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Incredible Melting Man, The

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    Ian Jane
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  • Incredible Melting Man, The



    Released by: MGM Limited Edition Collection

    Released on: August 23, 2011.

    Director: William Sachs

    Cast: Alex Rebar, Burr Debenning, Myron Healy

    Year: 1977

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    The Movie:


    A fun cult oddity from 1977, AIP's The Incredibly Melting Man may have been the subject of an MST3K riff fest once upon a time but the film stands on its own as a fun monster movie even without commentary from the Satellite of Love's crew. When the film begins, an astronaut named Steve West (Alex Rebar) and a few other crewmembers are geeking out over how awesome Saturn looks from their space capsule. When Steve's nose starts bleeding and the other two astronauts pass out, something has obviously gone wrong. The next time we see Steve he's laying wrapped up in a hospital bed. He wakes up and realizes that something happened to him out there in space, something that's causing his flesh to literally melt off of his skeleton. He snaps, and after attacking a chubby nurse in a tight fitting outfit, he busts out of the hospital and into the woods nearby where he rips the head off of a fisherman enjoying a cold Coors sixteen-ouncer and terrorizes some kids enjoying found creek porn.


    The authorities are alerted and at this point we meet Dr. Ted Nelson (Burr Debenning), a NASA medical big wig who has to find Steve and figure out what the Hell happened to him before the next Saturn mission launches. So armed with a Geiger counter and some help from General Mike Perry (Myron Healy), a portly guy who enjoys a good nap, Ted heads out into the woods to find Steve who has busied himself terrorizing a photographer who has in turn been busying himself by trying to take nudie shots of Cheryl Rainbeaux Smith. As West's humanity disintegrates along with his skin, he runs around causing a ruckus, leaving bits and pieces of himself here and there and eating people. He even goes after Ted's in-laws, a randy couple out to steal some oranges on a night time drive to visit their daughter, Judy (Ann Sweeny), and his husband. Will Ted and General Perry be able to stop Steve before he obliterates everyone around him and possibly even save him while there's still something left of him to save?


    As wacky as you'd expect a movie about a melting man to be from the director of Galaxina and Van Nuys Blvd., this film features some impressive and fairly early effects work from the great Rick Baker, who appears to have bought an endless supply of what looks like condensed milk and food coloring to make the melting effects happen. Amazingly enough, they work incredibly well and the vast majority of this movie's appeal is going to stem from those effects scenes. The acting is pretty hokey, the story fairly predictable (though you've got to give the filmmakers credit for going with a surprisingly dark ending) and the stock footage that the beginning that is supposed to be of Saturn looks more like stock footage of the sub but regardless, this movie is a blast if you don't feel the need to take it too seriously. And why would you want to? There's definitely a twisted sense of humor to much of this film, if it's not obvious from the melting man himself it's painfully obvious in the scene involving Dr. Ted's horny in-laws and their midnight citrus crime spree. The film definitely borrows elements from Phantom From Space and from Frankenstein and it feels more like a fifties sci-fi/monster movie than a typical seventies horror film but that's hardly a bad thing. This is, after all, a movie about a melting cannibal named Steve who rips the heads off of random fishermen and chases nurses through plate glass windows for no reason - and it's just as ridiculously fun as it should be.


    Video/Audio/Extras:


    The Incredible Melting Man looks very good in this 1.85.1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. There are a few scenes that show a bit of what looks to be minor telecine wobble but that's about the only things worth whining about. Colors look nice and natural, black levels are fine and the image is clean, clear and stable throughout showing no problems with edge enhancement or compression artifact issues.


    English language Dolby Digital Mono is the only audio option on the disc, there are no alternate language tracks or subtitles here, but the track sounds fine. Dialogue is clean enough and plenty easy to understand and the completely awesome score sounds really good.


    The only extra on the disc is a trailer, presented in fullframe, along with a static menu.


    The Final Word:


    MGM really should have put this one out during the heyday of their Midnight Movies line and given it some love in the extra features department, but obviously that didn't happen. Thankfully, this MOD version looks and sounds as good as most fans could probably hope for and the film is presented in its proper aspect ratio. The movie itself is a fun one, a completely enjoyable gooey and gory throwback to the sci-fi monster movies of the fifties.
























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