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John Carpenter's The Thing
#71
Thanks, Saint. I was referring to the Reagan years specifically. Kevin, you are correct, I was just not clear in explaining my point. While those things still exist today, the "Reagan Era" is over and doesn't really need to be duplicated, if you did, the movie would become a period piece.

However, an immoral boob in the whitehouse who's selling the country out to the highest bidder while running a futile war effort is ripe for the picking, but not as a remake. Let's leave the good one alone.

A sequel on the other hand? Damn right!
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#72
Quote:

Originally Posted by DARKMITE8

Can't give more praise to a horror flick than this one. Easily tied for my fave horror with Alien & Shining. Rob Bottin, we need you back in the saddle!

Chucking dynamite at Wilford-Brimley-monster with an adament ""Yeah, and fuck you too!" is the perfect climax to a perfect flick.

Read an interview in Starlog several years ago where Wilfred blasted the movie. Said it was the worst mistake of his career. Kinda sad.
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#73
Quote:

Originally Posted by General Zod

Read an interview in Starlog several years ago where Wilfred blasted the movie. Said it was the worst mistake of his career. Kinda sad.

That makes the final confrontation in the movie all the sweeter, retro-actively. "Yeah, Wilford, and fuck you too!" KaBlam!
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#74
The remake's official.
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#75
I might get behind a prequel or sequel, but as Devin said... a remake would be an exercise in futility. You just can't top Carpenter's/Bottin's "original".
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#76
New characters, new setting, new situations, practical FX using today's technology. It can be done.

But I'm being idealistic, aren't I?
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#77
I'm with Devin on this with a remake being pretty pointless, because Carpenters still holds really well today. But being a fan of Galactica it's great that Moore will be writing I guess.
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#78
I think everyone agrees it's pointless.
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#79
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dario Delfino

New characters, new setting, new situations, practical FX using today's technology. It can be done.

Yeah, but then you pretty much have a sequel, or a different remake of the original film/short story. The remake of a remake idea is weird.

Despite the large number of shitty ones, I'm not as down on the idea of remakes/updates/whatevathefuck as many. To some extent, stories, themes, and characters are constantly being recycled in all kinds of fiction; acknowledging the inspiration doesn't strike me as a bad thing. I wouldn't mind seeing 10 different movies with the Thing From Another World in various settings, just like I'll watch 10 different zombie movies. But calling all of those zombie movies remakes of Night of the Living Dead isn't necessary.

Put the Thing in a new context with new characters and I'll be there. It's a monster with almost limitless potential for scares, bar-none my favorite horror creation. But put it back in Antarctica and the remake seems utterly pointless. To my knowledge, Arctic research stations haven't changed too much in the last 20 years, and the effects still hold up better than pretty much anything else from the 80s, so it derives practically no benefit from simple updating (as opposed to something like Kong). I don't know, I guess I just think that great as the source material is, they really need to make an effort to distance themselves from it for this to be worthwhile. And calling it a remake of Carpenter's movie, while making some sense from a marketing standpoint, is not good sign in this regard.
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#80
Trouble is you really CAN'T set this anywhere (on Earth) other than tha Arctic/Antarctic...maybe you could try a period piece taking place in a French Foreign Legion fort in the middle of the desert, that might be similar.

(...and, hey, that might be fun; forget I said any of the above...)
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#81
Wait, since this is the 3rd version, shouldn't it take place... in space? Or is that #4, like Leprechaun, Hellraiser, Critters...

Quote:

New characters, new setting, new situations

Sounds like a "re-imagining" to me... Get Tim Burton on the phone (kidding).
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#82
Quote:

Originally Posted by DARKMITE8

Wait, since this is the 3rd version, shouldn't it take place... in space? Or is that #4, like Leprechaun, Hellraiser, Critters..

The third one usually takes place in the city.
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#83
Quote:

Originally Posted by Graham

Trouble is you really CAN'T set this anywhere (on Earth) other than tha Arctic/Antarctic...maybe you could try a period piece taking place in a French Foreign Legion fort in the middle of the desert, that might be similar.

(...and, hey, that might be fun; forget I said any of the above...)

With a bit of thought, you could set it anywhere that moderately secluded. On an island, in the mountains, in the desert, on a ship, in a tiny town. Putting it in a city is about all that is really precluded.
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#84
Quote:

Originally Posted by Schwartz

With a bit of thought, you could set it anywhere that moderately secluded. On an island, in the mountains, in the desert, on a ship, in a tiny town. Putting it in a city is about all that is really precluded.

Sorry, but WRONG!!
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#85
I LOVE this movie. As much as I love the horror genre, and as many movies as I own, it's astonishing that I own so few horror movies. There just aren't that many I consider worth buying. But The Thing and Halloween were the only 2 for a long, long while. As I sit here, with all my VHS tapes still packed away in the attic from my move 2 yrs ago, I can't think of any more in my collection other than Alien. And Jaws, if you consider that a horror movie. [Hmmm. I smell the idea for a new thread] Last year The Thing was all over cable, and I watched it damn near every time it was on. Never get tired of it. Greatest effects in a movie I think I've ever seen. It will hold up for decades more to come, I think.
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#86
Quote:

Originally Posted by BubWilliams

The third one usually takes place in the city.

Dang your right! Critters, Hellraiser, Leprechaun, Poltergeist... #3's all in the city. #4= go to space (unless your Voorhees... took atleast 10 to get there).

So, does that mean that Event Horizon is Poltergeist 4 in disguise?
Sorry for the cheesy derail.

Good location for the Thing remake/sequel (if there must be one): Submarine expedition leaving Antartica.
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#87
I been thinkin' about this sequel location thing (no, I really DON'T have anything better to do). Setting a sequel to The Thing in a city could work very well. isolation was a pervading theme in the original that made it work even more powerfully. But as we've all seen in Dawn of the Dead, or 28 Days Later, or the 80's remake of Invasion of the body Snatchers, overwhelming numbers of "the things", whatever they are (or the threat of same) can be just as horrifying. You know, small band of survivors hole up somewhere to fight off the legions of the aliens until help comes. . . which it may never do. And the build up to that point can be creepy indeed. Imagine if the heroes in DOTD couldn't tell who the zombies were. . . until it was too late. Watching them sneak around and take people by stealth at first, until they had large enough numbers to just start openly taking people in the streets, not caring who sees, because it's too late to stop them. . . Brrrrr. And the number of new forms the Things could take on - I mean, the EFFECTS! - gets ya salivating, doesn't it?
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#88
Quote:

Originally Posted by DARKMITE8

Good location for the Thing remake/sequel (if there must be one): Submarine expedition leaving Antartica.

They already did that - in the comicbook miniseries sequel to Carpenter's film.
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#89
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kreeper

They already did that - in the comicbook miniseries sequel to Carpenter's film.

Well, shit. There ya go... On a silver platter.

The real question is: Will a remake be worth it without the "Brim"?
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#90
Quote:

Originally Posted by Graham

Sorry, but WRONG!!

Out of curiosity, which part did you disagree with?
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#91

What’s amazing about the film is that the older I get the scarier the film is. I must have seen the film a half dozen times now. I first watched it when I was a kid, maybe 11 or 12, and I just kind of loved the gore effects. Was just riveted by them. Every subsequent rewatch has unsettled me a little more and watching it a few nights back the film struck me in a way that I wasn’t expecting. It literally had me on edge. I think the film works as a horror film both visually and conceptually, but I think the concept takes a little getting used to. The idea of being replaced and almost not knowing your replaced, having an enemy within, almost outweighs the body horror stuff in terms of sheer terror for me now. Maybe it’s a societal thing, maybe when you’re younger you care less about people around you and as such age you become more societally conscious. As such the idea of being a threat to people around you, and the people around you being a threat, doesn’t have as much power over an adolescent mind.

I will say this, the film looks incredible in Blu-Ray. Bottin’s FX work is just a marvel in Hi-Definition. It’s amazing to look at the transformations and see so many different things and concepts in there, stuff you might miss in the fuzz of Standard Def. It’s a testament to his work that it still holds up under HD scrutiny and actually works BETTER. There’s so many little touches which give the transformations a nightmarish quality, from the eye motif, to the wagging tongue as the head pulls away from the corpse, to the way windows twitches when he’s set alight. It’s ghoulish and it rewards your attention by being utterly chilling. This is easily my favourite Carpenter film, it’s just an amazing, tense, film and he creates an atmosphere that is almost Hitchcockian. The fact he can maintain full blown tension and paranoia for 45 minutes and never have it diffuse is just a marvel to me.

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#92

"I  know you gentlemen have been through a lot, but when you find the time, I'd rather not spend the rest of this winter TIED TO THIS FUCKING COUCH!"

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#93

I got to watch this last week with a group of kids who had never seen it before. They were skeptical at first, but were freaking the fuck out by the end. They talked for at least an hour on "who or who wasn't the thing" and the like. Anyone who says it doesn't stand up is full of shit. Just as scary as the first time.


"I just cannot believe any of this Voodoo bullshit."

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#94


Quote:
Originally Posted by Xagarath Ankor View Post

I quite liked it, but have to admit that I wasn't as blown away as most people here.

As someone with a Lovecraftian avatar, this does not compute.

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I have to admit that, on the whole, I'd opt for Alien over it as monster-in-confided-metal-maze-away-from-civilisation type films go.

What's interesting about this valid comparison (and I put them fairly neck & neck), is they both owe a ton to HPL's AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS.

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#95

Saw this thread come up, and remembered once in a while I just have to find a way to say that I love this movie. I freaking love this movie so much. It made me a film and horror fan, and I've loved it just as much as on day one. Even as my love of horror has abated somewhat, this film still holds a special sort of power over me.

That said, my theory on the ending was always this: Neither of them are The Thing. It's dead and gone, and they're just two men who are going to die staring at each other, incapable of trusting each other. That always struck me as much darker, and much truer to the themes of the film, than any speculation concerning either one's Thinghood.

Once again, great movie.

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#96

I just watched the original "The Thing From Another World", curious to see how similar the two are. My reaction is similar to how I compared the first "Superman" movies to "Superman Returns".  The newer movie had better special effects, while the older one had better  writing (excluding the lame spinning-the-planet-to-turn-back-time bullshit). This is part of why I'm one of the few people who doesn't mind the idea of another re-make. I still don't think the perfect, best possible version of this story has been filmed, as the two we have so far each have their own pros and cons...one lacks what the other has. The creature in "The Thing From Another World" was pretty pitiful, but I can forgive that because the filmmakers did the best they could with the limited resources they had at the time, which I'm sure were quite paltry compared to what 80s movie technicians had at their disposal.

The way I thought it was superior to the 1982 "The Thing" was in how plausibly and eloquently the creature's terrifying nature was built up. Much like Ash in "Alien" and Reese in "The Terminator", the professor gives an appropriately chilling warning about how merciless, lethal, and indestructible the creature could be (I've heard this story inspired both of those movies, but even if I hadn't, the parallel is pretty obvious). It's just too bad that after the impressive build-up, the creature wasn't intimidating. The filmmakers put a commendable effort into making it intimidating. They smartly had it appear only occasionally in short bursts in long shot or shrouded in darkness or bad weather, but they could only do so much to conceal the fact that it was just a tall, bald guy growling like Frankenstein's monster from the 30s.

I appreciated it more than "The Thing" overall, however, because I think more thought went into the story and character development. In "The Thing", all the effort seems to have gone into the gore effects and they may be the best gore effects I've ever seen in a movie, but I need...more. And please spare me your, "fuck you, you suck, this movie rules" reactions, I've heard it all before and I'm not saying this just to piss people off. I'd rather have an intelligent discussion about why our opinions differ than just be insulted for disagreeing with you.

I've been hearing for years about what an idiot I am for not loving this movie as much as the rest of the Internet. Apparently Roger Ebert is the only person online who agrees with me. The special effects in this movie are awesome. I watched it with three friends in university and those creature effects blew our minds. I was laughing at the sheer audacity, inspiration, and transcendent gruesomeness of them. We didn't give two shits about the characters or story, though. We agreed that "The Terminator" and "Alien" did the same things it did while being a lot more emotionally resonant. People have ranted to me (online and in person) about how this movie has something deep to say about paranoia for years, but I just don't buy it. All I saw was a superior monster movie. Not some thoughtful rumination on paranoia or whatever else people classify it as to justify its bewilderingly almost unanimously agreed upon status as a sci-fi classic. I think it's fun, but not deep and of no substance.

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#97

That's all well and good, except for the fact that The Thing isn't great because of its effects; it's great because of the sense of paranoia and isolation.

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#98


Quote:
Originally Posted by Saint G View Post

Well, on the commentary tracks Carpenter and Russel discuss this concept. Also I beleive there is evidence in the movie to support the idea that you might not know you where hte thing. Such as when Norris has a heart attack. Norris gives all the indications of actually suffering through the attack, then passes out. If he had no shread of himself left, why would he go through that ? It indicates that on one level Norris is himself, and the thing is a separate entity.

During the blood test scene (an awesome scene by the way), Palmer lets himself be tied up (yeah I know he had a weapon pointed at him) and waits until the thing is outed before he begins the transformation. Why wait ?

The thing inhabits lifeforms that are completely differnt from itself, with different goals, ideas, etc. It hides in them. It needs them to act like themselves for the hidding to be effective. The humans run around and talk, if the thing controlled them completely it would become obvious much sooner (the thing only revealed itself when it had to).

All in all, I think it would let them run around doing their normal behavior, only exerting control when its survival was at stake, or when it had a chance to take over another.


That was what I actually found scariest about the movie when I was a kid.  The idea that you yourself wouldn't know you were infected.  Then something happens and you burst apart - just nasty.

Havign said that multiple viewings have not really cleared that up for me. There are clearly 'Things' in the movie that are fucking with them (the blood bank, the fact that Blair is building a fucking spacehip under the storage shed.  This doesn't necessarily mean that the thing can't just sit quietly in the background as it were but I think it's almost analagous to the twinner idea in The Talisman, it maybe rides along but can take control.  At the end of the day it replicates the life form it takes over down to the cellular level.  Not wanting to get into the whole mind/body dualism thing but if you do believe the consciousness springs from the biological, rather than being some ephemeral soul, the all the motivations and personality would be intact but with an underlying thing presence and structure.

Regarding Norris and Palmer.  Norris' heart condition was in his original body.  The Thing copies him exactly heart issues and all.  His biological reaction (shortness of breath etc) is all in keeping with the biological rather than personal reaction to a heart attack.  With regards Palmer, The Thing is a smart creature and only appears when it absolutley has to.  Palmer submits to being tied up because to reveal itself then would still have been risky and who knows what may have happened.  SO I think it just waited till absolutely necessary.  I think Palmer also gives a 'oh well' look before the needle goes in, almost like he knows it's going to happen so fuck it.

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#99

I've found that overthinking this film leads to holes in the plot, or places where things just don't make sense. I think that it takes some artistic liberties with the internal logic of the film to increase suspense or terror, and I'd rather leave it at that than ruin the film for me.

Unless I'm wrong, which is quite possible. Feel free to weigh in.

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oh agreed.  But I love that this film can make you think on a metaphysical level too Smile

If the new film comes out and explicitly sets rules on any of this delicious ambiguity I think it would piss me off more than anything else

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Spike Marshall View Post
I will say this, the film looks incredible in Blu-Ray.

It's a shame the Blu doesn't have all the same old special features as the dvd. Main reason I haven't upgraded yet.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DARKMITE8 View Post

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It's a shame the Blu doesn't have all the same old special features as the dvd. Main reason I haven't upgraded yet.



Agreed, I love the documentary on the DVD.

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The documentary is included on the blu-ray to a certain degree.  Problem is that it has been sliced & diced to create a pseudo picture-in-a-picture video commentary of sorts.  I own the blu-ray, but I also still own my old DVD copy.  That way I can have my cake (The Thing in HD!) and eat it too (the lovely documentary on the DVD).

As for the prequel?  I'm cautiously optimistic.  It has a good cast.  Those who have read the screenplay have had almost nothing but positive things to say about it.  Those involved are supposedly using CGI only when necessary.  The film was postponed from April to October to give it more post-production time (particularly on the FX) and allowing for a more profitable release, which shows that Universal cares about at least a little.  The new poster also strikes the proper tone.

The downside?  It has some mighty big shoes to fill (being a prequel to my favorite movie!) and bad FX could wreck the whole thing...............no matter how good the acting and the script is.  We also have an untried director (which could be a good thing).

Anyway, I'm looking forward to it and I hope for the best.  I just wish they'd change the title.  It's really weird for the prequel to The Thing to also be called The Thing.

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I actually really liked the new poster for the remake.  Loved the simplicity.  The elongated fingers on the left hand were just enough to make it creepy as well.  Hopefully it will be a worthwhile venture.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Bain View Post

I actually really liked the new poster for the remake.  Loved the simplicity.  The elongated fingers on the left hand were just enough to make it creepy as well.  Hopefully it will be a worthwhile venture.


You mean prequel.  That right there is why they need to change the damn title.  Having two films in a series (a duology no less!) with the exact same title is too damn confusing.  Oh well.....

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