Swamp Thing

Louis Jourdan; Adrienne Barbeau; Ray Wise; David Hess;

Nicholas Worth; Don Knight; Al Ruban; Dick Durock.

The plot for Swamp Thing was based on a very popular comic book. It was one that I wasn't particularly familiar with, because comic books were another thing that was forbidden by the church. I read all the Swamp Thing comic books and just kind of made an amalgam of a story that was based on the major characters. That's how that came about. It was sort of an adaptation, if you will.

I wasn't satisfied with Swamp Thing because it was a film that I think was severely damaged by its lack of funding. It was underbudgeted from the get-go. About halfway through the film, the company that guaranteed the budget came in and were on the set all the time, to the point that the producers literally were weeping. The second half of the film was basically shot in masters, and a lot of what was in the script was thrown out. That film was made under incredible duress.

We were shooting in the swamps and we had everything from alligators to water moccasins. The botanic acid of the water itself ate through the costumes. The Swamp Thing special effects costume was literally rotting off the actor. We were working in extreme heat and humidity. The actors were collapsing from heat fatigue. There was a plague of stinging caterpillars hanging in all the trees, and they were falling down our necks all the time. It was one of the most arduous shoots I've ever had. I'm amazed that the film looks as nice as it does. But it was a tough one.

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