Classic Movies Project: The Thing

TheThing

For my first classic movie I have oddly enough never seen, I went with The Thing (so now people can stop yelling at me all the time about not having seen it ;)).  I’d previously seen the prequel/remake (was it a prequel?  Or was it a remake?? Didn’t they bill it as a prequel but it was really just the same thing but with a chick?) and I pretty much dug it but man, was this intense!

I am NOT a fan of THIS.

I am NOT a fan of THIS.

I assume I can pretty much skip the recap (aliens, y’all – big nasty motherfucking aliens) so I’ll break it down into The Good and The Bad.

THE GOOD:

Dude, Kurt Russell is pretty much the BOMB.  And um, oddly kinda of really hot.

Old school makeup and camera tricks beat out CGI pretty much any day of the week.  Those aliens were freaky as hell.  And seriously, why, oh why do creepy things always have to do the even creepier backwards crab walk thing??  Why??  :(

That one dog near the beginning when the alien first appears – you know when all the dogs are locked in that cell thing – the dog that takes one look at the alien and says, “Fuck this shit.” and starts tearing out the bars so it can escape.  That was AWESOME.

Major tension.  I was deeply unsettled the whole way through.  Like nervous in the pit of my stomach unsettled.

Super gross.  I actually got really hungry about halfway through this and kept wanting to go get food but then something incredibly, wickedly disgusting would happen and yeah…food was not an option.

THE BAD:

All those poor puppies!  :(  Sad making.

While this left me unsettled, the remake thing actually had me a little scared.  No idea what the difference there was except that the backwards crab walking alien was WAYYYY more amped up and dramatic in the remake and it freaked me the hell out.  But this didn’t scare me.

I was totally bored throughout the beginning – say the first 30 minutes.

HOT!

HOT!

So the final verdict?  Entirely enjoyable.  I can totally see why it gained cult status and I can totally see how all my friends that actually saw this movie when they were kids were terrified of it.  Probably not one I’ll revisit but definitely glad I finally saw it.

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About mistylayne

I'm a Z movie loving, horror hound, Buffy quoting, Dr. Who watching, geekazoid and seeker of all things unusual. I'm a gypsy wanderer, lover of words, Wendy of the damned and all that jazz. What can I say? I'm complicated.

Posted on 2013.11.January, in American Cinema, Classic Movies Project, Horror, Oldies but Goodies and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 71 Comments.

  1. A true classic its John Carpenter’s best film and my favorite of his. The aliens were just so disguisting to look at some scenes it still creeps me out. Great that you finally saw it. The remake wasnt worth it and was a prequel. Good stuff.

  2. Not seen this for quite a while but it is a great film, and that’s coming from someone who’s not a massive fan of horror films. A good one to quick off your series with Misty!

  3. YES! Glad you liked it! That sombrero Russell wears is so bad ass. The part with the defibrillator is my favorite scene….that floored me when I first saw it.

    WILFRED BRIMLEY WILL BLOW YOUR DAMN FOOL HEAD OFF.

    • YES! The defibrillator part was crazy awesome!! And Russell IS bad ass in this. I also really dug the ending.

      • They made a video game which was a sequel to this. I couldn’t ever get into though, it really aggravated the shit out of me, but a lot of people swear by it.

        So…have you seen the other Carpenter/Russell flicks?

        If you listen to them with the commentary track on, you can make a drinking game where every time they stop talking about the movie to catch up on their persona lives (they talk about their kids little league teams at one point) or when Carpenter lights up a cig. They are a lot of fun together.

      • That’s pretty cool there was a video game.

        And I don’t think so? I’m not sure? Lol. But I dig commentary tracks and especially when they start getting personal so that sounds awesome!

  4. I love John Carpenter but the Thing was never one of my favorites by him. Still a really good movie though. Would make my top 10 Carpenter (I’ve seen every movie he’s directed.)

    Gotta disagree on the prequel. Even if this isn’t in my top 5 JC movies still beats the piss out of the remake which I found about average

    • The remake wasn’t better it was just more effective for me horror wise. The original left me tense – the remake made me sleep with my light on, lol. Again, I attribute it to the backward crab walking alien. ;)

  5. FINALLY!!!! Good one to start with!! One of my favorite movies as a kid!! Kurt Russell was all sorts of BAD-ASS!! Did you enjoy Donald Moffat and his super long eyebrows???

  6. Easily one of my favorite horror/sci-fi films ever. The scene with the petri dish where they are all trying to figure out who is the alien is pure horror gold. That’s how you build tension.

  7. Victor De Leon

    Great job! My favorite JC movie. You MUST listen to their Commentaries when you get the chance. BTILC and EFNY are epic. Good going on this amazing movie! Can’t wait to read more! :)

  8. Yeah, fuck you too!!

  9. It’s already been mentioned, but yes, it’s true. You need to see Big Trouble in Little China ASAP.

    The Thing might be my favorite Carpenter movie. Not sure, really, but it very well could be. I saw the remake in the theater and hated it. All the atmosphere that this one has was absent. But yea, Kurt is the man, and I looooove the effects. Also, what a fantastic ending.

    • I will definitely add it to my list. :)

      And totally agreed about the atmosphere being absent in the remake. And also totally agreed with the Kurt being the man, the effects and the ending! :)

      • You touched on one thing that really pissed me off about the “prequel.” It wasn’t a prequel. It was The Thing starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead instead of Kurt Russell. The movie is exactly the same. I didn’t see a point to any of it. Also, a game of Tetris was powering the alien ship.

      • Yeah, see that is why I was so confused watching the original. It was totally deja vu except dude instead of chick. And somehow I missed that Tetris was powering the alien ship…huh what? Lol.

      • At one point when she’s inside the ship, she finds an area that I’m assuming is like the core of the ship or whatever, and it’s a giant tube with what I can only describe as a game of Tetris being played inside it. Giant blocks moving all around. It was really stupid.

      • *giggles* I totally don’t even remember that part!

      • Looks like you’ll have to see it again! Muahahahaha

  10. It has been awhile since I’ve seen this, but your description of ‘major tension’ that you felt was right on-target because I felt the same way. I’m glad you enjoyed this and am looking forward to your other reviews of classic films.

  11. My all time favorite movie…and you’ve never seen it? What manner of travesty, of injustice, of, of, of…oh wait a minute….I guess you have seen it now.
    Never mind.

  12. Kurt, was, is, and always will be the man. Snake Plissken anyone? Nice review – love this movie by the way. Practical effects rule. I don’t know why they messed up such a good thing.

  13. Oh good Lord I’m so glad you didn’t post some of those gross pictures! Hahaha! I saw this on my cousin’s HBO channel in around ’82 — never forget how grossed out I was! For sure this movie would wipe a girl’s appetite right out. Hey, maybe I should watch this everyday until I lose 15 pounds :)

  14. I adore Carpenter and I adore this movie. I’ve always found it amusing how he got Morricone to do the soundtrack. It sounds just like “Morricone playing Carpenter”. Awesome.

  15. I watched it recently as well and it stands up pretty well. Glad you liked it. Love the ‘Classic Movies Project’, it’s great talking about these classics.

    • So far I’m having a blast! I mean, I know it’s just the first one but still. Hopefully I don’t end up just hating something that everyone loves…oy, just think of the yelling then… ;)

  16. I regard this as one of the all time classic Sci-fi/Horror movies misty. Carpenter knows how’s to crank up the tension and paranoia. One of my favourite movies:

  17. Geek Soul Brother

    YEEESSSSSS! You picked my suggestion first! I feel special hahaha. I’m glad you liked the film (and Kurt). One aspect I loved about The Thing was that it was an all male cast. Very rare in horror films. And their macho-ego facades were stripped away pretty much from the moment the crazy started (except Kurt’s).
    Now here is the million dollar question Misty: Did you ever see the ORIGINAL Thing?

    Oh, and the new one was a definite prequel, but also a remake. Though I can see why it hit you with the scary factor, I didn’t appreciate too much until the after credit scenes. I loved what the writers did to link it to Carpenters.

    Can’t wait for your other reviews. Let us know what you plan to pick next so we can watch some of the films at the same time.

    • Geek Soul Brother

      Scratch that First pick stuff. Ryan McNeely suggested it first! That’s what happens when you get old, you take credit from your fellow commenters for awesome movie picks hahaha. Sorry Ryan M, you are The Man.

    • Wait, there is an original BEFORE this one?? Like in the 50s or something? That’s an interesting comment about the all male cast – I didn’t really pick up on that while watching but very true.

      I didn’t see the after credit scenes – I was watching on HBO and turned it off to go to sleep. I should check those out.

      And that’s a great idea! I’ll definitely let y’all know what this week’s is when I pick it. :)

      • Geek Soul Brother

        THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD 1951. John Carpenter was really into director Howard Hawks films. Hawks didn’t ‘officially’ direct it, but it’s his film. Carpenter’s genius shined in the way he re-imagined the original. And FYI, this all came from a written story by John Campbell Jr called Who Goes There. I still haven’t read it though.

        As far as the new prequel/remake, it was awesome how the credits tied the film to Carpenters. Remember the next time you watch it.

      • Oh cool! I will have to check that and the story out! Thanks! And of course the credits next time I watch. :)

  18. … he said prematurely.

    Anyway… the alien test scene is one of my favorite horror film scenes ever. Nobody trusts anybody and they’d all kill each other even if they weren’t sure. Excellence!

    The prequel didn’t bother me nearly as much as it should have. They tried some of the same beats (doing their own test for who is and is not an alien, for example). I went into the prequel thinking I would loathe it, and came out having enjoyed myself. I don’t think it will be a classic like Carpenter’s, by any stretch, but I agree that it had some nice moments.

    • The alien test scene is definitely one of my favorites. I cannot accurately describe my tenseness there. I had no idea who was the thing and what was going to happen or who was going to die and it was nerve wracking.

      I liked the filling thing for the prequel but it definitely was less intense. Absolutely agreed that it’s not a classic but with some nice moments. :)

  19. Even though the effects are dated by today’s standards, they still have the power to shock. Effective direction and casting – as well as a great adaptation of the classic Campbell story – made this possible. Also, EPIC BEARD, wot? lol

    • Oh they definitely do. I’m a big fan of the old school practical effects. Tom Savini?? So amazing. And yes, epic beard, lol!

      • I was an avid reader of sci-fi and horror magazines back in the day. I loved reading articles about how the effects were achieved. I think Baker, Savini, Trumbull etc were and are absolute geniuses! Knowing HOW they did it did not ruin the experience for me in the least. On the contrary, I was even more impressed once I saw the finished product on the big screen.

      • Definitely! I used to read Fangoria pretty hardcore and sometimes Rue Morgue and one of them had a really awesome interview with Savini – it was so intriguing! :)

  20. FINALLY!!! Glad you enjoyed it anyway, classic horror! :D

  21. I can’t help but adore this movie. You are spot on when it comes to the tension, and I love the ambiguity of the end – the story isn’t spoon-fed to the audience by any means. Of course, it was totally panned by critics and moviegoers when it was first released and was a total box office flop. Glad to see its come to be appreciated by horror and sci-fi fans over time.

    • Ambiguity can be a wonderful thing and I love that I got to decide for myself what happened to them ultimately instead of knowing for sure. Thanks for stopping by Eva! :)

  22. been said already but this is also one of my favorite horror films of all time. BTILC is also amazing, as is EFNY. Check them out, early carpenter stuff was amazing

  23. Kurt makes his wine at the winery where I work. I finally get to meet him tomorrow and I’m going to try really hard not to pee my pants.

    Is that not the most GLORIOUS beard you have ever seen??

And.........Action!

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