Back in the early nineties, I had been out partying all night long. I was way too drunk, but didn’t feel like going to bed just yet. So I poured myself a beer and sat down in the living room. On top of the TV was a VHS cassette I hadn’t seen before. One of our neighbors worked as a film reviewer for a film magazine, so after he had seen the films he usually lent them to our family. So I put it in the VCR and sat down, not knowing what I was about to see. It started right away with a a couple of guys in a helicopter chasing a dog, trying to shoot it. “That’s weird” I thought…
John Carpenter’s The Thing
It was obviously The Thing by John Carpenter.
This was made in 1982, long before you could do anything on a computer for visuals and the special effects in this film was insane! I had never seen anything like it.
The funny thing is that the first horror film I ever saw was The Thing from Another World, a film based on the short story “Who Goes There”, which The Thing is based on as well (following the book more closely.)
The film came out a couple of weeks after Steven Spielberg’s ET, so it bombed hard in the US. This is really a pity, because today It isn’t very hard to choose between these two films. At least not for me. I watched it again just a couple of months ago and it still holds up. I love the idea of the paranoia that is building up throughout the movie. Who can you trust? Very reminiscent of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers from 1956, which supposedly portrayed the fear of being taken over by communist in the McArthy era.
There are some bad movies by John Carpenter, but the good ones are masterpieces. Assault on Precinct 13 is great! Maybe has a bit slow tempo for the younger viewers, but I think it’s a classic, both for the movie but also for the music. Another old favorite is Escape from New York
And to forget to mention the movie Halloween would probably be sacrilege.
If you haven’t seen there movies, do yourself a favor and do it. You won’t be sorry…