The exciting new movie ‘The Thing’ opened a few weeks ago worldwide. I’m not a huge fan of remakes, but Marty Deeks from NCIS:LA is in it, and I just can’t resist those eyes.
The thing most people don’t know is that this is not the first remake attempt at the original 1951 classic ‘The Thing From Another World.’
The plot is this. Scientists and American Air Force officials at an Arctic research station discover a spacecraft has crashed, and is now buried in the ice. After (hilariously) failing to melt enough ice to get the whole flying saucer out, they realize they can however chip out the alien pilot. Of course, they decide to lug the giant alien ice-pop back to base, and everything would have been peachy keen…if he hadn’t thawed out and escaped!
In 1951 there were no hardcore special effects and CGI, the original movie has always been one of my favorite classics because it seemed to break the mold. With a mostly male cast, (the lead, Captain Hendry, played by Kenneth Tobey) with the exception of one woman, (Nikki played by Margaret Sheridan) it is a fight to the death. The alien needs our blood to survive, and he isn’t hesitant about getting it.
Also, unusual for a movie in the early 50’s is the extremely witty dialogue, and a script dripping with sarcasm. There is an alien loose, actually a completely justifiable time to panic, instead the dozen survivors (including a secretary, a reporter, members of the Airforce, and some botanists) band together to fight back, and Nikki doesn’t faint once! It was rare for a woman to have such a commanding performance, especially in horror films, but Nikki does it with sassy ferocity.
You won’t find this movie in any redbox, however any self respecting library/rental store should have it. Netflix carries it in DVD only.
This movie definitely ranks in my top five movie classics of all time, and thus has somehow become a Halloween night viewing tradition. I'm off to watch it now, snuggle in, the veil is still pretty thin...