The Videogum SpoOOooooOooOooky Movie Club: The Thing

John Carpenter’s The Thing is a cult classic about a bunch of guys living together in the snow, taking each other’s blood, and talking about each other’s things. Will they ever take enough blood that all of their things come out? Well, you just have to wait and see! My favorite part of John Carpenter’s The Thing was a lot of it, but my least favorite part of John Carpenter’s The Thing was how many dogs were scared and/or destroyed from the inside out by The Thing. NOOOOO. WHYYYEEEE? JOOOHHNNNN-UHHHH. Dogs are always big target for horror movie monsters, probably because humans are the worst and who cares if they die, and to be honest Mr. Monster you should probably just kill them because I bet they deserve it, but dogs?! LEAVE THE DOGS ALOOOOOOONEEE! (“Leave Britney alone.”) So sad. When that one dog was cowering in the corner of the cage all alone while the other dog was being torn apart from the inside and turning into The Thing before the guys got there to put fire on it? Give me a break! The dog was just scared in real life! Or a very good dogactor, I don’t know, but it was SAD AND I DID NOT LIKE IT, MR. JOHN CARPENTER. Anyway. This movie was great — completely ridiculous — though, I do have a few notes for the snow men that I think might have helped our boys, or might help others in their Thing situation in the future:

1. Don’t Ruin The One Chess Computer You’re Given: Buddy, you’re in a far-away snow house with like five other dudes, and you’re going to be there for a long time. There are going to be a lot of boring stretches. You’re seriously going to pour your whiskey (which reminds me: don’t waste the whiskey) on the one chess computer you have just because it’s acting a little wonky? Turn it off and then turn it back on, brother! IT’S CALLED REBOOTING AND IT’S HOW YOU FIX SOMETHING. Do not ruin your chess computer just for the sake of a little foreshadowing. We’ll see it soon! Relax!

2. Don’t Go Looking For Trouble: The Swedish Norwegian helicopter guy was suspicious, and maybe it was fine enough to go check out why he was acting so strangely, but when you find a burned up humanoid corpse JUST TAKE A PICTURE OF IT, GO AWAY, AND LEAVE IT ALONE. Don’t bring it back to your camp. Disgusting. You’re not going to win the Nobel Prize, buddy. What would you win it for? Weirdest corpse? Leave it alone and forget about it, go back to studying the snow. Do your job. Work on winning the Nobel Prize for best snow.

3. Shoot Fire Faster: WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?!?!?!?!? The thing that made The Thing more manageable than other horror movies was that right away you knew how to destroy all of the new The Things: shoot your fire gun at them, and then put the fire out. Bada Bing! It’s not like you’re trying to get the demon out of Regan and you’ve brought in priests and you’re praying and praying and it just won’t come out and now she’s vomiting and oh god what do you do — you just have to shoot fire at these guys. So then WHY AREN’T YOU SHOOTING FIRE AT THESE GUYS? I know it’s trite to get upset with someone in a horror movie for not doing the obvious thing that they should be doing to ensure their safety, but these guys are SNOW SCIENTISTS. You’d think they’d snow a little better, ahaha. (Know a little better.) Seriously, just shoot your fire gun at the thing.

4. Make More Penis Jokes: You’re telling me that you’re going to have multiple scenes during which a group of dudes try to figure out a way to show each other that they are their true selves rather than an alien imitation, and not ONE time is someone going to suggest that someone else shows his penis? Come on.


I guess that’s it, just those five. Though another suggestion would be not to take a job that leaves you stranded in the snow with only a handful of other dudes for an entire winter. And a final suggestion would be don’t be rude to the dogs you brought with you. Let them roam around! THEY COULD BE IN A NICE HOME BY A WARM FIRE SOMEWHERE ELSE!

What was your favorite The Thing? They were all incredible, and I am so happy that there was a solid period of filmmaking time during which filmmakers didn’t have the technology to make their movies look stupid and boring, but — and I have a feeling this is probably everyone’s favorite The Thing — my favorite The Thing was Mr. Teethstomach:

Hahahahahaaaaa. NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM. That stomach is not wasting any time! “GET IN MY BELLY!” Right? That’s what that The Thing is like nonstop. “GET IN MY BELLLLY!” I think this was the only time that I had a bit of a fear jump while watching. Love it. Love the arm bite. Love all the disgusting stomach stuff. A+ The Thing. A close second would, no duh, be Mr. Spiderhead:

He was very good, too, but honestly a little to close to a regular spider for me. Yuck. WHAT DID YOU GUYS THINK? Did you like when Kurt Russell had a frozen beard? Didn’t you just want everyone to burn each other to the ground so we were definitely sure that the alien was dead and that none of US would be harmed? (A disturbing similarity to how I felt about last week’s Cabin in the Woods.) Didn’t you love it when the alien was on the ceiling? Didn’t you love the SPIDER TONGUE? Didn’t you hate the thumb cutting, oh god, I couldn’t even watch it! LET’S TALK ABOUT IT!

Next Week: Nobuhiko Obayashi’s House! (Or Hausu!) This one is available on Hulu PLUS, if you have that (if anyone in the world has that), otherwise you can rent it on Amazon or, I’m sure, iTunes. Great!