Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Week of Reel Whorror!: The Invasion Will Not Be Televised - Day 2

Welcome to Day 2 of Reel Whore's Week of Reel Whorror! Next up in The Invasion Will Not Be Televised series is the classic '80s adaptation (but not the first adaptation) of John W. Campbell Jr's short story Who Goes There?

The Thing

Release: 06.25.82
Rated R
1 hour, 49 minutes

Full Price

It took me the better part of nineteen years watch John Carpenter's The Thing. To be fair, I would have been six when this was released and my folks weren't real big on going to the movies. Upon the addition of VHS to our home, I was more excited about perusing the new release racks than revisiting all those old films. Luckily, Hollywood felt the need to remake The Thing this year, so I queued up the original and now I hate that I put it off watching it for so damned long!

In a most bizarre beginning, a sled dog is racing across Antarctica being chased by a rifleman in a helicopter! The pooch  makes it to an American research outpost just as the crew heads out to see the commotion. The crazed rifleman, a Norwegian unable to speak English, springs from the the chopper and, after nearly killing one of the Americans is shot for fear that he'll kill them all. In the commotion, a sinister creature has infiltrated their camp. Trapped by a winter storm with a creature that can assume the appearance of their prey, the men begin to point fingers and guns at the one's they think are the threat.

Heading the cast is Kurt Russell who plays the chopper pilot, MacReady. Though he's not the big man on the totem pole, when the shit goes down, you know everyone turns to Russell. In addition to Russell, The Thing is chock full of great '80s actors like Wilford Brimley, T.K. Carter, Charles Hallahan, Richard Masur, Donald Moffat and Keith 'Mutha Fuckin' David! You couldn't ask for a better group of guys to be trapped with an alien in the freezing cold. Well, except that Brimley's Dr. Blair goes nutso and wrecks shit in an attempt to save humanity. Together these guys are so believably freaked out by the events that even the audience wonders who's who.

Dirty Undies
I'm not sure if it's that the drugs of the '80s were just that good or if Carpenter and creature creator Rob Bottin were still high on '70s opiates, but the creatures are amazingly freaky. Watching The Thing is kinda like attending a pig pickin'; live things are killed and torn to shreds, blood is splattered everywhere, and every once in a while a meaty chunk gets barbecued. Speaking of meat, this was cast as a sausage fest in an icebox so don't expect any enticing sexual imagery.

The Money Shot
Thanks to great creature efffects, wonderfully paranoid acting, and shit getting torched or blown up every few minutes, The Thing holds up amazingly well. It's so tense that you barely wonder why you don't always see people's breath when their exposed to the elements or how folks can run out into the cold, Antarctic night AND THEN put their jacket on. Small foibles aside, The Thing is a creature feature you should not let stay hidden.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

No comments:

Post a Comment