Thursday, June 21, 2012

One Thing or Another - The Thing (2011) film & John Carpenter's Thing

From the stacks The Thing Collection 

The 2011 Thing Prequel came & went in theaters very quickly. There was little fan fare & less devoted to it then a down town parade in my area of the country. So the other day I was traveling through my usual movie haunts & came across it.

The movie basically concerns the events at the Norwegian camp before the John Carpenter film. That's the basic plot & the film dives right in with more or less abandon. Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Kate Lloyd, an American vertebrate paleontologist graduate from Columbia University. She might be thought of as the Anti Kurt Russel character. Where in the John Carpenter's film the hero is a slightly drunk & crazed  pilot Kate is a very level headed person in a hopeless situation.
 The bottom line is that this movie isn't an up send or homage to The John Carpenter movie but a good horror movie on its own. 

  • The movie doesn't answer every question about the thing
  • The Transformations & CGI are serviceable 
  • The movie raises more questions then it answers & gives more mysteries about the life form 
  • If your a Thing fan your going to see the movie & the film has more in common with the Dark Horse comic series then the other movie. That's not bad. The comics were very nice.

The John Carpenter film is  of course a classic in horror & paranoia. It remains one of my favorite movies.. There are however vast differences between it and the pulp short story that inspired it.Who Goes There? 
  1. The MacCready character is a science fiction hero in the story. 
  2. We know exactly why the thing crashes & what the ship is like 
  3. The aura of paranoia isn't as prenounced 
  4. It has been suggested by fans of pulp hero Doc Savage that Savage and the character of MacReady are actually one and the same (the text describes MacReady as a "bronze giant of a man"; Savage is popularly known as "The Man of Bronze"), which would make "Who Goes There?" a "forgotten" Doc Savage adventure (see the Wold Newton family) 
  5. In December 1936, John W. Campbell published a story titled "Brain Stealers of Mars" in Thrilling Wonder Stories, which also features shape-shifting, mind-reading aliens. The earlier story has a humorous tone, but takes a philosophical note as members of another alien race describe living stoically alongside the shapeshifters 
  6. The Thing is one of the aliens featured in Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials. Barlowe's main illustration depicts The Thing halfway through its transformation into a sled dog. It remains a favorite of mine! 
  7. Here's a link to the original novella Here

 The Random Whose What Encounter Table 1d20 
  1. A duplicate about to infect you 
  2. A real person,very scared & about to attack! Roll initiative here! 
  3. Person infected & about to pop with weird claws, etc. 
  4. You are a duplicate & don't know it... yet 
  5. Your friends shredded dirty drawers ! 
  6. Three of your party are infected ... already you think! 
  7. A small artificial artifact covered in blood such as a filling or metal plate! Fresh blood (also infected) 
  8. Random infected blood splatter rolls away from your PC 
  9. There is someone watching you there is a 30% chance of them being infected 
  10. Random person comes around the corner & simply stares at you 
  11. Random infected body part crawls by. 2 hit points & any successful attacks with spines, teeth, etc does 1d4 & you are automatically infected 
  12. Strange technological artifact 
  13. A perfect duplicate of you rounds the corner & attacks you ! 
  14. Random burned remains of somebody or some thing 
  15. Thing in the midst of copying someone! It will try to attack you 
  16. Something weird & pissed off hisses at you from a dark corner & is about to spring! Roll initiative
  17. Thing appears with new shape & new claws, teeth, etc. 
  18. Random burnt carcass still on fire & screaming 
  19. Whose that? A new party member or NPC  stumbles from the darkness! Are they a thing? 
  20. Where are those strange thoughts coming from? You are no longer in control of yourself. Where did those weird appendages  come from 

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