The Incredible Melting Man (1977) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

The Incredible Melting Man (1977) Review

Horrorific content by TE Simmons on January 11th, 2022 | Movie Review | Sci-Fi, Mutant, Space, Gore, Body Horror

Add The Incredible Melting Man (1977) to your Watchlist

Add to Watchlist

You need to login or register to add this movie to your horror watchlist.

It’s about an astronaut who develops a nosebleed, becomes gelatinous, and goes nuts.

The Incredible Melting Man was written and directed by William Sachs (There Is No 13 and Galaxina) and stars Alex Rebar (Number One with a Bullet and Amityville Horror: The Evil Escapes), Burr DeBenning (Alien Zone), and Myron Healey (Ghost Fever and Varan the Unbelievable).

Can a drippy man be downed before he does in too many dullards?

The Incredible Melting Man Review

The film begins with space chatter – Mission Control and a trio of astronauts are bantering in techno-babble. The astronauts are about to pass through Saturn’s rings. It’s a spectacular sight; the sun’s rays passing through those rings, observes Colonel West. Cut to stock footage of an Apollo mission orbiting the moon. (Arguably, a grainy moon landscape can pass for Saturn’s rings. But it’s not a very strong argument.)

Next, something happens. Once again, we cut to stock footage, this time of the sun’s corona. The astronauts scream. One gets a nosebleed.

Months later, back on Earth, West is bandaged, lying unconscious in a hospital bed. He’s the only survivor. The doctors can’t make heads or tails out of it. But West is slightly radioactive and now needs human cells to survive. The doctors wonder whether his condition is contagious.

Minutes later, West awakes, tears off his head wrap, screams at the mess of gunk staring back at him in the mirror, and promptly chases his nurse out of the hospital, across the parking lot, through a field, and – ultimately, to her doom. The rampage is on! So, too is a length chase sequence: It’s one doctor with a Geiger counter and a General breathing down his neck versus Colonel West and his dissipating dermis. Obviously, the body count will tally up a few more victims before the show ends.

Rick Baker’s special effects are spot-on. They’re simultaneously goofy and grotesque at the same time. West is melting. He leaves behind one of his ears in a briar patch. Dr. Ted Nelson takes note of it. Just in case we aren’t sure, he says to himself, audibly: “That’s his ear.”

There are other moments of high comedy. Originally, the film was conceived as a comedy-parody, and its roots show. It was also heavily influenced by Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. It, in turn, likely influenced Kaufman’s The Toxic Avenger and other Troma projects.

The climax takes place at the best possible location for a horror film other than an abandoned carnival – a ginormous power plant. I won’t reveal the resolution, but it does kind of put the damper on further missions to Saturn.

Worth Watching?

Goodness gracious, yes. It’s a worthy watch.

The Incredible Melting Man Review (1977) Worth Watching? - ALL HORROR Tweet it

Would it Kill You to Subscribe?

Get horror news, reviews and movie recommendations every Friday!

We respect your email privacy