One from the to watch pile…
The Incredible Melting Man (1977)
Film: There is no doubt that William Sachs has made a mark on oddball, lowbrow filmmaking. He’s given us such cult titles as Galaxina, Hot Chilli, Van Nuys Blvd., and of course this film, 1977’s The Incredible Melting Man.
Sachs apparently isn’t very proud of this film though, as he claims the studio interfered with its production quite heavily (if you watch the commentary on this release, he spits quite a fair bit of venom at the re-editing and over-simplification of the story which honestly, by the sound of his description, would have been a far more interesting film.
That’s not to say, though, that this movie isn’t a gem of cult cinema, even though both it, and its main character, are a bloody mess.
After a disastrous mission to space, astronaut Steve West (Alex Rebar), returns and is immediately quarantined and hospitalised as for some reason, his body has started to lose its structural integrity.
Not only his body is melting, his brain is too, and he escapes the facility and starts a rampage across the countryside, become more monster than man, killing everyone in his path, but can he be stopped? Is there some way to stop his threat, or will he eventually melt into nothingness…
This film is interesting insomuch it’s a tragedy dressed up as a gore movie. The tragedy of All-American hero West’s mutation as he loses his identity and becomes violent is a horror staple. The effects are expectedly gruesome and gooey and the film is well-worthy of its status of cult movie… and the addition of Cheryl ‘Rainbeaux” Smith certainly nails down that title.
It’s a silly film but it’s certainly a fun film to watch.
Format: The film is presented so bright and clear considering it’s age. It’s presented in 1.85:1 with a 2.0 mono audio.
Extras: As Arrow usually do there is a cool couple of extras floating around on this disc.
Commentary by William Sachs is fairly detailed look at the film. His recollections are interesting, and occasionally quite scathing against the directors.
Super 8 Digest Version is quite a revelation. As a kid I used to see the ads in Famous Monsters for ‘Super 8 home video’ versions of horror films and I was always interested to see one. Well, here we have the Incredible Melting Man one!
Interview with William Sachs and Rick Baker is enlightening and entertaining, and it’s nice to see that neither of them take the film too seriously. Interestingly in a world where some films are being criticised by ‘proper’ filmmakers for being nothing more than ‘theme park rides’ it’s nice to see that Sachs wholly embraces his film as being exactly that. Unfortunately if you’ve already watched the commentary, some of the stories and anecdotes are repeated.
Interview with Greg Cannom is only very brief, and honestly could have been incorporated into the previous extra, but it gives an insight into Cannom’s involvement.
Promotional Gallery is another name for ‘stills gallery’, but at least this one is for the posters and lobby cards for the film.
Original Theatrical Trailer is exactly what it says on the box. Remember when there was just one original theatrical trailer and not a leak, a sub-teaser, a teaser, trailer 1, trailer 2 and a red-band trailer? Maybe older films had better luck at selling themselves because they were better films? Who knows.
WISIA: It’s extraordinarily goofy so it deserves multiple watches!