2 days ago
The Incredible Melting Man is an extremely rare film. I was so thrilled to find it on eBay, that I didn't really care if I liked the movie or not. I own it. That's good enough. Of course, I did want to pull something away from the viewing experience, even if it was the tape being pulled out of the VCR and flung across the room. Thankfully, it's a decent b-movie. I wasn't bowled over, but I wasn't struck with disappointment either. The main problem with this flick is a tough one to overlook; the plot is too thin. Here, I'll prove it.
A man is launched into outer space to study the rings of Saturn. Upon his return, he begins to melt. In a convenient turn of events, he decides that he wants to kill people, so he roams the countryside for 80 minutes while a cop and a doctor search for him. That's it. No trimmings, no garnish, no subplots...no subplots? A full-length motion picture with no subplots? You better believe it. What's worse, the trip to Saturn takes up two minutes of screen time, and the "spaceship" footage is recycled throughout the film. Yeah, no subplots PLUS inadmissible stock footage!
So why the wishy-washy rating? The make-up! Rick Baker did the gruesome make-up effects, and seeing as how I'm an unabashed whore for cool monsters, I loved The Melting Man. His gooey, mucilaginous effusion of a face hit all the right horror buttons. The final "meltdown" is gloriously disgusting. Without Baker's meritable contributions, this pic would be nearly impossible to sit through. Maybe that's a bit harsh. I still had fun in spite of stiff acting, lousy editing/camerawork (what's with all of the slow-mo?), and routine death sequences. We do get a few nice aftermath shots. Again, Baker made it happen big time!
Apparently, the studio was looking to whittle the next Frankenstein out of first-rate special effects, but two years later, Alien would come along and make every other creature feature from the 70's look like Sesame Street. Unfortunately, The Incredible Melting Man hasn't aged very well, the "melting" effects notwithstanding. And yet, I'm recommending it to all of the horror collectors out there. From what I gather, it was one of the first films to be reissued under the "MGM Midnite Movie" banner. I can't confirm that piece of information, but if anyone can confirm it, let me know. If it's on VHS, it has to be relatively old. Anyway, check it out if you are...me.
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 6:39 PM