For the latest installment of the monthly Splatter Cinema screenings, the Plaza Theatre presents a film with some of the weirdest gore effects ever made, John Carpenter's The Thing (10 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8). I admit to being more partial to the original version, The Thing from Another World, produced by Howard Hawks in 1951, but the 1982 Thing has developed a huge cult following over the past 25 years, and is now probably considered one of Carpenter's best films after Halloween. I remember grossed-out film critics of the time saying things like, "One should not eat before it, and one cannot eat after it." This line from the Internet Movie Database page might give you a taste: "The flesh-flower that attacks Childs is actually an incredibly detailed effect. Its petals are 12 dog tongues complete with rows of canine teeth. Effects designer Rob Bottin dubbed it the 'pissed-off cabbage.'"
There's an amusing six-and-a-half minute novelty version of The Thing, rendered in Lego toys, but the YouTube picture and sound quality aren't so good, so here's the straight-up trailer from 1982. Something about the phrase "We found something in the ice!" gives me the chills:
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