THE THING

1982
HOME JOHN CARPENTER REVIEWS FEO'S STUFF FEO AMANTE THEATER SCIENCE MOMENT UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT
FEO FEED BACK?
NEWS?
SUBMISSIONS?
Read:
SUBMISSION
GUIDELINES

MOVIES
FEO AMANTE THEATER
My Short Films
LAST CALL

THE NIGHT MY MONSTER DIED
SCIENCE MOMENT
TOP TEN SCARY MOVIES
UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT
RACIAL CLICHÉ RESPONSE
INTERVIEWS

STORY TIME

COMICS

CONS

HORRIBLE NEWS
Movies Kelly Parks Review by
Kelly Parks
John Carpenter's THE THING
Bookmark and Share
SHOULD YOU?
TIP JAR
THE THING - 1951
MOVIE REVIEW
THE THING - 2011
MOVIE REVIEW
THE THING - 1982
EXTRAS
THE THING
REDUXES
THE THING - 1982
Universal Pictures / MCA
Rated: Germany: 18 / Norway: 18 / U.K.: 18 / U.S.A.: R

I hate exposition. Are you with me? Don't you hate exposition? The first ten or (jeezus!) more minutes of a movie where we get to know everybody and meet the tough but lovable cop or the hard drinkin' crack whore with the heart of gold. You have to wade through all the introductions before stuff in the movie starts HAPPENING!

Teaser poster The Thing - 1982

Dull.

Which is why I love it so much when a movie opens in the middle of the action, the way God intended. THE THING, John Carpenter's (HALLOWEEN, THE FOG, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, THEY LIVE, IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS, VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED [1995], GHOSTS OF MARS) 1982 re-make of the 1951 Howard Hawks' classic (both based on the John W. Campbell Jr. short story "Who Goes There?"), opens with a helicopter chasing a dog across the endless frozen waste of Antarctica. A man leans out of the helicopter and aims a high powered rifle at the dog. Now that's the way to start a movie! Right away, you're drawn in. What the hell is going on?

Despite a great many bullets and a few thermite grenades, the dog makes it to a small American science base where the curious American residents have come outside to see what's going on. The helicopter lands but is quickly blown up by a poorly thrown grenade. The only survivor continues to fire at the dog, wounding one the Americans in the process. Unable to communicate with the crazed gunman (who is screaming things in what turns out to be Norwegian), American base commander Garry (Donald Moffat: THE TERMINAL MAN) returns fire and kills him.

The murderous rampage is attributed to cabin fever (not at all unusual at the very isolated bases near the South Pole) and the nice doggie is allowed to roam the base. Meanwhile Dr. Copper (Richard A. Dysart: THE TERMINAL MAN, SPAWN [TV]) and helicopter pilot MacCready (Kurt Russell: ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA) fly over to the Norwegian base to see if they can help.

Now if you're at all into horror movies you instantly know that something weird is going on with the dog. The movie doesn't try to hide it, which would have been lame. Instead there are some excellent scenes where the dog gives various characters some intense, motionless stares that clearly imply intelligence (animatronics or just a well trained husky? I don't know, but it looked good). MacCready and Copper return from the burned out Norwegian base with evidence the Norse scientists had discovered something strange in the ice. Shortly thereafter things get tense.

The Thing howls
THIS ISN'T THE SCARIEST PART

The special effects are amazing, graphic, gory, cool and apparently nearly fatal for Rob Bottin (THE HOWLING, THE FOG, ROBOCOP, TOTAL RECALL, SE7EN). He did much of the special make-up work and lived on the set working seven days a week for over a year. He had himself hospitalized for exhaustion when filming was done.

This movie is part of the very well known formula of the "alien among us" story line. The creature in question can digest anything living and then make itself into a perfect copy. When these isolated men realize what's going on, they also realize that some of them may not be human anymore. Paranoia doesn't begin to describe the way they feel. This formula has been followed by many films, but here it's done well.

The Thing crawls
THIS ISN'T THE SCARIEST PART EITHER

By the way, if you saw THE THING on network TV then you saw something very different from the theatrical version. The networks in their wisdom rearranged some scenes and added narration. Why would you add narration? Because the networks believe people are idiots and must have everything explained to them. Did I mention that I Hate exposition?

There are some flaws. The way computers are portrayed made me cringe and showed a complete lack of understanding on Carpenter's part as to exactly how they work. Plus you just have to ask yourself, once you understood that THE THING was taking people over only when they were alone and no one was looking, why would you EVER leave anyone alone? Wouldn't you stay together constantly, thus never giving the Thing the opportunity to absorb anyone else?

But the scary atmosphere and awesome creature effects allow your suspension of disbelief to skip these issues. That's why THE THING gets four shriek girls.

Shriek GirlsShriek GirlsShriek GirlsShriek Girls
This review copyright 1999 E.C.McMullen Jr.

THING STUFF
BLU-RAY STREAMING SOUNDTRACK POSTER SHIRT
The Thing (1982) on IMDb Bookmark and Share

Return to Movies

E.C. McMullen Jr. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE THESE
Alien Raiders Altered Splinter
ALIEN RAIDERS
MOVIE REVIEW
ALTERED
MOVIE REVIEW
SPLINTER
MOVIE REVIEW
CURRENT REVIEWERS
E.C.MCMULLEN JR.
COME FOLLOW ME -
AMAZON
BLOG
DEVIANT ART
ECMJR - PORTFOLIO
FACEBOOK
IMDB
PANDORA
ROTTEN TOMATOES
STAGE32
TWITTER
YOUTUBE
KELLY PARKS
ON
IMDB
FACEBOOK
MYSPACE
TWITTER
YOUTUBE

 

TRIVIA
Did you know that John W. Campbell Jr., being an editor of Science Fiction, would write under the psuedonym, "Don A. Stuart"?
A NEW DAWN

Read the Novella
WHO GOES THERE?
by
John W. Campbell Jr.

*
Keith David has acted in this sub-genre no less than three times.

John Carpenter's
THE THING

(alien predator devours & mimics its human prey)

THE PUPPET MASTERS
(alien parasites mimic their human prey)

and

FINAL FANTASY,
(alien ghost / disease hides inside their human prey)


Cyriak Harris has created something that looks THING inspired. Judge for yourself when you watch
Beast-Enders

imdb.com

 

BUY BOOKS FROM
E.C. McMullen Jr.
WILLOW BLUE
Willow Blue
"'Willow Blue' will burrow under your skin and stay there long after you've put the book down."
- Jeffrey Reddick, Creator of
FINAL DESTINATION

PERPETUAL BULLET
Perpetual Bullet Paperback
"'Some People' ... may be the standout story in the book."
- John Grant, Infinityplus

IN OTHER BOOKS
E.C. McMullen Jr.'s

short story
CEDO LOOKED LIKE PEOPLE
in the anthology
FEAR THE REAPER
Fear The Reaper
"This Ray Bradbury-esque is one of the most memorable and one of the more original stories I've read in a long time."
- Amazon Review

HORROR 201: The Silver Scream
PAPERBACK

Horror 201: The Silver Scream
A tome of interviews with
RAY BRADBURY,
JOHN CARPENTER,
WES CRAVEN,
TOM HOLLAND,
E.C. McMULLEN Jr.,
ED NAHA,
GEORGE A. ROMERO, and many more.

Extensively quoted in
Phantasm Exhumed
PHANTASM EXHUMED
The Unauthorized Companion


Robert S. Rhine's
SATAN'S 3-RING CIRCUS OF HELL
Satan's 3-Ring Circus of Hell

Forward by
GAHAN WILSON,
FEO AMANTE.
Featuring comics by
WILLIAM STOUT,
HILARY BARTA,
STEVE BISSETTE,
SPAIN RODRIGUEZ,
FRANK DIETZ,
JIM SMITH,
TONE RODRIGUEZ,
FRANK FORTE,
ERIC PIGORS,
ALEX PARDEE,
MIKE SOSNOWSKI,
OMAHA PEREZ,
DAVID HARTMAN,
D.W. FRYDENDALL,
SHANNON WHEELER,
VINCENT WALLER,
JACOB HAIR,
NENAD GUCUNJA,
STEVEN MANNION,
NORMAN CABRERA,
and more!

I will take you home...Feo Amante's Horror Home Page, Feo Amante's Horror Thriller, and feoamante.com are owned and
Copyright 1997 - 2017 by E.C.McMullen Jr.
FAIR USE - PRIVACY POLICY - OWNERSHIP - CONTACT
All images and text belong to E.C.McMullen Jr. unless otherwise noted.
All fiction stories belong to their individual authors.