The Return of Swamp Thing (1989)

A sequel to the 1982 film.  In the first film, the love interest was Alice Cable, an invention of the screenwriter but an amalgam of two of the comic book characters.  This film introduces the character of Abby Arcane, a familiar character by this point in the comics, though in the film she is Anton Arcane’s stepdaughter rather than niece.  The sequel also includes a couple of elements from the Alan Moore version of the character: Swamp Thing is able to reconstitute his body after it has been destroyed, and his tubers produce an hallucinogenic effect when eaten.

Cast & Crew
Director: Jim Wynorski
Screenplay: Neil Cuthbert, Grant Morris.
Dick Durock as Swamp Thing
Louis Jourdan as Dr. Anton Arcane
Heather Locklear as Abby Arcane

After her mother’s mysterious death, Abby Arcane travels to the Florida swamps to confront her evil stepfather Dr. Arcane. In an attempt to stave off the effects of ageing, Dr. Arcane, assisted by Dr. Lana Zurrell (Sarah Douglas), combines genes from various swamp animals and human beings, creating an army of monsters. Dr. Arcane tries to use Abby in his genetic experiments until she is rescued by Swamp Thing and a conscience-stricken Dr. Zurrell.



DVD (88 min.), RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video, 2008. Region 1, NTSC (USA/CA).

Widescreen, audio is Dolby Digital 5.1 or 2.0.
UPC: 883929007615
DVD (84 min.), Optimum Releasing, 2010. Region 2, PAL.

Widescreen, audio is 2.0 Stereo.
EAN: 5055201812537

Blu-Ray + DVD (88 min.), MVD Rewind, 2018. Region A.

Widescreen, audio is 5.1 or 2.0 Stereo.
UPC: 085365477827
Special features include: audio commentaries and interviews with Jim Wynorski, composer Chuck Cirino and editor Leslie Rosenthal; promotional videos; the Greenpeace Public Service Announcements; HD theatrical trailer transferred from original 35mm film.

4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray + Blu-Ray (88 min.), Lightyear Video, 2023. Region A.

Widescreen, audio is 5.1 or 2.0 Stereo.
UPC: 0810069450544
New special features include: reflections on Swamp Thing 35 years later by Michael Uslan, and music video by the RiffTones.

The soundtrack was composed by Chuck Cirino and never released until 2018.


Vinyl LP, Terror Vision (T.V.012), 2018.
Brief liner notes by director Jim Wynorski. A tracklisting can be found here.


CD, Dragon’s Domain (DDR650), 2018.
Liner notes by writer Randall Larson.  A tracklisting can be found here.

Bibliographic References:
Boylan, John. “Daniel Emery Taylor Returns to the Swamp.” Holland Files, vol. 1, no. 1, winter 2017, pp. 60–69.
An interview with Daniel Emery Taylor, one of the child actors from the film. Besides talking about his current projects, Daniel shares his experience and anecdotes about the casting process and the production of the film, and about his appearance as a character in the animated television series.  He also talks about Swamp Thing fans from the perspective of being a fan and collector himself.

Daniels, Les. “Swamp Thing on Screen: Swamp Thing, I Think I Love You.” DC Comics: Sixty Years of the World’s Favorite Comic Book Heroes, Bulfinch Press, 1995, pp. 182-83.
Plot and production details and brief reviews of the 2 feature films and live-action series.

David, Peter. The Return of Swamp Thing: A Novel. Berkley Pub. Group, 1989.
The novelisation of the film with many changes to the script.  The author explains how these changes came about on his website.

Mangels, Andy. “It’s Not Easy Being Green: Swamp Thing.” Back Issue, no. 92, Oct. 2016, pp. 3–11.
The article gives a short history of the comic before providing the plot of the film, some production details including costume design, and its release and reception.  Includes lots of quotes from Durock from an interview conducted for Amazing Heroes in 1991.  The article also provides some information about the first film and both television series.

Muir, John Kenneth. “Swamp Thing.” The Encyclopedia of Superheroes on Film and Television, McFarland & Co., 2004, pp. 524-32.
Provides an overview of the comics, the character, and the screen adaptations, before going into more detail about each of the films and television series.  There is a synopsis, cast and crew details, and some short reviews of the 1989 film.

Murray, Will. “The Long-Awaited Return of Swamp Thing.” Fangoria, no. 82, May 1989, pp. 20+.
Quotes from Durock, Locklear, Wynorski, producer Michael Uslan and other cast and crew during the making of the sequel.  Mentions the costumes, the new film’s relationship to the comic, and the style that the director is going for.  Many colour pictures.

Stokes, Wesley. “‘As Real as You Want It to Be’: An Interview with The Return Of Swamp Thing Screenwriter Grant Morris.” Holland Files, vol. 1, no. 2, winter 2018, pp. 34–37.
An interview with The Return of Swamp Thing screenwriter Grant Morris, who rewrote Neil Cuthbert’s original draft but otherwise didn’t have much to do with the production..

Further Links:
IMDb – production details, photos, reviews.
Rotten Tomatoes – reviews.