Directed by John Carpenter
Produced by David Foster & Lawrence Turman
Written by Bill Lancaster
Director of Photograpy Dean Cundey
Music by Ennio Morricone
Cast: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, T.K. Carter, David Clennon, Keith David & Richard A. Dysart
1982/109 mins/Color/5.1 DD
2.35:1/English/USA/NTSC Region 1
Review from the Universal DVD
In Antartica, twelve man are doing environmental research. They are isolated as the place is surrounded by snow, ice and cold temperatures. One day an unidentified helicopter flies over their base, the people in the helicopter are chasing and shooting at a dog. The helicopter crashes leaving none of the person aboard alive, the dog now being taken care by members of the research team but they do not yet know which deadly secret the dog brought to them. MacReady, Kurt Russel sporting a beard, wants to investigate why the helicopter came all the way over to his base and why did they tried to kill the dog. They soon discover a Norwegian base and a very strange looking corpse which seems to be made out of two bodies. They take the body back to their base and after doing an autopsy on it they discover that it is not human... yet worse, it must not be from Earth! It looks like this "thing" survived over 100 000 years buried in the snow and that the Norwegian team discovered it. This "thing" has the ability to assimilate any living organism and imitates them. The "thing" leaves the body of the dog, in one very graphic and over the top scene. It will now need a new host... one of the twelve man might have it in him. They are trapped together and they can't trust each other.
Based on John W. Campbell (Don A. Stuart) sci-fi thriller novel "Who goes there?" which was already put to celluloid in 1950 thanks to Howard Hawks and Christian Nyby as THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD, John Carpenter's version is much closer to the original vision of Campbell then the 1950 film. THE THING is a claustrophobic horror sci-fi classic and one of my all time fav film! Music composer legend, Ennio Morricone delivered yet another classic soundtrack. This also marks Rob Bottin debut as a special effects makers and what a job he did, 20 years later his fx are still convincing and incredibly stunning. Surprisingly, THE THING tanked badly at the box office, certainly due that a few weeks earlier a movie about a cute little alien named E.T. was released and shooked the world. It was a bad timing from Universal to release THE THING around the sametime as everyone wanted cute little aliens by then. Looking back at this situation right now helps the film, it has since become a big cult film and it is considered by many as one of Carpenter's best.
This is the first DVD i've ever bought, it was also the reason why i got into the whole DVD craze back in 1998. First of all, the image is clean, sharp and colorful especially the blues which are beautiful. I have never seen this film look so good. The great transfer from Universal really makes Dean Cundey's photography all the more enjoyable and stunning. The film is presented in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The main audio track is in 5.1 Dolby digital and sounds great. It's loud and clear so we can fully enjoy Ennio Morricone's great score and all the horrific noises throughout the film. We also have a french 2.0 Dolby Surround track while not as good as the English 5.1 DD still has some guts.
The disc is filled with extras such as an 80 minutes making-of documentary called, Terror Takes Shape. This baby has everything: interview with Carpenter, Russel, Lancaster, Rob Bottin, Albert Whitlock, the rest of the cast, the crew, a look at some never-before-seen footage. This is the kind of documentary every DVD should have and not some lame promotial ones like there's too many of. We also get the theatrical trailer, outtakes from the film, story boards and conceptual art. Another big plus is the commentary track with Carpenter and Russel which is really cool, informative and funny. They worked on lots of projects together (ELVIS, ESCAPE FROM N.Y, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, ESCAPE FROM L.A.) and you can really feel the great chemistry between the two.
The DVD comes in the usual Universal keep case, there's also a really nice 8 pages color booklet. The film is separated in 37 chapters. The disc's presentation looks ok, there is no animation but some background music. One last thing, you can watch the film with the isolated score, to do so go to the Language Selection menu and there you will find and entry that says Music Score, enjoy.
This Film Features:
Review by Kim Dubuisson. All Right Reserved. 2003. ©