The Thing Collector's Edition John Carpenter

The Thing Collector's Edition John Carpenter
In rediscovering John Carpenter's remake of 1951's The Thing From Another World, it's hard to believe the director of such notable movies as Halloween, Assault on Precinct 13 (not the upcoming remake), Escape From New York and a number of other films also did Ghosts of Mars, yikes! Granted, Carpenter has made some questionable films and sequels in his large cannon of dark cinema (look no further than Escape From L.A. and the upcoming Halloween 9), but The Thing is one of his best and most over-looked offerings. Utterly dystopian, hopeless and borderline nihilistic, Carpenter's 1982 offering debuted within weeks of another "terrifying" alien movie (E.T.) but was far less well-received, as it was deemed "too extreme," "too bloody," "too hopeless" in its day. Time, as it sometimes does, has proved kind to The Thing, as the tale of a 12-man research team at an isolated Antarctic station who discover that something not of this world has been awakened from its icy tomb and infiltrated their group retains much of its terror, tension and shocking nature today. Themes of paranoia and suspicion rum rampant, as the group (featuring Kurt Russell in his most bad-ass role ever, forget Snake) attempt to figure out who's human and who's "one of those things." Featuring a digitally remastered picture (and a score by Ennio Morricone), The Thing looks strong (maintaining a bleak, claustrophobic atmosphere), and although some of its creature effects don't stand up, the film is still disturbing in its gore. Featuring some hefty extras for a single-disc edition, there's an impressive, long documentary with numerous interviews on the creation of The Thing and a commentary with Russell and Carpenter. The commentary features Russell and Carpenter discussing everything from the harsh conditions of the shoot (much of it shot on location in BC and Alaska), the superb acting of the dog, Russell almost getting blown up (for real) and the utter lack of females both onscreen and behind the scenes. Let's hope, as they hint, they do it again for another overlooked film, Big Trouble In Little China. Plus: outtakes, more. (Universal)