Writer-director William Sachs, the genius who brought the world Galaxina, reveals another side of his vision with The Incredible Melting Man, one of the most disgusting stories ever brought to the screen. Like all the great universal myths that touch our hearts, the story itself is a simple one: astronaut Steve is exploring Saturn's rings when he gets a fatal dose of radiation. He promptly starts melting and must eat human flesh to survive. Never you mind why, he just does. It's up to Dr. Ted Nelson to track Steve down, which he must do single-handedly because it's a Government Secret. Ted does a little bit of searching and a whole lot of eating and talking, and all the while Steve gets madder and messier. There is much to recommend The Incredible Melting Man, not the least being a range and caliber of acting normally only found in the porn industry. You can also enjoy an enormous 1970s wall hanging and plenty o' fuzz-tone guitar in the soundtrack. Sharp-eyed fans of women-in-prison movies will be pleased to see an appearance by Caged Heat star Rainbeaux Smith in a disturbing reminder of just how far gender relations had yet to go in the early '70s, and director Jonathan Demme also makes an all-too-brief appearance as Matt. It's a pity he doesn't stick around a few minutes to lend a restraining hand when, in the film's most terrifying sequence, Matt's girlfriend Nell stops to take an Acting Moment. The film's real star, of course, is the makeup, by Oscar-winner Rick Baker. Baker created four different phases of melting and other assorted oozing and sloughing effects--a true triumph of vileness. With its howlingly bad ad-libbing, astonishing '70s décor, and unusually mushy body parts, The Incredible Melting Man is guaranteed to liven up any fondue party. --Ali Davis
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