Tuesday, June 07, 2016

John Carpenter - The Thing

Just a quickie posting today on John Carpenter and his remake of the movie, The Thing, which was adapted from John W. Campbell Jr.'s story, Who Goes There?  It was written under the pen name Don A. Stuart, first published in the August 1938 Astounding Science-Fiction.  The article I'm going to link to has been culled from the magazines Starlog and Fangoria, and maybe a few other articles.  But it's all in one long piece, and has several nice photos as well, so it's pretty neat to have it all in one spot.  The article says it was a game-changer, and I'd pretty much have to agree with that due the way it bumped up special effects for the time, and adding more gore than usual.

Go here to read the article. 

If you have not seen the film, Jacob's Ladder, and you're a horror fan or a fan of thrillers and suspense, you're missing a good film.  It stars Tim Robbins as Jacob Singer, a man who lives in a nightmare.  Wounded in Vietnam he returns to New York City.  Torn between the memories of his son and terrifying wartime demons, Jacob is slowly losing his grip on reality.   His girlfriend (Elizabeth Pena) only adds confusion to his life, drawing him into a web of sexual intrigue, but ultimately, it's his friend Louis (Danny Aiello), who turns out to be the only one Jacob can count on.   This is one of those movies that offers food for thought afterwards, and multiple watchings as some of the film is taken out of sequence and is not linear in its storytelling device.  Check it out over on Youtube, it's commercial free and put up by Paramount  films. 


At 12:38 PM, Blogger Richard Bellush said...

When people have affection for an original movie it’s hard for them to give a remake a break – and 1951 was more recent when Carpenter’s film came out than 1982 is today. (The ’51 version left out the whole body snatching elements from the novella, of course, and did not have an all-male cast – so, production values aside, ’82 was a very different movie.) Nowadays most younger viewers never saw ’51, so it is Carpenter’s film they regard as the classic. I have more nostalgia for the original, which I saw many times growing up, but by almost any standard ’82 is far better – and truer to the book.

At 8:25 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

I like both versions as well along with the prequel they did not too long ago. I'm surprised that Hollywood hasn't done a sequel actually. Both the 1951 movie and Carpenter's film left it pretty wide open for that to happen pretty easily. The next step would be to get the alien to a civilization, perhaps a small isolated community or mid sized town by way of a dog carrier, or with the Carpenter film it could even be MacReady or the other companion.

At 9:11 AM, Blogger Roman J. Martel said...

Yeah "The Thing" is one of those movies that took me a while to warm up to. I was overwhelmed by the gore and chilly atmosphere of the film that it actually turned me off from it. It wasn't until about six years ago or so that I resisted it and really got into it. I appreciate the atmosphere that Carpenter was going for and the effects (still gory and grotesque) are amazing. I think this may be Carpenter's best film.

I haven't seen "Jacob's Ladder" in years, but I remember really liking it. Very surreal and has this overtone of dread that is excellently maintained. Has some very David Lynch-esque moments if I remember correctly. I should pick this one up.

At 11:42 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

I think you're right about it maybe being one of Carpenter's best films, although he really made some fun films for a fan of the genre like me. Golly, his Halloween alone made such a bit splash in the horror genre, and influencing so many other slasher films to follow. I think I felt The Fog was a let down after some of this films, but I've grown to respect that film and love the atmosphere. Then you have Escape From New York, which is just an overall fun film.

You're right about the Lynch vibe with Jacob's Ladder. I rewatched it not long ago, and it's still a good film, particularly if you've not seen it before. It seemed it has aged a bit, but still not a bad film. It has a little bit of a del Toro vibe to it as well.


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