“That thing wanted to be us!!!”
John Carpenter’s 1982 The Thing is an undisputed horror classic and an absolute favorite of the Gore 4. Now, Scream Factory is releasing the ultimate collector’s edition Blu-ray of the alien terror on September 20th in the U.S. and Canada (R1). For those who haven’t yet seen this incredible film, first off, what the frickin’ frack is wrong with you? Second, the movie concerns a shape-shifting alien that wreaks havoc on a scientific base in the Antarctic. Based on New Jersey native, John W. Campbell, Jr.’s novella, Who Goes There?, it was first adapted in 1951 by Christian Nyby and Howard Hawks. However, due to the limits of what f/x could bring at the time, the ever-changing alien was made into a humanoid, blood-thirsty creature played by Gunsmoke‘s James Arness. In 1982, John Carpenter went back to the original source material, and with groundbreaking effects by Rob Bottin, a score by Ennio Morricone (who just won an Oscar for The Hateful Eight), cinematography by Dean Cundey, and a cast of veteran actors led by Kurt Russell, created a film that brought new meaning to horror and suspense, and becomes more and more revered with each passing year.
The film was released by Universal in a special edition DVD in 1998 (and again in 2005), which included the terrorific 80+ minute documentary, The Thing: Terror Takes Shape, which had previously been included in an earlier laserdisc release, along with a number of other special features. However, when Universal released The Thing on Blu-ray in America in 2008, it left out all the extra material, except for the excellent Carpenter/Russell commentary track, and the documentary edited into a Picture in Picture feature that one could access throughout the film. Scream Factory, the subsidiary of Shout Factory, is known for releasing spectacular versions of mostly horror and sci-fi films, with superb picture and sound, along with an array of extra features, many newly created for their special editions. From their Vincent Price collections, to 80’s films like Pumpkinhead, Motel Hell and the director’s cut of Nightbreed, to more recent fare, like The Babadook and The Hallow, Scream Factory has an impressive catalog of films that they’ve given new life to, including a number of Carpenter’s, like They Live and Prince of Darkness. Here is a list of what to expect with their collector’s edition of The Thing:
•NEW 2K Scan Of The Interpositive Supervised And Approved By Director Of Photography Dean Cundey
•NEW 4.1 Audio Mix Created From The Original 70MM Six Track Dolby Stereo Soundtrack
•NEW Audio Commentary With Director Of Photography Dean Cundey
•Audio Commentary By Director John Carpenter And Actor Kurt Russell
•NEW The Men Of Outpost 31 – Interviews With Keith David, Thomas Waites, Peter Maloney And More…
•NEW Assembling And Assimilation – An Interview With Editor Todd Ramsay
•NEW Behind The Chameleon – Interviews With Visual Effects Artists Peter Kuran And Susan Turner, Special Make-up Effects Artist Rob Burman And Brian Wade And More…
•NEW Sounds From The Cold – Interviews With Supervising Sound Editor David Lewis Yewdall And Special Sound Effects Designer Alan Howarth
•NEW Between The Lines – An Interview With Novelization Author Alan Dean Foster
•John Carpenter’s The Thing: Terror Takes Shape – A Documentary On The Making Of THE THING Featuring Interviews With John Carpenter, Kurt Russell, Special Effects Make-up Designer Rob Bottin, Matte Artist Albert Whitlock And More! (80 minutes – SD)
•Outtakes (5 minutes – SD)
•Vintage Featurettes From The Electronic Press Kit Featuring Interviews With John Carpenter, Kurt Russell And Rob Bottin (12 minutes – SD)
•Vintage Featurettes – The Making Of A Chilling Tale And The Making Of THE THING (1982 – 14 minutes – SD)
•Vintage Product Reel – Contains A Promotional Condensed Version Of The Film With Additional Footage Not In The Film (19 minutes – SD)
•Vintage Behind-The-Scenes Footage (2 minutes – SD)
•Annotated Production Archive – Production Art And Storyboards, Location Scouting, Special Make-up Effects, Post Production (48 minutes – SD)
•Network TV Broadcast Version Of THE THING (92 minutes – SD)
•Theatrical Trailers (U.S. And German)
•Still Gallery (Behind-The-Scenes Photos, Posters And Lobby Cards)
•And Still More To Be Added!
As you can see, this is an incredible release, not only bringing together all the special features from previous editions, including the full documentary, but adding a number of exciting, new features as well. Note the inclusion of the TV broadcast version, which had a different ending, a video first. Also cool is the new cover artwork which manages to fit in every character, including the dog. If you pre-order the film directly from ShoutFactory.com, you’ll also get a free poster and get the film shipped two weeks early! Unfortunately, their deluxe limited edition, which was limited to 1500 copies, and included additional artwork and poster, has already sold out, a testament to the The Thing‘s enduring popularity.
While not a part of Scream Factory’s release, check out this super cool artwork by Wisconsin-based artist, Christopher Shy. Visit his website, WoodenNickelArtworks.com to see more of his amazing work, and to purchase prints.