The Thing (1982) is John Carpenter's re-make of the 1951 Horror classic "The Thing from Another World". It's sole purpose for being made seems to be to melt your face off with excessive amounts of awesomeness.
Some movies are for men so manly, that almost no one is able to watch it without having their faces melted clean off. This is the only explanation to why The Thing did so poorly in box offices.
For those who don't know, The Thing is the cinematic equivalent to a shark with machine gun turrets riding a motorcycle off a jump through plate glass and flaming hoops, and landing in a pool of beer. The Thing is so manly, watching it will instantly make your beard grow thicker. This article is a semi-review of the movie, but more of a reason to warn you of how it kicks ridiculous amounts of ass. Spoilers definitely lay ahead, so if you were planning on going into this movie fresh, well....frankly you've had about 27 years to do it, so go to hell.
The premise of this film is about a 12 man American research crew (That's right, there is not one single woman in the movie) preparing for the long winter ahead. An alien creature ends up invading their camp, and it is capable of imitating any life form, making it virtually impossible to detect who is human and who is not. The group is led by Kurt Russell. The manliest of them all.
Just to get an idea of how manly his character MacReady is, I took notes while watching it again last night. At the beginning of the film, he is playing an incredibly primitive Computer Chess game. So primitive, in fact, that the only thing that this huge piece of machinery was designed for was to play a pixelated computer game who's file size probably ran in the 10 kilobyte range. Since everyone knows its humanly impossible to beat computer chess, MacReady's next move after losing was to rip open up the computer, and pour his Whiskey into it, short circuiting the machine. That's right bitch. If you mess piss him off, he will destroy thousands of dollars of equipment with booze, just to prove a point.
Oh yes, there is a lot of alcohol consumption in this film. They are all drinking hard liquor for the entire movie, most of the time, straight from the bottle. In the opening scene, a man is shot in the leg by a crazy Norwegian, and instead of receiving medical treatment, they just toss him a bottle of gin and leave him in the snowbank while the rest of them proceed to fuck the foreigners shit up.
When he finds Dr. Blair going apeshit one night, axing dogs in the neck, exploding helicopters and destroying radio equipment, the entire team tries to stop him, one by one getting thrown to the ground. MacReady steps in, and hits Dr. Blair with a table (Yes, you read it right), and then punches him twice in the face. Since these punches were of the manliest variety, Dr. Blair is seen dragged outside the next day to lock him in a shack. This means his punches were so effective, they incapacitated a grown man for over 12 hours.
It makes you wonder why anyone would try to oppose him after viewing this bit of extreme masculinity, but they eventually all turn against him, thinking he is the Thing. They lock him out of the camp in temperatures plunging 100 degrees below freezing. They ditch him in the middle of nowhere and leave him without a guide light. As if that weren't enough to ensure death, they also board up every single door and window. Macready not only finds his way back, fighting off sub zero temperatures in complete darkness and snow blizzard, but he breaks into the camp despite the teams efforts to keep him out. He lights a flare and holds it up to dynamite, claiming if anyone tries any funny business, the whole place goes up. This prevents the team from following through with their original plan of Flame-Throwing him.
Oh God, this movie has a so much flame-throwing. Flame throwers are so sweet, I want to shit my pants. I'd fashion my own out of a gasoline filled water-gun and a barbecue lighter if it didn't entail certain death.
Just to give you an idea of how much flame-throwing action there is in this movie, about 90 percent of the cast dies at the hands of it. Those who don't die in an explosion. One guy even gets lit on fire, bursts through the wall of the camp in full sprint only to collapse outside, where Kurt Russell promptly lobs excessive amounts of dynamite at his flaming corpse, ensuring an extreme overkill.
So where was I... Oh yes! about five minutes from when the entire team were positive they would all die gruesome tentacle related deaths at the hands of MacReady, he somehow managed to not only convince them he wasn't infected, but also had every single one of them tied to chairs. How is this possible? Although almost everyone have beards that would make Chuck Norris tremble, MacReady's was that much more manly. This is the only logical explanation.
He decides the only way to find out who the Thing was would be to take a sample of everyone's blood, and stick a red hot copper wire into the blood-filled Petri dish. His theory was that man's blood was just tissue, whereas the Thing's blood would try to survive, crawling away from the hot wire. Although syringes seem to be available on the premises based on previous scenes, MacReady chooses the badass route, drawing blood by slicing peoples hands instead.
After probably the manliest scene in the movie (Which ends with the flamethrower/dynamite combo I was referring to earlier) it is safe to say no one would try to fuck with MacReady for the remainder of the film. They return to the shack that Dr. Blair had been locked in, only to find he was gone. They look under the floorboards to find a path had been carved out. Not only had that son of a bitch been planning an escape, but he planned to do so in a handmade spaceship. Sure, its 1982, and UFO technology will probably not even exist for another hundred and fifty years, but this Doctor is manly enough to build one from scrap helicopter parts, some tape, and presumably a shitload of flamethrowers. But wait, it turns out he's not a doctor at all, he's THE THING!!!
When they find out the Doctor has stolen the generator, cutting off all heat sources and ensuring the entire crew's death, MacReady figures out that if the Thing would freeze like they did, it would survive until another crew discovered it (Which is what unleashed it in the first place). The only way to get rid of it for good would be to explode the entire place.
After delivering the manliest line ever uttered on film: " Whether we make it or not, we can't let that thing freeze again. Maybe we'll just warm things up a little around here..." they start lighting explosives and tossing them into all the rooms. That's right, they explode the camp while still inside it. He had originally planned to set off the final explosion from a safe distance, but once he saw the Thing dragging his friend around by the face, he said to hell with it and pressed the charge.
After creating a climactic mushroom cloud from an epic detonation the size of Texas, MacReady is seen just walking out of the flames. The reason for his miraculous survival again attributed to his manliness. He was not only unharmed, but his beard was not even singed by the flames that no doubt engulfed his entire face.
The two surviving crew members meet behind a piece of shrapnel and have their last moment of manliness together. Realizing there was no way out of the situation they had exploded themselves into, they sat and drank Vodka from the bottle while slowly freezing to death. Oh...did I forget to mention that? MacReady managed to grab a bottle of liquor on his way out of the deadly earth shattering explosion. Any questions?
I didn't think so.
In conclusion, The Thing is a must-see for all those manly enough to drink in the truckloads of testosterone it dishes out at you. If you don't watch it for the beards, watch it for the crazy makeup effects, like a dogs face exploding into an alien, a man's tooth-filled stomach eating some guys hands off, or even another man's head turning into a huge mouth and picking another guy up by the face. God, I love this movie.
According to this graph, Michael Jackson's manliness peaks right around Thriller, and then it was all downhill from there. Professional wrestling on the other hand, started out as "Kind of Gay" and then reduced to almost nothing, remaining at "Kind of Gay and extremely boring". But what does all this have to do with the thing? Holy Shit, look up there! It's off the fucking charts! Rest assured that if this chart were extended into infinity, that line would stay solid as a rock.