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Thing

Related: artifact - concept - entity - object

Definition

Thing: That which is considered to exist as a separate entity or concept. --wiktionary

Object: Something perceptible by one or more of the senses, especially by vision or touch; a material thing. --American heritage Dictionary

Who Goes There? (1938) - John W. Campbell, Jr.

Who Goes There? (1938) - John W. Campbell, Jr. [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Who Goes There? is a science fiction novelette by John W. Campbell, Jr. under the pen name Don A. Stuart, published August 1938 in Astounding Stories.

Who Goes There? has been twice adapted as a motion picture: rather loosely in 1951 as The Thing From Another World; and more faithfully in 1982 by director John Carpenter as the film The Thing, from the Bill Lancaster screenplay. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Goes_There%3F [Aug 2005]

See also: USA - pulp - science fiction - 1938

The Thing from Another World (1951) - Howard Hawks (uncredited)

The Thing from Another World (1951) - Howard Hawks (uncredited) [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Amazon.com essential video
With its modest special effects, lean plot, and small cast of lesser stars, this 1951 thriller remains a sturdy blueprint for fusing horror and science fiction. The formula has been employed countless times since, fleshed out with more extensive and elaborate production values, and manned by higher profiled marquee names, but the results have yet to improve on The Thing from Another World, Howard Hawks's lone foray into sci-fi. --Sam Sutherland for Amazon.com

The Thing From Another World is a 1951 science fiction film which tells the story of scientists at a remote Arctic outpost who fight an alien being.

The movie was loosely adapted by Charles Lederer from the story "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell, Jr..

The film took advantage of the national feelings of the time to help enhance the horror elements of the story. The film's release in 1951 coincided with the Korean War and the upswing in anti-communist feelings brought on by McCarthyism. The idea of Americans being stalked by a force which was single of mind and "devoid of morality" fit in well with the parallel feelings of the day on communism.

The screenplay changes the fundamental nature of the alien as presented in Campbell's short story: Lederer's "Thing" is a humanoid monster whose cellular structure is closer to vegetation although it must feed on blood to survive. One character describes it as an "animated carrot". In the original story, the "Thing" is a lifeform capable of assuming the physical and mental characteristics of anyone it chooses.

In 1982, John Carpenter made a more faithful version of the story "Who Goes There?" under the remake-suggestive title The Thing. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thing_From_Another_World [Aug 2005]

Howard Hawks
Howard Hawks (May 30, 1896 December 26, 1977) was an American film director, producer and writer of the classic Hollywood era. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Hawks [Aug 2005]

See also: American cinema - horror - science fiction - 1951

The Thing (1982) - John Carpenter


The Thing (1982) - John Carpenter [Amazon.com]

Director John Carpenter and special makeup effects master Rob Bottin teamed up for this 1982 remake of the 1951 science fiction

The Thing is a 1982 science fiction/horror film directed by John Carpenter. Ostensibly a remake of the 1951 Howard Hawks film The Thing From Another World, Carpenter's film is actually more faithful to the short story that serves as both films' source material, "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell, Jr.

The Thing stars Kurt Russell, Keith David, Wilford Brimley, Richard Dysart and Richard Masur, among others. The musical score was by Ennio Morricone, a rare instance of Carpenter not scoring one of his own films.

The story takes place in Antarctica. An American research station receives a surprise visit from a seemingly insane pair of Norwegians, who are attempting to shoot a runaway Husky dog. The Norwegians are killed, and an investigation of the burned-out Norwegian research station reveals that they had uncovered an alien spacecraft from under hundreds of feet of ice.

It is soon revealed that the runaway Husky, now in the Americans' care, is in fact, an alien life form that duplicates its host's cells with its own. The result is an alien predator with the ultimate camouflage, a perfect reproduction of its host. Gradually, paranoia sets in among the Americans, as none can be certain whom among them has been infected.

Many characters' names are taken directly from the original Campbell story, as is a scene in which Russell's character devises a test to see who may be infected, by exposing a sample of each man's blood to extreme heat.

Upon its release, the film was lambasted by critics for its special make-up effects, created by Rob Bottin, which were seen as excessively bloody and disgusting. The film fared poorly at the box office, only to see its reputation improve in subsequent years through home video releases. It is now regarded by the majority of Carpenter's admirers as one of his finest films. A collector's edition DVD was released in 1999.

Also, in 2004 another The Thing collector's edition DVD was released the only difference is an improved anamorphic transfer but you lose the isolated score from the 1999 release. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thing [Feb 2005]

Amazon review
Director John Carpenter and special makeup effects master Rob Bottin teamed up for this 1982 remake of the 1951 science fiction classic The Thing from Another World, and the result is a mixed blessing. It's got moments of highly effective terror and spine-tingling suspense, but it's mostly a showcase for some of the goriest and most horrifically grotesque makeup effects ever created for a movie. With such highlights as a dog that splits open and blossoms into something indescribably gruesome, this is the kind of movie for die-hard horror fans and anyone who slows down to stare at fatal traffic accidents. On those terms, however, it's hard not to be impressed by the movie's wild and wacky freak show. It all begins when scientists at an arctic research station discover an alien spacecraft under the thick ice, and thaw out the alien body found aboard. What they don't know is that the alien can assume any human form, and before long the scientists can't tell who's real and who's a deadly alien threat. Kurt Russell leads the battle against the terrifying intruder, and the supporting cast includes Richard Masur, Richard Dysart, Donald Moffat, and Wilford Brimley. They're all playing standard characters who are neglected by the mechanistic screenplay (based on the classic sci-fi story "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell), but Carpenter's emphasis is clearly on the gross-out effects and escalating tension. If you've got the stomach for it (and let's face it, there's a big audience for eerie gore), this is a thrill ride you won't want to miss. The collector's edition DVD includes a behind-the-scenes "making of" featurette, production photos, the original theatrical trailer, and more. --Jeff Shannon for Amazon.com

See also: horror - classic

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