Vic’s Classics: The Thing From Another World

This celluloid chronicle follows a team of scientists and researchers who discover an unclassifiable creature frozen in a block of ice. When the ice thaws, it unleashes a powerful, destructive creature that’s bent on annihilating everything in its path.

Rating: 10 out of 10

In John Carpenter’s 1978 seminal horror opus “Halloween” there is a quick and frightful scene which includes a television playing a broadcast of an even more seminal sci-fi opus called “The Thing from Another World.” Carpenter even goes as far as showing practically the whole opening sequence of Howard Hawk’s classic black and white film. A film that exudes classic metaphorical themes and stereotypes of the day, The Thing can be absorbed as campy, tongue in cheek sci-fi or very smart, relevant and intellectual fodder.

I pondered whether director Christian Nyby actually directed this film because it felt more like producer Howard Hawks’. I for one will go out on a limb and admit that all the cool thematic elements of paranoia, isolation, the classic “ Men of science should not meddle with things they know nothing about” (A-bomb, anyone?) are right out of Hawk’s little handbook for awesome film-making.

I must talk about how I love the machine gun rapidity of the dialog delivery in this film. I have lost count on how many times I’ve had to re-watch this film because 4 or more actors are delivering their lines and overlapping the dialog. I love it! James Arness plays the Smart Carrot from outer space and he scared the crap out of me when I was 10 and still does to this day. The door opening scene with his reveal at the other side is brilliant and very iconic. Great, classic sci-fi for a rainy day or a late night. John Carpenter would go on to re-make this film staying very true to the original source material. Highly recommended!

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5 responses to “Vic’s Classics: The Thing From Another World

  1. Ooooh I just bought The Thing on DVD and I can’t wait to watch it! Can you believe it was in a bargain bin? Stupid retailers don’t know what they have!

    • They’re foolishness is our gain! I’ve found other winners in the bargain bin, too. “Stand by Me” I found for like $2 recently, although I’m trying to not buy DVDs and just get blu-rays.

    • Oh, I agree. Was it this version or Carpenter’s? I remember paying 40 bucks for the laserdisc of this classic when I was in film school. It also included the short by Campbell-“Who Goes There”?

      • I have never watched a laser disc, but I hear they were terrible.

        However, my respect for you has only grown. It’s a clear sign of your love for movies. I had to go blu-ray. It looks far too good not to.

  2. The long standing rumor is that Howard Hawkes DID direct this, but paid someone else to take the credit in case it bombed.
    Similar cases involve Stanley Kubrick ( real director of One Eyed Jacks, giving Marlon Brando the credit or else the studio wouldn’t fund it)
    David Lynch with Nadja ( Hal Hartley meets David Lynch. Lynch cameos, and that camera works seems familiar. Rumor is Lynch did more than just help a little in order to give a new director a leg up)
    Orson Wells with The Third Man ( c’mon, that movie WREAKS or Orson Wells directing)

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