Friday, June 30, 2017

The Incredible Melting Man (1977)

I really need to get back into the schlock movie write ups.  Of late, they've become very intermittent.  Which is largely the result of not having had the time to watch the films themselves.  There have been far too many distractions, not all of the good.  I still have the idea at the back of my mind that I might try spinning the schlock movie stuff into a separate website, but I just haven't had the time.  Work developments also mean that I'm unlikely to have the time to do anything about it in the next couple of weeks.  I'm trying to schedule some extended leave in August, when I can sit down and watch some more schlock, then write about it.  But to get to the point of this post, in anticipation of returning to the business of schlock movie watching, I thought I'd present an appetiser in the form of a 'Random Movie Trailer' for The Incredible Melting Man, a film of which I have fond teenage memories.

For a film made in 1977, The Incredible Melting Man is a very traditional type of monster movie.  It's makers clearly set out to make something reminiscent of the classic science fiction monster movies of the fifties and sixties.  Indeed, in plot, structure and even monster, it is very reminiscent of First Man in Space (which, itself, was clearly inspired by The Quatermass Experiment), whilst its title invokes Jack Arnold's The Incredible Shrinking Man.  Both feature an astronaut who has an encounter with something nasty in space, which results in them transforming into something monstrous after returning to earth.  Whist the First Man in Space ended up a blood sucking monster covered in a horrible crusty alien infestation, the protagonist of The Incredible Melting Man, well, melts.  His skin starts to dissolve horribly after returning from his trip to the rings of Saturn, sending him insane and giving him a lust for human flesh.

Most of the film follows his cannibalistic rampage after he escapes from a secure medical facility and the attempts of his one time best friend and space scientist to stop him.  All of which involves a lot of wandering around barren outdoor locations, where various campers, fishermen and dwellers in remote houses meet grisly ends.  All very traditional in monster movie terms but, being the seventies, it is all done with a lot more gore than you would have got in the fifties or sixties.  The whole thing is done a great deal of gusto and, in spite of the film's low budget, the title monster is actually disgustingly impressive, featuring some highly effective make up effects.  Also, being the seventies, the film eschews the usual upbeat endings of classic monster movies, ending with just about every main character dead.  Taking a leaf out of The Incredible Shrinking Man's book, the Incredible Melting Man is neither destroyed by a combination of science and the military, nor is he cured.  Instead, he just melts away, his sticky remains swept up by a cleaner.

Hopefully, this will have sated the appetites of schlock seekers, at least until I find the time to get back to the schlock movies in earnest.  These write ups are actually the most popular things I post here. (And thanks to Gav Crimson once again, for recently giving my Big Zapper review on the 'Schlock Express' podcast some more Twitter love).  Right now, I'm mulling over the idea of taking a sabbatical, career break, or whatever they call it nowadays, from work, for up to a year.  Not just so that I can watch more movies of this ilk, obviously, but it would give me more time to indulge my interest in this subject.  We'll see.



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