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The Thing(1982) - By T-Dawg

Rating out of 5 possible lobsters :


 The first thing that struck me about “The Thing” on DVD was how crisp and new looking the movie was. The standard that I measure these older horror movies by is the test of time. Will they induce the same nightmares that haunted me as a kid and will the special effects still be grotesque and believable or just plain cheesy? The one Thing I enjoyed about this John Carpenter classic is that it is more a psychological thriller first and a horror film as the back drop.

 The movie opens with a dog running through the snow covered landscape being chased by a Norwegian sniper in a Helicopter who should probably try hunting big game like a Moose before trying to kill a small agile animal. The dog ultimately leads us to a secluded outpost in the Arctic inhabited by a bunch of red blooded Americans. As the plot unfolds we come to find the reasons for the Norwegian wanting to go postal on the defenseless pooch.

 The cast includes Kurt Russell (in classic antihero form) as a helicopter pilot, Keith David as the loose canon behind a loose canon, Wilfred Brimley (Damn Right it’s the Quaker Oates guy!), and another half dozen hapless souls. Needless to say Things begin to go bump in the night and soon people begin to drop like flies. The remaining survivors begin to realize that what is stalking them has ability to use them as a host. The tension and paranoia mounts as the men begin suspecting each other as the killer and the realization that they are confined to the outpost with no communication equipment, no means of transportation and the potential of being exposed to the extreme cold. Like any good creature it does have one weakness - FIRE. Kurt Russell comes up with a way to determine weather or not you are the thing. They get everyone submit a blood sample and test it with a heat source. Without giving any of the plot away this is the most thrilling scene in the movie.

 As for the gore there is plenty of it with animals splitting in half, limbs being severed, and gallons of red American blood being spilled. The special effects are extremely good for its time and there some over the top moments that are as funny as they are scary. In true sci-fi horror tradition there is a payoff with a large creature at the end that out hero must square off against. But unlike Carpenter’s later movies and horror tradition it does not have a wink -wink Hollywood ending. It lets you draw your own conclusions and is more satisfying for it.

 In closing this gets 4 ˝ lobsters for easily being one of Carpenters best films. Kurt Russell delivers a solid performance and you can’t go wrong with Wilfred Brimley who clearly abandons his innocent grandfatherly Oatmeal Routine. If you want a classic psychological/horror cult classic pick this Thing up on DVD! Have your night light on, a flame thrower and your friend’s blood tests handy when you get together to watch The Thing!

Henry's Comments

 "Now this is an 80s horror flick! Scores of gore but alas, no artic whores!"