In the swamps of Louisiana, a bunch of revenue yahoos are looking for an illegal still when they end up being attacked by a giant mutant creature. The creature is a human-leech hybrid that sucks the blood out of people. Out of nowhere comes Swamp Thing. After a brief fight the leechman (Christopher Doyle) is quickly dispatched. The leechman and other mutant creatures are being created by the extremely wealthy Dr. Anton Arcane (Louis Jourdan), along with his assistants Dr. Rochelle (Ace Mask) and Dr. Lana Zurrell (Sarah Douglas). Arcane’s underground laboratory, filled with sophisticated equipment, is housed in his mansion deep in the swamps. Arcane and his team are experimenting with genetics to try to reverse the aging process.
Meanwhile, Arcane’s stepdaughter Abigail (Heather Locklear) is having an existential crisis and wondering why her relationships with men don’t last. She blames her stepfather, Anton Arcane, and believes there was something about her mother’s death that he is withholding from her. She decides to go to the swamps and confront her stepfather. Abby shows up at the mansion unannounced. Arcane realizes that Abby looks exactly like her mother and could be what he is looking for when it comes to gene compatibility. Arcane makes her welcome.
At dinner Abby gets upset with Arcane and goes out for a walk. She comes upon some moonshiners. When they try to attack her, Swamp Thing intervenes and saves her. Rather than being repulsed by Swamp Thing, Abby is intrigued. When Swamp Thing learns who Abby is, he tells her how he came to be Swamp Thing and what Arcane did to him. Swamp Thing is then attacked by Arcane’s men and Abby is whisked back to the mansion to be used in Arcane’s diabolical experiment.
With Abby under his control Arcane now looks to capture Swamp Thing to use some of his genetic material to complete his immortality experiment.
“The Return of Swamp Thing” was released in 1989 and was directed by Jim Wynorski. It is a superhero comedy and a sequel to the 1982 film “Swamp Thing”. A television series was made based on the character in 2019. It lasted for one season. The character, Swamp Thing, was created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson for DC comics.
Dick Durock also played the Swamp Thing in the 1982 movie. Footage from that film is used for the flash back sequence in this film. After playing the iconic plant in both films, Dick Durock became the first actor, since Christopher Reeve, to reprise a role as a DC Comic protagonist on film.
It’s only mentioned in passing of how Arcane went from being a monster in the first film to being a regular human in the second film. The actor in the love scene with Abby was not Dick Durock but an uncredited actor hired for the scene.
In this version they pretty much went for total camp. The beautiful and talented Heather Locklear is mostly used as dumb blonde material. The special effects that created some of the mutant creatures were pretty good. The cockroach hybrid was especially creepy. Swamp Thing was his usual guy in a rubber suit. It is a combination modern budget, with “B” movie delivery. Lots of overacting and lots of explosions. A bit ridiculous, but fun.
The Swamp Thing character appeared in a public service announcement against littering, on behalf of Greenpeace. The airing of the PSA coincided with the release of “The Return of Swamp Thing”.