Creature

THE HOUSE OF TORTURED SOULS PRESENTS REMEMBERING SID HAIG (July 14th 1939 to September 21st 2019)

THE HOUSE OF TORTURED SOULS PRESENTS REMEMBERING SID HAIG (July 14th 1939 to September 21st 2019)

 

We at the House of Tortured Souls were saddened to hear yesterday, of the passing of beloved Character actor and fan favourite Sid Haig at the age of 80 on September 21st. We aim to remember Sid Haig’s long career and the impact he had on his fans new and old. This article is our tribute to Sid and all he did for horror fans worldwide. It will include some of our own personal memories of Sid, from conventions where we met him (or even didn’t) and pictures of those meetings.

JOHN ROISLAND

“I met, or should I say was honoured to have met, Sid in Virginia at the Second annual Scares That Care weekend. I approached his booth and noticed a banner, with pictures and items that he had for sale. Next to that was his price list. If I remember correctly, nothing on that list was higher than $20, which compared to other celebrity booths meant you were basically getting things for free.  I was really excited, because I was on a very tight budget. When I got to the front Sid stood up, shook my hand with a smile , and told me to come around the back of his table and have a seat. This was quite a surprise, because I hadn’t even said Hello or asked him anything. The venue wasn’t crowded at that moment, so he just sipped his coffee and started small talk with me, asthough we were old friends. He stopped and glared at me a while, gave me a little smile and asked “How are you and what can I do for you?” Graciously he signed my DVD box and had someone passing by take some photos of us together with my phone. When I got up and left the booth I instantly knew I’d met the nicest celebrity, that I’ve ever encountered. Sid was so gracious, had such a warm personality, and that is why I’ll miss him that little bit more. I wish I could have met him again, like many others have, but I’m extremely grateful that I was given that opportunity. Sid was an easy going man, with a huge heart, who sincerely cared about his fans and thanked them, for helping making what he became. I will always remember meeting him and it saddens me that he is no longer with us, but I will forever be grateful for those few moments I once shared with him.”

Sid and John Roisland at the Scares That Care

CLINT NARRAMORE

“I met Sid several times over the last few years, and was never disappointed. It was at Scare-A-Con in 2017, that I will always have my best memory of him. I was invited to join the table by Mark Patton. Caroline Williams was also there, as was Ricky Dean Logan. Sid came over and it was amazing. We all just talked and made jokes all night. Our server was terrified of Sid, because of his movies. She didn’t want to hand him his drinks. She asked we pass them to him. She was deathly afraid of him (and couldn’t have been older than 21). We all laughed and told Sid and he told me to go get her. I brought her to the table and Sid gave her a death stare for a half second and then proceeded to grab and then kiss her hand. Her reaction was relief and she laughed off her fears. Linea Quigley, Felissa Rose And Camille Keaton all came by and we started taking pictures of just how much fun we were having. Sid cared about making sure everyone who met him had a great time and he loved his friends and fans. Best dinner I’ve ever had.”

Clint Narramore with Sid Haig at Scare-A-Con

TARA SLOAN

“I was lucky enough to meet Sid a few times at conventions throughout the years. He always had a long line, because he was just a fun dude to talk to. First time I met him, I was next in line and he looked at me and said “watch my table, I’ve gotta take a piss, and I’ll sign whatever you want for free when I get back”. Of course I did and he signed my The Devils Rejects And took a photo with me. Sid was an absolute class act. The world has lost a legend today. Rest In Peace Sid. Tutti Fuckin’ Fruity!”

Sid and Tara Sloan.

JAI ALEXIS

“Sadly, I don’t have a story about Sid, but I have an experience that sums him up. Years ago, before I joined House of Tortured Souls. I went to a horror con. I waited so long to meet Sid Haigon the day of the convention. I brought my copy of Spiderbaby for him to sign (Which by the way best damn movie ever with great features). I always felt this was the passing of the torch from Lon Chaney Jr to Sid Haig. The con itself wasn’t bad, not perfect, not bad though. I wanted to meet him but believe it or not I was, and sometimes still can be, painfully shy around celebs. I go from being a regular con-goer one-minute to a Chris Farley like  fanboy the next. I passed on the chance to meet him that day, because I was scared. I’ll always regret it to this day. That’s what I admire about Sid he never shied away from a challenge; he never backed down from doing more and working for what he wanted. Sid made a career and a damn fine one with his talent and personality. So whenever you doubt you can do something or think you’re not good enough, just ask yourself ‘What would Sid Haig do?’ I love you old friend and when my time comes, I hope you don’t mind me being a fanboy around you and Lon Chaney Jr.

Spiderbaby (1967)

MICHELLE ‘MIDI’ PEIFER

“I was never fortunate enough to meet Sid in person and I’m unsure exactly Of if or when, he maybe visited Australia. Being in Sydney the supreme annual convention to attend is Supanova. Every year fans like myself ascend on the halls of Supanova and enjoy the array of guests from all walks of popular culture. I’ve used my attendance to meet celebrities such as Richard Dreyfus, John Jarratt, the original cast of Mad Max (minus Mel Gibson sadly), And much much more. Sadly though Sid Haig has never been invited to Sydney’s Supanova and fans all wished he would be. Now we will never be able to make that a reality. I have recently relocated to the USA and will say this is the first icon we’ve lost since my move. It’s a hard punch to the gut for sure, as all I have ever heard about him was how wonderful he was with fans, and his kindness and patience for everyone. Sid will be sadly missed by all of us in the horror world, especially at the House of Tortured Souls, all members of film fandom and anyone who ever knew him or even just met him for that fleeting moment.”

Aussie fans were desperate to have an opportunity to meet Sid Haig

Haig’s passing was announced via Instagram on September 23rd, 2019, by his long term partner, publicist and wife of 12 years Susan.L.Oberg. Her statement was as follows:

“ My light, my heart, my true love, my King, The other half of my soul, Sidney passed from this realm on to the next. He has returned to the universe, a shining star in her heavens. He was my angel, my husband, my best friend and always will be. He adored his family, friends and his fans. This came as a shock to all of us. We, as a family, are asking that our privacy and time to mourn, be respected.

Sidney Eddie Mosesian

7/14/39 – 9/21/19

Husband, Father, Grandfather, Friend.

Goodnight my love. We will find each other again, next time.

I love you.”

Sid Haig was known for his acting which spanned from 1960 to 2019. He worked tirelessly throughout his career, despite a 5 year hiatus from 1992-1997. During that time he was retired from showbiz, due to being frequently typecast. Haig even once stated “I’ll never play another stupid heavy again and I don’t care if that means I never work, ever.”

However he did return in 1997, as a Judge in the Quentin Tarantino film Jackie Brown, opposite his frequent co-star Pam Grier. Grier had also starred with Haig in Blaxploitation films of the 1970’s such as The Big Doll House (1971), The Big Bird Cage (1972), Coffy (1973), Black Mama White Mama (1973), and Foxy Brown (1974).

On Television Haig was in a variety of shows including (through the 1960’s until the 1980’s) The A-Team, The Dukes Of Hazzard, Quincy M.E, Hart to Hart, Fantasy Island, Charlie’s Angels, Police Woman, The Rockford Files, The Six Million Dollar Man, Mannix, Mission Impossible, Gunsmoke, Get Smart, Star Trek, Batman, and The Untouchables.

At one point Haig even had a starring lead role as a Villian named Drago in a series called Jason Of Star Command.

Haig had become a horror icon since appearing as Captain Spaulding in Rob Zombies House of 1000 Corpses in 2003. This led to his continuing with the character through its two sequels The Devils Rejects (2005) and more recently in 3 From Hell (2019).

Notable roles throughout Sid Haig’s career of both horror and non horror films includes Blood Bath (1966), Spider Baby (1967), Pit Stop (1969), THX1138 (1971), Beware!The Blob (1972), Woman Hunt (1972), Beyond Atlantis (1973), Savage Sisters (1974), Galaxy of Terror (1981), The Aftermath (1982), Kill Bill Volume 2. (2004), House of the Dead (2005), Night of the Living Dead 3D (2006), Little Big Top (2016) ,Rob Zombies Halloween (2007), Brotherhood Of Blood (2007), The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto (2009), Dark Moon Rising (2009), Creature (2011), The Sacred (2012), Lords of Salem (2012), Hatchet III(2013), Devil in my Ride (2013), and High on the Hog (2019).

Sid, all of us at the House of Tortured Souls were saddened at the news of your passing. May your family and friends have the peace to mourn you, that they seek at this time, and your star sign bright forevermore.

R.I.P  SID HAIG .

 

 

 

 

Posted by Jai Alexis in ABNORMAL MUSINGS AND FREAKISH FACTS, EDITORIALS, FAMILY HORROR, FEATURED CONTENT, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, HALLOWEEN, HORROR COMEDIES, HORROR HEROES, HORROR HISTORY, HORROR NEWS, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, MOVIE REVIEWS, MYTHS AND LEGENDS, OBITUARY, OPINION, REVIEWS, SATANIC/DEMONIC, SCI-FI HORROR, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, STAFF PICKS, THRILLER, TRIBUTE, URBAN DECAY/DYSTOPIAN FUTURES, VAMPIRES, WEREWOLVES, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
VORTEXX ELECTION WEEK SCHEDULE FOR NOVEMBER 6 – 13, 2016

VORTEXX ELECTION WEEK SCHEDULE FOR NOVEMBER 6 – 13, 2016

By The Crimson Executioner
&
Woofer McWooferson

Welcome to The Vortexx where it's been ALL HOSTS ALL THE TIME FOR SIX YEARS!


Welcome to The Vortexx where it's been ALL HOSTS ALL THE TIME FOR SIX YEARS! We've got a great line-up of shows, hosts, and movies coming your way this week including several shows with political themes in keeping with the election season. FOUR movies will be making their Vortexx debut, including a Formerly Crappics Election Eve Special on Monday, a Bordello of Horror Election Day Special on Tuesday, a political thriller with many guest hosts on Mansion of Mystery on Friday , and a freaking hilarious episode of Alternative Realities on Saturday. For the remainder of the week, we have Roger Corman, Arch Hall, Jr., Klaus Kinski, and Bela Lugosi. Our hosts this week are Arachna & Deadly, Freezer Mortis, Freakshow & the Bordello gang, Edgar von Ghoul, Mr. Lobo, Scarlett Kaiju & CJ the Werewolf, Dr. Sigmund Zoid & Sluggo, and Misty Brew. And be sure to check our Sponsors section for a great deal on Vortexx tee shirts! Enjoy the shows and thanks for hanging out!

Sunday (11/06). 9:00 P.M. (ET)
BEWARE THEATER
presents
Roger Corman's CREATURE FROM THE HAUNTED SEA (1961)


BEWARE THEATER returns to The Vortexx with a brand-new episode and another classic from the Golden Age of Black & White. Tonight Arachna of the Spider People and her friend Deadly are hosting Roger Corman's CREATURE FROM THE HAUNTED SEA (1961). Anthony Carbone, doing his best Bogie imitation, plays small-time crook Renzo Capetto who hatches a scheme to steal the national treasury of a Caribbean island with the help of a mythical sea monster -- who turns out to be real. Betsy Jones-Moreland plays Renzo's girlfriend Mary-Belle Monahan. Ed Wain (actually Academy Award winning screenwriter Robert Towne) is agent Sparks Moran. Beach Dickerson steals every scene he's in as a guy who communicates with animal noises. Don't expect to be scared, because it's all played for laughs.

Monday (11/07). 9:00 P.M. (ET)
FORMERLY CRAPPICS
presents
THE ELECTION EVE SPECIAL
and The Vortexx premiere of
1984 (1984)


As the election season draws to an end, we all have a very crucial decision to make on this important evening. Are you going to watch cable or network news. . . . Or are you going to watch THE FORMERLY CRAPPICS ELECTION EVE SPECIAL with Freezer Mortis. Tonight Freezer will be hosting The Vortexx premiere of 1984, made in the year 1984 and starring John Hurt and Richard Burton. Much like the George Orwell novel, this film adaptation is bleak and dreary but it's created that way on purpose, unlike the usual bleak and dreary fare we air in The Vortexx. Freezer feels that tonight's movie doesn't emphasize the concept of "Ministries" quite as much as the novel, so he's going to remedy that deficiency with some special guest hosts, who will be reporting from various Ministries about what was actually happening in the year 1984. So those are your choices, folks. We hope you choose what you believe is best for yourself, your family, and our country.

Tuesday (11/08). 9:00 P.M. (ET)
BORDELLO OF HORROR
presents
THE ELECTION DAY SPECIAL
and The Vortexx premiere of
PRESIDENT WOLFMAN (2012)


Join us tonight for a BORDELLO OF HORROR ELECTION DAY SPECIAL! As the election returns roll in, Freakshow will be hosting The Vortexx premiere of Mike Davis's PRESIDENT WOLFMAN (2012). The President of the United States has been bitten by a werewolf and is loose on the streets of Washington on a killing rampage! This comedy-horror political satire is based on the 1973 movie Werewolf of Washington, which has been re-cut, re-dubbed, and beefed up with additional footage culled from more than one hundred government instructional shorts, classroom education movies, vintage stag reels, and other features that have fallen out of copyright -- and out of public favor. This is a one-of-a-kind movie that you won't want to miss!

Wednesday (11/09). 9:00 P.M. (ET)
MIDNIGHT CHILLERS
presents
THE SADIST (1963)
Starring Arch Hall, Jr.


Arch Hall, Jr. returns to The Vortexx as MIDNIGHT CHILLERS with Edgar von Ghoul presents THE SADIST (1963). The character Arch plays in tonight's movie is definitely not the clean-cut, wholesome guy you saw in Eegah and Wild Guitar. In what is undoubtedly the best (and by far the scariest) movie role of his career, Arch plays crazed serial killer Charlie Tibbs, inspired by real life killer Charles Starkweather. Marilyn Manning (who played Arch's girlfriend Roxy in Eegah) is his teenage girlfriend Judy (inspired by Stark's real-life honey Caril Fugate) who's even more whacked out than he is. Together, Charlie and Judy terrorize a trio of high school teachers, who are on their way to a Dodgers game in Los Angeles when their car experiences engine trouble and they're forced to pull off the road to the gas station/junkyard where the two killers happen to be hiding out. Arch's convincing performance, a taut script and decent direction by James Landis, and outstanding camera work by soon-to-be famous cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond make this one our favorite Arch Hall, Jr. movie.

Thursday (11/10). 9:00 P.M. (ET)
CINEMA INSOMNIA
WITH MR. LOBO

presents
CREATURE (1985)


CINEMA INSOMNIA WITH MR. LOBO presents CREATURE (1985). One of the many Alien rip-offs that popped up during the 1980s (they even used the same special-effects team), this movie at least benefits from an all-too-brief appearance by the great Klaus Kinski, a good musical score, a dash of nudity, and some pretty gory special effects (exploding heads, etc.). It's about some astronauts who land on Titan (the largest moon of Saturn) and encounter an alien being who transforms some of them into parasite-infected zombies (think Planet of the Vampires meets Night of the Living Dead). You can be sure that Mr. Lobo will add just enough spice to turn this cheese ball of a movie into a tasty treat!

Friday (11/11). 9:00 P.M. (ET)
MANSION OF MYSTERY
presents
The Vortexx premiere of
THE KIDNAPPING OF THE PRESIDENT (1980)


The election may be over, but the political intrigue continues as MANSION OF MYSTERY with Scarlett Kaiju and CJ the Werewolf presents A VERY VORTEXX . . . KIDNAPPING?? Sluggo Gonzales, our Dear Leader and freely elected President of The Vortexx, has mysteriously disappeared. But not to worry, Scarlett and CJ are on the case, tracking down an all-star list of horror-host suspects to find out the truth. While our two hosts are thus engaged, Mrs. O'Brien, Mittens, and Ralphie stay behind in the Mansion to host The Vortexx premiere of THE KIDNAPPING OF THE PRESIDENT (1980) starring William (Capt. Kirk) Shatner as an intrepid U.S. Secret Service agent battling terrorists who have abducted the President of the United States (Hal Holbrook) during a diplomatic mission to Toronto. Veteran actors Van Johnson and Ava Gardner also star. Will Capt. Kirk and Scarlett & CJ succeed in rescuing the two presidents? If you're a fan of horror hosts (and who in The Vortexx isn't?), this is one episode you can't afford to miss!

Saturday (11/12). 8:00 P.M. (ET)
ALTERNATIVE REALITIES
presents
The Vortexx premiere of
Guy Gilray's SCREAM OF THE SASQUATCH (2006)


ALTERNATIVE REALITIES with Dr. Sigmund Zoid and Sluggo presents The Vortexx premiere of Guy Gilray's SCREAM OF THE SASQUATCH (2006). It's a family-friendly comedy (i.e., no harsh language or sexual content) about some morons hunting for Bigfoot and the challenges they face along the way. Renowned anthropologist and Bigfoot expert Dr. Seymour Rimbaud adds a veneer of respectability to the proceedings, discussing the possibility that Bigfoot might be real. Meanwhile back at Alternative Realities, Dr. Zoid discovers that a Sasquatch is on the loose in The Vortexx, and he enlists the services of veteran gator wrassler Virgil Grissom to track him down. Oregon-born artist-musician Guy Gilray, whose 2010 film It Came For Friendship But Found Food was a big hit when it aired in The Vortexx last January, shot tonight's film at Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon on an estimated budget of $5,000.

Sunday (11/13). 9:00 P.M. (ET)
MISTY BREW'S
CREATURE FEATURE

presents
WHITE ZOMBIE (1932)


MISTY BREW'S CREATURE FEATURE presents WHITE ZOMBIE (1932) starring Bela Lugosi. It's the first zombie movie ever -- and still arguably one of the best! Fresh from his success in Dracula, Lugosi plays the evil Murder Legendre, who can control people with a little white powder, a hand clench, and a nasty glare. In addition to great sets (borrowed from Universal) and lots of living dead (courtesy of master makeup man Jack Pierce), there's some pretty weird music, some of it by Xavier Cugat. [Bela Lugosi artwork courtesy of Bradley Beard.]












SLUGGO!!! OUR DEAR LEADER AND FREELY ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE VORTEXX!!!

Posted by Alan Smithee in HOSTED HORROR, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Animal (2014)

MOVIE REVIEW: Animal (2014)

By Amy Mead 

Animal 2014 cover

ANIMAL

Directed by Brett Simmons 

Starring Joey Lauren Adams, Keke Palmer, Amaury Nolasco, Elizabeth Gillies, Thorsten Kaye and Jeremy Sumpter 

Animal starts off with a group of four people, two couples, running through the woods, fleeing from some unseen screaming creature. They are panicked, terrified and there is nowhere to go. A woman in the party trip and is quickly ravaged by the unseen beast.  The groundwork for something terrible has been laid.

Flash forward to a group of five close friends, Alissa, Jeff, Matt, Shawn and Mandy are head into the wilderness for a weekend of fun. Jeff and Alissa used to come here all the time as kids but it's been years since their last visit. They set out for a day hike and naturally they don't head back before sunset and quickly become lost. They stop to rest and Mandy spots the remains of something that has been slaughtered. There is blood, lots of it, and entrails and and bones strewn everywhere. Then they hear something  emit a blood curdling shriek and it's enough to make their hair stand on end and shake them to their very core.

In short order, they come face to face with the creature and are pursued by the flesh hungry beast and lose on of their party to the vicious beast.

Frantic, they gain entry to an isolated broken down cabin and discover another party already hiding there.  They are the same group from the beginning of the film, now a party of three that has been hiding for some time and have already lost one of their own.

The first group has been there long enough that they know a little bit about the creatures habits and what to expect from it, and together the two groups devise a plan to escape, which of course fails miserably. Can they make it out before they are torn limb from limb or will the creature get them all? Who will be left?

I love a good creature feature so I was eager to see this one. And although I found it more than mildly disappointing, Animal was still kind of fun to watch, strictly for the jump scares alone. It is loaded with them and you just  know they are coming, but they still get you anyway due to the sheer loudness that accompanies them. I was had more than once by the blaring sound effects. 

That being said, there isn't much else here, sadly.  The plot is painfully predictable, almost laughably so, and the ending can be seen coming a mile away if you are a seasoned horror fan such as myself. 

The characters all one dimensional, the acting leaves much to be desired and the dialogue made me want to punch most of them in the face. The mere thought of being trapped in this type of scenario with these whiny dumbasses alone made me want to kill them all and feed them to this damn thing myself. I really didn't care if any of them survived or not, even the pregnant one. 

The creature design also left a lot to be desired and overall Animal is a waste of a good creature feature. I wanted my hour and a half back. There are far more more constructive ways to waste your time such as, I don't know, sleeping perhaps?? Had it not been for the little bit of fun with the jump scares Animal would be a complete yawnfest. I have seen a few decent things come from Chiller Films, but unfortunately this isn't one of them. 

I give Animal  4/10 which might be just  a little too generous... 

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Blood Glacier (2013)

MOVIE REVIEW: Blood Glacier (2013)

Terror Has Evolved

By Woofer McWooferson

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Director: Marvin Kren; Writers: Benjamin Hessler (screenplay), Marvin Kren (screenplay contributor), Claudia Kolland (dramatization); Stars: Gerhard Liebmann, Edita Malovcic, Santos, Hille Beseler, Peter Knaack, Felix Römer, Brigitte Kren; Rating: Not Rated; Run Time: 98 min; Genre: Horror; Country: Austria; Language: German | English; Year: 2013

Blood Glacier (or Blutgletscher in the original German) is a 2013 offering from director Marvin Kren (Rammbock) and Allegro Film. Set in a 2014 where climate change/global warming has progressed beyond man's ability to reverse the damage, Blood Glacier examines the possibility of something very old and very dangerous coming to light in a world that has moved so far beyond it as to consider it myth or legend. Scientists in the Austrian Alps studying geological and climatological changes are at odd ends when an alarm sounds, necessitating technician Janek (Gerhard Liebmann) check out the equipment. Janek, accompanied by his dog Tinni (Santos) and meteorologist Falk (Peter Knaack), discovers a glacier that appears to be leaking blood. Intrigued, Falk decides to collect a sample for analysis back at the camp.

hero_BloodGlacier-2014-1

The liquid from the glacier affects all who ingest it and nobody is immune to its affects. As the crew prepares for a visit from the Ministerin (Brigitte Kren) (Of what? We do not know.), they argue about just what should be revealed. Naturally, the majority vote is to keep it secret until they learn more about it. With the Ministerin and her entourage approaching and who knows what type of mutant animal hybrids on the loose, anything could happen.

Blood Glacier has all the elements of a fun horror movie – interesting plot, fun characters, no jump scares, and creatures straight out of an opium-induced hallucination. Additionally, there is a seemingly irrelevant love story that pays off at the end. There are strong performances all around, with the scientists believing themselves to be above technician Janek and vice versa. The Ministerin is an especially fun character who takes charge as soon as she is aware that something has gone very wrong. She also has the best line of dialogue in the entire movie. People die. Creatures die. But the mutation, by its very nature, adapts and survives.

The English language version suffers from bad voice acting for the main characters, specifically Janek, but is an otherwise enjoyable movie.

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982)

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982)

Man is the warmest place to hide.

By Woofer McWooferson

rpenter's The Thing movie poster

Director: John Carpenter; Writers: Bill Lancaster (screenplay), John W. Campbell Jr. (short story "Who Goes There?"); Stars: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David; Rating: R; Run Time: 109 min; Genre: Horror | Sci-Fi; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 1982

As most horror fans already know, John Carpenter's The Thing received deeply mixed reactions at its theatrical release in 1982, but has amassed one of the largest cult followings in the decades since. Information on this can be found easily, so this review will not dwell on this aspect. However, it is worth noting that the creature was so groundbreaking that it was nearly impossible to describe without sounding silly – at least at the time. In fact, Rob Bottin's description of his vision for the creature, while intriguing to Carpenter, needed to be set down on storyboards before Carpenter was sold on the idea. For this reason, John Carpenter's The Thing needs another theatrical release to enable people to enjoy it on the big screen. Perhaps it should even be shown in theaters once a decade. Or year.

John Carpenter's The Thing is a watershed film for several reasons, not the least of which are the top notch effects by Rob Bottin. While Stan Winston's group made the dog Thing, he is adamant that all know the effects were Bottin's baby and he was just called in to help. This is remniscent of Howard Hawks insistence that The Thing From Another World was Christian Nyby's direction alone – an apt comparison since Carpenter's masterpiece is, itself, an homage to The Thing From Another World (as well as a more faithful yet modernized adaptation of John W. Campbell's “Who Goes There?”). In addition to the effects, the paranoia and claustrophobic nature of being at a camp in Antarctica in winter is so effective that the audience begins to experience it. We feel as if we are just as trapped and just as helpless as the people at US Outpost 31. We have nowhere to go except to ride this pony to the finish line as we watch pull ahead and watch the others fall away. Having an all male cast was also brilliant. It creates a feeling of pent up frustration. If the movie had smell-o-rama, we would undoubtedly smell exactly what is described in the opening of the original short story, which begins with the Thing already in camp:

The place stank. A queer, mingled stench that only the ice-buried cabins of an Antarctic camp know, compounded of reeking human sweat, and the heavy, fish-oil stench of melted seal blubber. An overtone of liniment combated the musty smell of sweat-and-snow-drenched furs. The acrid odor of burnt cooking fat, and the animal, not-unpleasant smell of dogs, diluted by time, hung in the air.

Lingering odors of machine oil contrasted sharply with the taint of harness dressing and leather. Yet, somehow, through all that reek of human beings and their associates—dogs, machines, and cooking—came another taint. It was a queer, neck-ruffling thing, a faintest suggestion of an odor alien among the smells of industry and life. And it was a life-smell. But it came from the thing that lay bound with cord and tarpaulin on the table, dripping slowly, methodically onto the heavy planks, dank and gaunt under the unshielded glare of the electric light.

Added to this, of course, would be the unmistakable smells of ejaculate and marijuana, for there is no way those men were stationed up there that long without masturbating. We see marijuana being smoked in the film, but the greenhouse that Childs (Keith David) and Palmer (David Clennon) tended was cut from the final release for a number of reasons.

John Carpenter's The Thing dog creature

The cast. It's difficult to convey just how perfect this ensemble is. Every character is perfectly cast, with each actor bringing pathos and realism to his role, thereby creating characters which feel thoroughly developed even though we only see them for a couple of days of their lives. R.J. MacReady (Kurt Russell) is a strong, no-nonsense, tough helicopter pilot with whom everyone wants to have a drink. Dr. Blair (Wilford Brimley) is the scientist able to put the good of Earth first. Dr. Copper (Richard Dysart), who is determined to help the Norweigans at the nearby camp, feels like a real doctor – and one that someone might actually want to visit. Skating cook Nauls (T.K. Carter) brings youth and freshness to a cast full of older men. Clark (Richard Masur), the dog handler, is more than sympathetic, and the audience truly feels his pain when the something happens to the dogs. Likewise Vance Norris (Charles Hallahan), George Bennings (Peter Maloney), Captain Garry (Donald Moffat), Fuchs (Joel Polis), and radio operator Windows (Thomas Waites) all seem like real people, people who might live next door or go to the same gym as you do.

The Siberian Huskies. Siberian Huskies are some of the most, if not the most, majestic and handsome dogs. While all of the Huskies in the film are well trained, Jed, who plays the lead Husky in the film, is the unequaled stand out. Jed was a wolf-dog hybrid, with the wolf side dominant, so his owner/trainer remained on set whenever Jed was being filmed. In fact, when Jed was acting, sets would be closed and this wolf intensity shows through as the Dog Thing, amping up the creep factor geometrically.

John Carpenter's The Thing Norweigan camp thing

John Carpenter's direction cannot be dismissed as it is what brought all these elements together to create the perfect horror movie. There is not a single note out of place, from Copper's nose ring and full frontal in the hall to Let's Make A Deal on videotape, from the Norwegians to the Huskies, and from MacReady to Garry to the Thing itself – this movie is a not only a phenomenal horror film, it's a damn good movie all the way around.

Man is the warmest place to hide.

By Woofer McWooferson

rpenter's The Thing movie poster

Director: John Carpenter; Writers: Bill Lancaster (screenplay), John W. Campbell Jr. (short story "Who Goes There?"); Stars: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David; Rating: R; Run Time: 109 min; Genre: Horror | Sci-Fi; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 1982

As most horror fans already know, John Carpenter's The Thing received deeply mixed reactions at its theatrical release in 1982, but has amassed one of the largest cult followings in the decades since. Information on this can be found easily, so this review will not dwell on this aspect. However, it is worth noting that the creature was so groundbreaking that it was nearly impossible to describe without sounding silly – at least at the time. In fact, Rob Bottin's description of his vision for the creature, while intriguing to Carpenter, needed to be set down on storyboards before Carpenter was sold on the idea. For this reason, John Carpenter's The Thing needs another theatrical release to enable people to enjoy it on the big screen. Perhaps it should even be shown in theaters once a decade. Or year.

John Carpenter's The Thing is a watershed film for several reasons, not the least of which are the top notch effects by Rob Bottin. While Stan Winston's group made the dog Thing, he is adamant that all know the effects were Bottin's baby and he was just called in to help. This is remniscent of Howard Hawks insistence that The Thing From Another World was Christian Nyby's direction alone – an apt comparison since Carpenter's masterpiece is, itself, an homage to The Thing From Another World (as well as a more faithful yet modernized adaptation of John W. Campbell's “Who Goes There?”). In addition to the effects, the paranoia and claustrophobic nature of being at a camp in Antarctica in winter is so effective that the audience begins to experience it. We feel as if we are just as trapped and just as helpless as the people at US Outpost 31. We have nowhere to go except to ride this pony to the finish line as we watch pull ahead and watch the others fall away. Having an all male cast was also brilliant. It creates a feeling of pent up frustration. If the movie had smell-o-rama, we would undoubtedly smell exactly what is described in the opening of the original short story, which begins with the Thing already in camp:

The place stank. A queer, mingled stench that only the ice-buried cabins of an Antarctic camp know, compounded of reeking human sweat, and the heavy, fish-oil stench of melted seal blubber. An overtone of liniment combated the musty smell of sweat-and-snow-drenched furs. The acrid odor of burnt cooking fat, and the animal, not-unpleasant smell of dogs, diluted by time, hung in the air.

Lingering odors of machine oil contrasted sharply with the taint of harness dressing and leather. Yet, somehow, through all that reek of human beings and their associates—dogs, machines, and cooking—came another taint. It was a queer, neck-ruffling thing, a faintest suggestion of an odor alien among the smells of industry and life. And it was a life-smell. But it came from the thing that lay bound with cord and tarpaulin on the table, dripping slowly, methodically onto the heavy planks, dank and gaunt under the unshielded glare of the electric light.

Added to this, of course, would be the unmistakable smells of ejaculate and marijuana, for there is no way those men were stationed up there that long without masturbating. We see marijuana being smoked in the film, but the greenhouse that Childs (Keith David) and Palmer (David Clennon) tended was cut from the final release for a number of reasons.

John Carpenter's The Thing dog creature

The cast. It's difficult to convey just how perfect this ensemble is. Every character is perfectly cast, with each actor bringing pathos and realism to his role, thereby creating characters which feel thoroughly developed even though we only see them for a couple of days of their lives. R.J. MacReady (Kurt Russell) is a strong, no-nonsense, tough helicopter pilot with whom everyone wants to have a drink. Dr. Blair (Wilford Brimley) is the scientist able to put the good of Earth first. Dr. Copper (Richard Dysart), who is determined to help the Norweigans at the nearby camp, feels like a real doctor – and one that someone might actually want to visit. Skating cook Nauls (T.K. Carter) brings youth and freshness to a cast full of older men. Clark (Richard Masur), the dog handler, is more than sympathetic, and the audience truly feels his pain when the something happens to the dogs. Likewise Vance Norris (Charles Hallahan), George Bennings (Peter Maloney), Captain Garry (Donald Moffat), Fuchs (Joel Polis), and radio operator Windows (Thomas Waites) all seem like real people, people who might live next door or go to the same gym as you do.

The Siberian Huskies. Siberian Huskies are some of the most, if not the most, majestic and handsome dogs. While all of the Huskies in the film are well trained, Jed, who plays the lead Husky in the film, is the unequaled stand out. Jed was a wolf-dog hybrid, with the wolf side dominant, so his owner/trainer remained on set whenever Jed was being filmed. In fact, when Jed was acting, sets would be closed and this wolf intensity shows through as the Dog Thing, amping up the creep factor geometrically.

John Carpenter's The Thing Norweigan camp thing

John Carpenter's direction cannot be dismissed as it is what brought all these elements together to create the perfect horror movie. There is not a single note out of place, from Copper's nose ring and full frontal in the hall to Let's Make A Deal on videotape, from the Norwegians to the Huskies, and from MacReady to Garry to the Thing itself – this movie is a not only a phenomenal horror film, it's a damn good movie all the way around.

Over 9,000/10 claws – I don't even know how many times I have seen this movie. Stop reading right now and go watch John Carpenter's The Thing.

Over 9,000/10 claws – I don't even know how many times I have seen this movie. Stop reading right now and go watch John Carpenter's The Thing.

UPDATE: Looking over this months later, I realize that I paid no compliments to Rob Bottin's SFX in making John Carpenter's The Thing come to life. Bottin's efforts paid off and, in my book, are the measuring stick for creature SFX to many horror fans. Neither Carpenter nor Bottin received the credit they – and everyone involved in the production – deserved. The movie's status as cult favorite and must-have for fans of the genre or SFX in general has done little to erase the effects of the deeply mixed reactions of critics at release – at best it was dismissed and at worst it was panned. John Carpenter's The Thing was a film way ahead of its time.

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HALLOWEEN HORRORS: The Thing From Another World (1951)

The Film That Inspired John Carpenter's The Thing

By Woofer McWooferson

The Thing From Another World (1951) Title Screen

Directors: Christian Nyby, Howard Hawks (uncredited); Writers: Charles Lederer (screenplay), John W. Campbell Jr. (short story "Who Goes There?"); Stars: Kenneth Tobey, Margaret Sheridan, James Arness; Rating: U; Run Time: 87 min; Genre: Sci-Fi | Horror; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 1951

The Thing From Another World (1951) is the first attempt to bring “Who Goes There?”, the John W. Campbell Jr. short story, to life. While very true to the story in some aspects, it is quite different as well – more different than the two adaptations that follow. The Thing From Another World follows Captain Patrick “Pat” Hendry (Kenneth Tobey), his crew, and reporter Ned “Scotty” Scott (Douglas Spencer) who accompanies them as they travel to assist a North Pole scientific outpost. According to Dr. Arthur Carrington (Robert Cornthwaite), a scientist who has won every accolade the scientific community has to offer, something has crashed about 80 miles away and the crashed object is sufficiently magnetic to throw off compass readings. Dr. Carrington then explains why they believe the item is very likely an alien craft, and the a group soon sets out to recover what they can. After a disastrous attempt to remove the ship with thermite, they busy themselves with manually recoving a frozen being that must have come from the craft. What follows is their struggle to deal with the being when it is accidentally thawed and it returns to life, attacking the gathered and their sled dogs (Siberian Huskies) with impunity. While the main plot involves the craft and creature, there is a subplot involving Pat and Nikki (Margaret Sheridan) Dr. Carrington's secretary. This may seem distracting at first, but it actually ties back into the main plot when Nikki passes important information to Pat.

The Thing From Another World (1951) Pacing Off the Craft

Directed by Christian Nyby, whose credits include many TV shows ranging from Perry Mason to Adam-12, The Thing From Another World has many hallmarks of a Howard Hawks (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Scarface) film, such as multiple simultaneous conversations. Hawks was producer as well as Nyby's mentor, so it seems highly appropriate that it would be very Hawksesque. Nevertheless, the film received criticism and many accused it of being directed by Hawks who, they believed, allowed Nyby to put his name to it. The film is quick and crisp and trimmed of any possible fat. Even the scenes between Nikki and Pat do not feel forced or irrelevant. On the contrary, they help establish character as well as setting by showing the different ways they and others react to the situation as it escalates.

Kenneth Tobey (Hellraiser: Bloodline, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) is confident and charismatic as the captain who must consider and the safety of everyone with the regulations and orders from his higher ups, all while handling Dr. Carrington and his ego. Robert Cornthwaite's portrayal of Dr. Carrington, a scientist whose faith is rooted solely in the scientific community and whose reputation is impeccable is right on the nose. He is both intelligent and ignorant, blinded by the very science that he trusts with, quite literally, his life. Margaret Sheridan's Nikki and Douglas Spencer's Scotty add both humor and realism, while James Arness as the Thing manages to convey a sense of terror – both of us as well as to us.

The Thing From Another World is not just a great scifi/horror movie, it's an all around great film with a fine plot, top notch acting, and snappy dialogue. Although tame by today's standards, it is required viewing for fans of classic science fiction and horror.

9/10 claws

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 1 comment