Welcome to the Killcount where we tally up the victims in all our favorite horror movies I’m James A. Janisse and today We’re looking at one of my all-time favorite movies the thing released in 1982 and directed by John Carpenter People ask me all the time what my favorite horror movie is and while it changes from time to time right now I have to say it’s this movie Not only is it filled with enough practical effects in body horror to make Clive Barker cream himself it’s also an effectively dreadful movie that blankets you with a deep sense of Paranoia and hopelessness who doesn’t want that in their lives. Based on a John W. Campbell Sci-Fi story from the thirties the thing follows a group of 12 American researchers at a remote antarctic research facility who are infiltrated by an extraterrestrial that can perfectly assimilate and imitate other forms. While the titular thing is dangerous enough the real threat ends up being suspicion and mistrust as the beleaguered group begins to turn on each other and get driven to desperation. Couple of notes before we get started this killcount has the Potential to get really Messy because of all the assimilations and off-screen weirdness going on so I’m going to try to keep it clean by only including human deaths that happen in the present with that rule in place let’s get to the kills The movie begins with a spaceship crashing into Earth’s atmosphere Showing that sometimes invasions happen by accident after the title card We jump to 1982 where real handsome dog wolf is running across the frozen expanse of Antarctica. He’s being pursued by a couple of Norwegians in a helicopter who are trying to shoot him down But doing a piss-poor job at it the dog winds up running to an American research Facility home to a whole bunch of dudes who are happy to take that dog off your hands guys. They’ll feed it and walk it every day. The Norwegians don’t trust the Americans to be good pet owners, though So they get out and pursue the dog one guy takes out a grenade But it slipped out of his hands behind it he gets the hell out of there leaving his chopper pilot buddy to look for it in the snow When it blows up that gives us our first human kill Bet that guy sucked at easter egg hunts when he was a kid. The surviving Norwegian opens fire hitting George Bennings in the leg So outpost commander Gary clumsily busts out his window and shoots the Norwegian right in the eye Based on the 2011 prequel this dude’s name is Lars But I still haven’t seen that so to me these guys are just Norwegians 1 & 2. The Americans put out the chopper fire and Clark the dog handler adopts the orphan doggy to a good home. In fact let’s just go ahead and take a minute or two to meet all the guys present here because it’ll help to know them all going forward there’s Windows the radio operator who hasn’t been able to get a hold of anyone for two Weeks now which is really upsetting Blair the biologist played by Wilford Brimley but you’re not going to get any Diabetes jokes for me guys. Sorry that well is dry We briefly met George Bennings when he got shot by the Norwegian and he gets stitched up by Copper the outpost physician. Who’s that rollerblading down the hallway? Why it’s Heather Graham just kidding It’s Niles the station cook He probably has to work overtime for Palmer a mechanic who loves to smoke that sweet Antarctic cush the other mechanic is Childs and there are a couple of other scientists like Norris and Fukes all under the command of Gary who we already met Oh yeah, and then there’s motherfucking R.J McCready aka Mac aka Kurt Russell sporting the finest hair and beer this side of the south pole I don’t care if Gary is nominally in charge Matt commands my heart and what seems like the total respect of everyone else at the station, probably because he’s the chopper pilot. You always want to be friends with the chopper pilot. Copper enlists Mac to fly them to the Norwegian Station so he can try to find some answers to the two-man invasion they just faced. While they’re out stranger Dog explores his new digs he walked into a room with someone Silhouetted against the wall and now the good time to tell you that that dogs a thing and he’s about to infect that dude who? Is it well there are a lot of theories some stronger than others but the filmmakers? Intentionally left a lot of this movie ambiguous to play into the themes of uncertainty and Paranoia since we don’t know for sure I’m not going to add anyone to the killcount right now But just know that someone in the base has already gotten thing-ified! Copper and Mac arrived at the smoking Norwegian base and find a whole lot of fun stuff. First is a frozen dead body with its wrists slit But I’m not going to put it on the list because I’m trying to keep a simple here folks. Then they come across a big old ice Tub Which strangely looks like it’d be fun to take a nap in. Out back they find the charred remains of something. “Is that a man in there” I don’t know Doc. Why don’t you take it home and find out? Haha. Oh? That’s exactly what they do the crew takes a good long look at the steaming Carcass Which is fine by me since that thing looks gnarly. Look at those heads, those fused ass heads. Sick stuff. And we’re only getting started we get more bloody bits when Blair does an autopsy and find your average human organs inside the body. “Seems To be normal”. Yeah, Blaire. That thing is normal. Maybe normal for an art piece that David Cronenberg commissioned from Salvador Dali. That night Clark puts stranger dog in the Kennel and if you Don’t want to see a bunch of dogs turn into goo You should probably stop watching right now. The other dogs start freaking out But I don’t know if there’s any cause for concern It might just be super clicky and want to give the new guy a hard time. I don’t see anything wrong with them — Oh, oh his face. Just split open, okay, fair. Yeah, this dog might have something wrong with them WHAT ARE THOSE? A BUNCH OF PULL AND PEEL TWIZZLERS??!! GOD-DAYUM!! Alright Man you do you I guess. just leave the other dogs out of it, Okay. ARGH, come on What are you doing there? Gross. Mac over hears the commotion and summons the alarm bringing everyone to the kennels where they find… Uhhh… this going on. Good dog?? No, I gotta say that’s a bad dog and look what you did to your new friend That’s a bad dog. Mach and Gary shoot at it But the thing just gets pissed and tries to leap through the ceiling until child’s hops in with the flamethrower and torches this abomination. Again, For the kill count I’m only including human death so that’s why those dogs and this thing are counted. Blair does another autopsy and explains that the thing imitates other life forms but they Were able to stop it before it finished. “Finished what?” “Finish imitating these dogs” As Blair and Clark tend to one of the surviving dogs suspicion begins to set in “What the hell you looking at me like that for?” The gang watches some tapes of the Norwegians excavating something from the ground they figure out where it is and Mac gets his best chopper flying jacket on. When they get to the Site they find the Millennium Falcon sitting inside an ice crater. Huh, never really noticed that spaceship there, Antarctica, is that new? How long has that been there? “I’d say the ice is about hundred thousand years old at least” Oh. So like a while then? They also find where that ice tub came from and again I just feel the urge to crawl inside there for some reason. Anyone else or am I just f#&king weird. These guys are much Smarter than me though and instead of just crawling around in big ice holes they figure out that the ice tub was actually the frozen Thing thrown from the spaceship and frozen underground until the norwegians found it. “if they get it up, they cart it back, it gets thawed out, wakes up, Probably not in the best mood.” Damn it Norway, get your scientists under control. Blair runs a computer Simulation and in true eighties movie computer fashion it somehow has the ability to display graphical Representation of the things assimilation process as well as writing complete sentences and make wild prediction based on a Few keystrokes Thanks for the info magical movie computer. Meanwhile Windows and Bennings put the 2-headed body from the Norwegian Camp into storage But they don’t see that it still got some life to it, so after Windows briefly leaves the room He comes back to find Bennings mid assimilation. Meaning we can finally throw another body on the kill count I’ll do this if we see someone getting taken over like this since its Verification that the person is dead Bennings’ thing makes it out of the base and into the snow but he doesn’t get far before dropping To the ground and getting shit your pants creepy at the guys Sounded like a dinosaur. Get the hell out of here thing. Mac spill some gas on him And they all have a real nice Bennings’ thing bonfire. As a matter of precaution, they burn all the other thing bodies They have too, but during their blazing bonding session They notice Blair is absent. Mac sees him running from the chopper a bit later and discovers that Blair is a saboteur He’s also a crazy pants looney tune, taking an axe to the radio room and killing the rest of the dogs in the Kennel even Shoot at Child, but when he runs out of ammo the others bust in and ask him to table his little temper tantrum They subdue and sedate him and lock him in Mack’s tower where he explained the route of his frustration “I don’t know who to trust.” Mac tries to brush it off and leave, but Wilfred Brimley is like no, I’m serious Let me act here and Mack’s like okay. Let’s see what you got. “I said watch Clark and Watch him close, you hear me?” Even Mack’s got bent that was some damn fine acting. Good work Wilfred. Copper comes up with an idea to mix blood samples with uncontaminated blood to test to the Thing but they find all the back of blood it’s been drained. Saboteur! This creates more Paranoia since Gary’s the only one with the key and Copper’s the only one he ever gives it to. Tensions really start To rise here and Windows get so freaked out he tries to arm himself with the shotgun before Gary stops them. Gary then concedes control Of the place to Mac because when you have a beautiful mane of hair like that people just want to follow you, man. Mack torches The bad blood and lays out some logic “I know, I’m human. If you were all these things than you would’ve just attacked me right now So some of you are still human.” That’s why I freaking love about this movie man. In most horror movies You’re watching characters who make dumb decisions that you know you could avoid but these are all smart dudes Acting as intelligently as they can trying to solve a problem. They just occasionally make fatal mistakes. Take Fukes for instance. He’s studying the hell out of Blair’s journals and suggesting people eat out of cans to avoid infection but when the lights go out and a Figure passes by him in the Hallway He heads outside to see who it was he finds some torn clothes of Mack’s but then he goes missing so Mac and a few others head out to look for him. They stop by the tower to ask Blair if He’s seen anything, and there’s a darkly hilarious edit. “Blair, have you seen Fuchs?” “I don’t want to stay out here anymore. I want to come back inside.” God that news. That delivery. I love this [email protected]!t after they leave Blair they do end up finding fuchs or what’s left of him anyway.
*And i have been spelling Fuchs wrong* There’s a lot of theorizing on the internet as to what exactly happened to him But again the filmmakers leave it ambiguous the guys offer a few ideas. “Maybe he tried to burn it maybe he burned himself Before it could get to him.” But nothing is settled and I like it that way. Mac and Niles go to check out his shack since The lights are on but when they take a while to come back the others start boarding up the outside doors. Niles is eventually seen approaching From outside by Norris who seems to be having some chest problems there. If you take a breather before you wear yourself out, dude. Niles Comes inside and says he thinks Mac is a thing based on the torn clothing he also found. People get even more paranoid and keep Mac locked out causing him to break into another room where he hold them off with a flare and a stick of dynamite Norris and Niles try to apprehend him But when he shoved them off Norris has a heart attack this actually does kill him despite their attempts to revive him. Man five deaths In and four of them have been lame or off-screen and I was wrong about this movie guys. Maybe the thing isn’t that gory or cool at all and the dogs were just a one-time thing. I’m sorry. I don’t know what I was thinking. Let’s just get back to it I guess. Where were we. They were trying to revive Norris, so yeah, they get the defibrillators and OH MY GOD! HIS CHEST JUST ATE COPPER’S HANDS. WHAT? Yeah! F#&k y’all for doubting me. Look at those bloody stumps. I love the way this movie distracts you with enough quiet moments So that the big ones like this hit really hard. Norris gets super thing-ified now, and this is an image You’ve probably seen before, his crazy-looking thing head sprouting out of his chest. Mac torches it But not before Norris’s original head detaches itself from the body and falls to the floor using it’s tongue is a little grappling hook thing. Then he sprouts legs and tries to run away. Mack Ain’t having it though And he torches that head to ashes. Mac tries to enforce some order here and have some of the guys tie the others up when childs protests Mac threatens to kill him and he’s actually super serious because when Clark takes a hidden scalpel and charges him, Mack shoots him in the Head I was going to make a joke about having to find someone else to take care of the dogs But then I remembered all the dogs are already dead and I got sad Mac has the dead bodies tied up as well as the living people and explains his plan he noticed that the Thing is defensive down to the particles so he’s going to test everyone’s blood with a hot wire to see if their blood reacts This is probably the best sequence in this entire movie and Mac slowly but methodically has everyone cut open their thumbs so he can test their blood. Windows is shown to be okay as Is Copper and Mac himself. Next up in the test is Clark? Who’s also a human. “Which makes you a murderer, don’t it?” Yeah? Or just the fastest draw on the south, childs. After Clark’s blood test, it’s Palmers and his blood reacts violently to the hot wire. Palmer is a verified thing So I’ll put him on the count now and reveal that I and many others suspect that he was the silhouetted man right now He’s not silhouetted although He’s just f#&king gross. His head blisters and bubbles and breaks into pieces before he busts out of his bondage and flies to the ceiling Windows is slow on the draw with his flamethrower So palmer thing splits his head open and takes a big old bite out of him, chomping on his head and swinging him around for A long time before tossing him aside un-ceremoniously for the 9th kill of the film. Mack lights Palmer thing ablaze but he still manages to stumble outside where he falls to the ground. Mac finishes him off with a grenade that blows him all to pieces. Nice. Back inside, Windows is starting to assimilate into another thing but Mac shuts that s#!t down with his flamethrower and yes, the Windows, Mack naming thing is actually, just a giant coincidence since this is 1982 and neither of those companies were even founded yet, crazy
*AND I HAVE BEEN SPELLING MAC WRONG TOO. DAMMIT* Huh. After all that commotion Mac gets back to the tests, Nauls is safe. So we cut to him with a flamethrower
*AND I HAVE BEEN SPELLING NAULS WRONG. ARE YOU KIDDING ME???!* which is pretty funny then childs is shown to be safe and yells to be let go “Cut me the hell l– Come on. Get me out of here. Come on. Get me out of here. Cut me loose, dammit!” And that edit is super funny, too Finally Gary is shown to be on the up-and-up and he ends the scene with the funniest moment of all “I know you gentlemen have been through a lot and when you find the time I’d rather not spend the rest of this winter TIED TO THIS F#&KING COUCH!!! Guys, this movie is the best Childs is left to guard the base while the others go to check on Blair. When they enter the tower, they find him gone and Discover a tunnel beneath the floorboards leading to a little workshop area where Blair has been working on a freaking spaceship. Yeah,
not entirely sure how long he’s been a thing but this confirms it so let’s slap him up there on the old kill count for Number 10. While the guys get to work on some dynamite Nauls notices Childs running outside the base and then the lights go out. Looks like the generator is blown and they’ll be frozen without power in a matter of hours. A perfectly fine situation for the thing ” It wants to freeze now. It’s got no way out of here It just wants to go to sleep in the cold until the rescue team finds it.” Mac, Gary and Nauls commit themselves to fate. “We’re not getting out of here alive. But neither is that thing.” All that beard and all that nobility? Forget commander, this man is the crown prince of my heart. They go on an all-out rampage using dynamite to blow up the spaceship and the tractor to knock down the tower walls. They started lighting fires and blowing up damn near everything, literally going room by room with molotov cocktails. They go to set charges to bring down the place once and for all but Blair thing finally shows himself and attacks Garry, grabbing him by the face and digging his fingers deep into his flesh to assimilate him.
*And I’ve been spelling Garry wrong too*
*Sorry for all these mistakes* Not sure Garry dies officially from assimilation or asphyxiation but he dead. Then Nauls gets distracted by the silence and wanders away from Mac. Since this is the last time we see him and we hear a commotion from that direction the general consensus is that Nauls was killed off screen by the thing right here. So I guess, yeah, in all actuality. There are a bunch of off-screen deaths, but with all the crazy gore I don’t think it detracts from the movie One bit. Mac finds himself all alone when an underground thing attacks and bursting from the floors and grabbing the detonator away from him. This thing is a huge nasty beast and he’s got all sorts of things coming out of all sorts of orifices. I love it so much! Mac’s not a big fan though. “YEAH, F#&K YOU TOO!” And with that stick of dynamite the whole friggin place blows up in a series of huge awesome fireballs. Look at that fireball. Bow to that fireball. It is your God now. Mac wanders away from the flaming wreckage where childs confronts him. “Where were you, Charles?”
*And Childs’ name was actually Charles. My bad. I misheard. Charles says he saw Blair went after him and got lost but who can know there have been countless theories about this ending with many suspecting Charles is the thing since there’s not a lot of fog coming out of his mouth as he speaks, especially compared to Mac who looks like a friggin smoke stack but again the filmmakers left it intentionally ambiguous so the movie ends with the two survivors, unsure of their fates as the station burns down around them. I actually do agree that Charles is a thing but in the spirit of ambiguity I’m going to leave them off the kill count. So let’s take what we know for sure and go to the numbers It was a normal walk because I’m a thing 12 humans for sure died in the thing and since there’s not a single woman in the whole movie this gives us our first kill count with the victims 100% one gender. At a runtime of 108 minutes, that’s a known character killed on average every 9 minutes flat. Golden Chainsaw for coolest kill goes to Copper. I just love the suddenness of that torso opening up and the way his hands are literally bitten off by a belly. Dull Machete has a bunch of options, but I’ll actually give it to Norris and his heart attack. Yeah, Nauls and some other people died off screen but at least you can imagine something graphic with them. Norris just died of poor cardiovascular upkeep. And that’s it, released in 1982, John Carpenter’s the thing is a must watch for any horror or Sci-Fi or just movie fan. I’m not going to do the 2011 prequel or the 1950s Howard Hughes version right away but I’ll probably get to them sometime in the future. Don’t worry. Until then I’m James A. Janisse and this has been The Kill Count. Hey guys. Thanks alot for watching my kill count for The Thing which yes, is my favorite horror movie right now. I want to thank some awesome Patrons who have been supporting me including Ryan Hallermire, Elliot Allbright, Keehan Myers and Zac Geller
*With thanks to InsidiousHellfire for the subtitles – sorry if I spelt your Patron name wrong* I decided that when I’m finally able to do another big series, I’m going to have all my Patrons vote on which one it is so if you want to have a voice in that decision jump on over there even if it’s just for a single dollar a month. Next week is Night of the Living Dead (1968). I’ll see you then.