What movie was that...?

15 October 2010

The Thing

directed by John Carpenter

John Carpenter can make a seriously badass film when he actually wants to take himself seriously. His filmic high points are equally distributed across the spectrum, ranging from genre defining perfection (Halloween) to ludicrously splendid (They Live!, Big Trouble in Little China), but Carpenter’s shocking and riveting film about paranoia and isolation is superbly relevant even today. Yes, it’s a rather loose adaptation of the 1951 film of the same title (the film Danny is watching in Halloween, btw), and yes, Bill Lancaster’s script bristles with those Cold War anxieties we all know and love, but there is something else embedded in the sci-fi as social commentary tale. A group of scientists, in the tundra wasteland of Antarctica, unearth something buried deep in the snow, and as the alien horror infiltrates the ranks, trust deteriorates and a battle of wills ensues. It’s the threat of an Other invading from within, the old Red Dawn fear that gun stroking Tea Partyers would have you believe could be happening at this very minute, and that’s why we need our damn guns, Mr. Obama! I kid, and irrational town hall psycho talk aside, The Thing is shocking and disturbing, but it’s the human drama that unfolds throughout the film, the distrust and the tense paranoia that strikes the most frightening chord. The soundtrack is amazing and the cinematography will give you chills. If only some kind of equation existed that somehow proved all this…

Kurt Russell = awesome
John Carpenter’s films ≥ most other films
(Beards + mutant dogs) (Wilford Brimley ÷ Keith David) = something I definitely want to see
John Carpenter + Kurt Russell(Wilford Brimley ÷ Keith David) + a beard + a mutant dog = something awesome I definitely want to see that is probably way better than most films out there.

That’s airtight math with which you cannot argue, my friend.


  1. I watched The Thing recently on late night tv and it really did chill me !
    Totally agree about Kurt Russell and John Carpenter as well, your Math is spot on !
    I was just wondering about one other thing was that THE Burt Lancaster who wrote the script ?

  2. Wow, how embarrassing. Once again, my late night fatigue couples with my haunted spell check to transform Bill Lancaster to THE Burt Lancaster. Thank you for catching that.


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