Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Horror Classics: I drink and live-blog "The Thing"

I just watched the Breaking Bad finale. [This was on the actual day it aired, don't worry, guys.] It was good. Now it's time for John Carpenter's 1982 film, The Thing. The DVD menu looks like it's from the '90s! It also looks cold!

A spacecraft/flying saucer thing barrels towards Earth. Now a helicopter flies over some remote icy canyon or something. A guy on board looks at binoculars. A husky-type dog runs away. The guy in the helicopter shoots at the dog, but doesn't get him. What is he, Sarah Palin? Now we see some kind of base/building where the bros are hanging out. Kurt Russell, with a majestic beard, plays chess on some super-old computer game and drinks J&B. He loses to the computer and dumps his booze into some circuits and calls the game a "cheating bitch" (it has a lady's voice). COOL. The dog is still running away from the helicopter, which says LOKK on the side. Kurt Russell comes out with his J&B to look at it. It's a U.S. science base of some kind. They surmise that the helicopter is Norwegian. The poor dog continues to run as the Norwegians drop bombs or something? But then they land outside the science camp.

The dog runs up to the Americans, and the Norwegian accidentally blows up his own helicopter. He tries to shoot the dog, but hits one of the scientists in the leg. He yells some shit in Norwegian and an old guy shoots him from inside. The injured guy gets to drink some of the J&B. There's Richard Masur! The radio guy can't get a hold of anyone. Wilford Brimley (sans mustache) is not pleased. A black dude with an apron and a sweet headband roller skates down the hall. The dudes speculate about how the Norwegians went crazy after only being there for eight weeks. Kurt Russell (MacReady) is going to take the doctor to the Norwegian base, even though the weather's not so good. MacReady is wearing some sombrero thing. I hope he's sobered up since he's flying a helicopter now. The dog chills under the ping-pong table. Redbeard who got shot does not like Stevie Wonder, but Rollerskates in the kitchen DGAF. The dog wanders down the hall. Maybe he likes "Superstition"? I know I do.

The Americans fly up to the Norwegian headquarters and see that it's been burnt down, basically. I think this is Antarctica, BTWs. MacReady keeps referring to the Norwegians as Swedes. THAT'S RACIST. The building that hasn't been burnt is all abandoned and broken and frozen inside. Axe in the door. A trail of blood leads to a dead dude in a chair. He's frozen in the act of slitting his own throat and wrists. The blood has frozen into red ribbons dangling from his arm. MacReady finds a "portable video unit." Is that like a VCR? The doctor gathers up some papers, even though they're in Norwegian. What Isaac just aptly described as an "ice sarcophagus" lays empty. Lots of cans of kerosene and a body of some kind are all burnt up outside. Mac and Doc fly back to the American base, where they no longer have functioning chess arcade games. They brought the twisted, burnt body back with them. It looks pretty alienish to me. It's slimy and bloody. An autopsy is ordered. Mac glares. The dog stares. Nothing strange came up in the dead Norwegian's autopsy, but whatever this other thing is is pretty icky.

I guess technically this counts as a necropsy.
Brimley digs out some organs. No one's wearing a mask. The head looks like it's been pulled apart, stretched and frozen. These guys apparently just smoke pot and watched VHS tapes. Some of the others are playing pool and poker in the lounge room. Masur goes to put the dog with the others in the kennel. Is that other one dead? No, just sleeping. They have a bunch of dogs, just chillin. Once the guy leaves, the other dogs start barking at the escaped one. Oh, then its head splits apart and a giant bloody tongue comes out and big slimy/spiky legs come out of its body. Now it's spraying the other dogs with some purple shit. I'm no dog expert, but I don't think that's normal.

Masur goes back to check on the dogs and a couple of them run away. He sees the tentacles flying off that thing and slams them in the door. An alarm gets pulled. Apparently Mac wants the flame thrower, because that's how Mac rolls. That thing still kind of has a doggy head and screams and weird tentacles come out and wrap up another dog and there's a lot of slime. Mac shoots into the kennel a bunch. Now the thing raises up some three-fingered claws and lifts itself up towards the ceiling. A part of it opens up and another slimy head thing comes out and then another one comes out of that? They burn it, I guess?

Brimley breaks of pieces of it in the autopsy lab. it's like a mass of tissue and bone and tentacles and all the blood. He cuts it open and finds some kind of twisted slimy something else in there. I don't even know. Oh, I think it was trying to turn itself into a dog. The thing eats and imitates other lifeforms. Ruh-roh! Later on, the bros are bored by Norwegian video footage. They see footage of something big buried under the ice. The Norwegians blew it out of the ground, apparently. Mac puts on his sombrero thing and goes out (even though it's windy) to check out the blast site or whatever. KURT RUSSELL DON'T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT YOUR WEATHER WARNINGS, BITCH.

Oh, now they've found the frozen flying saucer in a big hole in the ground. That's some X-Files shit. Oh, and they're going to rappel down and check it out, obvs. An ominous escape hatch door stands open in the middle of it. It looks kind of a like a man hole. One of the dudes estimates it's been buried int he ice for 100,000 years. They also find the rectangle where that sarcophagus was dug up. Mac has majestic '80s hair and the black guy "Cannot believe any of this voodoo bullshit." Isaac calls him the Skeptical Negro. Ha! A really shitty old-timey computer animation shows how the cell/dog/imitation  assimilation thing happens. Nice programming, Brimley. Also, the computer says there's a 75% chance a team member's been infected already and that any "civilized" areas would be at risk. A lot of drinking goes on at this base, and not much science.

One of the other guys wants to talk to Mac. The radio guy always wears sunglasses. Sunglasses thinks they should burn the alien they brought back from the Norwegian base. Correct. Oh, it's not really dead, obvs. Slimy blood dripping situation. Mac wanted to go get drunkn in his shack, but this other guy is worried about Brimley, whose apparently locked himself in his room. His notes indicate the creeps aren't dead yet. Uh-oh the guy by the body has been attacked by a vat of sweet and sour sauce! Or rather, wrapped up by some tentacles. Sunglasses runs out and gets Mac and whatever.

Extra moisturizing is necessary in such a cold climate.
Benings, the one who was just attacked, is running away in the snow. They catch him and light up some flares. Benings has huge creepy hand thingies and alien screams. They burn him. Gary, the old man from before who shot out the window and always wears khaki is sad because he was friends with Benings. They realize they have to burn all the bodies. Is kerosene really that pink color? Or does it just look like that poured on snow? Mac lights that shit up with the flamethrower, because a match certainly wouldn't suffice. Brimley's still locked up in his room with his Smirnoff and handgun.

Mac, all alone outside now, thinks he sees somebody run out of the helicopter. He investigates. All the instruments have been torn up. Mac runs back inside when he hears a gunshot. Brimley insists that no one can leave and shoots indiscriminately and chops up all the radio equipment with an axe. He's killed the dogs and fucked up all their transportation. Sunglasses cowers in the corner of the radio room, his sunglasses sadly displaced. Various team members attack Brimley and Mac punches him out. Masur is all sad because of the dog murders. They lock Brimley in some shed and put him under sedation. Brimley tells Mac to watch Clark, but I don't know any of the other guys' names, so that means nothing to me. The doctor thinks they may be able to do blood tests to figure out who's infected. All their blood in storage has been drained. Gary's the only one with a key, and he lets the doctor borrow it when he needs it. Nobody trusts each other and now all the dudes argue. Sunglasses is running away suspiciously and breaks into a gun safe. Good, good. Gary decides to step down as leader, so Mac is going to take over, I guess. They burn the empty blood bags outside.  

Mac decides to figure out who's who. They drug up Gary, the Doctor, and Masur. Mac drinks more J&B and makes a tape for posterity. There's some dirty clothes he keeps looking at, apparently shed by an imitation. Some beard guy gets startled by Mac. He suggests they prepare their only meals and only eat out of cans for some science reason. His light goes out. He sees someone (something?) walk by, and chases it outside with a flare. DRINK REFILL TIME. This movie is kind of boring me, I won't lie. We're an hour in now, though, and it's too late. Beard guy finds a torn-up MacReady shirt. They're going to split up and look for him and they argue about who goes with whom blahblahblah.

Mac checks on Brimley, who's casually sitting next to a noose. He tries to convince Mac to let him back inside. Ugh, I've SEEN this episode. They find bearded guy all burnt up mysteriously. Mac and Rollerskates go up to Mac's shack because the lights are on when they shouldn't be. They still haven't come back after 45 minutes, so the other guys start to barricade themselves in. Hapless blue sweater guy is hapless. Rollerskates comes back. He found the MacReady shirt and now all the guys are fighting. The doorknob creepily turns, but it's deadbolted. A window breaks in another room. Skeptic chops his way into the locked room.

MacReady's inside with a lit flare and a stack of dynamite. They should just let him blow the place up since they're all clearly going to die. Hapless blue sweater guy is maybe dead suddenly? Mac insists they all stay in the same room. The doctor, now apparently no longer drugged, elbows hapless guy in the chest and starts CPR. One of the guys grabs a scalpel surreptitiously. The doctor, trying to shock hapless guy alive, gets his hands eaten when hapless guy's chest collapses. And now a fake him comes out of him and then he's all stretched out and his detached head launches his tongue to pull himself across the room and under a chair. They put out the fire, and his head spurts legs and antennae. Ew. Mac flames it up and it sounds like a digital goat while dying.

Mac has formulated a test now that involves rope. As in, he tied everybody up. Skeptic challenges Mac, but it's Masur who ends up shot. Mac thinks that the Thing's blood will act as a separate entity. FINGER SLICING! LOOK AWAY! Mac heats up a wire to poke at the blood samples with, I guess. It's not Sunglasses! It's not Mac. The test isn't working on anybody, even the dead guys. The denim vest guy with the ZZ Top patch apparently was one. The flame thrower isn't working as the Thing bursts out of him. It gets Sunglasses while the other guys, still tied up, scream. Eventually Mac flames ZZ Top, who walks out into the snow. Mac blows him up with a stick of dynamite, I guess. Sunglasses has been turned, so Mac flames him too. With a bookshelf that looks like it might've had some board games on it.

More tests. Rollerskates and Skeptic are both clean. Only Garry's left. Apparently he's clean, too. They're all untied now. Aaaand, our DVD player decided to malfunction right now. Okay, we got it to work again, and we may have missed a few minutes. Now they're all outside and they decide they can't let the Thing freeze again and that they're all going to die anyway. Now a hole is being blown up and Rollerskates drove a snowcat thing into a hut? I guess they're just destroying everything now. They're all blowing up the building. Mac takes a couple dudes to the generator room and now he's wearing a white sombrero? Or maybe it just looked white during the last explosion. They find that the generator's been stolen. Oh well, they'll just plant their charges and burn this mother DOWN. Wait, I think we're missing a guy. Maybe he died in the few minutes we missed. Oh, Brimley shows up and sticks his fingers in Garry's face. Ew. Rollerskates suspects something's up with Garry and goes to investigate.

Mac finds himself alone with some Molotov cocktails and one of those old-timey charge plunger detonator thingy. Just blow that shit up, bro. He lights some dynamite. The ground does a whole Tremor-thing at him. The Thing comes up, steals the plunger and now it's giant and again has heads and bodies within it. It's so DAMP, you'd think it'd freeze. MacReady: "Fuck you, too!" or "Fuck you two!" because it's got two heads. And he throws the stick of dynamite at it and the lab blows up a lot and maybe Mac got away? That majestic beard could've protected him from infection. Now he sits down in the snow with his J&B. Skeptic shows up, claiming he chased Brimley and got lost in a storm. Mac clearly doesn't trust Skeptic, and neither do I. They should just sit in the snow and fall asleep. That's Mac's plan. He shares is J&B. Even drunks can save the day, you guys! There's an intense bass line and the base burns and that is the end.

That movie was too long and there were zero women in it. Awesome.

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