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Trivia / The Thing (1982)

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  • Completely Different Title
    • Brazilian and Portuguese; O Enigma De Outro Mundo (The Enigma of Another World) and Veio do outro mundo (It came from another world)
    • Chinese, 突變第三型 (The Third Mutation)
    • Danish, Det grusomme udefra (The Evil from the Outside)
    • Japanese, 遊星からの物体X (Object X from Outer Space)
  • Creator Breakdown: The film's initial reception caused this. While he is very proud of the film, citing it as arguably his favorite of his films, and very pleased that it finally gets the respect it deserves, the visceral hatred it received at the time, including from the director and star of the original film that influenced his career so much, nearly destroyed Carpenter's career and basically tanked his confidence as a filmmaker. He refused to even talk about it for another few years due to the personal impact its reception had on him.
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  • Creator's Favorite Episode: Carpenter remarked in a 2011 interview that the film is close to, if not his favorite film from his own filmography.
  • Deleted Scene: Some of the scenes deleted from the movie include:
    • Doc and Blair checking the corpse of the dead Norwegian that Garry killed. Garry takes the Norwegian's ID tags and reads his name, Jans Bolen. Childs is asked by Garry if the Norwegian said something before he was shot, and Child's response is, "Am I starting to look Norwegian to you, bwana?" In that same scene, the "corpse" visibly blinks.
    • Norris goes to Mac's shack and tells him that he needs to fly the helicopter over to Norwegian base.
    • Mac and Doc checking the destroyed Norwegian base longer and right after they find the giant block of ice where the thing was frozen, they also find the body of one more dead Norwegian stuffed inside the closet.
    • The rest of the crew sitting together and waiting for Mac and Doc back at outpost while two of them are at the Norwegian base.
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    • Mac moving his stuff inside the base because cold weather outside is too much for his shack.
    • Doc and Fuchs checking the footage from the Norwegian base.
    • Mac watching some footage from the Norwegian base with his "friend", a blow-up doll.
    • Blair checking the Dog-Thing's dead body longer while the rest of the crew is asking questions about it. When Blair mentions that the thing is not dead yet, everyone back off from it.
    • Mac and Norris climbing out of the crater where the thing's UFO is located.
    • Mac shows everyone ripped clothes that Nauls found in his kitchen, revealing that whoever was wearing it is a large person; however, most of the crew members are therefore suspected to be the things.
    • A deleted sequence during the scene where some of the crew members are tied down when lights in outpost turn off, causing panic between the crew for some time before Mac and Palmer manage to fix it. John Carpenter mentioned in DVD commentary that the "Lights out" scene was deleted because it was lighted with blue light which didn't really work in the scene.
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    • Originally, Fuchs was found dead by Childs and Palmer inside their greenhouse, pinned to a door with a shovel impaled into his chest (in original script, he was killed in the same way but with with an axe). There is a picture that shows Fuchs impaled with the shovel on the door; however, there is also one picture that shows rather a Fuchs-thing, still impaled and looked to be burned, but smiling.
    • Originally, Bennings was killed with a screwdriver from behind by an unidentified person in a blue coat (presumably Blair) while he was inside the kennel. The beginning of this scene, where he enters the kennel, sees someone, and says "Clark?", was used for early TV cuts and was also in the deleted scenes in Special Edition copies of the movie. Carpenter mentioned that he wanted to make Clark look more suspicious with this scene, but after viewing the scene in early previews, it didn't fit well with rest of the movie, and it felt more like something out of Carpenter's Halloween (1978).
    • Mac and Nauls are checking the Mac's shack when suddenly Mac's blow-up doll flies out through the shack's destroyed roof, scaring the hell out of both of them.
    • The Blair-Thing was originally shown onscreen much longer in a really bad stop-motion scene, which Carpenter deleted.
  • Disabled Character, Disabled Actor: For the scene where Dr. Copper gets his arms bitten off, two shots that each lasted only a few seconds, had an actual amputee standing in Richard Dysart's place wearing a mask in his likeness.
  • Disowned Adaptation: The director and star of the original 1951 film, Christian Nyby and Kenneth Tobey, both stated their dislike for Carpenter's version, believing that the gore overshadowed everything else and made it impossible to care about the characters. Nyby even described the film as an ad for J&B Scotch.
  • Dueling Movies: With E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, which were released two weeks and three weeks respectively before this film. Sadly, The Thing lacked the mass-market appeal of the former and the established brand of the latter, meaning that it ended up grossing by far the least of the three, though they would all go on to be remembered as classics of the Sci-Fi genre.
  • Easter Egg: During the kennel scene, one of the Dog-Thing's tentacles hits one of its heads in the right eye. Then the head turns to the right and growls, before looking back at the men. It requires a frame-by-frame or .12 or slower DVD viewing to catch the tentacle striking the eye. This actually explains why the Dog-Thing turns to the side and growls in that particular scene.
  • Enforced Method Acting:
    • Charles Hallahan played his character, Norris, in some scenes, as suspecting himself of being the Thing, but not really sure. He's very much correct.
    • Another example, according to the commentary, occurs when Mac and Copper reveal the corpse of the Thing they recovered from the Norwegian camp. The production team used A&B smoke during the scene, with everyone gathering around. The cast's reaction to the stench is genuine.
    • Kurt Russell was almost injured in the scene where he blows up the Palmer-Thing with a stick of dynamite. Apparently, he had no idea exactly how big of an explosion it would produce, and the reaction that he has in the movie is genuine.
  • Executive Meddling: An extremely bizarre example: the basic cable edit actually makes the movie a lot bleaker and nastier. Carpenter hates it for precisely this reason.
  • Fake American: The English Donald Moffat as Garry.
  • Name's the Same: The actor who plays Windows is named Thomas G. Waites, but is no relation to Thomas Alan Waits. This is lampshaded in the DVD Commentary.
  • Real-Life Relative: John Carpenter's wife Adrienne Barbeau voiced the computer.
  • Shrug of God: John Carpenter has admitted he could never decide if Childs was human or not in the end.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The film features very '80s hair (most notably on Kurt Russell), loads of Cold War paranoia, and a plot that mirrors the AIDS crisis. Arguably a subversion, as it's explicitly set in the Winter of 1982.
  • What Could Have Been:
  • The Wiki Rule: The Thing Wiki.


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