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As bleak and apocalyptic as John Carpenter’s “The Thing” is, the biggest disaster of all is how poorly it was received upon release.

The Spookshow Summer Disaster continues with the John Carpenter horror classic “The Thing” (1982) starring Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley & Keith David!

Directed by John Carpenter from a screenplay by Bill Lancaster, The Thing is based on the 1938 John W. Campbell Jr. novella Who Goes There? It tells the story of a group of American researchers in Antarctica who encounter the eponymous “Thing”, an extraterrestrial life form that assimilates, then imitates, other organisms. The group is overcome by paranoia and conflict as they learn that they can no longer trust each other and that any of them could be the Thing.

Production began in the mid-1970s as a faithful adaptation of the novella following 1951’s The Thing from Another WorldThe Thing went through several directors and writers, each with different ideas on how to approach the story. Filming lasted roughly twelve weeks, beginning in August 1981, and took place on refrigerated sets in Los Angeles as well as in Juneau, Alaska, and Stewart, British Columbia.

Of the film’s $15 million budget, $1.5 million was spent on Rob Bottin’s creature effects, a mixture of chemicals, food products, rubber, and mechanical parts turned by his large team into an alien capable of taking on any form.

A box office bomb and critical punching bag, The Thing received punishing reviews upon release, describing it as “instant junk” and “a wretched excess”. That seems inconceivable now given the film is widely considered one of the greatest science fiction and horror films ever made. 

All summer long, weekly on the All-American Spookshow podcast & on their YouTube channel, your hosts will be talking about natural disasters, monster destruction, alien invasions, post-apocalyptic nightmares & so much disaster you can’t handle it! Come watch the world burn with us!

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Here’s the link to the movie trailer:


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