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The Incredible Melting Man

Theatrical release poster.
Directed by William Sachs
Produced by Samuel W. Gelfman
Written by William Sachs
Starring Alex Rebar
Burr DeBenning
Myron Healey
Distributed by American International Pictures
Release date(s) December 1977 (USA)
Running time 84 min.
Language English

The Incredible Melting Man is a 1977 science fiction horror film written and directed by William Sachs. The film was lampooned on the popular television show Mystery Science Theater 3000. It is notable for its graphic depictions of bloody gore, courtesy of special makeup effects legend Rick Baker, as well as for a small cameo part by future Academy Award-winning director Jonathan Demme, playing the character of "Matt".



Astronaut Steve West is the only survivor of a mission to Saturn, returning to Earth after being exposed to an unknown form of radiation. While being kept under observation in a hospital, his health rapidly degenerates, and his flesh begins to literally melt off his body. Growing increasingly insane, he escapes the hospital and discovers that the only way to slow the progress of his condition is to consume the flesh of other human beings which oddly increases his strength as well. This puts him at odds with local authorities, some of whom (including his friend, Dr. Ted Nelson) want to bring him back with the understanding that they will try to cure him, and others who simply want him dead before he can take any more innocent lives. The film features an especially downbeat coda, in which Nelson is killed for seemingly no reason by two security guards (the Melting Man avenges him), the Melting Man melts away to little more than a pile of red mush, and is casually mopped into a garbage can by a janitor on the morning following the film's climactic night-time faceoff at a power plant, as we hear a radio news report of another team being sent up to Saturn implying the possibility of a repeat episode.


  • Alex Rebar as Steve West
  • Burr DeBenning as Dr. Ted Nelson
  • Myron Healey as General Michael Perry
  • Michael Alldredge as Sheriff Neil Blake
  • Ann Sweeny as Judy Nelson
  • Luke Wilson as Dr. Loring

Mystery Science Theater 3000

The film was mocked in an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. The episode was notable for Tom Servo's constant repeating of the character Ted Nelson's name to the film's heavy score ("Nelson Nelson...Ted Nelson").

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