director William Sachs
Ah, The Incredible Melting Man. Another film that has flitted in my consciousness for untold years.
Reading up on it, the fact that it was in my consciousness makes some sense. It was featured in the movie It Came from Hollywood (1982), which I am positive that I saw, though I don’t remember a lot very specific. But I am almost entirely certain that I saw It Came from Hollywood in the theater, Oaks Mall, Gainesville, FL.
Other aspects of the film, who knows? I’m sure it’s lingered here and there in various books and magazines. How much did I really know about it before I sat down to watch it? Not really a lot.
Turns out, it’s a vague re-make of The First Man in Space (1959), which I have not seen but have had on queue for some time, as it got the Criterion treatment. It’s the story of an astronaut who gets exposed to some nasty radiation in space and then comes back to Earth just a melting all over the place and deranged so’s that he kills people.
The only real reason that this film should have much note is the amazing special effects designed by wizard Rick Baker. The melting man himself is better than anything else in the movie by a long, long shot. He’s gruesome and gooey and wonderfully designed. He’s almost worth the price of admission, which at this point is just those 84 minutes of your life that you might dedicate to watching this flick.
My exploration of “bad movies” of late has made some bad movies only bad in levels of relativity. This film does broach the worst crime that a film can broach in my mind, good or bad, which is that it gets a bit boring and tedious despite its short run-time. And some of the so-bad-that-it’s-good moments and aspects do make up for it. Really, though, it’s the creature design and oozy, dripping, putrescence that you come for, not the drama.