Hops and Box Office Flops: ‘THE THING – A Quintessential Carpenter Classic’
John Carpenter has directed movies that redefined genres in their era—Halloween, Escape from New York, Big Trouble in Little China—so much so, that they remain seminal movies today. One of those films is 1982’s The Thing.
Though it was much maligned critically upon its release and was a commercial failure—grossing just over $19 million on a budget of $15 million—The Thing‘s legacy is epitomized far more by the way it has persisted. It, like many of the films we have covered before, is a cult classic. But unlike some of our prior movies, it is also a damn fine cinema experience.
That is due, in no small part, to its insane creature effects—practical gore that more than stands the test of time—its dynamite cast, and an incredibly tense narrative. Set in a remote Antarctic research base, The Thing makes you feel as if you’re trapped along with its characters. As the viewer, you, just like them, question who’s infected and when the ambiguous pathogen will strike next. It’s a mystery that you know will be unraveled, yet you can’t help wanting to get to the answers before they’re given to you in an increasing grisly and imaginative fashion.
That build—the blood soaked journey to the climax—is one any first-time viewer of The Thing does not soon forget.
So sit back, grab an Altered Beast IPA from Southern Prohibition Brewing, and exchange some nervous glances as I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash, and Chumpzilla test our blood to discover which of us is really who we say we are!
This Week’s Segments:
- Introduction – *Spoiler: We love this movie! And we analyze everything. *If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and watch it first. (00:00)
- Our Ode to the Legendary John Carpenter Trivia Challenge – I put Capt. Cash and Chumpzilla to the test with trivia relating to this Carpenter master work. (54:16)
- Recommendations – We provide our picks for the week and one extra John Carpenter-themed suggestion. (1:04:29)