On June 25, 1982, John Carpenter's reimagining of Howard Hawks' The Thing From Another World (which itself was actually an adaptation of John W. Campbell Jr.'s novella Who Goes There?) hit theaters as The Thing. Terrifying, visceral and moody, Carpenter's pressure-cooker exploration of man's paranoia in a remote outpost in Antarctica was not exactly embraced by critics or mainstream audiences, who preferred to go in droves to see that nice alien, E.T.
But as is the case with almost all of Carpenter's films, audiences found The Thing when it was released on home video and via cult screenings that still continue to this day around the globe. It took some time, but now The Thing, along with the groundbreaking work of special creature effects designer Rob Bottin and Stan Winston's practical effects work on the dog sequence, is considered a modern sci-fi/horror classic. A generation of horror filmmakers cite the film's explicit approach to the alien's assimilation of the Outpost 31 researchers as a benchmark of the genre. And the masterful work of the mostly theatre-trained cast, led by Carpenter constant Kurt Russell, elevates the film into another realm of resonance and investment.
To celebrate the film's 35th anniversary on June 25, we assembled three veterans from The Thing for an exclusive mini-reunion to reminisce about shooting the film three decades ago. Keith David, who played Childs; Larry J. Franco, the associate producer and 1st assistant director; and director of photography Dean Cundey gave us the geek chills talking about the travails of bringing the film to life and the impact it had on all of their careers.
To start the series, David, Franco and Cundey talk about shooting portions of the film in the frigid and remote area of Stewart, British Columbia.
Be sure to come back all week to watch all four of our exclusive The Thing retrospective interviews this week, leading up to the June 25th anniversary.