The Thing (1982, John Carpenter)

A remake (of the Hawks film which I liked very much) which is about to be remade, ha!

Little did I realize when I watched this right after “Twilight’s Last Gleaming” that it was written by Burt Lancaster’s son. Starred rugged Kurt Russell as an alcoholic helicopter pilot and a buncha people whose names I vaguely know like Wilford Brimley and MST3K fave Richard Dysart.

Ancient alien organisms are dug up by Swedes and escape (within a dog) to American Arctic base. Dog sprouts killer tentacles and wipes out the other dogs, then starts to assimilate the other men… but which men? Turns into a body-snatcher paranoia movie and a “cold” war (ha!) with totally badass makeup effects by Rob Bottin, Stan Winston and a huge team of fangoria-reading dudes. Nice widescreen, with unexceptional music by Ennio Morricone.

I was proud of Carpenter and young Lancaster that the black guy who plays his music too loud was NOT the first one to die, and in fact lived almost to the end. The other suspicious-acting black guy “lives” at the end, along with Kurt, both about to freeze to death having hopefully been successful in eliminating the creature in all of its forms.

Jimmy brought beer. Thanks, Jimmy.