Best Movies of All Time + [William Sachs]

THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN

THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN1977
R

The Incredible Meltin Man is a 1977 sci-fi horror film directed by William Sachs. The film opens on a NASA mission around Saturn. The crew of a small pod have to pass through the rings of Saturn before they can make their journey home, but something goes awry as they pass through the rings, sending radiation throughout their spacecraft. Fast-forward... I don't know how much time, and we find Steve West (Alex Rebar), the crew's only survivor, strapped to a hospital bed. As he awakes, he breaks free from his bonds and tears the bandages off his face to reveal that his skin is melting off his bones (seriously, you can't make this stuff up). Steve breaks out of the hospital, much to the chagrin of his doctor and longtime friend Ted Nelson (Burr DeBenning) who, with the help of General Michael Perry (Myron Healey), goes to search for Steve before he can kill too many people.

I was recommended this film after writing my review for Killer Klowns from Outer Space, and I hoped that it might prove to be one of those "so bad, it's good" flicks. In the beginning of the film, it actually felt like it might be - we had a terrible premise with a terrible movie monster that forced me to laugh every single time it came on-screen, which is a little bit sad considering that seven-time Oscar winner Rick Baker supervised its creation, but more on that in a moment. The dialogue is horrendous and definitely laughable, but after a while, I just couldn't find a way to fall in love with it completely. It just got TOO bad after a while, and I ultimately lost interest in everything that was going on in the film.

That's not to say that you won't find a way to find it entirely laughable throughout. In addition to the badness I've already referenced, we're also given some terrible acting to layer some icing on this cake. Rebar really doesn't have much to do - he's smothered in makeup for the film's entirety - but he does have a scene at the very start that proves to be way over-the-top. DeBenning also chews the scenery, and for some reason, he has a number of shots in which it appears he's breaking the fourth wall (from the camera shot), but he's really just talking to someone else off-screen. It was a strange enough cinematography choice that it stood out to me, but you might not even notice. I could probably delve into each and every character - there's a few supporting roles that are downright horrendous - but I'd really just be wasting my time saying the same thing over and over. Just know that the acting's just about as bad as it could possibly get.

Although this "melting man" was definitely laughable, I can respect the time and effort that must have gone into creating the creature. In all fairness, it is rather elaborate, and "gross" is definitely a word that should pop into your head almost immediately. Baker is definitely a stickler for detail, and it shows quite a bit here. As much as I wanted to laugh non-stop at this creature, I still have to give Baker and his team a lot of credit for doing what they do. There's a reason he's won so many Academy Awards.

Ultimately, The Incredible Melting Man is probably something you should pass on watching. If you're capable of maintaining your full attention to it, I'm sure you'd be able to find endless amounts of comedy. But the film moves so slowly - I was constantly checking the time, and the first half an hour felt like 2 hours to me - that it just couldn't keep my focus. So just know that going in, in case you're really considering wasting nearly ninety minutes of your life. It's easily skyrocketed onto my list of worst films of all time (linked below), so check that out to see what films it beat out for its spot.

Movie Review Summary:
Grade: F
Current All-Time Rank: Worst - #2
1.5 Thumbs Down