Our 200th episode of the podcast. How crazy is that? So what we do on “milestone” episodes, as co-host Eric has stated many times, we always do one of the classic films of genre and speculative fiction. This time we do one of our favorites and that’s John Carpenter’s The Thing. The film was panned when it was released. The box office was bad. And it had competition from other science fiction films including E.T. and Blade Runner (which was actually released the same day). But when a great film flounders on release, re-evaluation occurs and time has shown that the very best always “floats” to the top.
When a sled dog appears at the door of an American Antarctic research facility, a huge mystery is presented to the crew. Why was a Norwegian helicopter chasing it? And why did they try to shoot it dead? When two of the team members head to the Norwegian research facility, they discover it destroyed and everybody dead or missing. Soon the head researcher locks himself away in his room, and he begins to fear that what happened to the Norwegians may about to take root at the American facility.
Released in 1982, and based off the novella Who Goes There by John W. Campbell Jr., the film is a remake of arguably the best sci-fi film of the 1950’s, The Thing From Another World. With fabulous special effects, a perfectly cast of actors, and a screenplay written by Bill Lancaster that brings out the paranoia and loneliness of the desolate wasteland of Antarctica, The Thing is now considered one of the top ten best horror films of all time. Dark Discussions gives their opinions.