Movie Review: THE THING (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray

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John Carpenter‘s 1982 sci-fi horror classic THE THING stars Kurt Russell, Keith David, Wilford Brimley, Richard Masur, Donald Moffat, David Clennon, T. K. CarterJoel Polis, Thomas G. Waites and Charles Hallahan.

This 1982 sci-fi horror feature takes place at a remote Antarctic research station where the crew of scientists accidentally discover an alien ship that has been buried under the snow and ice for over 100,000 years. There’s also an alien lifeform that has been frozen in hibernation and now it has awakened. What happens is, their base ends up being infiltrated by a shape-shifting life form that begins to wreak havoc inside the compound. If you’ve seen the movie then you know how it gets inside but if you’re one of the few then you’ll just have to watch the movie for yourself. The group quickly finds out that this life form can assume the shape of its victims and its getting better at it with each one it takes out. The human numbers shrink as they fight against this deadly alien threat that shows very few signs of weakness, but they do discover some ways to at least slow it down. All of this destruction and deadly chaos leads to an epically explosive finale between mankind and an alien life form that did not come in peace.

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There’s so much good stuff about this movie and of course it’s one of my all-time favorites. It’s no shocker that several of my personal favorites come from John Carpenter and it’s really hard to believe that it didn’t do very well at the box office when it was first released. Thank goodness the movie did finally find its audience and continues to do so to this very day. There have been very few remakes over the years that have been worthy of any attention at all, but in my own personal opinion this version of The Thing is better than the original and it’s better than the 2011 version which really was a pretty cool watch in its own right. The story is dark and the movie itself is full of fast-paced science-fiction and horror. The whole thing is a survival of the fittest between this group of men and the alien intruder that is as smart as these scientists that it wants to consume.

This is another one of those movies that I remember watching at a very young age and it’s one of the ones that sort of helped mold and shape me into this movie maniac that I’ve become. John Carpenter has cranked out a number of classics throughout his career and this is definitely one of them.  This remake from the master of horror mixes science-fiction and horror together perfectly. The movie takes place in this frozen and isolated location that really helps with the telling of this story. The driving forces in the movie were the small ensemble cast and the amazing practical effects. Kurt Russell leads this amazing cast of characters that end up fighting for their lives against this mysterious alien intruder. The SFX and the design of these creatures blew me away as a kid (and probably gave me a few nightmares) and they still impress me to this very day. The best thing about it is that John Carpenter captured all this magic (location-cast-effects) and delivered a classic that’ll live on forever. I’m such a fan of this movie and its monsters!

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The packaging comes with a slipcover. The front features the all-new artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, some images and impressive list of special features. The reverse sleeve features the original artwork and movie credits. Both discs also include their own individual artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. There’s a new 2K scan of the interpositive along with a new 4.1 audio mix created from the original 70MM six track dolby stereo soundtrack. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, we’ve gotten a plethora of different home video releases of John Carpenter’s The Thing over the years, but nothing like what Scream Factory has delivered with this beautiful 2-disc set. This is definitely the pinnacle of all the home video releases. To be honest, nothing even comes close to this gem of an offering right here! This remake from John Carpenter and Universal Pictures was already a sci-fi horror classic, so to take it all to the next level Scream Factory has given the movie this amazing high-def upgrade. The picture and sound quality are pristine, plus the discs are loaded up with all kinds of extras and many of them are brand new. The Scream Factory gang continues to celebrate their 4 year anniversary by releasing John Carpenter’s 1982 sci-fi horror classic The Thing on this epic 2-disc Blu-ray set on October 11th and this is a must have!

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 109 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.35:1) Region A

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 4.1, 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: Good Stuff! Scream Factory has pretty much delivered everything plus the kitchen sink as far as the impressive list of extras go. There’s hours upon hours of fantastic bonus material that includes interviews, featurettes, trailers, spots and much more. Like I stated up top, there have been quite a few home video releases for this movie over the years, but none of them come close to this wonderful 2-disc release from the mighty Scream Factory. They’ve imported everything from the previous releases and added lots of all-new extras on top of that.

Disc One

  • NEW 2K Scan Of The Interpositive Supervised And Approved By Director Of Photography Dean Cundey
  • NEW 4.1 Audio Mix Created From The Original 70MM Six Track Dolby Stereo Soundtrack (5.1 Audio Mix Also Included)
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Director Of Photography Dean Cundey
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Co-producer Stuart Cohen
  • Audio Commentary By Director John Carpenter And Actor Kurt Russell
  • Teaser Trailer (1 minute)
  • Theatrical Trailers (U.S. And German) (5 minutes)
  • TV Spots (1 minute)
  • Radio Spots (2 minutes)
  • Still Gallery (Behind-The-Scenes Photos, Posters And Lobby Cards) (15 minutes)

Disc Two

  • NEW Requiem For A Shape Shifter – An Interview With Director John Carpenter In Conversation With Filmmaker Mick Garris (28 minutes)
  • NEW The Men Of Outpost 31 – Interviews With Keith David, Wilford Brimley, David Clennon, Thomas Waites, Peter Maloney, Richard Masur And Joel Polis (51 minutes)
  • NEW Assembling And Assimilation – An Interview With Editor Todd Ramsay (11 minutes)
  • NEW Behind The Chameleon: The Sights Of THE THING – Interviews With Visual Effects Artists Peter Kuran And Susan Turner, Special Make-up Effects Artist Rob Burman, Brian Wade And Stop Motion Animators Randall William Cook And Jim Aupperle (25 minutes)
  • NEW Sounds From The Cold – Interviews With Supervising Sound Editor David Lewis Yewdall And Special Sound Effects Designer Alan Howarth (15 minutes)
  • NEW Between The Lines – An Interview With Novelization Author Alan Dean Foster (16 minutes)
  • NEW Back Into The Cold: A Return To The Shooting Locations Of THE THING – An Animated Photo Gallery Narrated By Todd Cameron Of Outpost31.com
  • NEW The Art Of Mike Ploog Gallery (12 minutes)
  • John Carpenter’s The Thing: Terror Takes Shape – A Documentary On The Making Of THE THING Featuring Interviews With John Carpenter, Kurt Russell, Special Effects Make-up Designer Rob Bottin, Legendary Matte Artist Albert Whitlock Plus Members Of The Cast And Crew (80 minutes – SD)
  • Network TV Broadcast Version Of THE THING (92 minutes – SD)
  • Outtakes (5 minutes – SD)
  • Vintage Featurettes From The Electronic Press Kit Featuring Interviews With John Carpenter, Kurt Russell And Rob Bottin (13 minutes – SD)
  • Vintage Featurettes – The Making Of A Chilling Tale And The Making Of THE THING (14 minutes – SD)
  • Vintage Product Reel – Contains A Condensed Version Of The Film With Additional Footage Not In The Film (19 minutes – SD)
  • Vintage Behind-The-Scenes Footage (2 minutes – SD)
  • Annotated Production Archive – Production Art And Storyboards, Location Scouting, Special Make-up Effects, Post Production (54 minutes – SD)
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