I’ve learned a many a useless fact from watching all these bad movies but one that never fails to amaze me is whenever I discover a new horror sub-genre. For instance, the film in question is apparently categorized under the quite appropriate sub-genre of “Melt Movies” which is exactly what it sounds like. Can you think of many movies where human bodies melt into a big goopy mess? Me neither, but apparently there’s enough to have a genre and along with the 1987 film Street Trash this is one of the more notable films of that slimy variety.
The film begins with Steve West (Alex Reber), an astronaut on a deep space mission who upon his return is severely affected by radiation and slowly begins to turn into a murderous mass of oozing flesh. Why does Steve start murdering people? That’s a good question and yet it’s never explained. Steve wakes up in the hospital to find himself horribly deformed and all melty but instead of handling the situation like any normal person would he decides he’s gonna go on a killing spree. The idea that audiences are supposed to accept this is absolutely insane. Doesn’t Steve wanna know if he can get better with ya know, skin grafts or something? Doesn’t he care about his own well being? Apparently not, because being ugly makes him mad and being mad makes Steve want to kill!
This whole “melting murdering man” thing also begs the question “How can someone who’s literally falling apart overpower anyone?” This guy just got out of the hospital and he’s strangling people, scaring kids, and terrorizing the elderly? Why and How? I DON’T KNOW it doesn’t make sense! And this spree of sorts is in the first seven minutes! But what’s almost the most infuriating is we really don’t know anything about Steve. We don’t know what he’s feeling, we don’t know his pain, we don’t know anything, so why should we care?
Even though The Incredible Melting Man is a logical nightmare there is one diamond in the rough in Rick Baker. Yes Rick Baker, the seven time Oscar winning makeup effects artist famous for such classics as Star Wars and An American Werewolf in London doing the makeup for the Steve “The Melting Man” West. It’s a phenomenal job too, so much so that I eventually found myself skipping through all the boring government/scientist people shit to all the scenes where we really get to see Steve sweatin’ off his skin, M’FN killer!
Though as amazing as the effects are they can’t alone save this movie. When you get down to it The Incredibly Melting Man is a real bore with stale characters and a mess of a story, yes a real sticky, messy, failure pile that no one should ever have to deal with, EVER!
Skip ahead to about the 5:20 mark if you wanna see the Melting Man’s first scene, followed by the greatest reaction to a monster ever captured on film.