John Carpenter's The Thing is one of my all-time favorite movies, and one of three I cite (along with Alien and The Empire Strikes Back) as the films that struck an inspirational chord in my fertile teen brain and urged me to pursue a career in screenwriting and filmmaking. I distinctly remember making the trek from Bay Area suburbia into San Francisco in June of 1982 for the premiere at the Castro theater, where it was being presented in breathtaking 70mm matched with thunderous six-track Dolby stereophonic sound. This second adaptation of the source material is actually a much closer translation of John W. Campbell's original novella Who Goes There? than the 1951 Howard Hawks version starring Gunsmoke's James Arness as the adaptable vegetable creature.
The frigid Antarctic locale, the terrifying practical effects, the brooding sense of claustrophobia, Rob Bottin's shapeshifting alien creations, Kurt Russell's somber, sombrero-wearing helicopter pilot and Ennio Morricone's unnerving musical score flow together and crystallize into what I believe is Carpenter's most polished work.
A seldom-seen, 84-minute documentary from 1998 entitled The Thing: Terror Takes Shape, chronicling the production of the cult classic, has resurfaced due to the constant backscatter effect of the internet and you can watch it right now for free!! Directed by Michael Matessino, it's a provocative peek into the making of one of the most influential and scary sci-fi flicks of the century.
Button up that Polarfleece parka and have a look ...
(Via Geek Tyrant)