Though widely considered a classic of sci-fi/horror, “The Thing” was hardly greeted as such when it first came out in 1982. John Carpenter’s best film — which is saying a lot, considering he’s also directed “Halloween,” “Assault on Precinct 13” and “They Live” — made just under $20 million domestically against its $15 million budget, a disappointing result that couldn’t have been helped by “E.T.” hitting theaters two weeks earlier. In a new making-of documentary, Carpenter and his collaborators both in front of and behind the camera take a deep dive into the cult classic.
Carpenter speaks about his first exposure to Howard Hawks’ “The Thing from Another World,” which came out when was a small child, while star Kurt Russell (who went on to collaborate with the writer/director several more times) fondly recalls scenes in which he and the rest of the all-male cast whether they were allies or one of them was “about to ‘thing’ out and kill” him. Behind-the-scenes footage from the original shoot is included, as are interviews with effects designers.
A prequel to “The Thing” was released in 2011; it, too, was met with poor reviews and not much money. Only time will tell, but it seems unlikely to ascend to the same status as its predecessor in the years (and decades) to come.