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A Behind-the-Scenes Look at John Carpenter’s THE THING

Who doesn’t love a good “how’d they do that?” video? Especially when the subject in question is one of the greatest horror films of all time. Go behind the scenes with CineFix as they take a closer look at Rob Bottin’s iconic creatures from John Carpenter’s classic The Thing and explore the making of the infamous and practical defibrillator chomp effect. Utilizing clever camera movements, a stunt man who was also a double amputee, and some convincing mask work, the effect was eventually pulled off but not without some trials and tribulations along the way–including a ten hour prep time only to have Carpenter immediately cut because the viscera eruption wasn’t quite right. Sheesh!

While the defibrillator scene is the bread and butter of the video, I have to say that as such a big fan of the movie, I really enjoyed a behind the scenes look at the history of getting the film off the ground in the first place. The video also discusses a few of the tricks and tools used to create other worldly looks and effects while explaining how director of photography Dean Cundey also played a vital role in making the transformations look real on camera. The video also looks at the mechanics of showing Norris’s head stretching and crawling to the floor and explores the aftermath of the shoot and the disappointing (to say the least) reaction from fans and critics alike when the film was finally released in theaters in 1982.

For more John Carpenter, check out my twopart interview with the “Horror Master” discussing his debut album Lost Themes, directing, horror and, of course, his masterpiece The Thing.

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