Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dripping Fun: The Incredible Melting Man

If there is one word that can be used to describe the 1977 film The Incredible Melting Man it is: drippy.  I think it's the only film where that word can be used accurately.  Thanks to special effects wizard Rick Baker, that's about the only thing I can remember about the film.  Well, that and the fact that the actor who played the melting man (Alex Rebar) did a lot of walking.

I looked up the plot online because I hadn't seen this thing in years, and I didn't trust my memory of it.  What little I could recall is actually pretty close to the film's plot.  Rebar plays Steve West, who returns to Earth after being exposed to radiation during a space flight to Saturn.  As we all know from things like Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, melting slowly is exactly what happens when exposed to radiation.  To survive, West must eat human flesh, which means he has to kill people, too.  Again, the radiation exposure does cause cannibalism.  That's why a lot of people stay out of Nevada.  I believe it's also the only movie to feature its main character being swept up into a garbage can at the film's conclusion.  No, Troma is not responsible for this.

I do remember liking this as a kid.  Our local UHF channel out of Philadelphia (one of two that I remember) played it quite a bit.  I wasn't freaked out by it, and nor did I have nightmares.  My enjoyment of it apparently wasn't marred by the numerous bad reviews the film received.  Many declared it one of the worst horror movies of all time.  That may be true, but how many other horror films dealt with the serious effects of radiation exposure in such a realistic way?  Exactly.  (And yes, I am being sarcastic.)

I'm half tempted to seek out a copy of this film to see how I respond to it now that I'm older and have seen Man Made, a film I declared on Film Threat to be the worst film I had ever seen.  (You can read my review here. As proof of its sheer suckiness [not a real word], I left my copy of it outside a store I worked at.  Nobody took it.  Not even overnight.  You could leave a used condom out there and someone would take it.)  I fear that in doing so, however, I will only curse myself for wasting my time.  I love film.  I do not love it enough, though, to waste my time with movies I know will be time-wasters.

Mandatory FTC Disclaimer: Clicking on a link could earn me some cash, yo!  Obviously, I haven't seen this in quite some time, too.