WTF?! // 31 Days of Halloween — Day 3 (The Thing)

Happy 31 days of Halloween! 

This year, we’re celebrating with a different movie pick each day that made me audibly gasp, “WHAT THE FUCK?!”

🎵🎶 On the third day of Halloween, your neighbors gave to theeeeeeee, a severed head sprouting legs… what did I just see? 🎵🎶

The Thing” is one of my all-time favorite films, and I had the pleasure of seeing it on the big screen this year for its 40th anniversary. It was a magical experience to see it in all of its glory.

John Carpenter’s “The Thing” is “The ultimate in alien terror.” An American research team in Antarctica takes in a seemingly friendly dog after a bizarre gunfight with a Norwegian chopper and crew. Unbeknownst to them, the coolest and badass alien organism quickly begins to kill them off by transforming into whomever it can get its freaky hands on. The all-star ensemble cast is led by Kurt Russell and Keith David, but as you can guess, I am here to talk about special makeup effects and designer Rob Bottin.

At the age of 22, Carpenter tasked Bottin to help him create a monster movie where the creature wasn’t obviously played by a man. Every scene improves upon the last, and I am certain that each of you has a favorite moment. I think we will have to go with the transformation of Norris (Charles Hallahan) into what can only be described as a head spider.

Shit had already hit the fan early on in this film, and by the time Norris collapses with an apparent heart attack, I am thinking these poor guys have seen and had enough. Dr.Copper attempts to revive him using the defibrillator. When he hits Norris with the big shocks of the paddles, Norris’ chest opens up into a giant mouth and chomps down on the doctor’s arms, severing them from his body. We’re all screaming in shock, and Norris is flamethrowered (it’s a word!) into a crisp, but not before his head detaches and sprouts legs. Yes, his head grows these spindly spider legs and crawls the fuck away. At this point, David Clennon (Palmer) utters the famous words, “You’ve got to be fucking kidding.”

What the fuck?! What the fuck is that? What the fuckity fuck? I would have just run off into the snow, my frozen solid corpse to be found by some rescue team months later. No way in hell anyone would have been able to stop me from losing my ever-loving mind after witnessing that. Thank you to Rob Bottin for forever burning this scene into my brain.

"The Thing" (1982) Universal Pictures