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Swamp Thing

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The DC comic book from which this TV show derives managed to be both a parable about ecological waste and a Beauty and the Beast-style love story; the comic avoided camp and occasionally achieved a certain leafy lyricism. A 1982 Swamp Thing movie, though, was little more than a campy goof and a showcase for the talents of costar Adrienne Barbeau.

This series is a cross between comic-book and movie: a lyrical goof. Dick Durock stars as the creature burped up by the gasses, mud, and plants of a polluted swamp, and he gets more expression out of his creature-hero than Ron Perlman did in the CBS series Beauty and the Beast. Swamp Thing fights crime in his natural habitat, and his best recurring foe is Dr. Arcane, an evil scientist with hip, shaggy hair who sneers at Swamp Thing, ”Follow me, you pile of moss.” With funny villains, agreeably bad special effects, and Durock’s eerily unsettling makeup, it’s easy to see why Swamp Thing has already attracted a solid cult audience. B-

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