Since 1998, I have been maintaining a list of movies that I wanted to see. Sometimes these are all-time classics that passed me by, sometimes they’re genre classics that interest me. The list is updated regularly and is currently more than 1700 movies long. Fogs has gone through and hand-picked several classic films for me to “fast-track” and review here. This is one of those films.
I don’t recall when I first heard about The Thing, but it had to have been a decade or more ago. I’ve known more about its reception than about the film itself; I knew that it wasn’t a major success initially, but that it is one of a number of films to have its stature grow over time to the point where it’s considered a classic of science fiction. Of course, I did know some details. I knew it was about a shapeshifting alien beast in the Antarctic. I knew it was directed by John Carpenter, who directed the horror classic Halloween. And I knew it starred Kurt Russell and Wilford Brimley, who are among my favorite actors and character actors, respectively. All of those seemed like perfectly valid reasons to check the film out. Continue reading →
Fuchs: There’s something wrong with Blair. He’s locked himself in his room and he won’t answer the door to me or anyone. So I took one of his notebooks from the lab. MacReady: Yeah… and? Fuchs: Listen: “It could have imitated a million life forms on a million planets. It could change into any one of them at any time. Now, it wants life forms on Earth.” MacReady: It’s getting cold in here Fuchs, and I haven’t slept for two days. Fuchs: Wait, there’s more… “It needs to be alone and in close proximity to a life form in order for it to be absorbed. The chameleon strikes in the dark.” MacReady: So is Blair cracking up or what? Fuchs: Damn it, MacReady! Listen! “There is still cellular activity in these burned remains. They’re not dead yet!”
There are very few movies in history that you can look at and point to and say… There. That one started it. With the “it” being an entire genre (or sub genre) of film. A bona fide lineage of films that follow in its footsteps.
“Halloween” is one such movie.
There are 293 films on IMDb with the keyword “Slasher Flick”. Of those, only 12 were released prior to “Halloween”, of those only six were American movies. Of those six, the highest user rating is “The Gore Gore Girls” at 5.2.
You can be assured that none of those films launched the slasher movie craze that dominated horror through the 80s and most of the 90s.
Soooo… So you think you can tell Heaven from Hell, Blue skies from pain. Can you tell a green field From a cold steel rail? A smile from a veil? Do you think you can tell? Did they get you to trade Your heroes for ghosts? Hot ashes for trees? Hot air for a cool breeze? Cold comfort for change? Did you exchange A walk on part in the war For a lead role in a cage?