The Thing

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

Main Details

  • Released in 1982
  • Color
  • Written and Directed by John Carpenter
  • Starring Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David, Richard Dysart, Donald Moffatt
  • Special Effects: Rob Bottin, Albert Whitlock, Roy Arbogast
  • Music by Ennio Morricone


The Thing (also known as John Carpenter's The Thing) is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter, written by Bill Lancaster, and starring Kurt Russell. The film's title refers to its primary antagonist: a parasitic extraterrestrial lifeform that assimilates other organisms and in turn imitates them. The Thing infiltrates an Antarctic research station, taking the appearance of the researchers that it absorbs, and paranoia develops within the group. The film is based on John W. Campbell, Jr.'s novella Who Goes There?, which was more loosely adapted by Howard Hawks and Christian Nyby as the 1951 film The Thing from Another World. Carpenter considers The Thing to be the first part of his Apocalypse Trilogy, followed by Prince of Darkness and In the Mouth of Madness. Although the films are narratively unrelated, each features a potentially apocalyptic scenario; should "The Thing" ever reach civilization, it would be only a matter of time before it consumes humanity. The Thing was the fourth film shot by cinematographer Dean Cundey (following Carpenter's Halloween, The Fog, and Escape From New York) and the third to feature Kurt Russell as the lead actor. Russell would appear in two additional Carpenter films following The Thing: Big Trouble in Little China and Escape from L.A. (Wikipedia)