When I was a kid, I remember looking up at the moon and the stars at night. I’d think to myself and wonder what was out there. Were there other people on other planets, just like us, living their normal day to day lives, oblivious to other beings in the universe? I also thought it would be really cool to travel through space, seeing the moon and those stars up close. Now that I’m grown up, I know that my chance to be an astronaut, or even a space traveller have probably passed. I’m glad that I came to that realization as a result, because if I would have known as a child that travelling in outer space, and especially gazing at the sun through the rings of Saturn would have turned me into an eventual pile of mush, like in William Sachs‘ 1977 film The Incredible Melting Man, I would have been absolutely devastated… devastated, I say.
The Incredible Melting Man is actually astronaut Steve West (played by Alex Rebar), who happens to be on the first mission to Saturn. While viewing the Sun through Saturn’s rings, something goes horribly wrong, and he blacks out with a nose bleed… in the middle of outer space. Ok, so he’s in the middle of outer space passed out and he somehow wakes up in a hospital, and he’s wrapped in bandages, and not feeling too good. It turns out he’s been overloaded with radiation, and his mind and body are decaying rapidly. Because of that, he has to consume human cells to keep himself going.
Dr. Ted Nelson (Burr DeBenning) is an old friend of Steve’s, and is assigned to catch him, along with General Michael Perry. Unfortunately, Steve has gone ahead and killed several people, and it’s all Dr. Nelson and the General can do to keep up with the path of dripping body parts and bodies stacking up. Can the good Doctor and the General get to Steve and stop him before it’s too late? Is there any way to save him?
This was one film that I remember seeing the VHS box at the local video store when I was a kid. It was one that I always wanted to rent, but being a kid, I never really had the opportunity to get it. Time went by and DVD’s came along, so it was harder and harder to get a hold of. When I finally saw this movie available, I knew it was one that I had to get, and review. It’s movies like this that made me want to start this site in the first place.
After watching this one, I can’t say I was disappointed. While it wasn’t as great as I hoped it would be, it wasn’t bad at all. The acting is good, the special effects are really good, and when you watch it, it’s one of those films that you can tell are pretty cheesetastic just by watching it. A lot of the story elements don’t add up, and one of the main questions you’re left asking yourself is “Why?” Why does Steve transform into this melting creature, and why does he have to kill to stay alive? And how do the doctors know that? You’re never given the answers to that, but the cheese makes up for it.
There’s a great scene that happens at the beginning of this movie where a rotund nurse in a tight nursing uniform is bring back some blood to infuse into Steve. He’s already woken up and is on a rampage, trashing his room. The Nurse screams at his appearance and she runs away as fast as she can down a long corridor. With a full head of steam, she runs right through a plate glass door – breaking the push handle along with it – without missing a step. I knew right then and there this movie was going to be a lot of fun.
I’m glad I got a chance to finally watch this. It’s a movie that isn’t great, but it’s one that I think I’ll find myself watching in the future. It’s cheesy as all hell, and just plain fun. The ending is deperssing as hell, but it’s so fitting. The final scene is perfect. It wraps the whole thing up and you’re not left wondering what happens next. Check this one out if you get the chance.