Film (1977). Quartet Productions/AIP. Written and directed by William Sachs. Additional dialogue Rebecca Ross. Cast includes Michael Aldredge, Burr DeBenning, Alex Rebar and Ann Sweeny. 84 minutes. Colour.
By 1977 the idea of an astronaut returning to Earth after being contaminated by some dread space infection or irradiation was well and truly a Clichéd subgenre of the Monster Movie, an early and effective example being The Quatermass Xperiment (1955). This time around the calamity is a blast of radiation suffered during Space Flight to Saturn (see Outer Planets), which kills two astronauts and afflicts the third, Steve West (Rebar), with great strength, the desire to eat human flesh, and an unfortunate skin disease that gives him a strong resemblance to man-shaped porridge; he is also radioactive, enabling Scientist Dr Theodore "Ted" Nelson (DeBenning) to track him with a Geiger counter. Some sequences are rather good, but the special effects are laughable. The novelization is The Incredible Melting Man (1978) by Phil Smith. [PN/DRL]
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