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John Carpenter's The Thing

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I don't know. Whilst its based on the same material and differs a lot from the original Nyby/Hawks film, John Carpenter definitely saw The Thing and decided he want to remake it paying tribute to Hawks but also incorporating modern technology to make the monster more effective. I think there's enough in common, and reason to believe Carpenter was deliberately giving a new take on a work from a director he admired, to call it a 'remake'. In Halloween it's even shown playing on TV. So I think there's enough with Carpenter's admiration for Hawks and the original film to call it a remake, as much as it is an update and different film too.
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Captain America: The First Avenger is a remake of the 1990 film and Man Of Steel is a remake of the 1978 Superman: The Movie as well too.


They're based on the same book... just because one was made a few years before, doesn't mean the latter movie is a remake of the first.



Well no, not really. It doesn't take parts and pay tribute to parts from the original, deliberately choosing to make the film on the basis for their admiration for the original and want to elevate it with new technology, it works pretty much directly from the books as far as I'm aware and ignores the films.

When I watch The Thing by John Carpenter I can clearly see that he has the original in mind. I haven't seen Assault on Precinct 13, but that's meant to be a remake of Rio Bravo too, another Hawks film, John Carpenter acknowledges his influences but also transforms the story and adds his own modern touches.

I just think there's too much their, similarities between the films, for it not to be considered at least in part a remake. That's not to see it's not a re imagining or whatever either, though.



But as far as I'm aware both those 'remakes' work almost entirely from other material and ignore the films that were made before. That isn't the case for The Thing.



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
Semantics suck. Look at the opening titles of both The Things and decide for yourself.

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Mac takes a drink from the vodka bottle... and leaves it with Blair...


Could Mac have already been a Thing? And was transferring some Thing Germs to the bottle so Blair would get infected while he was locked away in isolation?.
Dang dude! This is interesting. Let's see if we can find any more suspicious stuff from MacReady then.



Semantics suck. Look at the opening titles of both The Things and decide for yourself.
I think a more direct comparison would be comparing the original Fly to the 1986 remake. Completely different movies, except for some very base elements. The Thing is a remake, but it remakes it to the extent of being its own thing.



I've just watched with the commentary on. Carpenter and Russell.


They couldn't decide if Mac was infected or not.



......I think a more direct comparison would be comparing the original Fly to the 1986 remake. Completely different movies, except for some very base elements. The Thing is a remake, but it remakes it to the extent of being its own thing.
It's worth keeping the chronology in mind. The novella "Who Goes There?" was written in 1938. The Thing From Another World was the first movie (1951), made in a time with small budgets and minimal FX. Shape shifters were not on the menu, but the movie did capture quite well the isolation and claustrophobia of being in a polar installation with a predator; it's my personal favorite of that movie theme. The shape shifter of text became a humanoid vegetable (only needing a rubber suit). The plot idea was reprised again with significant differences in the 1972 Horror Express. Carpenter's 1982 Thing was closest to Campbell's novella and with much more in the way of available FX, notably the ability to have shape shifters and the blood that is repelled by heat. The more recent Thing, being a prequel, was OK but not up to either TTFAW or Carpenter's version. There are also several X Files episodes that picked up on the Big Theme of polar explorers encountering non-human horror.

What I find interesting in all these is a theme that's way older than movies themselves. All of these stories have common threads back to Poe's Narrative of A Gordon Pym (with a chapter on the southern polar region) and the Exploring Expedition of 1838, a real journey, commanded by Charles Wilkes. The "Ex Ex" discovered that there is land down there, scared the bejeeeses out the crew and provided another archetype, notably the crazy, obsessive, driven captain who was the prototype for Captain Ahab. The plot was picked up again by HP Lovecraft in 1931 in At the Mountains of Madness, where yet another Antarctic expedition is confronted by the remains of an ancient alien civilization only survived by a shape shifting horror. Lovecraft's story has never been filmed but was hinted at in the extra-terrestrial Prometheus (and hence followed by the Alien movies) and may be made by Del Toro (or maybe not). It could be a terrific movie or it may never happen, but I wish it would.

So which of these is best? My money's on 1951 TTFAW for a minimalist, black and white classic and Carpenter for executing Campbell's story. I really do wish, however, that someone (not necessarily Del Toro) would go to the roots and make Mountains of Madness.



Awesome movie by an awesome director (one of my all-time favorite)

I rated it:
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I have to return some videotapes.
Just saw it.


I absolutely loved it, they didn't waste a minute in the entire film. The ending was great as well, my interpretation was that MacReady filled the bottle in gasoline or something fatal and wanted to wait to see if Childs would die of poisoning, or live so he'd know that he was "The Thing".

Also, Kurt Russell is a bonafide badass.



I have to return some videotapes.
But I do see where people are coming from with Mac being it. Leaving the bottle with the doc, and then giving another bottle to Childs. I guess that's what makes it so good, is there's no real answer.



A system of cells interlinked
Glad you liked it, Cole! I am over the moon for Carpenter's The Thing!
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i'm very fond of the 80s. it had so many great movies, from all genres, and off course i am very fond of The Thing, amazing atmosphere, intro scene, music, the whole feel of mystery in the film, great direction from carpenter, sci fi horror at its best, wish they do movies like this these days....



Thread bump!

Sitting watching... something just came to my attention.
Might be this CoVid thing going around has made me paranoid.

The debate on the move after all these year is whether or not Mac and Childs... are not human.

I think Mac is a Thing.

Blair goes apesh*t... and gets locked away in the toolshed.
Mac talks with him for a minute... takes a swig from a vodka bottle, and leaves it on the table for Blair.

Just as the scene ends, Blair looks at the bottle.
Could just be a look.
Like, ok, I'm here. I'll have a drink and calm down.
Or it could be foreshadowing.

Did Mac take a swig from the bottle so he could infect it?
As in, get some "Thing Stuff" on the rim of the bottle so Blair would be infected when he then took a drink?
I think he did. I think Mac, acting as the most "even tempered" of the group (as he says to Childs in front of the entire group), and the fact that even when alone, he plays that same role of calm, collected and sane...

Talking Windows down when the shotgun situation comes up, and Gary gives up his gun... shows Mac as a cool, calm leader too...

... and this is what allows him to move about the group unsuspected.

When Fuchs questions the fact that Blair is being locked away, and that he needs Blair's help for blood tests... Mac immediately puts him down saying "He's too far gone, Fuchs"
Leaving Blair alone, with an infected bottle... is the perfect situation to take Blair over.

Mac also speaks to the group after the blood storage is sabotaged.
"I know I'm human, and if all you were all these Things then you would just attack me right now, so some of you are still human. This Thing doesn't want to show itself, it wants to hide inside an imitation. It'll fight if it has to, but it's vulnerable out in the open. If it takes us over, then it has no more enemies, nobody left to kill it. And then it's won."
If Mac is a Thing... he just totally and utterly exposed his vulnerability and exposed his entire plan.

But, as far as the others in the group go... they would be thinking subconsciously: What kind of creature would do such a thing? Expose its own weakness? Its own vulnerabilities? Mac must be a human.
The entire thing is a ploy to get the group under his control. Cleverly, the Thing, Mac, is simply playing a role.

Ok, the argument can be made for the hot needle blood test... but Mac is the only one who touches any blood samples.
It's Mac that does the needle test... and Mac is the one who calls the shots on who gets tied up, and who doesn't.
As leader, sure, he has to make those decisions... but making certain choices, even so far as tying up a Thing (Palmer)... makes the others trust him.
Sacrificing one Thing... still means Mac goes unnoticed by the others.

Also, the only other contact anyone has with Blair, is when Mac, Nauls and Windows go out to him during the storm and ask if he's seen Fuchs... and yet it's only Mac who talks directly to Blair.
Going by what Blair says to Mac about Fuchs... Blair isn't fully taken over yet.
So Mac was just making sure. Having a check kinda thing.

Mac and Nauls then head to Mac's cabin... without Windows.
Mac sees the opportunity to get himself, and one other, alone.
Immediately afterward though, Nauls cuts Mac loose because of the ripped clothing... and Mac still manages to get back to camp too.

---

The Blair thing though... Mac drinking from the bottle and leaving it with Blair just set off my entire chain of thoughts on this.

... if Mac is discovered, and even killed... his sacrifice is ok.
Just like Palmer's sacrifice is ok.
Because Blair is still unaccounted for. Alone. In a shed.
Blair is a backup plan. If the Thing that is within the group fails, then Blair is still there to build a ship and escape.



We've gone on holiday by mistake
**** SAKE! Forgot about the thing on my Countdown list
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We've gone on holiday by mistake
I'm actually annoyed. Probably in my personal top 10 too, and most re-watched top 5 over past decade.