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John Carpenter's The Thing - Page 7

post #301 of 345
What do you fight? Just things? Or is there a bunch of added threats that have nothing to do with the film? I hate it when they do that. I played the Friday the 13th NES game before ever seeing any of the movies. I was disappointed at first that there wasn't any zombies, killer birds, wolves or flying medusa heads. Then I grew up a little and realized all that shit woulda been stupid. Same with the Total Recall NES game. Why does Quaid have to fight dozens of dwarves in purple top hats who jump out of garbage cans before you get to fight Richter? Most of those games had to have been the product of a drug fueled mind..
post #302 of 345
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thing_(video_game)

Fraid: whoa, I was a bit wrong. Childs is found but Macready is gone... Read the plot summary, interesting!
Edited by Call Me Roy - 5/6/17 at 6:27pm
post #303 of 345
Ok yeah that's actually a pretty well thought out continuation. Macready missing creeps me out for some reason.

The ending of the film is better served by it's total ambiguity but the movies other big mystery makes me think too hard for a little bit whenever I watch it. Does anybody have a satisfactory answer to who did that to the blood? I don't mind if there IS no answer because movies don't have to give you everything. They're cool like that..
post #304 of 345
I just read the whole thing. Macreadys involvement is somewhat hokey but if done well could work.

If a sequel were to be made, it would have to be a different movie, tonally. Just, don't try to remake it again.

What Aliens was to Alien or T2 was to Terminator.

I know those sequels are commonly brought up, but it is for good reason. They add to the canon of the story without feeling the need to replicate the best scenes.
post #305 of 345
Palmer must've gotten to the blood.
post #306 of 345
It was when he raided the infirmary for the tweezers for his roaches.
post #307 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shan View Post
 

 

So why were they throwing their underwear away then, answer me that then?

 

Also, prequel film ... ? I defy the dark god Retcon!

They ripped it and tore it up.  You can't rip up or ruin an ear stud.  

post #308 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shan View Post

I heard that one of the plans for a sequel (might have been what ultimately turned into the prequel) was to have Childs and Macready survive and explain the difference (edit: as in why decades older actors looked ... different in such a short time) as being ... frostbite. YMMV on that one.

I wish one of the planned shots in the prequel had been kept which was a photograph of Macready nailed to a wall in the Norwegian camp with the note "Do not accept helicopter rides from this man!"

The Dark Horse Comics had an answer about Childs and Macready. YMMV might vary on that too. Though the comics did raise a good question when the series reached Tierra del Fuego "Can the Thing imitate plants?"/"I don't think so."/"How can you be so sure?"/"Well, the forest hasn't come alive and swallowed us for starters."

But if you can assimilate the fauna from a multitude of planets, surely the flora is no more or less difficult to accomplish? And thats assuming that the distinctions between the two hold from system to system.

The end state for the Thing is a super simple photosynthetic mat, 1/16" deep at the most, that covers most of the earth.

The interpretation I've been going with is that not only are MacReady and Childs human . . . they may be the only ones left on Earth. "I dont think anyone's talked to anyone on this whole damn continent in two weeks!" always kind of struck me as a neat little detail underscoring the isolation of the location . . . but, thinking about the Swedes, what if two some odd weeks ago, one of the first things done upon discovery of the ship and the organism was to rush a sample home?

I'm not sure if that's a direction the prequel went in . . . I dont remember a thing about it besides Winstead . . .
Edited by Turingmachine75 - 5/6/17 at 10:05pm
post #309 of 345
Don't do that. Don't tell me that The Thing's ultimate end game is a tarp frown.gif
post #310 of 345
Its the most energy efficient min/maxing form it could take would eventually be required to take. Cranialdinodogblairs would be fatally wasteful once you've assimilated a planets biosphere . . . global grey goo solar panel is the only option available to you at that point . . . ok, you build a rocket ship and head off . . . but your not taking all 100 quadrillion fucktons of yourself, are you?
Edited by Turingmachine75 - 5/6/17 at 10:06pm
post #311 of 345
John Carpenter's The Tarp
post #312 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turingmachine75 View Post


But if you can assimilate the fauna from a multitude of planets, surely the flora is no more or less difficult to accomplish? And thats assuming that the distinctions between the two hold from system to system.

The end state for the Thing is a super simple photosynthetic mat, 1/16" deep at the most, that covers most of the earth.

The interpretation I've been going with is that not only are MacReady and Child's human . . . they may be the only ones left on Earth. "I dont think anyone's talked to anyone on this whole damn continent in two weeks!" always kind of struck me as a neat little detail underscoring the isolation of the location . . . but, thinking about the Swedes, what if two some odd weeks ago, one of the first things done upon discovery of the ship and the organism was to rush a sample home?

I'm not sure if that's a direction the prequel went in . . . I dont remember a thing about it besides Winstead . . .

 

Plant cells have a cell wall on top of a cell membrane unlike animal cells which somehow blocks the Thing's attempts at assimilation. That's how I rationalise it to myself.

post #313 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turingmachine75 View Post

Its the most energy efficient min/maxing form could take would eventually be required to take. Cranialdinodogblairs would be fatally wasteful once you've assimilated a planets biosphere . . . global grey goo solar panel is the only option available to you at that point . . . ok, you build a rocket ship and head off . . . but your not taking all 100 quadrillion fucktons of yourself, are you?

 

Isaac Asimov's got you covered.

 

Metaphorically, that is.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Patches

 

It's a good short story and worth seeking out (apropos of nothing, so is the original version - not the rewrite - of Enemy Mine).

post #314 of 345

It's a tarp!
post #315 of 345

Although my personal interpretation is that Childs and MacReady are both human at the end, I think Peter Watts's classic short story "The Things" makes a good argument not just that Childs is assimilated, but who is a thing at what point in the movie and what they were up to:

 

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/watts_01_10/

post #316 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by catartik View Post

My theory about the movie has never waivered from the day I saw it.

Macready isn't the Thing. It makes no sense that it would destroy the biggest part of itself with dynamite at the end. Every time the Thing is in danger it exposes itself to the humans in order to attempt to survive.

The human characters only propose the idea that you wouldn't know you were the Thing, but the movie never shows that that is the case.

If you didn't know you were the Thing then at what point would you decide to start assimilating people? It doesn't make sense. At some point in time you would have to know you had the capability to do that in order to do it.

The movie also never shows that a tiny drop of blood or a tiny bit of saliva on a bottle would turn you. The computer simulation shoes the cells attacking other cells and turning them, but it's just that, a simulation programmed by what the scientists hypothesize. The movie clearly shows that the assimilation is pretty "hands" on and quite a bloody/messy process whenever it happens.

I believe that Child's is human at the end. There isn't a single overt clue to the contrary. The ultimate irony is that they are both human but won't be able to trust each other. There is no reason why a Childs-Thing wouldn't just attack Macready. There are no other humans around to hide from anymore and Macready is at his most vulnerable point at the end of the movie; alone and exhausted.

 

I pretty much agree with all this except the part in bold.  It's possible assimilation becomes a subconscious desire unknown to the imitation.  Kind of like a reflex action you're not aware of until it happens.  I like this idea because it falls more in line with the primal, instinctual subatomic nature of the Thing organism.  A sort of primordial lizard brain consciousness people don't acknowledge outright, they just act.  As a biological mechanism, it also guarantees total success.  If the imitation is aware it is the Thing, it would become apparent in the imition's behavior, threatening to give the person away and they could be destroyed.... kind of like when someone has a secret goal, they start doing things out of the ordinary and become transparent.  If the Thing isn't aware it is the thing on a conscious level, it guarantees they will never do anything suspicious... all they have to do is be alone with another person for this primal instinct to kick in.  It's the perfect survival mechanism.  And a "perfect imitation" is not a perfect imitation if it is aware it is not what it appears to be... the perfection would translate to behavior as well.  On the other hand, if the Thing is fully aware of itself as the imitation, it becomes more of a typical stalker film, and I don't think that's what the film is about.  It's about this out of control urge to protect yourself and survive.  Even MaCready theorizes the Thing has a "built in desire to preserve its own life"...  that suggests the desire to assimilate, which is the same as surviving, is more subconscious in nature.  At least that's how I see it.

 

The part that's underlined is also great, because ultimately the ending isn't about who is who, but that to them they don't trust each other.  That built in human paranoia and xenophobia is at the heart of the what the film is about.  It's also ironic because what starts the process is a dog, and dogs are easy to trust.  That is a bit more terrifying.

post #317 of 345

The only hole in the above theory is Blair's building of the spacecraft.  That is not an instinctual reflex action, but a more conscious thing.  Although it's possible this survival instinct becomes more sophisticated in more dire circumstances.... at that point the Thing was losing.  It was isolated and everyone else knew what was going on and had it locked away in a shed.  It was vulnerable to defeat.  So maybe that survival instinct started to overwhelm the imitation and just do what was necessary to get off the planet.  

post #318 of 345
I want to know how he got all those components for the ship...
post #319 of 345
On plant-thingifying: isn't there a deleted scene where they torch Nauls' weed plantation because they can't be sure?
post #320 of 345
I don't think the Thing is ever unaware that it's the Thing. I do, however, think that its objective to not be found is ever present. It does this by presenting the perfect imitation. That imitation will react just as it would the real one. Take Norris for example. He falls and seems to have a heart attack. When the doctor goes to resuscitate him, the Thing attacks (out of survival). There's simply no reason to suggest this was a calculated move for the Thing, it prefers to sneak attack anyone it can. My theory is that the Thing also imitated Norris' heart condition and a perfect imitation must act like one, even to the detriment of the Thing's modus operindi.
post #321 of 345

Yeah, people seem really fascinated by the idea that the assimilated don't know they are the Thing, but I've never understood how that would even work or even be beneficial.  The Thing's imperative isn't to hide itself, but to replicate itself, and it has to know when to drop the act.  I can't figure out how having no sense of self-awareness is supposed to be this incredible evolutionary advantage.

post #322 of 345

Peter Watts's "The Things" does a great job dramatizing how some people could be aware they've been assimilated while others aren't...

post #323 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnotaur3 View Post

When the doctor goes to resuscitate him, the Thing attacks (out of survival). There's simply no reason to suggest this was a calculated move for the Thing, 

 

That actually reinforces what I'm saying.  It was a reflex action because it was being zapped.

 

And to be clear, I'm not saying the Thing isn't conscious or doesn't have any agenda.  I'm saying the imitation may not be completely aware of it's alter ego so to speak.  Almost like being in a fugue state.  The imitation seems to keep the memories, feelings and worldview of the person, so it's not out of the ordinary to suggest they are still "them" so to speak and just going about their business with the Thing ever watching.

 

There is evidence to suggest both interpretations, and this is the interpretation I'm rolling with.... so this doesn't need to become a thing, excuse the pun.

post #324 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post

Yeah, people seem really fascinated by the idea that the assimilated don't know they are the Thing, but I've never understood how that would even work or even be beneficial.  The Thing's imperative isn't to hide itself, but to replicate itself, and it has to know when to drop the act.  I can't figure out how having no sense of self-awareness is supposed to be this incredible evolutionary advantage.
This. If for no other reason than a host who is unaware of itself being the thing makes it seem more like a disease or something and that is just flat out not as spooky as an other being among them that is malevolently plotting their demise..
post #325 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post

Yeah, people seem really fascinated by the idea that the assimilated don't know they are the Thing, but I've never understood how that would even work or even be beneficial.  The Thing's imperative isn't to hide itself, but to replicate itself, and it has to know when to drop the act.  I can't figure out how having no sense of self-awareness is supposed to be this incredible evolutionary advantage.

The story Scriven is referencing fanfics an idea that fans like myself have had for a while, that being that the Thing absorbs the consciousness of its prey, so there's a part of the imitation that's an active fragment of the original organism's personality. The imitation would thus experience these active fragments as "unwanted thoughts" or expressions like Norris-thing declining leadership and whatnot.

Frankly, it's the only thing that makes sense. In order to be a "perfect" imitation, the Thing would by definition have to allow itself to be lead by some of the wetware of the organisms it absorbs. Otherwise, in the absence of that residual wetware, the Thing would just be a pod person.
post #326 of 345

Just a thought about the prequel: four men board the helicopter, two men return relatively unscathed.  The crash must not have been too severe.  Edgerton is infected.  Two possible imitations left on the playing field.  Windows says "he hadn't heard shit in two weeks".  Shit.

post #327 of 345

What prequel? 

post #328 of 345

I stand by the prequel, JJ.  Gets a hell of a lot more right than wrong.  

post #329 of 345
Never heard of it.
post #330 of 345

I can respect that, I really do.

post #331 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraid uh noman View Post


This. If for no other reason than a host who is unaware of itself being the thing makes it seem more like a disease or something and that is just flat out not as spooky as an other being among them that is malevolently plotting their demise..

 

Yeah, that's sort of my take.  It's actually scarier that the Thing can imitate a human's actual personality so effectively, all while plotting away "behind the scenes".  Making it like an infection that remains benign until just the right conditions arise is both simpler and less effective than having an intelligence actively working to bring about conditions where it can drop the facade.

post #332 of 345
In other news, I don't think the original ALIEN is as actively discussed and debated today as Carpenter's film. I hate lists, but if we're talking top 20 American horror films of all-time...

No one has made a better werewolf film that An American Werewolf in London and no one has produced a scarier sci-fi / horror movie with a bugfuck nuts monster than The Thing.
post #333 of 345

Yeah, the only way I can see a Thing not knowing it was a Thing was if it was mid cell assimilation, probably one that hasn't reached the brain yet. I would guess a super fast propagation through the muscles and things would alert people so it bides it's time in your own body working through you like a disease until it has most of you assimilated then shuffles you off to bed or something. Until that point, the rogue cells accept instructions from the brain happily enough. Once you're fully taken over, it just doesn't seem to make much sense for the Thing to be unaware of it's own nature - both from a biology point of view and from what we've seen in the story.

post #334 of 345
Blair builds a spaceship out of bean cans.
post #335 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by flint View Post

Yeah, the only way I can see a Thing not knowing it was a Thing was if it was mid cell assimilation, probably one that hasn't reached the brain yet. I would guess a super fast propagation through the muscles and things would alert people so it bides it's time in your own body working through you like a disease until it has most of you assimilated then shuffles you off to bed or something. Until that point, the rogue cells accept instructions from the brain happily enough. Once you're fully taken over, it just doesn't seem to make much sense for the Thing to be unaware of it's own nature - both from a biology point of view and from what we've seen in the story.

That's where everybody is getting fooled - once again! It appears to have a dog, a human's consciousness. But it doesn't. I'll even go so far as to say The Thing isn't really that intelligent when it comes to human beings at this point. It fell over with a heart attack because it was in Norris to do so. It's logic is to imitate to hide itself. But this was not a good move on its part.
post #336 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turingmachine75 View Post

The interpretation I've been going with is that not only are MacReady and Childs human . . . they may be the only ones left on Earth. "I dont think anyone's talked to anyone on this whole damn continent in two weeks!" always kind of struck me as a neat little detail underscoring the isolation of the location . . . but, thinking about the Swedes, what if two some odd weeks ago, one of the first things done upon discovery of the ship and the organism was to rush a sample home?


Holy shit, I love this.

post #337 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny View Post

No one has made a better werewolf film that An American Werewolf in London and no one has produced a scarier sci-fi / horror movie with a bugfuck nuts monster than The Thing.

Y'all can have your flying cars and jetpacks, I'm still waiting for my promised future of a nationalized health care system where Nurse Jenny Agutter takes me home with her as soon as I get better.
post #338 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reasor View Post

Y'all can have your flying cars and jetpacks, I'm still waiting for my promised future of a nationalized health care system where Nurse Jenny Agutter takes me home with her as soon as I get better.

latest?cb=20141005193835
post #339 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reasor View Post

Y'all can have your flying cars and jetpacks, I'm still waiting for my promised future of a nationalized health care system where Nurse Jenny Agutter takes me home with her as soon as I get better.

No one wants to talk about why Van Morrison's 'Moondance' suddenly became a leading cause of priapism in the early-mid 80's, but I've been wise to the phenomenon to for over two decades now. I know the truth.
post #340 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacknifeJohnny View Post

In other news, I don't think the original ALIEN is as actively discussed and debated today as Carpenter's film. I hate lists, but if we're talking top 20 American horror films of all-time...

No one has made a better werewolf film that An American Werewolf in London and no one has produced a scarier sci-fi / horror movie with a bugfuck nuts monster than The Thing.

If I had to be stuck in an isolated location with one of these monsters, I'm pretty sure everyone ever would pick the Alien.  It's a no brainer.  

 

The Thing is the worst thing that could happen to you in many, many ways.  It's horrific.  It induces severe nerve shattering paranoia on top of being terrified of being consumed and absorbed.  I'll take a gross tongue thing through the brain any day.  It's instant and relatively merciful.

post #341 of 345
I'd pick the Thing. I'm a joiner, though.
post #342 of 345
You're such a conformist, Reasor!
post #343 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeman View Post

If I had to be stuck in an isolated location with one of these monsters, I'm pretty sure everyone ever would pick the Alien.  It's a no brainer.  

The Thing is the worst thing that could happen to you in many, many ways.  It's horrific.  It induces severe nerve shattering paranoia on top of being terrified of being consumed and absorbed.  I'll take a gross tongue thing through the brain any day.  It's instant and relatively merciful.
I dunno. Clemens' death in Alien 3 makes a pretty good case against that kind of death. That one will never not bother me. Dan Hedaya's death grosses me out too..
post #344 of 345

I was always sad to see Dance go. 

post #345 of 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraid uh noman View Post


I dunno. Clemens' death in Alien 3 makes a pretty good case against that kind of death. That one will never not bother me. Dan Hedaya's death grosses me out too..

 

Credit where credit's due. At the first sign of trouble, the military legs it so they had at least some idea of how dangerous the things they were dealing with were.

 

Minus points for that guy who was off the pace and hence the loss of one escape craft with all hands as a result, the one guy who didn't make it at all to one (Distephano) and Hedaya himself for standing there saluting like a big idiot. Come on, you can see there's aliens just there, you just blew one up. How about some hustle instead?

 

Then of course, they have to lose all their points by programming the Auriga to return to Earth instead of the sun or an uninhabited moon or something. Unless Earth's been turned into a garbage dump like they did in Red Dwarf. Apparently one of the alternate versions of the ending of the fourth movie seems to be leaning in that direction as Paris has really let itself go, I believe.

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