Monday, October 13, 2014

THE THING / Universal Pictures, Turman-Foster Company - 1982

It's Halloween Countdown Monday with Tabonga, here at The Dungeon!.. Here's a creep fest I saw at the theater back in 1982, it's a nonstop tilted bumper car ride without bumpers and no ambulance. It stars Kurt Russell as part of a dysfunctional scientific expedition at the Antarctic that come across a real terror from another world.

Eegah!! sent over a sound clip from this wild flick for our earjoyment, sooooo, you can push the big red 'GO' button located there by our atomic flame thrower, NOW, Ralphie The Tarantula!.. Here's a taste of... THE THING!

It starts with some seemingly mad Norwegians in a helicopter trying to shoot a single huskie who runs to the safety of the Americans. It all ends in disaster for the foreigners!

After the dog mutates that night, the guys figure out that they have an alien life form that needs other animals and humans to inhabit! So, they fly to the Norwegian camp to see what clues to the mystery they can find there.

And, they find more than they bargained for! They take a pile of twisted flesh back to their camp to study.

It always cracks me up when a dude in 1982 smokes pot and no one even cares! To me, it was a big middle finger up to Ronnie and Nancy!

They find the giant saucer discovered by the Norwegians that had crashed in the ice.

I like this weird mutation that has teeth in the eye sockets!!

While trying to revive this dude, the doctor finds out the hard way that the Thing was hiding in him, and, gets his hands bitten off!

Then, the Thing turns into this hideous mutation and it simply creeps out the door!

After the Thing has taken over a number of the crew, MacReady comes up with a plan to tell who's a human and who's a Thing by testing everyone's blood with a hot metal rod! If there's no reaction to the blood, then, you can be trusted. This is one of the best scenes and is really gut wrenching to watch!

It's over for this guy, the Thing opens up it's huge mouth and swallows half of him, his legs kicking wildly!

Welp, Macready blows the place up and one can only hope the Thing is dead, a very somber ending... I like THE THING from 1951 sooo much better than this version, many eighties flicks have ending where nothing gets solved. Give me good old fifties writing where problems are always solved!

Eegah!! is up Wednesday with another Halloween Countdown Surprise!..


Randall Landers said...

This is sort of a sequel to the original "Thing from Another World," but I really didn't care for it. The original is just a monster in the haunted house story, but it's so well done with crisp overlapping dialogue and over-the-top mad scientist. No one has come close to Robert Cornthwaite as the utterly insane Dr. Carrington ever. Throw in Kenneth Toby as Captain Pat Hendry and Douglas Spencer as Reporter Scotty, and you get a solid core of actors who in all honesty put Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley and the rest to absolute shame. :)

TABONGA! said...

Right on, Randall!..

Eegah!! said...

Too bad the movie's not as good as the poster!

iain said...

The 'remake' is a superb movie in its own right, and has gone on to establish bona fide cult status. Comparisons with the original are pointless, the two films are completely different in intention and execution. Carpenter has, however, stuck much more closely to the source material, a short story titled 'Who Goes There?' by John W. Campbell Jnr., in which the alien visitor is a shape-shifter.
What Carpenter did (it still amazes me to consider the extent to which he was tuned in to the zeitgeist) is anticipate the full emergence of HIV/AIDS in the decade(s) following The Thing - as you have pointed out, one of the most tense scenes involves the testing of infected blood (!)in order to figure out who is carrying the (viral?) invader. And Carpenter sets his movie in an all-male environment, a literal ice-bound polar equivalent of the overheated urban sources of early 1980s claustrophobic paranoia, the all-male gay bathhouses. Perhaps a viewer has to be gay to notice just how many horror stories in the 1970s began offering us metaphors for the non-feasibility of the suburban American Dream (The Hills Have Eyes, Texas Chainsaw, Dawn of the Dead) and made way for a sexually transmitted body horror sensed early on by Cronenberg (in Shivers) and a few years later gave way to the influence of viral paranoia. And The Thing locates the panic in an explicitly male environment. And it's a lot more unnerving than, say, Soderbergh's Contagion (which, after 3 viewings, I do actually admire, albeit grudgingly).

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