Talk:The Thing (1982 film)

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Can someone who knows about Battlenet and games and stuff like that (I know zero about video games) read the last paragraph on this article? It's about a movie, so I don't know if it belongs here. It certainly needs to be NPOVed ("one of the funnest use map settings map ever" --- I can get rid of "funnest" but I have no idea what a "map setting maps" is. Is that a typo?) Ensiform 23:40, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Done now Ensiform 03:01, 20 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Well, for the record, Use Map Settings (UMS for short) is a type of game on StarCraft. In it, the normal RTS rules are suspended and the game is instead controlled by "triggers" (essentially progaming scripts) and other settings coded into the map, hence the name Use Map Settings. I suppose there isn't much point in saying this, as whatever it was that precipitated this question is long gone, but I wanted to point this out. Maybe I'll put what I think it was in, properly....Dusk Raven (talk) 03:07, 13 July 2008 (UTC)


Wasn't there also a comic book about The Thing?

Yes. Dark Horse Comics released a comic book set after the movie.

Since it's mentioned in the Sequel section that the Dark Horse comic is the same direction Carpenter would have set his sequel in, perhaps a line or two about the plot of the comic would be appropriate. CFLeon 22:45, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
As it ran to 3 mini-series and carried the story on I think it is worth an entry so I red linked it: The Thing from Another World. (Emperor 01:11, 25 June 2007 (UTC))

AIDS reference[edit]

People were worried about AIDS in 1982? I doubt it. This text should probably be removed. Uucp 17:20, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Not impossible though. See AIDS origin. - Zepheus <ツィフィアス> 17:04, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Stem cell research and kowledge is not that new. In the early "stone age" of the studies this may have been and may still be a concern. You know the whole plot of the movie "The Thing". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:51, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Although there was at the time not a great deal known about AIDS, there was in '82 a general concern that a "new" epidemic was spreading. (Even if, in retrospect, most everyone was naive to just how fast and far it would spread). See, for example, [1] To the extent that the characters in The Thing are portrayed as reacting to a poorly understood threat, and carried a sense of "anyone of us could be infected," the connection to AIDS is probably no exageration. While in 1982, one's risk at contracting AIDS was quite low, the media gave a clear impression that contracting it was tantamount to a death sentence. Another useful source of this historical perspective is at [2] C d h (talk) 23:18, 9 January 2008 (UTC)


The article mentions that a mini-series was announced in 2004 and says to search the Internet Movie Database for details. I've looked but I cant find any info about a mini-series based on The Thing at or anywhere else. Does anyone else have any info about it? DarthJesus 08:15, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

Hostages in Iran?[edit]

Why is that mentioned at all? Those hostages were released following the inaguration of of President Ronald Wilson Reagan in 1980. This movie was released in 1982.

Actually, it was January, 1981. Reagan was elected in '80.Tommyt 17:49, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

The game is the official sequel to the movie[edit]

Is it? I always thought it was more of a spin-off. Geoff B 01:42, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Apparently. You do find the corpse of Childs frozen to the beam; exactly where he was in the end of the movie.

XidiouX responds: The above response proves nothing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:34, 6 July 2008 (UTC)


What the 'Norwegian' man shouts at the others during the opening incident with the Husky is certainly not the Norwegian language. As an aside, I have the special edition of the movie with commentary from both Carpenter and Kurt Russel, and I believe Carpenter did actually mention that it was an ad-libbed made-up language the actor used for the scene.

Ironically though, the helicopter marked with 'Norge' is indeed the Norwegian word for 'Norway'. 08:27, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Guh. Should have read all the way through the article to the Trivia section before commenting. My bad folks. 08:40, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

MP5? Anyone else thing that was a Heckler & Koch G3 with a scope the Norwegian was shooting?

Definitely not MP5. I am watching the film now (freezing frames), and it appears to be a G3 as the commenter suggests above.

It is Norwegian (Bokmål-close IIRC) and it does look like a G3 of some sort, but not the kind used by the Norwegian military. -- Nidator 21:47, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Its an HK 93. Its basicly the civilian model of the G3s little brother the 33. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:45, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Removing the "Dog-Thing escapes thru roof" part of plot[edit]

I'm changing the plot outline here because the writer has subscribed to the common, although mistaken, belief that part of the Dog-Thing escaped from the kennel through the ceiling. It's a common mistake; I used to think it myself. But after repeated viewings on widescreen, it's obvious that is NOT what happens. I've borrowed Outpost 31's response to this common question since it answers all this in detail:

Q: Did the dog-Thing escape through the roof?

A: The answer is an unequivocal, "No." Because of fullscreen versions of The Thing from the 80s and early 90s, it was a common misconception that at least one Thing had escaped from the kennel. But there are multiple reasons that conclusively disprove this notion.

We see the clawed hands break through the rafters and pull the dog-Thing up off the floor. The creature subsequently lodges itself into the upper right-hand corner of the cage. (You can even see the cage's corner when the "flesh flower" attacks Childs.) When he enters the cage, Childs casts his eyes upwards at the Thing above. Likewise, judging from the first-person perspective used, the "flesh flower" that attacks Childs does so from above. When Childs activates the flamethrower, he aims it upwards. Finally, the flaming mass is seen falling to the floor. (One really needs a widescreen version of the film to see this.)

All this points to the conclusion that the Thing which Childs hit with the flamethrower was located at the ceiling of the cage. In other words, the Thing which broke into the ceiling had not left the cage but was instead fried by Childs. This goes a long way towards explaining why the men aren't the least bit concerned about a Thing being on the loose. Woodson 20:39, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

NPOV and citing sources![edit]

I have made edits to this article as I believe parts of the article as they were on the 5th of August 2006 were no NPOV. The article also lacks citations!

"film was lambasted by critics for its special make-up effects, created by Rob Bottin, which were seen as excessively bloody and repulsive."

No citation of source. I have added a citation.

"The film fared poorly at the box office, mainly due to the release of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial"

There is no proof of this. I have changed it to read: "fared poorly at the box office, possibly due to the release of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial"

I have also added to this "due to the release of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial"... "as speculated by Carpenter himself and writers that have written about him, such as Michelle Le Blanc and Colin Odell. Carpenter speculated himself that the audience for horror movies had shrunk when questioned about the failure of The Thing in the book Prince of Darkness."

I think this is a bit messy, maybe we should rewrite this part.

"Yet its reputation improved in the late nineties through home video releases. It is now regarded by the majority of Carpenter's admirers as one of his finest films. A collector's edition DVD was released in 1999."

Where is the proof of it's improved reputation?

"regarded by the majority of Carpenter's admirers as one of his finest films"

I've deleted this line as i find it is perhaps obsolete, unless somone wants to find sources and prove to some degree that the writers of those sources are Carpenter admirers!

Instead I have given an example of the popularity of the film, citing the IMDB Top 250.

"This film is the first installment in Carpenter's 'Apocalypse Trilogy', followed by 1987's Prince of Darkness and 1995's In the Mouth of Madness."

Is it? Is it really a trilogy? Is this information factual? Does it belong in an encyclopedia!?

"The Thing was the fifth film shot with Dean Cundey as his Director of Photography (following Halloween, The Fog, Escape From New York and Halloween II. Cundey and Carpenter re-teamed one more time in 1986 with Big Trouble in Little China)—all of these films share a unique camera style and palette and it is, coincidently, these films that are acknowledged by fans to be amongst Carpenters career highlights."

I've changed "fifth" to "fourth" as Carpenter only officially produced "Halloween II". The sentances about 'Big Touble in Little China' I find irrelevant and opinion and have therefore deleted them!

"Just as the 1951 film had taken advantage of the national mood to enhance its terror effect, this film did likewise. The early 1980s were a period of low public morale in American history; the nation was experiencing poor economic conditions and high unemployment. For many, the United States was appearing more and more isolated and vulnerable to outside attack, much like the crew of the Antarctic outpost in the film."

I've deleted this. It's a lot of opinion and speculation. It should not appear in the article, it belongs in a film review or academic discourse on the film etc.

I want to do more but I'm off to work soon, so, discuss...

Carpenter himself mentions his Apocalypse Trilogy many, many times, in interviews and probably most prominently in DVD commentaries for those films. Geoff B 18:12, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

I guess this isn't exactly citing sources, but I thought this page had too many headings anyway. What is the deal with listing it on the bottom as a "Lovecraftian movie"? It has nothing to do with Lovecraft. All of the other movies in the category were (more or less) based on Lovecraft stories, whereas this one was not. Certainly if Lovecraft was alive he would probably be a fan of the movie, and probably John W. Campbell, Jr. was influenced by Lovecraft, but that doesn't make this anymore Lovecraftian than, say, In the Mouth of Madness (which I think is more overtly influenced by Lovecraft: the movie being a pun on a Lovecraft story, in fact), or even Prince of Darkness. I am going to remove it and if someone wants to put it back, fine. But it doesn't belong in a category of "Lovecraftian" just as Stephen King movies don't belong in the category, despite him also being a professed fan of Lovecraft. 03:37, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Proposed Merge[edit]

I would recommend keeping these articles separate so as not to make it overlong. Mallanox 23:13, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

  • Oppose merge I agree with Mallanox. The article is a good length as it is, and the video game is a good length as well; adding them together will just create an article of prodigious length. - Zepheus <ツィフィアス> 23:19, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Oppose. There is no need at all to merge the two articles. Geoff B 23:23, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Plot section/trivia[edit]

This plot is really long. We need to work on shortening it. Also, I moved/removed all the trivia in line with the wikipedia guideline. Let's keep an eye on any information that gets added. - Zepheus <ツィフィアス> 00:40, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Definitely. We can really get it down by changing it into an actual synopsis rather than a blow-by-blow account of what happens.Geoff B 02:15, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

What's the best way to go about it, do you think? Start from scratch or just remove from what's there? I'll put a WIP tag on it. - Zepheus <ツィフィアス> 03:00, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

When I and a few other editors did The Descent's plot section, which was in a similar state, we started from scratch. It's a bit of a bugger to start with, but much easier once you get past that initial point. Any other opinions? Geoff B 03:03, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Did you make a temporary page at which to write it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Zepheus (talkcontribs)

Nope, but that might be a good idea. Geoff B 10 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree the plot section is long, however, it's one of the most comprehensive film plot description on wikipedia (that I know of). Seems a shame to delete parts of it. Mainly because I also think the plot outline is well written eventhough it's on the long side. Pokerface 28 January 2007

On the long side is putting it lightly. The plot section, AFAIK, is meant to be about 400-600 words (longer if the plot is very complicated, which is not the case here), and this looks to be about 3,000. I think it's long past the time it was changed, and I'll see if I can figure out something. Geoff B 22:33, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Cold War Metaphor[edit]

In a local cable TV channel (Canal 13 Cable), circa 4 years ago I saw an interview of Carpenter asked about the relation between "Alien" and "The Thing", I added this to "Critical reception and themes":

Also, in an interview, Carpenter said that the film was a metaphor of the cold war paranoic feelings between americans, " my neighbor a communist?".

I been looking for the interview (video or transcript) or another source some hours.

Can I re-add this? Or with an explanation of it was in a chilean channel (circa 2002) and in a show just of "intellectual interviews".

Sorry for my poor english. --Peewack 07:39, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

You could re-add it, but if it's not verifiable then someone will end up removing it again. Do you have any sort of reference for it at all? Geoff B 08:15, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

The plot summary is way too freaking long. It's very unnecessarily detailed. Somebody pare it down. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)


An anonymous user added an extreme amount of trivia, which I removed per Wikipedia:Avoid trivia sections in articles. Some of it looks useful but need citations. Note: I have edited the contents somewhat and removed MANY entries. - Zepheus <ツィフィアス> 02:01, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Premiered on June 11th, 1982 at the Alfred Hitchcock Theatre in L.A. for a special cast and crew screening.
  • Opened on June 25th, 1982 (the same night as Blade Runner) at a total cost of $15 million plus advertising and prints. $1.5 million alone was spent on the special effects. Grossed $13.8 million in the first 3 weeks at the box office and then dropped out of sight.
  • Carpenter and crew adamantly stressed they were NOT re-making Howard Hawks 1951 "The Thing" but making a film version of the 1938 original novella "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell. To promote this they had the short story printed up in a re-release booklet complete with movie artwork.
  • During promotional & press campaigns for the film Rob Bottin wore a t-shirt which read: "I Love E.T."
  • Christian Nyby, director of the original 1951 The Thing said after first viewing Carpenter's version, "If you want blood, go to the slaughterhouse. All in all, it's a terrific commercial for J&B Scotch."
  • The film was originally banned upon release in Finland.
  • Certain home video releases of the film had copyright problems with Stevie Wonder's "Superstitious". The song was dubbed over with "One Chain Don't Make No Prison" by The Four Tops. On the DVD it is back to Stevie Wonder's "Superstitious".
  • The Norwegian dog was played by a half-dog, half-wolf hybrid named 'Jed'. He acted all his parts eerily well and was extremely quiet and well-behaved on the set.
  • Stan Winston was called in to do the effects for the Dog-Thing. He agreed to take on the task but did not want screen credit to take away from Rob Bottin's show. Nevertheless he is recognized in the end credits: "A Special Thanks to Stan Winston."
  • To match the Antarctic atmosphere on the Los Angeles soundstages for interior scenes the sets were refrigerated down to 40 F while it hovered around 90 F outside.
  • Filming The Thing took 57 weeks to complete. Rob Bottin worked 7 days a week for the entire duration, often sleeping at the Studio and living off of pop and candy bars. After the conclusion of filming Rob had to check himself into the hospital to recover from serious stress and fatigue.
  • The prime-time television CBS airing of The Thing was quite a different version, having most of the gore edited out and the profanity dubbed over. Interestingly though extra narration was added to the opening scenes of the film introducing and describing the characters at the camp. (Norris has his heart condition pointed out here as well.) The scene with Blair at his computer has an extra voice narration by Wilford Brimley reading the wording on his screen. Also when Blair attacks Garry he repeats one of his lines from his rant in the radio room. Depending on when you believe Blair was taken over, before or after his outburst, this makes no sense.
Let's keep (but not in a seperate section):
  • same night as Bladerunner - this (and ET) could help explain the film's poor ticket sales.
  • Carpenter's basing the film on the original short story. This is relevant.
  • Voiceover in some versions explaining Norris's heart condition.
The rest is for fans only, and they probably have the information aleady. Any other views? Totnesmartin 21:01, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
We can keep the trivia we feel is notable while still deleting the trivia section. The info can be turned into prose and put into Production or Alternate versions/endings or something. Geoff B 03:44, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Bladerunner done, Original story reference already in the intro. I can't find a convenient spot for Norris's heart. Totnesmartin 14:38, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
You may want to add it into or create a section about the TV version. It has an additional voiceover about the characters, is cut for violence, and has a different ending IIRC. Geoff B 14:43, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
I think I'm going to have to. Totnesmartin 14:54, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

XidiouX writes: Not at all happy about the removal of 'trivia' in this way. The intelligent, diligent thing to do would have been to reorganise this information in a contextually appropriate manner, rather than delete it because it appeared in a 'trivia' section and you had a failure of imagination or were simply to lazy to do what was required. Everything about The Thing should be here, but, as the saying goes, everything in its place.

The Prime time TV modifications are real. I've seen that version twice so its at least been around a bit. Unfortunately we lived in a "Testing Zone" where movies and such were oft screened to see results so I am not sure if it aired regularly. It is currently on my research list to find out if it was or wasn't used for all broadcasts. That it aired at least twice in that form suggests it was used elsewhere too. I'll update if I get more info. Omega2064 (talk) 09:32, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Who's an alien at the end[edit]

I haven't seen this film for ages but a channel here in the UK did an evening devoted to the film when I was a kid. I remember that it explained one of the guys at the end was a baddie and it listed two things proving it. I can't remember what the first one was, but the second one was that no steam comes from the guys mouth when he breathes. I think it was Kurt's Russel's character but I can't be sure. Anybody care to check up on this? -SantaHul-- 23:56, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

The steam thing is just the lighting of the scene. That UK showing (the one with the green alien at the end right?) is just opinion, so it should not be included on the wiki. As it stands, we do not know if MacReady or Childs are human or alien; we just know they're there and breathing as the film cuts to credits. Parjay 00:15, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Old discussion but I'm adding this as new "evidence" - obviously without reliable sources, but I saw this on reddit and thought I'd add it to the discussion. First is a supposed quote from John Carpenter supporting this theory - Keith David's character is not intended to be breathing at the end of the film. Second is a suggestion for the possible other things suggesting one of them is the Thing: "Another subtle cue is that right near the beginning of the film McReady is playing chess (as white) against the computer (black). When he is next to defeated, he pours whisky for/on his opponent." Here's a link to the second-hand quote from Carpenter. It might be worthwhile to, given the UK show discussed above, include a mention of this in the article - even if it's clearly declared as speculation. There seem to be several instances of fans attempting to deconstruct and re-assess some of the more subtle hints on youtube, so this may be a point of interest to some. Equalx (talk) 04:32, 19 February 2013 (UTC)


I'm currently watching the movie on TNT and there's a narrator. He's told the audience the setting, introduced all the characters and said their backstory. Can anyone find who did it or why it's in this version but not in others (like my DVD)?

That's the TV version with some edits that Carpenter has nothing to do with. See the website for more info. Parjay 10:52, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
Even if Carpenter doesn't like it, it still exists, in an official-enough version to be broadcast. It should go in. Totnesmartin 17:01, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
Who said it shouldn't? The guy was asking what it WAS. Parjay 17:55, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
I've seen that version too when it first aired. So its been around a while. But it was standard TV procedure to modify movies for the small screen back then and probably even now too. Though one hopes not as heavily anymore. Omega2064 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 09:38, 5 September 2011 (UTC).


Is that bit of "Norwegian" a few minutes in real Norwegian, phonetic Norwgian or an invented language that sounds Norwegian? Totnesmartin 08:52, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

IIRC, it's mentioned in the commentary that the dialogue was provided by a Norwegian member of the crew, and was spoken phonetically by an American. Geoff B 09:50, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes, indeed it is. Parjay 15:34, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
Little bit more info: "At the beginning of the film the Norwegian with the rifle is the second unit director and associate producer as well as Kurt Russell's (then) brother-in-law, Larry J. Franco. According to John Carpenter, on the commentary track, Franco is not speaking Norwegian but making up the dialog. "Schmergsdorf" as Carpenter puts it. The subtitles, however, give the impression he is speaking Norwegian. The words spoken are actually understandable for Norwegians. Albeit broken Norwegian, the line goes: "Se til helvete og kom dere vekk. Det er ikke en bikkje, det er en slags ting! Det imiterer en bikkje, det er ikke virkelig! KOM DERE VEKK IDIOTER!!" This translates to: "Get the hell outta there. That's not a dog, it's some sort of thing! It's imitating a dog, it isn't real! GET AWAY YOU IDIOTS!!"" Parjay 16:46, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Plot extension[edit]

The plot could do with an extention as in comarison to most other articles, its rather short. Stabby Joe 21:37, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

The Thing lives on?[edit]

Why isn't it mentioned that in the end of the film a dog is seen running off in the snow. This dog appears to be the same dog attacked by the thing suggesting it is the thing and its escaping in the dog's body. This should be part of the list of possibilities of the thing surviving in the film . Can anyone clarify why it isn't? [Marball] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Marball (talkcontribs) 20:29, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Don't know what version of the film that is, but it's not the original version. No dog runs off into the snow at the end on my DVD of The Thing, or any version I have ever seen. An American edited-for-TV version? Geoff B (talk) 02:00, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
From here [3]

The television broadcast version of The Thing sometimes has an unknown person narrate the beginning of the film. He introduces all of the characters as they appear and gives a brief blurb about their goals/reasons for being there. At the end of the film, the narrator returns once more to deliver a haunting speech, and then a shot of the Huskie running away from the burning base is shown. This version often appears on TNT or TBS. This version also has so much of the gore edited out that originally deleted scenes are used as time fillers to extend existing scenes.

Although I've not seen this version myself. ~ NossB (talk) 13:22, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Maybe, I saw it on the Scifi channel. It was a special though, an entire marathon of John Carpenter films. [Marball] january 24 2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:55, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

This may be beyond the point, but didn't Childs say at the end that Blair was seen escaping into the snowstorm proving that The Thing lives on? EgraS (talk) 16:15, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

He said he thought he saw Blair, and besides Blair was in the building where Childs was in, killing two of his comrades. April 12 2008 [NickStick]

  • Sigh* I don't know why I need to explain this.

There wasn't a dog running off in the snow at the end of the movie. Yes, I've seen the version you're describing. I've seen it many, many times. It's basically a scene which re-caps the earlier events of the film, to basically, yes, act as filler, and also to sort of finish the story with an aura of creepiness. I see that that there was indeed a sequel to be made and it's too bad they didn't make it - instead I'm aware that they're going to make a prequel, which in reality is going to basically be just a straight-horror movie, without any of the story or poise of the original film. It will most likely be lame, and won't sell very well. The Thing game, which, yes, was a sequel to the movie when it came out, does a very good job at continuing the story. It's too bad no one had the brains to run with it and turn it into a movie, or just go with the original idea for the sequel.

When the "Prequel" comes out and quickly bombs, maybe those idiots will have realized the obvious.

But they won't look here and realize it, or just come to their senses on their own. -- (talk) 00:59, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Based on old school sci-fi story?[edit]

I think I've read a story by one of the old school sci-fi masters, probably Keith Laumer, Murray Leinster or someone who had this story in an anthology.

It's in one of the free library books over at Baen Books.

Shouldn't this be mentioned? (talk) 08:08, 9 April 2008 (UTC)Scifiguy

The film is based on an old school sci-fi novella, namely John W. Campbell, Jr.'s Who Goes There?. This is mentioned in the article already. - Nreive (talk) 14:35, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

What happens to Clark[edit]

Ive read the entire sypnosis and it says absolutely nothing on Clark's fate. Could someone put in Clark's fate if they know it please. -- (talk) 16:28, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Added some detail of what happens to Clark. -- Nreive (talk) 07:55, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

The Thing: Terror Takes Shape should be merged into The Thing (film), possibly after the Reception section. As the talk page states "is this page neccessary? does it really contribute anything that cannot be incorperated into the page 'The Thing'?" Nreive (talk) 15:23, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

A sound idea. Geoff B (talk) 15:34, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Merge. Nothing ground-breaking there, that can't be covered in a blurb here. Tool2Die4 (talk) 16:07, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Merge. I'm not really sure why it has its own article in the first place. ~ S0CO(talk|contribs) 08:04, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
Done. Merged relevant content into DVD part of Release section. Nreive (talk) 09:13, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Legacy addition[edit]

Do you think it's worth mentioning that Venom: Shiver was most likely inspired by The Thing? The Venom clone was developed in an Tundra environment, it killed the entire facility save for one person in order to lure more hosts, it made its way to the next base by taking over one of the Husky sled dogs and after that began to kill and possesses the people at the new base until only one human remained, using the "Who's infected?" angle to psychologically mess with the protagonists. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:09, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

100,000 B.C.[edit]

I wonder why there is no mention anywhere of the prologue where the damaged flying saucer is descending toward earth and "100,000 B.C" is flashed at the bottom of the screen. That seems to be a central point to the story--the frozen creature has been locked in ice for all that time and has finally been released by modern humans. As the film ends, the remaining characters are quite ready to sit there and "see what happens"--in other words, to sink back into the deep-freeze mode until again discovered. The idea that the frozen creature has already been there for a thousand centuries is very important in light of the ending. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Umich918 (talkcontribs) 23:50, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

The 2003 Universal DVD I am watching does not flash "100,000 B.C" anywhere on the screen at any point during the prologue or indeed the rest of the film. In the commentary track, John Carpenter says "this is the crash of the saucer, back in the, I guess, before man was on the Earth", so the idea was there, but it's not explicit in the finished film. Could it be that you're making reference to the extended television version, which I surmise is non-canonocial? -Ashley Pomeroy (talk) 22:46, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
I saw this at a revival theater months ago and I do recall something like that 100,000 B.C. popping up. I wonder if this was removed from the DVDs? It got a few laughs from the audience...So who knows? Andrzejbanas (talk) 14:23, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
Norris (IIRC) mentions the craft has been in the ice for thousands of years, so the point is still made in the theatrical(?) version. Geoff B (talk) 14:27, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
Macready: Jesus! How long you figure this has been in the ice?
Norris: Well, the backscatter effect's been bringing things up from way down below here for a long time. I'd say -- I'd say the ice it's buried in... is 100,000 years old at least.

Contamination of Characters[edit]

The three catagories of contamination of the characters are identified by the characters themselves. This subcatagory is a necessary description of those who are contaminated or not-contaminated because of their relationship with the protagonist (MacReady).Docob5 (talk) 21:22, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

It is neither necessary nor accurate. The plot summary gives the details of what happens in the film. Yomanganitalk 08:48, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Seconded. Given the plot section already covers the subject anyway, it is redundant trivia. Geoff B (talk) 22:26, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Unless somebody wishes to defend the inclusion of this redundant, uncited and inaccurate subsection, I will remove it. This is not vandalism or edit-warring: if anybody can make a persuasive case for its inclusion, correct the inaccuracies and cite the facts to a reliable source, it can be reintroduced. Yomanganitalk 11:28, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Please refer to the following discussion [4]Docob5 (talk) 12:15, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
What does that mean? Please see a discussion where I make the same points as above? You'll need to make your point a bit clearer. Yomanganitalk 12:32, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
I apologize for the association. If you would like, you may delete my comments and I withdraw the reference.Docob5 (talk) 19:06, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Let me see if I understand this correctly. I am not allowed to agree with another editor and edit in sympathy with them. I am not allowed to point out when accusations have been made against me and another editor on that editor's talk page. Yet Docob5 can throw around all the accusations he likes, simply ignore a discussion on the talk page about the issue, continue to edit war and claim Is this best solved by ignoring the situation?. That is simply a-fucking-mazing. Geoff B (talk) 14:01, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
This is a really lame edit war, but I'll chip in anyway. I gotta agree with Geoff and Yomangani, it's sort of pointless to have that subsection in there (Especially in the cast section, even if it were to exist that's totally the wrong place for it.) All of the information is covered above, and nothing is gained through adding it.Lychosis T/C 13:03, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Additional information was added to identify relevance of contribution.Docob5 (talk) 14:57, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

IP has been reported. Hopefully that'll stop him edit warring on this and other pages. As for Docob5's edit featuring Russell and Carpenter's discussion on the commentary, that still does not make the section any less redundant, never mind the fact that Russell and Carpenter do not come to any kind of definitive conclusion as to who was infected and who was not unless it appears explicitly in the film, they speculate that even MacReady could have been a Thing. Geoff B (talk) 15:02, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
The catagory is a summation of information, rather than redundancy. If a case is made the sub-catagory is redundant, I would encourage a re-review of "Critical Reception", "Release", and "Cast". All three catagories repeat information listed earlier in the text.Docob5 (talk) 15:25, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
It is a summary of passing trivial speculation from the DVD commentary, not a summary of any required canon information from the plot. I'd encourage reviewing the other sections too, but that doesn't mean adding your pet section back improves the article. Yomanganitalk 06:28, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm glad you agree that there are discrepancies regarding redundant information within the article. I would encourage you to conduct a thorough evaluation of the article, rather than focusing on one area and referring to an area as a "pet section"—this makes it sound personal and your contribution comes into question. I would furthermore encourage you to address the DVD commentary source, which was added to better identify the source of the sub-category. If you feel this is an inappropriate source, you may want to just discuss that portion, rather than deleting the whole section. Lastly, if you feel this is personal, then I would recommend you open a Mediation Cabal case, by way of attempting to resolve the wider dispute.Docob5 (talk) 22:42, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
The section is redundant. It is totally unnecessary. You've been casting aspersions on Yomangan and I from the start, so it's a bit wrong of you to suggest Yomangan is making the issue personal. And you are still edit warring. Geoff B (talk) 22:53, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
I would recommend a Mediation Cabal case, by way of attempting to resolve the wider dispute. This is a solution to solve this question of redundancy over merit. For some reason, you believe this is an edit war from me--you are incorrect. I believe the entry is valid and I would ask you to follow the Wikipedia recommended course(s) of action for resolving such questions. As for your accusation of whether or not I've been casting aspersions on Yomangan, I would ask those accusations come from him, rather than you (there have been published apologies and if he chooses not to accept them, that should come from him). I would also ask if you believe I am having an edit war with you to report it accordingly and allow a third party to resolve.Docob5 (talk) 23:24, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
This is getting rather pointless now. The section in question is clearly your pet section: you added it, you continue to re-add it without support and in the face of objections, and you make facetious arguments for its inclusion. It continues to be unsourced, inaccurate, speculative and unnecessary. I suppose Wikipedia gets the articles it deserves, so I shall withdraw from this argument and you can save yourself trouble of dragging out the drama at whichever help group Wikipedia has set up this week to assist in the addition of substandard content. Yomanganitalk 18:25, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Day / night change in the movie[edit]

I'm amazed that no-one had noticed that there is a day and night change in the film, while every kid knows that there is a polar night and midnight sun south of the Antarctic circle, and of course on the South Pole. "At the poles themselves, the sun only rises once and sets once, each year. During the six months when the sun is above the horizon at the poles, the sun spends the days constantly moving around the horizon, reaching its highest circuit of the sky at the summer solstice." - taken from . (talk) 21:30, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

Well, kids can be wrong. There certainly is day & night in Antarctica, and the degree of day and night depends on the time of year and how close you are to the pole. The station is set some way north of the pole, thus there will be a day and a night, even at the start of 'winter'. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:17, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

DVD commentary track[edit]

Two things; the DVD commentary track appears to be from a Laserdisc edition of the film (either Russell or Carpenter, I can't recall which, mentions the laserdisc format quite early on in the commentary, and the Escape from New York commentary was also sourced from a Laserdisc release of the film). It's not clear when this commentary was recorded, and it would be nice to point it out in the article. Secondly, as this frustratingly bitty video on Youtube points out, later HD releases of the film have edited out part of the commentary track. I fully understand why this was done, and as a consequence I'm unsure whether to mention it in the article. -Ashley Pomeroy (talk) 22:39, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Reception reworking[edit]

Does anyone else agree that the "critical reception" section needs some reworking? Right now it sounds way too slanted towards dislike of the film. It's got 80% on RT and that's pretty positive overall, yet the critical reception section is absolutel bloated with negative quotes. (talk) 20:39, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

surprised too how much every1 hated flick at time. oh well. times change.Dreaded hall monitor (talk) 12:06, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Largely due to the reception it received upon release, which was negative, so I think it's fair (as far as it goes). It'll be interesting to see what we can turn up from later years. Geoff B (talk) 21:23, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

I'm adding a comment here - apologies if I get it wrong or if my etiquette is off; it's the first time I've done this.

I researched 1982 reviews of The Thing while writing my BFI Modern Classics book on the film (published in 1997), and found only two which could have been interpreted as positive (my main source was the BFI library in London, which was obviously skewed more towards British reviews than American ones). The reception was not just negative, but overwhelmingly antipathetic - the critics actively loathed and were disgusted by the film, to a degree that I found astonishing at the time of its release; I quote some of them in my book. This "official" view (later echoed in Film guides like Leonard Maltin's, or recycled in TV pages whenever The Thing turned up on TV) remained prevalent throughout most of the 1990s, though by then I'd become aware there were a lot of people like me who loved it. It's one of the reasons I chose to write about the film for the BFI - I felt it was time someone countered the "official" view. (This, of course, was in the days before a critical consensus could easily be challenged on blogs or forums.)

Which is to say - I think it's important to preserve an idea of the initial critical reaction in the Wikipedia entry.

There are a couple of critics' quotes in this piece I wrote for The Guardian in 2009; they're fairly typical: Doravale (talk) 10:30, 14 July 2015 (UTC)DoravaleDoravale (talk) 10:30, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

Norris was the first to be infected.[edit]

Anyone want to hear my logic? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:23, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

There are four possibilities for 'who was infected first?': 1) Norris, 2) Palmer, 3) Blair, or 4) Fuchs. Neither Fuchs or Blair are given the blood test, and therefore, it is unknown if they are infected prior to this moment. Although it is assumed Fuchs self-immolated, the only proof is Fuchs' glasses near a burnt corpse. Knowing that MacReady's clothes were used to (possibly) cast blame, it is very possible Fuchs faked his death to freely move about and/or build an escape ship (i.e., possibly using one of the Norweigan bodies to burn). For Blair, it may be assumed that he is not The Thing at the time of his outburst; but it may have been Blair's plan to be placed in isolation. For Norris and Palmer, it's speculated that one of them are not The Thing when MacReady, Norris, and Palmer visit the spaceship and MacReady isn't taken over; but does a Thing recognize another Thing?Docob5 (talk) 21:56, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

{{subst:Requested The Thing (1982 film)|John Carpenter's The Thing}} Request the change to alternate/original title of John Carpeter's The Thing and rewrite intro sentence as following: John Carpenter's The Thing (also known as The Thing) is a 1982... Docob5 (talk) 18:42, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

I believe The Thing was the original title, John Carpenter's... has since also been used (though I might be wrong about the order here), but The Thing is clearly the common name for this film. Hell, even Carpenter's own official website refers to it simply as The Thing. - Chrism would like to hear from you 15:22, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
Good point of when the "John Carpenter's" preamble was introduced. Here is a NY Times review from 1982 that calls the movie by both names; however, quotes are only used around "The Thing", so it makes sense to keep the title as The Thing. Also, John Carpenter's website has all of his movies listed without the John Carpenter's intro. Anyway, the request to change was to clearly differentiate the 2011 movie with John Carpenter's The Thing.Docob5 (talk) 16:53, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Antartica Sun source double-check[edit]

When I checked the citation for McMurdo Station screening the film at the end of a deployment period, I found nothing in the referenced page. I don't know where to look, and there may be a necessity to delete that line. Any objections? Eddievhfan1984 (talk) 12:01, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Fix error in plot summary[edit]

It was the Helicopter pilot Matias who is shot by Gary. Not Lars.

Lars drops the grenade and tries to cover the explosion with the snow. You see the pilot get out of the drivers side of the chopper with the rifle, it is him that runs when he sees the grenade and it is him that shoots Bennings and is shot by Gary. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:07, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Featured Article[edit]

I would like this to become a featured article. It is far too early to submit it however. So I would like you all to list some of the current deficiencies in the article and then we can request peer review. Thank you. --Harizotoh9 (talk) 06:16, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Stuart Cohen blog as a reliable source[edit]

Stuart Cohen, who was a producer for the film has started a blog which discusses behind the scenes details on the film. This is a primary source, and I am wondering if it can be used. Link. --Harizotoh9 (talk) 06:21, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Movie's Final line[edit]

MacReady says, as the movie's final line: "Why don't we just... wait here for a little while... see what happens?".

According to the subtitles on my version, right after that Childs says "Yeah". It's faint but he does clearly say that. --Harizotoh9 (talk) 10:56, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

I couldn't hear Childs say "Yeah", but here's the Netflix subtitles until fade-to-black (note, the second to the last subtitle I listed as unknown, although it is likely attributed to Childs). If anything, I agree with the Netflix subtitles that MacReady's last line should end with a period, not a question mark:
  • MacReady: If we’ve got any suprises for each other, I don’t think we’re in much shape to do anything about it.
  • Childs: Well…what do we do?
  • MacReady: Why don’t we just…wait here for a little while, see what happens.
  • Childs: Yeah.
  • Childs: [groans]
  • Unknown: [sighs]
  • MacReady: [laughs]
What are the subtitles on the 98 DVD and/or BluRay? Docob5 (talk) 15:34, 27 November 2011 (UTC)
The 'Yeah' is there as the last line, but it's more of an exhale than a word on the audio track. Lovingboth (talk) 21:59, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Link to 2011 prequel[edit]

I've noticed the link to the prequel is in the plot section, specifically on the line about the norwegian trying to shoot the dog. Would it not be more logical to place the link in the paragraph about the prequel in the legacy section? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:28, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

You're right. It's already linked in the later section anyway, so I removed the egg link in the plot section (which are frowned upon anyway). GRAPPLE X 10:05, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Plot Condensation[edit]

I tried, not sure how much shorter I really made it. I watch this movie a lot, will check a few details, try again later today maybe. Beadmatrix (talk) 10:07, 1 February 2012 (UTC)Beadmatrix

I got it under 700 words. Let's see how long it stays that way... Doniago (talk) 19:08, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
Noble job!Docob5 (talk) 21:41, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm glad all those extra links are gone, I didn't put them in I just wasn't real aggressive about taking them out. There's a few spots where I like my phrasing better than yours Doniago but I can live with it! Beadmatrix (talk) 17:26, 6 February 2012 (UTC)Beadmatrix
Not to diminish the effort but the plot is pretty nonsensical now and involves a lot of assumption. If I hadn't actually seen the film I would be completely lost with that summary which jumps from plot thread to plot thread and doesn't explain a lot of things. Like this "The team corners him and locks him in the tool shed, determined to find out who is infected." They locked him in the shed because they want to know who is infected? "While in the outside Nauls (T.K. Carter ) finds MacReady's torn clothing and cuts MacReady loose from the tow line, assuming he has been assimilated. While the team debates MacReady's fate, he breaks in and threatens to blow the station if they try anything, and Norris suffers a heart attack." When did they get outside? They;re just outside. Where did Nauls find the clothes? Blow the station how? It will make 0 sense to someone who doesn't have prior knowledge of the film Darkwarriorblake (talk) 02:07, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Keep in mind that the summary should not be a scene by scene recap per WP:PLOTSUMNOT. NJZombie (talk) 02:18, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
If there are concerns that the plot summary as it reads is nonsensical, surely there must be ways of improving its clarity without significantly impacting the word-count? Honestly, even the way it is there would be plenty of room to cut it down...editors just need to be willing to make the tough calls in terms of restructuring it, most probably by going from a specific summary to something more general that still emphasizes the notable plot elements. In other words, there's no reason the summary needs to be even as blow-by-blow as it currently is. Unfortunately, as I have not seen the film, I'm not really in a position to make more radical changes beyond something like "An alien that can imitate other life-forms is inadvertently released in an Antarctic science outpost, and it's up to Our Heroes to prevent it from reaching civilization!" Doniago (talk) 13:49, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
@NJZombie, I'm not saying it needs to be a blow by blow account, I've rewritten plenty of plots I know the guidelines, but this plot, as it stands, makes little sense and just jumps between minor and major events without any context or reasonable explanation. Like this "Bennings is attacked by the monster's remains, but is cornered by the team and burned before he can escape;" We go from MacReady off investigating hte Norweigan Camp to Bennings being attacked by the creature that was destroyed and then the rest of hte crew come and burn him before he can escape. Becausehe is infected and wants to escape? No, it's because he has been imitated and its an important distinction because the current plot makes it sound like Bennings just went rogue. Darkwarriorblake (talk) 03:32, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
The point I made wasn't pointed directly at you. I was simply reminding all involved that both versions of the summary have explained way too much details. NJZombie (talk) 04:13, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
I've seen more complicated plots covered within the word limit, I might take a look later if I have time, but it shouldn't be hard for it to cover major aspects and make sense while remaining under 700 words. Darkwarriorblake (talk) 19:06, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi guys. My first edits were done from memory, not with the film playing and I wanted to be cautious. You were right Dark some things were a little confusing the way it was originally written (before I got here). Keep in mind a thriller has some mystery, they don't always spell everything out. Also there are some questions never explained in the original, like how both men who had access to the blood stores tested as human. I edited primarily for style first, I'm watching it now and have made a few subtantial changes. I didn't count each word but it is a little shorter (avg 13 words/line = 53 lines or less for 700 word max), at 49 lines I think in the editing box. I watched the opening sequence extremely carefully and it is the rifleman who gets out and keeps shooting on film (both men are described as pilots in the script or credits maybe, but the guy who gets out is the one who was doing the shooting on film). I am personally a little torn between liking 'em short and sweet versus not explaining enough for those who don't want to watch the movie 10 times or take notes. Beadmatrix (talk) 18:13, 10 February 2012 (UTC)Beadmatrix

I tightened it down to 690.Docob5 (talk) 03:53, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi Docob. I understand your desire to keep it concise, and I hope we can focus on our common ground here. I think since it was a Norwegian helicopter, it kind of goes without saying that the pilot and rifleman in it were also Norwegian. That leaves room for good prose, and it flows pretty smoothly. Same goes for the end, where Blair transforms into a larger monster; we don't have to use a hyphenated term (Blair-monster) later. Beadmatrix (talk) 16:12, 11 February 2012 (UTC)Beadmatrix

Absolutely. You edits looks great and the plot is much better. Well done.Docob5 (talk) 21:06, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Made some changes. The details of Norris' transformation aren't essential to the plot, although it is a great scene. In the final scene, the characters state that they're too tired to do much about anything at the moment, but it is still possible that they could perform the same blood test, or something similar, that MacReady did with the wire; it's very simple and the materials could be scavenged from the base. So we can't really say that it's not possible for them to find out whether they are both human. And sharing the bottle at the end is important, because of Fuchs' earlier warning that they shouldn't share food. And MacReady was alone and in close proximity to the creature, even though we last saw him fighting it - so when he offers Childs the bottle that is suspect. And who knows if they will be claimed by the cold. I love an ending with a little mystery. Beadmatrix (talk) 19:58, 18 February 2012 (UTC)Beadmatrix

Just to recap: we don't know they can't still test each other, but they actually say they are too tired to do much about it if they did. And the storm is already on them: Childs says he got lost in the storm when he went out to look for Blair. Beadmatrix (talk) 18:44, 27 February 2012 (UTC)Beadmatrix

Well said...keep with what was in the movie. MacReady says, "if we’ve got any suprises for each other, I don’t think we’re in much shape to do anything about it...why don’t we just wait here for a little while, see what happens." Maybe the sentence should simply read, The two sit waiting and sharing a bottle as the camp burns.Docob5 (talk) 22:19, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Characters full names & titles[edit]

Below is a list of the characters' full names. Since John Carpenter credits the characters as on one name with the exception of "Norwegian Passenger With Rifle"(i.e., "MacReady"), the list will serve to identify the characters names, title, rank, etc. (please edit if needed).

John Carpenter's Movie Credits:

Detailed Names/Titles:

"Norwegian Passenger with Rifle" is definitively not "Lars" or "Jan" or anything else, he's quite clearly "Norwegian Passenger with Rifle". Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead did not change a single event in Hamlet and, like that example, I see no reason why we should readily retcon everything based on later works. The cast are listed in the article as they are listed in the film. GRAPPLE X 22:53, 6 May 2012 (UTC)


The lead says: "Ostensibly a remake of the 1951 Howard Hawks–Christian Nyby film The Thing from Another World,[1]" but the source says nothing of the sort:

[quote]Both The Thing and Howard Hawks’ 1951 original The Thing from Another World take their story from the 1938 John W. Campbell, Jr. novella “Who Goes There”. Carpenter takes many cues from the 1951 film, but the shape-shifting monster of the 1982 film originated in the 1938 novella with very little suggestion in the 1951 film.[/quote]

That is: The Thing is another adaptation of the original story, but may have made use of some ideas in the 1951 film. Although even then, that is only someone's opinion - to nail it down, you'd really need something directly from someone involved at a high level in the film's production. However, my point is that the source does not support the statement.

Also the lead should be a summary of the article but nothing in that whole paragraph is mentioned in the rest of the article, which would be a good place to expand on this kind of background. (Emperor (talk) 18:57, 23 January 2013 (UTC))

Bloody axe found stuck in Norwegian base.[edit]

A nice little detail I found after watching both the 2011 version of The Thing and John Carpenter's version right after it. In the 1982 movie, in the Norwegian base, when MacReady and Copper investigate it early in the film, they stumble upon a bloody axe stuck in the wall. The 2011 version pays homage to this and explains how it got there; as Kate and Carter were fighting off the creatures in the Norwegian base, Carter uses an axe to cut one of the smaller creatures in half as it crawled along the wall, causing the axe to get stuck. Kate then, after having known that any contact with infected blood will just create another creature, tells Carter to just leave it. I just felt that it was a good detail in the 2011 movie since they treated it with subtly. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:12, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

Plot bloat[edit]

In the last few days a couple of IP editors have been bloating the plot summary, a clear violation of WP:FILMPLOT made even worse by the fact that there's a note in the article specifically asking editors to keep that policy in mind before making changes.

If anyone feels that these edits should not be considered disruptive, please speak up. As it is I'm getting close to violating WP:3RR so another set of hands would be appreciated! Doniago (talk) 02:50, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Gene Siskel..[edit]

It should probably be of note, that when this film was originally released, one of the few top critics who actually gave it a positive review was Gene Siskel.


If you can find a reliable source for Siskel's review, why not be bold and add it? Doniago (talk) 12:54, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

Laserdisc & Collector's Edition DVD: dates & some contents including "John Carpenter's The Thing: Terror Takes Shape"[edit]

This is just to help pin down some dates on some of the contents of the laserdisc & DVDs (& applies, presumably, to contents on the Blu Ray version).

I have the 2004 "COLLECTOR'S EDITION" DVD. Included in the "BONUS MATERIALS" is "John Carpenter's The Thing: Terror Takes Shape". The feature-ette is 1:23:54 long; the copyright is 1998. It includes interviews with Charles Hallahan & Bill Lancaster, who both died in 1997. Bill died on Jan. 4, 1997, according to IMDB. There is a 'memorial screen' for both CH & BL at the end of 'Terror Takes Shape'. The IMDB Bio page for Charles Hallahan includes "In an interview shortly before his death, he recalled how fans remember him mostly for his role as Norris in John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) and the special make-up effects for the ill-fated geologist." (It is unclear whether this refers to the 'Terror Takes Shape' interview.) There is a voice commentary option for the 2004 Collector's Edition of the movie which includes John Carpenter & Kurt Russell. In either the commentary or in 'Terror Takes Shape', one of the interviewees mentions that movies can find their audiences 10 or 15 years later. These facts might help pin down what approximate date the movie commentary & 'Terror Takes Shape' were made. Later note: The Thing (laserdisc version) is up for sale on eBay as of 8-20-13-- I wrote to the seller to ask what the copyright date was & they emailed me back that it was 1990. The seller has an image of both sides; I looked carefully, &, tho blurry, it does appear to say 1990. So, I would guess that "John Carpenter's The Thing: Terror Takes Shape" (the documentary of the making of 'The Thing'), was made in 1989 or 1990 for the laserdisc. Some of the 'Bonus Materials' on the 2004 Collector's Edition DVD would have been added &/or updated after that.

So, in summary:

"John Carpenter's The Thing: Terror Takes Shape" was probably filmed in 1989 or 1990.

"The Thing" (laserdisc version) was issued in 1990.

"John Carpenter's The Thing: Terror Takes Shape" was updated in 1998; it is 1:23:54 in duration.

"The Thing" (Collector's Edition DVD) was issued in 2004.

SaturnCat (talk) 07:53, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

Critical reassessment[edit]

There is nothing on the film's critical reassessment. There should be a section on that added.--Paleface Jack (talk) 18:44, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

The two Norwegians[edit]

Yes-- not credited as such in this film and clearly indicated as such-- but still very useful information. tahc chat 19:23, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

Entertaining perhaps, but I fail to see how it's useful. As they weren't named nor intended to be named within the context of this film, to the best of my knowledge, it seems like off-topic trivia to me. Does it impact the film if they have names? Is there any real-world discussion of their names with regards to this film? DonIago (talk) 19:31, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Per Doniago, they are two random Norwegians in the film, the 2011 film provides more context but it doesn't affect this film. Darkwarriorblake / SEXY ACTION TALK PAGE! 22:34, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
It does affect this film. The 2011 film provides an origin and backstory for the Thing, and the two Norwegians. These comments allow those who want to to understand the two films and the transition better.
Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Trivia sections says "Sections with lists of miscellaneous information... should be avoided.... Such information is better presented in an organized way."
This is not adding a list or trivia section; it is information presented in an organized way. tahc chat 01:18, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
Trivial information, though. Their names have no bearing on the film. Let me ask you this: have any reliable sources discussed the Norwegians in the 2011 film in the context of this film? Something like "it's great that they finally get names and backgrounds!" If you can provide such a source I'd be much more convinced in favor of its inclusion. DonIago (talk) 02:50, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
The lead of this article tells us "The film subsequently spawned... a prequel film with the same title on October 14, 2011." If the 2011 prequel film really has no relation to this film, then it would be off topic to make this reference to it in the lead of this article. If you want to leave the lead as it is then you are inconsistent.
Further more it is silly to expect a citation and discussion of every fact in a article; something like "it's great that they finally tell us the color of the sky!" Do you really think the fact may be questioned by someone? Do you think there may have been a different pair of Norwegians chasing the same thing-dog in a helocopter?
Why do really want to censor such information? Are you hoping to leave some people unclear on the relation between the films? Do you hate the 2011 film and want people to forget it exists? tahc chat 03:17, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I'm on a systematic quest to eliminate all knowledge of the 2011 film; that's clearly the only reasonable explanation. Sorry, but when you decide to go for hyperbole you really damage your own credibility. If other editors feel the material is appropriate for inclusion I won't object, but until then I see at least myself and DWB don't believe it should be added. Good day. DonIago (talk) 12:53, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
You fail to give even one reason to eliminate this information, and you forsake discussion of all the reasons to include it. Calling it "trivial" information is just a restatement your own view that it is not "useful" information. If there is such a reasonable explanation of your view, then why do you not share it? tahc chat 15:17, 1 August 2014 (UTC)
If the information is trivial, and at least two editors seem to feel it is, then that is sufficient grounds for exclusion. The information does not exist within the context of this film itself and you've provided no evidence that any sources feel the information which only came to light upon the production of a later film was pertinent to this one.
If you have a problem with this, you're welcome to ask for other editors to speak up at WT:FILM or other pertinent pages, or consider other forms of WP:DR. I can't imagine that I have much else to say about this unless other editors chime in with additional perspectives. Cheers. DonIago (talk) 15:28, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I'm in agreement with DWB and DonIago. The two films are not the same, and the names of characters in the prequel do not impact this film in the slightest. To give an example (I know, WP:OTHERSTUFF, but hear me out): just because the vampire in the original Fright Night is named Jerry Dandridge doesn't necessarily mean the character in the remake shares his surname. In this case, the characters are unnamed in this film, and therefore should remain unnamed in this film's article. Sock (pka Corvoe) (be heard)(my stuff) 18:58, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

A remake does not try to tell more of the same story. It is a retelling of a story with the same premise. A prequil is telling more of the same story-- and so they can shown the same characters played by different actors. The situation on Fright Night not informative here at all. tahc chat 19:04, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

WP:FILMPLOT says to keep the plot "self-contained" and for the "Cast" section to focus on the actors, with character information going in the plot instead - but we can't mention the characters' prequel-given names if we're keeping the plot self-contained. I think the only place for this is "Sequels and prequel", which already has "The prequel focuses on the Norwegian crew that first discovered the alien" and could certainly be expanded to mention that it has a character overlap. --McGeddon (talk) 19:17, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

It would be in universe to add information from sources other than this film. I especially don't like the idea of retroactively naming characters that had no name in the original film. However, a note could be stated somewhere that these characters are named and given back stories in the prequel, like McGeddon suggests. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 20:06, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

There is a "Sequels and prequel" section already; I don't see a small mention of this being out of place there. Emphasis on "small". DonIago (talk) 20:32, 1 August 2014 (UTC)


This ebook has been on the further reading section for a couple of years, seemingly without swamping the page with unnecessary links to fan sites, etc. Positive reviews exist on the web. Example below. Would like to suggest this is put back.

From reading the Wikipedia page, I came across an ebook written by a guy named Robert Meakin called All About The Thing This ebook is 135 pages of detail and instrospection about the movie. I tell you, I started reading it and then I couldn’t stop. I cued up the movie again and went through the scenes with the ebook open. Pretty riveting stuff! Source: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:21, 31 December 2014 (UTC)

Is there anything that makes this link a unique resource or recognized authority? It certainly does look comprehensive, but I'm not convinced that it satisfies our guidelines. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 01:43, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
The fact that it's under a folder called FanEssays doesn't instill me with a great deal of confidence that it would constitute a reliable source, sorry to say. DonIago (talk) 14:19, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
This is getting to be a bit much. Now someone removed the Rotten Tomatoes and associated external links in favor of a producer's blog? I reverted this, as we've got a more-or-less standardized set of external links that are described in MOS:FILM, and these sites are part of it. I feel like I'm repeating myself here, but we shouldn't link every tangentially related blog, fansite, and/or analysis, even if the blogs are by written a producer on the film. Unless it has some direct, obvious connection this this specific film, a producer's blog should be linked from his own biographical article, not here. If he's notable, people can follow the link to his article and access the blog from there. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 16:53, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
I wouldn’t describe the book/extended essay as a recognised authority by any means but I think it may qualify as a unique and interesting resource, partly because it is so comprehensive. 1) It consciously seeks to adopt a close textual reading of the film, instead of being concerned with the production process. 2) It shows that this film has the richness (or is believed to have it by some people) that means someone can write a textual analysis that runs to some 130 pages. 3) It is reasonably written. 4) It demonstrates at great length the ambiguity that seems to contribute to the continued interest in this film. 5) It is almost like a pop version of that Roland Barthes essay S/Z.
I would argue that these factors make it a unique resource. However, I am not a contributor to Wikipedia, so am happy to leave that decision to others. (talk) 00:07, 2 January 2015 (UTC)Friday, 2nd January, 2015.
That's a pretty decent argument. I can publicize this discussion to WikiProject Film and see if we can get more input. By the way, anyone who edits an article is a contributor; you shouldn't consider yourself an outsider. Just because you don't have an account doesn't make you any less of an important part of building the encyclopedia. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 00:27, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
A self-published fan essay, however comprehensive, well-written, or unique a resource, is not a reliable source per Wikipedia. It might also not pass per #4 and #11 here. Lets see other editors' input. 86.155, like NinjaRobotPirate said, anyone, registered or not, who edits constructively is a contributor. --Lapadite (talk) 05:58, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
#4 here says if it's not a reliable source it may be used if it contains information from reliable sources.--Lapadite (talk) 06:15, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't think it qualifies as a valuable external link. It is not a reliable source in itself and does not contain information from reliable sources, as far as I can tell. This film is not lacking in academic coverage, though it may not be available electronically. There are items listed at and Google Scholar. Erik (talk | contrib) (ping me) 16:30, 2 January 2015 (UTC)