February 16, 2018

Walking with Carpenter’s THE THING

The doctor shouts ‘Clear’ and lowers the defibrillators onto his fallen companion’s chest. As he does this, the man’s chest opens into a gaping, jawed mouth and catches the doctor’s hands, ripping them off. The doctor falls to the floor with his arm-stumps gushing blood that’s been made from a cocktail of jam, mayonnaise, gelatin, cream corn and whatever else they used in the good old days.

A monstrous head on a spine emerges from the chest, which Kurt Russell duly despatches with his flame-thrower. Meanwhile, the man’s head acquires a life of its own, detaches itself from the burning body and grows a pair of spider legs. Once again, it’s down to Kurt to burn the hell out of the creature.

This is a scene from John Carpenter’s 1982 classic, The Thing; the film that represents the pinnacle of prosthetic and animatronic-based special effects in horror films.

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