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The Thing (1982)

A crew in Antarctica finds a neighboring camp destroyed and its crew dead. Whatever killed them is nowhere to be found, unless it's hidden in plain sight.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (story)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Dr. Blair (as A. Wilford Brimley)
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Windows (as Thomas Waites)
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Norwegian
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Norwegian Passenger with Rifle (as Larry Franco)
Nate Irwin ...
Helicopter Pilot
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Storyline

A US research station, Antarctica, early-winter 1982. The base is suddenly buzzed by a helicopter from the nearby Norwegian research station. They are trying to kill a dog that has escaped from their base. After the destruction of the Norwegian chopper the members of the US team fly to the Norwegian base, only to discover them all dead or missing. They do find the remains of a strange creature the Norwegians burned. The Americans take it to their base and deduce that it is an alien life form. After a while it is apparent that the alien can take over and assimilate into other life forms, including humans, and can spread like a virus. This means that anyone at the base could be inhabited by The Thing, and tensions escalate. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Anytime. Anywhere. Anyone. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

25 June 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's The Thing  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,107,897, 27 June 1982, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$13,782,838
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The female voice on MacReady's computer was performed (uncredited) by the wife of John Carpenter, Adrienne Barbeau. See more »

Goofs

While burning the creatures might destroy the outside cells of what they were imitating, it would do nothing to destroy the cells on the interiors of the body. In fact, the body would act as an "insulator" protecting the inner cells from the excessive heat. Doc would have realized that and made mention of it. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
MacReady: Poor baby, you're starting to lose it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cinemassacre's Monster Madness: The Fly (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

ONE CHAIN DON'T MAKE NO PRISON
(uncredited)
Performed by The Four Tops
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Right up there with "Halloween"--one of Carpenter's best!
6 December 2003 | by See all my reviews

Remake of the classic 1951 "The Thing From Another World". 12 men are in a completely isolated station in Antartica. They are invaded by a thing from outer space--it devours and completely duplicates anything it chooses to. It starts off as a dog but gets loose--and has a chance to duplicate any of the men. Soon, nobody trusts anyone else--they're isolated--the radio is destroyed--their helicopter likewise. What are they going to do?

The 1951 film had the thing just be a big, super human monster. That movie was scary. This one is too--but the story is different (and based more closely on the source material--the novelette "Who Goes There?") and it's scary in a different way. The movie starts right off with Ennio Morricone's extremely eerie score setting just the right tone and--when the Thing gets attacked--the amount of gore is astounding. There's blood and body parts flying all over--arms are bitten off, heads detach and--in the strongest one--one man is devoured face first by the Thing. The gore effects are STRONG and real nightmare material. I don't scare easy but I had to sleep with the lights on when I saw this originally back in 1982. Rob Bottin's effects are just incredible--how this picture got by with an R rating is beyond me!

It also has a very creepy feel--gore aside, it is very suspenseful. You're not sure who is what and Carpenter's direction and the score really build up the tension. One complaint--no one is given any distinctive personality traits. They actors just remain straight-faced and say their lines. That's annoying...but the movie still works.

This was a critical and commercial disaster in 1982--it competed with "E.T." and MANY critics complained about the amount of gore and there being no female characters in the movie. It's now considered one of John Carpenter's best. A must-see...for strong stomaches. NOT a date film!

An amusing note: When this was released Universal sent a note along with all prints of the film. They suggested to theatre owners that they play the film in an auditorium near the rest rooms. They were afraid that people would be so sickened by the violence that they'd have to be close to a facility to throw up!


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