[4K Ultra HD Review] Swamp Thing; Now Available From MVD

[4K Ultra HD Review] Swamp Thing; Now Available From MVD 1Swamp Thing (1982) (LaserVision Collection) [4K Ultra HD] amazon-cart-logo

Director: Wes Craven

Cast: Louis Jourdan, Adrienne Barbeau, Ray Wise

Release Date: August 8, 2023

A Review By: Kevin Lovell

Disc Rating: 8.5/10


Deep in Florida’s darkest everglades, a brilliant scientist, Dr. Alec Holland (Ray Wise, Robocop) and a sexy government agent, Alice Cable (Adrienne Barbeau, John Carpenter’s The Fog) have developed a secret formula that could end world hunger and change civilization forever. Little do they know, however, that their arch nemesis, Arcane (Louis Jourdan, Octopussy) is plotting to steal the serum for his own selfish schemes. Looting the lab and kidnapping Cable, Arcane douses Holland with the chemicals and leaves him for dead in the swamp. Mutated by his own formula, Holland becomes ‘Swamp Thing’ – a half human/half plant superhero who will stop at nothing to rescue the beautiful Cable and defeat the evil Arcane… even if it costs him his life.

Please Note: MVD provided me with a free copy of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.

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Based on the DC Comics character, ‘Swamp Thing’ tells the story of a brilliant scientist named Alec Holland who is on the brink of discovering a groundbreaking new formula that could help the world immensely and even end world hunger. Joined by newly assigned government agent Alice Cable in the murky swamps where Holland is nearing a promising result for his work, everything is threatened when their deadly nemesis Arcane attacks out of nowhere and leaves Holland for dead in the swamp. The one thing Arcane wasn’t counting on was that Holland’s work combined with the attack turn him into an unknown combination of man and swamp that’s increased his power and provided new benefits; unfortunately, Arcane isn’t about to back down from reaching his diabolical goal which means Alice and the Swamp Thing will have to join forces if they hope to stop him before it’s too late.

Written and directed by horror icon Wes Craven (Scream, A Nightmare on Elm Street) and marking his somewhat more mainstream debut following such legendary cult classics of his such as ‘The Last House on the Left’ and The Hills Have Eyes’, ‘Swamp Thing’ was first released upon American moviegoers in February of 1982. The film also features a notable cast that includes Louis Jourdan, Adrienne Barbeau, Ray Wise, David Hess, Nicholas Worth, and Dick Durock as “Swamp Thing” who all contribute in their own right to this campy, yet generally enjoyable comic book adaptation.

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Wes Craven’s feature film adaptation of DC’s ‘Swamp Thing’ remains an enjoyable enough comic book movie of one of DC’s more somewhat underappreciated characters that stays at least moderately faithful to the character’s tale and origins, appropriately balanced by Craven’s unique style and often campy tone (at least at this point in his career) that comes together in order to provide an amusing and also surprisingly heartfelt tale. The film may be somewhat dated by today’s standards, but for something first released over four decades ago it still holds up better than many might expect, at least in most respects.

The film was released theatrically in the states, though became modestly more popular during its home video run and also made some noise when first released on videocassette due to an error that saw the Unrated International Cut with the two scenes of female nudity included solely on that version accidently released by MGM in the states which then had to be recalled and reissued. Now, thanks to the folks at MVD both cuts are finally available to own here in the states, and for the first time in 4K.

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MVD Entertainment Group brings home the cult classic 1982 ‘Swamp Thing’ film from Wes Craven on 4K Ultra HD for the first time, featuring a newly remastered and restored UHD presentation of the film (and featuring both the PG rated Theatrical Version as well as the Unrated International Cut) in full Ultra High Definition with Dolby Vision and HDR-10 which breathes new life into the iconic ‘80s film and looks quite spectacular as a whole. The stunning new 4K UHD video presentation is nicely complemented by a capable 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio dual mono soundtrack, as well as numerous extras including Interviews, Featurettes and more which can all be found on the included Blu-ray disc which itself also features high-definition versions of both cuts that are also take from the new master of the movie. If you’re a fully 4K capable fan of the film or of Wes Craven’s work that’s already considering a purchase, the release is definitely recommended. For those that aren’t fully 4K capable, it might still be worth picking up a copy of MVD’s Blu-ray edition for the new master as well as the inclusion of both the PG and International cuts at last; something many fans have been patiently awaiting for some time and should be thrilled to finally see come to fruition.

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The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘Swamp Thing’ features a full 2160p Ultra High Definition presentation with Dolby Vision and HDR-10, with the film’s original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio, restored and remastered in 2023 and including both the PG rated Theatrical Version and the Unrated International Cut. The video presentation looks quite impressive as a whole and delivers a clean, sharp and appropriately filmic presentation and appearance from start to finish without any unexpected troubles occurring throughout. It shows great detail and clarity across the board that’s noticeable on everything from character specifics including our monstrous hero, clothing and the expansive landscapes of the swamps and forests, as well as interiors which all look rather stellar while still retaining some grain and other welcome artifacts representative of the source material. The Dolby Vision addition also helps improve upon most of it with its contribution of a great color palette that shows noticeable improvement in some vivid bright colors that really pop as a result, all paired with rewardingly deep, rich black levels. Overall, this is a very nice new Ultra High Definition video presentation that holds up splendidly throughout and should excite the fans.


The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release features a 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio dual mono soundtrack on both included cuts of the film. This dual mono lossless soundtrack also does its job quite well and offers a crisp, clean and capable audio presentation throughout. The mono presentation handles the entirety of the audio content rather capably and keeps all of the dialogue, along with the action and vehicle effects, nature content and everything else sharing the channel(s) sounding good and balancing everything within in a competent manner that ensures that every aspect and effect remains clean and sharp without allowing any dialogue and music or other simultaneously occurring audio elements to conflict with one another or become problematic. Overall, this is a generally solid 2.0 DTS-HD MA dual mono soundtrack that may not be groundbreaking, but still holds up nicely and shouldn’t disappoint.


MVD’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘Swamp Thing’ features a solid collection of bonus content, the majority of which can be found on the included Blu-ray disc. Both discs include both the ‘PG Rated Theatrical Cut’ and the ‘International Unrated Cut’ of the film, plus ‘2 Audio Commentary’ tracks available on the Theatrical PG Rated version; an ‘Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Wes Craven, moderated by Sean Clark’ and an ‘Audio Commentary with Makeup Effects Artist William Munns, moderated by Michael Felsher’.

The Blu-ray disc additionally features numerous Interviews, Featurettes and other notable videos including ‘Tales From the Swamp with Actress Adrienne Barbeau’ (running approximately 16 minutes in length), ‘Hey Jude with Actor Reggie Batts’ (running approximately 15 minutes), ‘That Swamp Thing with Len Wein, Creator of Swamp Thing’ (approximately 13 minutes), along with ‘Swamp Screen: Designing DC’s Main Monster’ (20 minutes) and ‘From Krug to Comics: How the Mainstream Shaped a Radical Genre Voice’ (17 minutes). Also included on the release is the film’s ‘Theatrical Trailer’ (90 seconds), along with ‘4 Photo Galleries’: ‘Posters and Lobby Cards’, ‘Photos from the Film’, ‘William Munns’ Behind the Scenes Photos’ and ‘Behind the Scenes Photos by Geoffrey Rayle’.

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swamp thing 4k review

*Please note that the above images are taken from the Remastered Blu-Ray disc included in the release and resized. They do not represent the quality of the 4K Ultra HD disc itself and will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.

Disc Rating: 8.5/10

Wes Craven’s ‘Swamp Thing’ is Now Available to Own on 4K Ultra HD & Blu-ray from MVD Entertainment Group

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