Sunday, June 29, 2014
The Incredible Melting Man!
This is a woeful movie. The Incredible Melting Man was released in 1977 it appears to be a remake of the classic 1950's B-flick First Man Into Space. Both movies tell a tale of an astronaut who is exposed to unusual outer space radiation which has a slow but unrelenting effect on their bodies. In this case of the "Melting Man" it does just what it sounds like as his body slowly falls apart and his features slide into a hideous mass. Also it seems he needs to kill other humans to offset the material he's losing. This hideous creature escapes from his secret hospital location and roams the countryside killing and moaning while a single doctor and a single general search for him sort of when they're not enjoying dinner or bitching about how difficult the situation is.
This flick got released just in time to get a feature in the soon-to-be-cancelled Famous Monsters of Filmland. That's certainly a coup of sorts, one of the last classic monster movies sort of. But it's a rather terrible movie, unintentionally funny in places and painfully slow throughout.
Some sources suggest the movie might've been made originally as a comedy and later was forced into a more traditional horror mold. That's likely given some of the scenes, but I suspect it would've been just as lugubrious as a comedy as it is as a fright flick. The problem is very little happens and what does happen makes little sense. The monster-astronaut seems to lack any motivation, just wanders around killing folks as a biological necessity, so it's difficult to feel any sympathy for him despite the movie's efforts to do so. His victims are mostly innocents, caught in his path and don't really do any of the classic things which might mark them for doom.
The Incredible Melting Man is a gross movie with some icky special effects. This is the work of Rick Baker and does what it's supposed to do, make you woozy, but it's not especially nuanced. Like the acting and the directing the movie seems to go through the motions with some degree of competence but little subtlety.