Sunday, 20 January 2008

The Thing: - Who Goes There?

John Carpenter's visceral 1982 remake of Howard Hawks' 1951 classic The Thing From Another World, was a masterful piece of reimagining and much closer to the source novella "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell.

While Hawks' movie followed a traditional 'monster on the loose' format, Carpenter's version focussed on 'the beast within' motif. Using stunning visual effects; created by Rob Bottin a mentor of monster makeup maestro Rick Baker; Carpenter conveyed, (until Terminator 2 came to town), moviedom's most memorable shape shifter.

Wanting a European sound to the music, Carpenter brought in Ennio Morricone to supply the chilling soundtrack. Perhaps it was Carpenter's habit of providing his own synth based soundtracks that rendered virtually all of Morricone's material to be excised from the final cut and replaced in part by the director's own compositions. What remains of Morricone's score for The Thing is dark, disturbing and atmospheric especially during the opening sequence (Humanity Part 1), where the 'alien' husky is being pursued by a helicopter. The most easily recognisable cue from the movie, the glacial "Humanity Part ll" is ironically the least like Morricone and actually resembles Carpenter's own work.

The out of print soundtrack for The Thing, eschews Carpenter's own material and focuses entirely on Morricone's score and includes material not used in the final cut. One can only muse how these unused cues would have fitted in Carpenter's icy masterpiece.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

this is probably the best remake ever made of a sci-fi movie or any mainstream movie.
I wish they would make more of these.
PS I have a VHS colorized version , from movies unlimited, of the First movie. It should have been released with the DVD. Its very good.
Also I have Invasion of the body snatcher colorized very good too!
Vince

Crispy32 said...

I'm there with you Vince. I love this version of The Thing.

Some of those colorized movies are utter crap (Sky = Blue, Grass = Green, Flesh = pasty pink) but others actually benefit from it. I know The Longest Day colorized versions rocks.

I'd love to see The Thing and Body Snatchers in color. I just wish they were available on DVD

Crispy32 said...

I'm there with you Vince. I love this version of The Thing.

Some of those colorized movies are utter crap (Sky = Blue, Grass = Green, Flesh = pasty pink) but others actually benefit from it. I know The Longest Day colorized versions rocks.

I'd love to see The Thing and Body Snatchers in color. I just wish they were available on DVD

the crimson king said...

Hello, I'd like to know a little more about the divergence between the different scores: Morricone vs. Carpenter, are there any sources available? Wikipedia seems to only hint at it. Is the Carpenter version available somewheres?