Movie Name: The Incredible Melting Man
Studio: Quartet Productions
Release Date(s): December 9, 1977
MPAA Rating: R
A trip to Saturn has led to horror. Steve West (Alex Rebar) is the only one who survived the journey but he has contracted a strange skin disease causing it to fall off. Steve is going mad and getting stronger. When Steve escapes the hospital Dr. Ted Nelson (Burr DeBenning) and General Michael Perry (Myron Healey) must find and stop Steve before his murderous rampage continues.
Written and directed by William Sachs, The Incredible Melting Man is a horror sci-fi B-Movie. The movie was largely panned by critics and was featured on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K #7-04).
The Incredible Melting Man was a late night staple growing up. It seemed to play as part of the horror rotation and frequently could be found playing at one or two in the morning. The movie is pretty terrible, but as a kid, horror was horror and you watched what you could find (especially if you didn’t have cable).
The movie has a bit of a weird history. Allegedly, the director stated he intended to make it a satire or parody of a horror film, but most of the comedy was cut out leaving strange and weird dialogue that doesn’t quite fit in. The Quatermass Xperiment (1955) is also credited as influence along with First Man into Space (1959) which both featured transforming astronauts.
The problem with the story is that nothing happens. The “melting man” wanders around and melts…occasionally killing people. The movie also features a bizarre and long slapstick-y scene feature old people (who get killed). All characters are unlikeable, but I do admire that the movie virtually wiped out everyone involved in the plot by the end.
What really does work in this film are the special effects. The movie is an early film of Rick Baker and features some grueling scenes. I think the Melting Man himself is pretty good and the movie features some prosthetic work. This is mixed with weird scenes like the slow motion running nurse that runs through a glass door and stock footage of space (over and over again).
The Incredible Melting Man is bad, but it is good-bad for fans of B-Horror. The main appeal for the movie is the great and gruesome effects, but I do like some of the ending’s humor (the intentional and accidental). How many movies end with a janitor throwing the villain in a garbage can?
Buy it on Amazon.com: