that creep out of the water, but mostly he protects them from a creep who lives near the water: Dr. Anton Arcane, played with extraordinary gusto my Mark Lindsay Chapman.
I reviewed volume one here and noted that the series was an incredibly earnest, if overwrought, entertainment that was mostly given life by Chapman’s incessant chewing of the scenery, and that holds true for volume two as well. There are some slight changes here; some episodes look like they had a budget of $1.87 rather than the first two seasons’ $1.53. They also get more mileage out of cutting back on Swampy and shifting the focus to Arcane, which works not only budget-wise but also to spotlight Chapman and let him run wild on screen. The best example of this comes in “Tatania,” wherein Arcane revives his comatose wife (played by a positively wooden and godawful Heather Thomas- oh, Heather, why ruin my memories of THE FALL GUY and your bikini poster like that?) and discovers that the body he woke up was that of a stripper surgically altered to resemble Arcane’s spouse. We get about 90 seconds of Swampy, and it doesn’t really matter- Chapman’s so hilariously over-the-top that you never get tired of him.
The earnestness comes in episodes like “Mist Demeanor,” which features a noted character making the ultimate sacrifice and in “Swamp of Dreams” where they turn Swampy into a (I kid you not) drug addict in an attempt to add pathos to his plight.
You can’t go in to watching this series expecting something brilliant or wonderful, but if you want to find something silly and goofy to watch for 22 minutes, you’ll get a kick out of this.