Terror in the Swamp

release year: 1984
genre: bad horror wanna-be
viewing setting: home VHS, 11/11/99
what I expected: some kind of scariness
what I got: utter crap

synopsis: Weird hairy man-shaped beast is roaming the swamp.

impressions: Who cares? This movie was so badly-done that I wanted to turn it off. All of the characters - every single one - were hicks with terrible Southern accents and worse acting. It occured to me that in some cases, the filmmakers probably didn't even have to pay them - they just turned the camera on and got free footage to this movie. Sometimes, there was obvious evidence of scenes spliced together in the wrong order. The sad thing is that these filmmakers were clearly trying to make a serious monster movie. Sad. Anyway, rather than try to explain the plot, I've instead opted for a list of the characters you'll meet if you choose to watch this film:

the monsterStalk the swamps, grunting a lot. It's supposed to be a giant mutated "nutria"...what in the HELL is a "nutria" anyway?!?
update from 7/15/05: I finally remembered to find out just what a nutria is.
the fat poacherBe the token opening-scene monster victim.
Frank the game warden guyLook like Alex Trebek, run around doing things in order to give this movie a protagonist.
Frank's bossTell Frank it's okay to do things he was going to do anyway.
police chiefSet up meetings in coffee shops so that the filmmakers don't have to pay for a police-station set. As a bonus, he also looks like Andy Griffith.
police chief's son-in-lawBe gung-ho and ask stupid questions.
police chief's secretaryAnswer the phone and relay messages to the chief.
doctorExamine bodies and come up with theories so the other characters have something to talk about. Also looks like Alex Trebek.
generic policemen (3)Give the police chief someone to boss around.
Papa JoeOld drunk bastard who makes moonshine and yells at his sons.
JesseSon #1 of Papa Joe, big beefy violent guy who stole some dynamite but isn't sure what to do with it.
T-BobSon #2 of Papa Joe, really fat guy, someone for Jesse to boss around.
BubbaToken black character, poaches with Jesse and T-Bob, looks and acts like Buckwheat.
old scientistDevelop a mutated strain of "nutria" so that furs will be bigger and worth more money.
young scientistToken geek, turns out that he was the one who accidentally injected the normal "nutria" with human hormones, thus creating a giant "nutria." Yeah, sure, buddy. Whatever.
the corporate backers (2)Fly down to the swamp, give the old scientist a 30-day deadline for results, then fly away.
SallyToken old Indian for the old scientist to call "old hag" 16 times. Ends up tricking both scientists into walking through quicksand and drowning.
random boat driverleft alone so he can be shot accidentally by Green Berets.
Green Beret leaderSkinny little nerd who we're supposed to believe is a Green Beret. Utterly non-intimidating.
other Green Berets (2)Allows the Green Beret leader to have someone to boss around. One carries a rocket launcher.
BaggettYoung local kid with rifle. Mistaken for monster and almost shot by Green Berets (see 'random boat driver' above.)
drunken rednecks in boats (dozens)Form their own posse to hunt the monster, they end up drinking a lot and driving their boats around in circles.
Helicopter pilotSent to make the drunken rednecks in boats go home, but quickly becomes target for the drunken rednecks in boats, all of whom are armed.
Biplane pilotSucceeds where the helicopter pilot failed, spraying the drunken rednecks in boats with insecticide and making them all turn around and go home. His strafing runs are set to the rousing sounds of fiddle music.
random hunter #1Becomes victim #3 of the monster since nobody has died in half an hour.
random hunters #2 and 3Become victims #4 and 5, for no apparent reason.

body count: 7 confirmed kills, plus the monster

acting: Don't count on it.

final word: Don't waste your time on this one.

rating: D

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