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RickR

John Carpenter's "The Thing"

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I was just reading this article:

 

http://www.tasteofcinema.com/2017/6-reasons-why-the-thing-is-a-masterpiece-of-horror-cinema/

 

I had no idea the film was hated originally and got such bad reviews.  All I know was that teenage me LOVED this movie.  I've said it before that this is my all-time favorite horror film. 

 

Anyone else here love this film?

 

One thing I will say -- it's probably been a good 30 years since I've watched it again.  Maybe my memory isn't that good.  I'm going to try to watch it again now as an older person and see if it holds up.  Who is with me on this? 

 

 

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This is one old movie I don't have.  I vaguely remember this movie since I watched it in a drive-in movie theater when I was very little.  I didn't start to watch home versions of these movies until I was about 23 when I inherited a few CED players and tons of movies.  Only then did I start to adventure into the movies my family members were buying.  In Praise of Older Women was about dumb, I loved Singin' In The Rain, and I discovered the original Fog and Escape From New York.  The latter two were really good movies and still declare the original Fog the best one because it let's the imagination play along...something that the remake does not do.  

 

So...in my opinion, the more the imagination is allowed to play the more the movie will play with the senses.  Signs scared me more than any Nightmare sequels just because it played with the imagination.  The Thing was probably "bad mouthed" because compared to Carpenter's previous releases it might have seemed poorly made.  As time moved on and more film tools became available The Thing's original reviews probably changed for the simple fact that it does something most of today's movies don't do...play with the human imagination.  

 

I'd join you if I had it to watch but it's one of those films I would want to watch it with what I would have had available when it came out or shortly there after.  I really don't like watching classics on modern TVs and gear.  It just seems to lose that charm done that way.  

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This is one old movie I don't have.  I vaguely remember this movie since I watched it in a drive-in movie theater when I was very little.  I didn't start to watch home versions of these movies until I was about 23 when I inherited a few CED players and tons of movies.  Only then did I start to adventure into the movies my family members were buying.  In Praise of Older Women was about dumb, I loved Singin' In The Rain, and I discovered the original Fog and Escape From New York.  The latter two were really good movies and still declare the original Fog the best one because it let's the imagination play along...something that the remake does not do.  

 

So...in my opinion, the more the imagination is allowed to play the more the movie will play with the senses.  Signs scared me more than any Nightmare sequels just because it played with the imagination.  The Thing was probably "bad mouthed" because compared to Carpenter's previous releases it might have seemed poorly made.  As time moved on and more film tools became available The Thing's original reviews probably changed for the simple fact that it does something most of today's movies don't do...play with the human imagination.  

 

I'd join you if I had it to watch but it's one of those films I would want to watch it with what I would have had available when it came out or shortly there after.  I really don't like watching classics on modern TVs and gear.  It just seems to lose that charm done that way.  

I loved the Fog.  I had it on video disc and watched it a lot as a kid.   Adrienne Barbeau...hubba hubba! 

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I'll make sure to post a review once I watch it again (hopefully soon).  It has been a long time. 

 

Teenage me didn't really know or care about movie critic reviews at the time, which is probably a good thing.  This movie was not only awesome, it was TERRIFYING.  I loved it.   I saw it in the theater and again a few times on VHS...but not since. 

 

Some movies I loved at the time don't really hold up if I watch them now.  Example:  Star Trek 2 - The Wrath of Khan.  It seems really pokey (plot-wise) and the computer effects are pretty bad (although they were cutting edge at the time, I'm sure).  Plus, everything is BIGGER in ST:2.  Communicators, phasers, computers....doesn't seem very futuristic when you watch it now.  Still a great movie, but gained a little tarnish over time.  Ricardo Montalbano as Khan is one of the all-time great movie-villain performances in any case.  

You all have any other examples?  

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I'll make sure to post a review once I watch it again (hopefully soon).  It has been a long time. 

 

Teenage me didn't really know or care about movie critic reviews at the time, which is probably a good thing.  This movie was not only awesome, it was TERRIFYING.  I loved it.   I saw it in the theater and again a few times on VHS...but not since. 

 

Some movies I loved at the time don't really hold up if I watch them now.  Example:  Star Trek 2 - The Wrath of Khan.  It seems really pokey (plot-wise) and the computer effects are pretty bad (although they were cutting edge at the time, I'm sure).  Plus, everything is BIGGER in ST:2.  Communicators, phasers, computers....doesn't seem very futuristic when you watch it now.  Still a great movie, but gained a little tarnish over time.  Ricardo Montalbano as Khan is one of the all-time great movie-villain performances in any case.  

 

You all have any other examples?  

I still love ST2, but I do have one example.   Dark Crystal was a favorite of mine growing up, and then Jennifer and I watched it together and I didn't get nearly as much out of it.   The "muppets" and effects are still decent enough, but its really choppy and so-so story wise.

 

I should warn that the original is a lot different than the JC version (of the Thing).   The first one is very much a sci-fi suspense movie, while JC puts the horror spin on it.  I actually hear that JC's version is more true to the novella. 

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Let's see...the CEDs that I got.  Dark Crystal was one of them, in Stereo, TRON, also in Stereo, The Fog, Escape From New York, original Exorcist, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Stripes, Watership Down, Mighty Mouse's Great Space Chase, and lots of others.  Sadly, some of the good content on the CED format never made it to other formats.  There are a few exceptions but those were either edited where bits were missing or other changes.  Muppet's Emmitt Otter's Jug-Band Christmas is one of them.  

 

I know after I inherited those RCA CED players (one was a stereo model) and movies I studied them heavily to try to revive movies that had issues or didn't play well.  So...I washed some of them to test them.  It worked but I didn't not know about the light oil on the discs at the time.  War of the Worlds played once before I cleaned it but it was so brittle that the disc literally crumbled to dust as I was washing it.  I was not able to fully test the cleaning method I used on other discs for longevity because it was at Mom's house and I was traveling between Mom and my Grandmother's home 70 miles away.  Mom passed away and the house was broke into before I could retrieve my stuff.  Most of the movies and players were destroyed beyond repair and recognition.  

 

Sorry, I seemed to veer away from the topic.  But some of the best, original sci-fi movies I feel were before the likes of DVDs and digital downloads.  I would love to find another RCA CED player and some movies to relive that experience again.   

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Saw Carpenter's The Thing at the movies when it came out.

Terrific stunner that was way ahead of the gore/splooshy horror trend that would eventually come about, springing out of the slasher genre like Freddy Krueger's hand out of a narcoleptic victim's chest.

 

And ooh yeah, great chest scene in The Thing.

 

The movie went over like gangbusters with us teens. That night with the crowd hollering and hooting along with the movie's expert pacing, Carpenter had won his bet to make an edgy and unfilmable story come to life and entertain like nothing else.

Unfortunately, while the gross-out was cool for young folks, movie sales in the 80s weren't aimed at this market, and the older crowds harrumphed or ignored the call.

 

It was a bet indeed. And this fave director of mine remained sore about it for years.

Too bad he wasn't there when we rewatched this classic over and over again, on VHS and whenever cable was hip enough to air it.

He woulda loved our continual amazement at the greatness in every frame of its run.

 

it remains to this day a perfect movie, for mostly the reasons in the article you posted, Rick.

That thumping, low ebb soundtrack, that claustrophopic environment, that terrific cast, those crazyfying effects that might make you insane if you think about such creatures too long.

 

Rob Bottin emerged an effects god out of this.

Fangoria magazine fed us the skinny on upcoming fantastical features to keep an eye on.

This movie was highly anticipated as a result, from it readers.

 

ah man, what a time that was

 

Things are just as cool today, only different.

Pacing ourselves through effects tidbits from Fangoria, knowing Carpenter's craftsman reputation and Russel's hero presence would make this high adventure.

It all led to one night of explosive joy.

 

To me, that is what The Thing is all about.

 

One of my top movies, as well.

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I just finished watching "The Thing" for the first time in probably 30 years.  My verdict:  Excellent. 

 

It really plays like an extended episode of "The Twilight Zone".  Very well made.  Excelling acting.  The effects are awesome.  It's just as good as I remembered.  However, it isn't quite as terrifying as I remember.  Still, very enjoyable.

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I was just reading this article:

 

http://www.tasteofcinema.com/2017/6-reasons-why-the-thing-is-a-masterpiece-of-horror-cinema/

 

I had no idea the film was hated originally and got such bad reviews.  All I know was that teenage me LOVED this movie.  I've said it before that this is my all-time favorite horror film. 

 

Anyone else here love this film?

 

One thing I will say -- it's probably been a good 30 years since I've watched it again.  Maybe my memory isn't that good.  I'm going to try to watch it again now as an older person and see if it holds up.  Who is with me on this? 

 

I don't remember The Thing ever being hated then and it's certainly not now.  Though in some respects not as good as the original, the special effects were mind-blowing at the time.  Now, if you're talking about a truly bad remake, check out the one they did a few years ago.

Edited by Scott Stilphen

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