The time has come for 2009's curtain call, and with its completion comes an end to a decade that was inordinately full of strife and rank idiocy. We at the Hyper Kitchen look forward to the arrival of 2010 (the year we make contact), and the promise of better times ahead. Still, to mark the passing of this decade that still defies all attempts at naming, we sought a monster that embodies the last ten years. Without further dalliance, we return to the world of dreck cinema to bring to you: the Incredible Melting Man.
The eponymous star of a movie unleashed by American-International Pictures in 1977, the Incredible Melting Man was once handsome mustachioed astronaut Steve West; leader of a NASA mission to the rings of Saturn. After an ill-defined space catastrophe kills the rest of the crew, West returns to Earth in a injured, comatose state. He awakens later and finds that his body is rapidly deteriorating into slime. Crazed by his condition, West escapes from the hospital and goes on a rampage, as he now needs human blood to keep himself from completely decomposing. In a blink of an eye, he transforms into a drippy, skull-faced monster that "gets stronger as he melts." A bunch've cops, along with West's old friend Dr. Ted Nelson, try to thwart the slime-covered fiend. In a climax that somehow blends tragedy, absurdity, and pure unpleasantness, the Incredible Melting Man liquifies into a puddle of red glop that is subsequently mopped-up by a janitor the following morning. In the closing credits, we hear that NASA (aparently unaware of the whole fiasco) plans to send another team of astronauts to the rings of Saturn
Will they never learn?
The flick was essentially a more gruesome (and arguably more inept) version of 1959's First Man Into Space. It did feature special make-up effects by the now world famous Rick Baker, along with a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo by Jonathan Demme, but beyond that, the Melting Man is not really incredible at all. Just another guy covered in slime.
Would you like to know more?
-Watch this trailer. It will show you everything you need to know.