Friday, April 4, 2014

THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (1951)

An Air Force crew is sent to a scientific research outpost at the North Post.  Reason being, the head scientist believes there was a UFO crash nearby.  Once the team is assembled and briefed they go out to the crash site and I'll be damned if it isn't a UFO!  Unfortunately it's buried in ice, so they decide to free it using explosives.  Genius!  The precision exploding doesn't go too well, but they do find an alien trapped in ice.  They bring it back, still encased in ice, to the outpost.  Eventually it gets free and wrecks havoc all over the joint.

As far as adaptations from book to film go Howard Hawks' film adaptation of John W. Campbell's "Who Goes There?" was pretty loose, but it's still an enjoyable film that introduced(?) to a wide audience the claustrophobic environment/distrust-your-fellow-man storytelling that we've since seen in numerous movies like the ALIEN series, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, CABIN FEVER, John Carpenter's THE THING and so on.  The acting is lively, the story moves along at a brisk pace and the action scenes were exciting.  I just wish there had been more screentime for the Thing itself.  I doubt modern younger audiences would care for it, but from a historical standpoint THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD is a blast.

When you think about it 1951 was a good year for horror.  Not only did audiences get THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD they also got John Wyndham's excellent novel "The Day of the Triffids" which, as far as I can tell, is the prototype for the modern zombie horde genre.  Replace the Triffids with human zombies and you've pretty much got NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.

Remake 1 - The Thing (1982)
Prequel to the remake - The Thing (2011)