The Incredible Melting Man

When you speak the phrase, horror movies, your immediate response is of big name Hollywood slashers like Friday the 13th or A Nightmare on Elmstreet. Among others, theirs too many to list, but the last thought in any ones mind would be of an underrated 1977 classic, The Incredible Melting Man. I had seen this movie a few times on video during the 80’s, but it wasn’t until recently that I dug it out of my film collection and sat down and wrote about it. First and foremost, the special effects are the best I’ve seen in any 1970s movie. FX by Academy Award-winner Rick Baker blow away any of Savini’s early entries pre Maniac. Sitting down and watching this movie, I expected an all out cheese fest with more bad dialogue and acting to boot. The Incredible Melting Man is far from that. It’s a film of incredibly spine-tingly horror, as the box says…but doesn’t seem to let down for it constantly delivers the goods.

The story is of an astronaut who returns from a history making space flight from Saturn with an unknown disease that causes his flesh to melt. With loads of radiation going through astronaut Steve West’s body, the military can do nothing but hold him confined to a not-so highly secured hospital bed. Once West, played by Alex Rebar, awakes he notices his hands are practically charred to the bone and that his entire face had been bandaged. Ripping through the bandages, and looking in sheer terror at the hideous formation of oozing sap and melted skin through the mirror, Rebar flees from the hospital building. Walking in on his escape, an obese nurse runs like madness up an down the halls but demises to a slow motion camera shot of becoming the Melting Man’s first victim. Hospitalized with an ailment that baffles the entire medical community, the head doctor discovers that since West fled he most consume massive quantities of human flesh and blood. Thriving on murder to survive, Rebar viscously attacks a fisherman and only leaves portions of his body behind. Leaving trails of radioactive skin on every log and tree branch, the Incredible Melting Man victimizes everyone who crosses his path. As he stalks the townspeople, his reign of terror has begun. Who will be next to meet with violent death from the INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN?

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