Thing

Thing

4.6 36
Director: John Carpenter

Cast: John Carpenter, Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, T.K. Carter

     
 

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Although given a lukewarm reception by critics and the public upon its release, The Thing, like so many of John Carpenter's films, has since acquired a fiercely loyal cult following, and MCA Home Video will have fans of the chilly sci-fi horror in rapture with this outstanding reissue DVD. Originally released in 1998, this Collector's Edition is an exactSee more details below

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Overview

Although given a lukewarm reception by critics and the public upon its release, The Thing, like so many of John Carpenter's films, has since acquired a fiercely loyal cult following, and MCA Home Video will have fans of the chilly sci-fi horror in rapture with this outstanding reissue DVD. Originally released in 1998, this Collector's Edition is an exact replica of the previous disc, except for the chilly slipcase packaging. Picture-wise, the film's immaculate whites and cold blues are clean and sharp, and the polar landscapes are awe-inspiring in widescreen. Carpenter is renowned for his inventive use of sound effects and music, and the Dolby 5.1 Audio truly heightens the film's suspense. There is also a mind-boggling array of extra features on the DVD. The theatrical trailer, production notes, and biographies of Carpenter and star Kurt Russell are welcome, but they pale in comparison to most of the other additions. The production archives section, for example, is an extensive combination of text and photos that concentrates on Rob Bottin's eye-popping special effects, and equally interesting is the production art showing early designs of the alien creature. The background archive will interest would-be screenwriters, as it uses pages from the original draft to show how the film took shape. Of the countless other bits and pieces, the outtakes section is surest to please confirmed fans, even though the stills and deleted scenes here are of a mainly expository nature (though at least one deleted scene will delight fans of the movie's sardonic humor). Yet even if it had none of the aforementioned special features, this would be an essential DVD due to the commentary track and 80-minute documentary "Terror Takes Shape." The latter, featuring contributions from all the main players, is an utterly engrossing background to the conception and production of The Thing, and also includes spectacular stop-motion footage that was not used in the final version. The commentary by Carpenter and Russell, meanwhile, is a winning blend of astute analysis and warm recollection that is always enjoyable and occasionally hilarious. This is a wonderful DVD package that will give pleasure to even casual fans of the film.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Upon its theatrical release in 1982, John Carpenter's reworking of the 1951 sci-fi classic The Thing from Another World took a drubbing from some outspoken genre devotees who thought it deviated too much from the original and sported unnecessarily gross special effects. In fact, writer-director Carpenter deliberately avoided paying obeisance to Christian Nyby's 1951 film and instead went back to the source material, John W. Campbell's 1938 novella "Who Goes There?" for inspiration. He retained the story's central conceit, making the alien a shape-shifter capable of perfectly mimicking any life form it ingests. The basic premise was the same: a research team working in a remote Antarctic outpost comes across the body of a frozen alien and brings it back to the base, where the creature thaws out and begins killing the men one by one. Kurt Russell, who had felicitously teamed with Carpenter on the preceding year's Escape from New York, is rather subdued as the fatalistic hero R. J. MacReady. The supporting performances of Wilford Brimley, Richard Dysart, Richard Masur, Donald Moffat, and T. K. Carter are similarly restrained and lend believability to a patently unbelievable situation. The special effects, while certainly on the repulsive side, are extraordinarily convincing by 1982 standards, although they won't seem quite as impressive to younger viewers weaned on the CGI effects of the last decade. In retrospect, Carpenter's The Thing was a lot better than some of us thought, and it has taken its place among the masterworks of sci-fi cinema. This Collector's Edition includes a commentary by Carpenter and Russell, a making-of documentary titled "Terror Takes Shape," and a host of extras including work-in-progress special effects footage, conceptual art and storyboards, and even some stop-motion animation that didn't make the movie's final cut.
All Movie Guide - Jeremy Wheeler
John Carpenter's remake of the 1950s monster film is a grotesque exercise in how to scare the living socks off of even the most jaded viewer. Cold, claustrophobic, and expertly realized, The Thing creeps under your skin and doesn't let up until the last credit rolls. Carpenter is at the top of his game as he flexes his horror muscles once again and arguably surpasses original with an expertly crafted film that continues to ask questions of its audience decades later. Equally worthy of praise is the amazing work of the still young FX guru Rob Bottin. With free reign to let his imagination run as wild as he wanted, Bottin (fresh off of The Howling) spent a little over a year living at Universal's back-lot creating some of the most horrific images audiences had ever seen. The outrageously surreal and bloody work he created (with the brief help of another young lad named Stan Winston) has been a benchmark for practical makeup effects since its release in 1982. The Thing wouldn't be the same without the palpable dread provided by Dean Cundey coldly controlled camerawork and Ennio Morricone's Carpenter-esque score thumping in the background. Apart from its exceptionally crafted aesthetics, the note-perfect ensemble goes a long way to sell this menacing tale. From the chilling Blair (Wilford Brimley) to the cool of Childs (Carpenter fave Keith David), these are meaty characters facing a no-win situation -- with Kurt Russell as MacReady leading the motley crew. Russell is a mean quiet machine as he and Carpenter create another iconic hero to rule over the annals of cinema. Famously, The Thing flopped at the box office against the feel-good alternative - a little film called ET - yet the bleak picture found its real audience - and near-universal reverence - in the years that followed.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/26/2004
UPC:
0025192543722
Original Release:
1982
Rating:
R
Source:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:49:00
Sales rank:
7,547

Special Features

Closed Caption; All-new digitally remastered picture; Feature commentary with Kurt Russell and director John Carpenter; John Carpenter's The Thing: Terror Takes Shape, an 80-minute original documentary featuring interviews with John Carpenter, Kurt Russell, special effects make-up designer Rob Bottin, legendary matte artist Albert Whitlock, plus other members of the cast, crew and special effects team; Stop motion animation cut from the film; Exclusive work-in-progress visual effects footage; Behind-the-scenes location footage; Original theatrical trailer; Outtakes from the film; Behind-the-scenes photographs; Storyboards and conceptual art; Annotated production archive

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kurt Russell MacReady
Wilford Brimley Blair
T.K. Carter Nauls
David Clennon Palmer
Keith David Childs
Richard Dysart Dr. Copper
Charles Hallahan Norris
Peter Maloney Bennings
Richard Masur Clark
Joel Polis Fuchs
Norbert Weisser Norwegian
Larry Franco Norwegian Passenger with Rifle
Tony Cecere Actor
Kent Hays Actor
Larry Holt Actor
Melvin Jones Actor
Eric Mansker Actor
Denver Mattson Actor
Donald Moffat Garry
Clint Rowe Actor
Thomas G. Waites Windows
Rock Walker Actor
Jerry Wills Actor
Nate Irwin Helicopter Pilot
William Zeman Pilot

Technical Credits
John Carpenter Director,Screenwriter
Roy Arbogast Special Effects
Rob Bottin Makeup Special Effects
Thomas D. Causey Sound/Sound Designer
Michael A. Clifford Special Effects
Stuart Cohen Co-producer
Dean Cundey Cinematographer
David Foster Producer
John M. Dwyer Set Decoration/Design
Larry Franco Associate Producer,Asst. Director
Mick Garris Screenwriter
Bill Lancaster Screenwriter
Burt Lancaster Screenwriter
Henry Larrecq Art Director
John J. Lloyd Production Designer
Ennio Morricone Score Composer
Graeme Murray Set Decoration/Design
Todd Ramsay Editor
Wilbur Stark Executive Producer
Raymond Stella Camera Operator
Lawrence Turman Producer
Albert J. Whitlock Special Effects

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Titles [2:06]
2. Antarctica, Winter, 1982 [2:26]
3. Station 4 [2:28]
4. Death in the Snow [3:20]
5. Looking for Answers [3:58]
6. It Begins... [1:26]
7. The Norwegian Camp [6:23]
8. The Man-Thing [2:36]
9. What Appears to Be Normal [2:11]
10. The Beast Within [3:12]
11. The Thing [2:49]
12. Autopsy on an Alien [1:12]
13. The Perfect Imitation [1:47]
14. Something in the Ice [1:19]
15. The Crater [2:42]
16. It's Different Than Us [1:39]
17. The Probability of Infection [3:47]
18. They're Not Dead Yet [:59]
19. The Thing That Was Bennings [3:46]
20. Blair Goes Berserk [4:25]
21. Matters of Trust [2:52]
22. Bad Blood [1:32]
23. The Man-in-Charge [3:38]
24. Waiting [2:41]
25. Where's Fuchs? [4:22]
26. MacReady Cuts Loose [4:31]
27. The Deadly Defibrillation [3:20]
28. A Little Test [1:01]
29. Something in the Blood [6:33]
30. Finishing the Test [1:21]
31. Blair's Little Project [2:37]
32. No Way Out [1:55]
33. Warming Things Up [3:10]
34. Right Down Into the Ice [2:53]
35. The Real Thing [1:55]
36. One Last Thing [2:54]
37. End Titles [6:31]

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