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The Thing [VHS]

1,177 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David, Richard Masur, T.K. Carter
  • Directors: John Carpenter
  • Writers: Bill Lancaster, John W. Campbell Jr.
  • Producers: David Foster, Larry J. Franco, Lawrence Turman, Stuart Cohen, Wilbur Stark
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English, Norwegian
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Universal Pictures
  • VHS Release Date: March 1, 1992
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,177 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6300182878
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,531 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Howard Hawks's original 1951 production of The Thing from Another World can be glimpsed playing on a TV that fateful October evening in John Carpenter's blockbuster hit, Halloween (1978). A few years later, Carpenter reteamed with his Escape from New York star Kurt Russell to do a remake. But while the first movie version of The Thing was in atmospheric black and white, Carpenter's 1982 version is in widescreen, full color, and features some of the most revoltingly explicit, surreally imaginative special effects (courtesy of FX-meister Rob Bottin) that have ever been seen on the screen. Researchers in the remote Antarctic dig up the remains of a spacecraft that has long been frozen in the ice. But the alien life unthaws and infects the living (not only humans but sled dogs too), living and gestating inside them. (This horrific concept was also explored in the two versions of Invasion of the Body Snatchers and the Alien movies.) This Thing is chilling in every sense of the word, with plenty of terrifying, adrenaline-pumping moments that build it to a powerful and shockingly nihilistic conclusion. It's a harsh and uncompromising movie (hewing more closely to the original 1930s story "Who Goes There?")--so much so that it probably never would have been given a green-light by any studio in the more cautious and doggedly upbeat 1990s. --Jim Emerson

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

275 of 287 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Klein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 28, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
John Carpenter's "The Thing" wasn't so much a remake as a reinterpretation of John Campbell's classic short story. Closer in spirit to Campbell's conception of the Thing, Carpenter's film was both critically lauded because of the suspenseful storytelling and critically attacked for the excessive gore. While the gore is at times quite excessive it fits in with the audience expectations after films like "Dawn of the Dead" (the origianl 1979 movie)and other films of the era.

What's amazing is how audiences are drawn into the story despite the fact that there are no characters we really, really like. We admire many of these men and their resolve but we don't like them. They're the product of their harsh environment and isolation. Mac (Kurt Rusell)is the helicopter pilot for an Antarctic science station. Their dull routine is interrupted by a team of seemingly crazy Norwegians pursuing a dog. The Norwegians are killed and the Americans are left without any idea as to what might have driven the Norwegians over the edge.

Blair (Wilford Brimley)pours over the Norwegian journal brought back by Mac and Cooper (Richard Dysart)and discovers that the Norewegian team discovered an alien spacecraft with an occupant that was very much alive. More importantly, it can change into any shape and take over anybody. Mac, Childs (Keith David) and the rest of the crew must destroy the alien before it can spread to the rest of the civilized world.

Previously released as a "Special Edition" in 1998, "The Thing" has been remastered for this edition.The anamorphic widescreen presentation is, I believe, the first time this has been transferred in the anamorphic format.
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149 of 155 people found the following review helpful By Sanpete on August 8, 2008
Format: Blu-ray
Though The Thing shocked with its new level of gore when it came out in 1982, popular taste has pretty well caught up to the gore factor. Now fans will be able to see it all in Blu-ray high-def.

The Thing takes its title from the influential 1951 sci-fi classic The Thing from Another World, a film it otherwise resembles only in similarity of location and a few plot points. (If you're interested in a less scary, more campy, funnier black-and-white version, with women in it, check out the older one.) The location is an isolated antarctic research station, cut off from radio contact with the outside world, where Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David and several other men unknowingly take in an alien creature that can adopt the form of members of the crew as it destroys them. They quickly find themselves in a desperate and paranoia-inducing situation, each not knowing who among the others might be an alien waiting to kill him. Internal organs are spread into view in various creative ways, while violence and tension build.

Director John Carpenter specializes in gritty, intense, violent suspense, and he doesn't disappoint here. Though it didn't do very well when it came out, maybe because it was up against the much cheerier alien E.T., it has become a favorite since.

The movie has already been released in HD at the same 1080p resolution the Blu-ray will have, so the transfer should be of similar quality. The HD transfer is very good, with strong color and good detail and sharpness, definitely improved over the standard DVD. The sound will be English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, with French DTS 5.1. There will be English SDH, French, and Spanish subtitles.
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151 of 160 people found the following review helpful By Steven W. Hill on January 3, 2000
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Maybe someone said so in the DVD's documentary: 1982 was the right time for this movie. Nothing like it would be made today, or even a few years after its release. Even if a thematically similar film were made, it's almost a guarantee that it would use digital effects. This movie boasts the most incredible prosthetic effects ever seen, and I know in my gut that if it were made with computer graphics it wouldn't be nearly as good.
Okay, enough about that. I probably don't need to describe the movie itself, at least not from a plot perspective. Let me briefly cover technique: this movie is built for suspense. From the marvelous low-key Ennio Morricone score to the gold-standard cinematography of Dean Cundey, from the scene construction (I love the scene where the dog enters a crew room, and the scene fades out after we see the man's shadow turning - no sting, no shock, just a fade out) to the realistic paranoia and fear building in the eyes of the men. I admit that paranoia movies are a personal favorite genre, but there are very few films that I can say made me sweat from suspense, and this is one of them.
One of the film's greatest strengths is the ensemble cast - mostly familiar faces, but not TOO familiar, so you feel a kinship and empathy but you're not saying "oh, that's Richard Masur" the same way you would if it were Bruce Willis, for example. Sure, there's Kurt Russell, but he plays his role so perfectly that he just fits right in with everyone else. Then of course there's the ending, something John Carpenter excels at (the ending of his ESCAPE FROM L.A. made the whole movie for me) especially when in the dystopian mode... so here again we can make up our own stories over "what happened next.
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Differencs between 1998 version and 2004 version dvds?
I have heard that during the Making of Doc. You can listen to the Entire Film Score but hte new edition doesn't contain the film score. But the New one does have remastered picture.
May 17, 2007 by Jack |  See all 9 posts
SPOILER! -- Who was first to, you know...
The dog was infected and was fleeing from the Norwegian camp because the Norwegians were trying to kill it.
Apr 21, 2010 by James O'Blivion |  See all 4 posts
I dunno, might try posting it in the film forum instead of the discussion forum for 'the Thing'...
Oct 27, 2008 by Robert S. |  See all 3 posts
nose ring?!
Don't know if true, but...per following link the nose ring was Dysart's idea as his character's backstory as Russian spy...

Snot bubble indeed!
Mar 11, 2011 by John R. Bishop |  See all 6 posts
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