Wednesday, November 24, 2010

That "Thing" You Do

Yes, this is my attempt at a clever title.  This is actually about the fact that yes they are making a prequel to one of my favorite movies “The Thing”.   I know that the 1982 version that I love so much is actually a remake of the 1951 film “The Thing From Another World”  and even these are adapted from a short story by John W. Campbell Jr. called “Who Goes There?”

​The movie from 1982 followed the short story a lot more closely.  The 1951 monster was a big Frankenstein-looking lug that was resistant to bullets.  Hated being electrocuted and could have limbs cut of and regenerate like a vegetable.  The 1982 version had a creature that would take on the form of any living creature around it.  That was where the drama was. The alien could be any one of the characters or their animals.  And when it revealed itself it had some of the coolest and grossest stop motion I’ve ever seen.  It’s classic.

​All you really need for a back story is that thousands of years ago a space ship crashes, In the North Pole in the 1951 version and in Antarctica in the 1982 version.  A creature inside must have crawled out and froze solid.  For the 1982 version (Which I will focus on now) a Norwegian group of researchers found the ship and the body.  Blasted it out of the ice with thermite and dug out the alien.  Then the alien thawed out.  That is where I am suspecting the prequel will need to take place I figure.

​ Since the 1982 movie starts with the alien disguised as a dog and coming into the American research station the Norwegians giving chase until shot.  It gives the Americans the excuse to go to the Norwegians base to see all the damage the creature caused.  The thing that I think is going to suck is that you can guarantee this new movie will be a CGI craze.  I miss stop motion a lot as it is.  But one thing lately that has been irritating me for a while now is how often they are using CGI for blood too.  Really?  Blood is an effect that Hollywood has perfected for years.  Do we really need that done with computers now?

​This movie could be really awesome if it’s done right.  I haven’t seen previews and the cast so far has one recognizable actor in it.  That can be a good thing though.   Sometimes unknown actors can be surprisingly good.  At least saying it’s a prequel to the one that took place in the winter of 1982 would make more sense for the isolation feeling you’re going to feel in Antarctica. I’m sure if it took place in a modern setting with communications technology what it is, there is really no excuse for them not being able to summon aid if they needed it.

​That being said, I am so sick of that bit of exposition in movies.  You know that person is fucked since they HAVE to look at their phone and say.  “Damn! No signal.”  Even at places that for all intents and purposes should have landlines why the hell is that an issue?  For the love of crap in this day and age no one is really isolated anymore if they don’t want to be.  There are 3,000 satellites orbiting Earth now according to NASA and cell towers in every part of the world.  Are you telling me somehow we can’t get any signals when a killer is on the loose?  I mean don’t get me wrong.  I’ve had a call dropped.  But the second time usually does the trick.

​Jeez I went off on a tangent there.  Sorry about that.  If you haven’t seen “The Thing” you should.  It’s pretty wild and creepy. It also has an awesome sense of paranoia seldom seen in modern alien movies outside of remakes of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” There is not a lot to say about the 1951 movie.  It’s the typical science gone awry sort of shenanigans.  They even make sure to add a damsel in distress because it’s the 50s and dames sell tickets I guess.  It’s entertaining at least.  Sort of like “The Blob” except the “The Blob” is much more fun.    As they say in the 1951 version, “Watch the skies, everywhere!  Keep looking.  Keep watching the skies!” but don’t forget to take a break now and again to enjoy a good movie now and again.

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