Although given a lukewarm reception by critics and the public upon its release, The Thing, like so many of John Carpenter's films, has since acquired a fiercely loyal cult following, and MCA Home Video will have fans of the chilly sci-fi horror in rapture with this outstanding reissue DVD. Originally released in 1998, this Collector's Edition is an exact replica of the previous disc, except for the chilly slipcase packaging. Picture-wise, the film's immaculate whites and cold blues are clean and sharp, and the polar landscapes are awe-inspiring in widescreen. Carpenter is renowned for his inventive use of sound effects and music, and the Dolby 5.1 Audio truly heightens the film's suspense. There is also a mind-boggling array of extra features on the DVD. The theatrical trailer, production notes, and biographies of Carpenter and star Kurt Russell are welcome, but they pale in comparison to most of the other additions. The production archives section, for example, is an extensive combination of text and photos that concentrates on Rob Bottin's eye-popping special effects, and equally interesting is the production art showing early designs of the alien creature. The background archive will interest would-be screenwriters, as it uses pages from the original draft to show how the film took shape. Of the countless other bits and pieces, the outtakes section is surest to please confirmed fans, even though the stills and deleted scenes here are of a mainly expository nature (though at least one deleted scene will delight fans of the movie's sardonic humor). Yet even if it had none of the aforementioned special features, this would be an essential DVD due to the commentary track and 80-minute documentary "Terror Takes Shape". The latter, featuring contributions from all the main players, is an utterly engrossing background to the conception and production of The Thing, and also includes spectacular stop-motion footage that was not used in the final version. The commentary by Carpenter and Russell, meanwhile, is a winning blend of astute analysis and warm recollection that is always enjoyable and occasionally hilarious. This is a wonderful DVD package that will give pleasure to even casual fans of the film.
All-new digitally remastered picture
Feature commentary with Kurt Russell and director John Carpenter
John Carpenter's The Thing: Terror Takes Shape, an 80-minute original documentary featuring interviews with John Carpenter, Kurt Russell, special effects make-up designer Rob Bottin, legendary matte artist Albert Whitlock, plus other members of the cast, crew and special effects team
John Carpenter's The Thing is both a remake of Howard Hawks' 1951 film of the same name and a re-adaptation of the John W. Campbell Jr. story "Who Goes There?" on which it was based. Carpenter's film is more faithful to Campbell's story than Hawks' version and also substantially more reliant on special effects, provided in abundance by a team of over 40 technicians, including veteran creature-effects artists Rob Bottin and Stan Winston. The film opens enigmatically with a Siberian Husky running through the Antarctic tundra, chased by two men in a helicopter firing at it from above. Even after the dog finds shelter at an American research outpost, the men in the helicopter (Norwegians from an outpost nearby) land and keep shooting. One of the Norwegians drops a grenade and blows himself and the helicopter to pieces; the other is shot dead in the snow by Garry (Donald Moffat), the American outpost captain. American helicopter pilot MacReady (Kurt Russell, fresh from Carpenter's Escape From New York) and camp doctor Copper (Richard Dysart) fly off to find the Norwegian base and discover some pretty strange goings-on. The base is in ruins, and the only occupants are a man frozen to a chair (having cut his own throat) and the burned remains of what could be one man or several men. In a side room, Copper and MacReady find a coffin-like block of ice from which something has been recently cut. That night at the American base, the Husky changes into the Thing, and the Americans learn first-hand that the creature has the ability to mutate into anything it kills. For the rest of the film the men fight a losing (and very gory) battle against it, never knowing if one of their own dwindling number is the Thing in disguise. Though resurrected as a cult favorite, The Thing failed at the box office during its initial run, possibly because of its release just two weeks after Steven Spielberg's warmly received E.T.The Extra-Terrestrial. Along with Ridley Scott's futuristic Alien, The Thing helped stimulate a new wave of sci-fi horror films in which action and special effects wizardry were often seen as ends in themselves.
They used the same beautiful 1080p/VC-1 transfer from the 2006 HD DVD release and it is Quality. You will love the color, contrast and clarity this BD brings to the table, giving " The Thing " a renewed appearance that will knock your socks off! A BD-25 GB disc is used, with a resolution of 2.35:1.
Universal includes a English DTS-HD Lossless Master 5.1 Audio, while this is a nice step up from the HD disc which offered the Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 Surround sound. This is a positive move, but sadly it wasn't used to the fullest, with this soundtrack being front heavy and not immersive, meaning it could use a good remastering to bring it up to 2008 standards, I found it fell short of my expectations of what a DTS-HD Master soundtrack should sound like.. If only they had used a BD-50 GB and mixed it into 7.1 surround sound, this would have been more appropriate for a film of this caliber.
Audio Commentary by John Carpenter & Kurt Russell
Terror Takes Shape a PIP Documentary of: The Making of the Thing
My Scenes Share your favorite scenes online using BD-Live
I felt the extra's in this release were quite sparse, compared to the HD-DVD version, which included the 85 minute documentary of " Terror Takes Shape " the making of the Thing.
" The Thing" is one of my all time favorite Scifi-Horror films of all times for so many reasons which make me nostalgic for John Carpenter films, which I feel fortunate to have been around to see his great films on the big screen, he puts his heart into his work and it shows in this film!
The story of the discovery of an alien creature found frozen at a destroyed Norwegian Antarctic science station. The American team that find the creature soon find out that it's not dead, just in hibernation. And this is where the horror begins. Horror master John Carpenter directed this film and the cast is headed Kurt Russell. If you haven't seen give it a shot!
Upgraded from a dvd that was designed for a square tv we had black bars on the top and bottom and on the sides but this one fills the screen to the proper aspect and I am seeing things that I have not seen before.
I wanted this classic movie on Blu-ray for awhile and found it at Best Buy for a great price. Had it delivered, watched it, and enjoyed it!!! This collector's edition also has a few behind-the-scenes special features of footage when they were originally filming... along with discussions about the practical effects they used at the time. The HD picture quality and sound were both great for this Blu-ray edition.