Revisiting the Classics: THE THING (FROM ANOTHER WORLD)
The remake by John Carpenter, 1981’s THE THING, was so good that it tends to steal the spotlight, to get all the attention. That’s a shame, because the original, released in 1951 by RKO Pictures and directed by Christian Nyby (known primarily for television programs like GUNSMOKE and WAGON TRAIN) with Howard Hawks (who usually gets all the credit for the film, and possibly it is deserved; speculation is that Hawks actually directed the film) producing, is pretty damn good in its own right. Both movies were based on the 1938 novella WHO GOES THERE? by John W. Campbell, and involve an alien being freed from the ice in the Arctic Circle (or the Antarctic, where the remake is concerned) to menace a team of military personnel (in the original) and scientists (in the remake).
Let’s stick to the original, though, as it’s the one we’re reviewing at present. The alien in this one doesn’t change its form. Instead it is played by towering James Arness (who would later go on to star in the aforementioned GUNSMOKE, appearing in every episode as Marshal Matt Dillon for a full two decades). The Thing (not to be confused with The Thing?) is actually a bipedal, intelligent PLANT, not dissimilar from the Plant Men in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ MARS books, and it needs human blood plasma to survive and to propagate. It thus qualifies for mention here on this site. If you have never seen it, it deserves your attention.
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/evilcheezproductions), specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/734763
MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!