I am going to try something a little different this week. I will be presenting the 1-Star Movie Reviews for two movies, The Thing From Another World and The Thing. There seems to be a distinct line between those who like the former and those who enjoy the latter.

Both of these films were based off of the 1938 novella "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell, Jr. which he published under the name Don A. Stuart. Campbell's story is about a group of scientists in Antarctica who discover an alien spaceship buried in the ice. When they try to thaw out the ship using thermite, the hull is ignited and the ship is destroyed. The scientists discover that one of the occupants of the craft has survived and is frozen in the ice. The alien is thawed out and revealed to be a creature that devours organisms and takes over their appearance, personality and memories. This trick is revealed when some of the researchers come across the beast halfway through a gruesome transition into a sled dog. With the creatures ability to be anyone at the camp, paranoia and suspicion take over the survivors. In the end the creature takes over 15 members of the research facility before they are able to completely destroy it, preventing it from escaping the frozen wasteland.


The Thing From Another World is considered to be the looser adaptation of the Campbell story. The setting is moved from Antarctica to the North Pole and elements of the alien are changed. Researchers at the base discover an alien craft and destroy it, then thaw out the alien they find because scientists just don't learn lessons. Instead of releasing a creature that can devour and replace other organisms, this creature is plant based and needs blood to reproduce. The alien does not have the ability to be anybody and is instead always portrayed by James Arness. This change to the plot completely eliminates the paranoia element that was present in the original story. The crew is eventually able to trap the creature and electrocute it to death.

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There is some confusion about who actually directed The Thing From Another World. Some claim that it was Howard Hawks and that Christian Nyby was given the credit so he could receive his membership in the Director's Guild. Others believe that Nyby directed the movie but with considerable input from Hawks. Either way, The Thing From Another World is considered as one of the best science fiction films of the 1950's and, in 2001, it was entered into the National Film Registry. Let's look at the stats.

The Thing From Another World has 397 reviews on Amazon.com with an overall rating of 4.6 stars. There are only eight 1-Star reviews, but all of them are related to the quality of the film meaning there are eight people who really didn't like this film.


Boring with a capital "B"

This is a fine example of a snoozer movie from the 50's. The movie production was so pathetic that the monster suit looks like a big, green peanut not too unlike Mr Planters. Fortunately, James Arness a.k.a The Thing saw better days after his debut in this movie and didn't have to earn his living as a peanut salesman.

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Ps: I still don't know what's the big "hooh-hah" with this lemon. I wouldn't buy it if I were you and had lots of $$ to dispose of.

From what I have seen of the monster in this movie, most of the effects are a prosthetic added to Arness' head and some to his hands. I'm not sure where you are getting "big, green peanut" especially since the movie is black and white. Feel free to correct me in the comments if I'm wrong. I think maybe this reviewer just has a bizarre fascination with peanuts.


Not scary at all , out of date Reminded me of Scooby Doo

Ok now look I realize that this movie was made in 1951 . But face it the only reason anyone remembers this old movie is because of John Carpenters Remake in 1982 that was great!And by the way this movie is (nothing)like the short story (Who Goes There) that it is based on. The only reason I saw this movie was to see what the 1951 movie was like. I know that in 1951 they did not have the greatest special FX but that is not all it lacks. The writing and the story in this movie are very basic. At times in the movie I am waiting for SHAGY and SCOOBY DOO to run by with the monster chasing them . Even the way they get rid of the monster is like an episode of Scooby Doo. If you have not seen this movie and you are a fan of the 1982 remake you might get a good laugh out of this at best.

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I've missed these types of reviews. Random capitalization, words put in parentheses that are a necessary part of the sentence.

The biggest difference between this movie and an episode of Scooby-Doo is that at the end the hero didn't pull the mask off the monster and reveal it was Old Man Jenkins the whole time. That and the killings.


This 'Thing' sucks!!!

For the truth about this movie, check out the 1 & 2 star reviews!!! It seems to me somebody(s) has an agenda to falsely promote this dud!!!

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It's probably the government or the film school cabal. They are always bumping up the numbers for these terrible movies, but can they give Grownups 2 any love? NOOOOO!!! Liberals!

Here's your winner for round one.


Downright boring.

This film would only appeal to stubborn old folks 60 and above. Christ, this movie is 48 years old and it is not even true to the book it was based on! Instead, this film is fraught with a cast of forgettable characters, a big man in a killer carrot monster suit and overly-dramatic drivel as main dialogue.

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If you want a real scare and a far more decent adaption of "Who goes there?", try "John Carpenter's The Thing". It is lightyears ahead of its time and will send true jitters down your spine no matter how many unrealistic CGI monsters of today, or silly monster suits of the past, you have seen in cinema.

Again, stay away from this 50's "classic" unless you are a senior citizen feeling downright nostalgic.

Ageism, blasphemy, you are a champion! Also, I know that the scientists say that the creature is basically a killer carrot, but he doesn't look like a carrot.

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The Thing is a very different movie, adding in more violence and gore than the tamer The Thing From Another World. This film also makes some changes to the original novella. In The Thing, a Norwegian team discovers the ship and the alien, but the audience doesn't actually get to witness these events. We will pretend that the 2011 film, The Thing, never came out. Deal? A Norwegian helicopter arrives at a U.S. research base in Antarctica chasing a Malamute. The helicopter is destroyed and the remaining occupant is killed. The Americans investigate the Norwegian base where they discover death, destruction and the melted block of ice where the alien was. The Malamute transforms and begins to attack the other dogs. This attack is witnessed by MacReady (Kurt Russell), the helicopter pilot and the creature is apparently destroyed by him. The researchers discover from the Norwegian's records that they believed they had discovered a space ship buried in the ice. An autopsy is performed on the dog and it is hypothesized that it has been taken over by an alien life form that can perfectly mimic other life forms. As the alien begins to kill more, the occupants of the base becoming increasingly more paranoid until they eventually begin turning on each other. MacReady eventually makes the decision to completely destroy the station preventing the creature from escaping when a rescue team shows up. Only MacReady and one other member survive at the end, but they are left stranded in Antarctica.

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Released in 1982 and directed by John Carpenter, The Thing was not a great commercial success and opened to mixed reviews. Like many films from that era, it has grown in popularity over the years and is now mentioned on many best of lists for science fiction and horror. Let's look at more stats.

The Thing has 824 reviews on Amazon.com with an overall rating of 4.6 stars. There are seventeen 1-Star Reviews with eight of these reviews being for technical issues such as "My DVD box came full of cheese!" That leaves nine people who really didn't like this film. Well, it's actually eight. We'll get to that.


Where's Adrienne Barbeau

Where is Adrienne Barbeau in this movie starring Kurt Russell? I guess the review for this would be better if you could get the actors & actresses right

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I should starting giving out a special review for most random review. Kurt Russell and Adrienne Barbeau did not star in every single John Carpenter movie. The movie you are looking for is Escape From New York. Moving right along.


Please don't confuse this terrible movie with the 1951 Masterpiece

Please don't confuse this terrible movie with the 1951 masterpiece, 'The Thing from Another World'.

Lots of pointless blood and gore. I would have to be 'court ordered' to see this movie again.

The 1951 'The Thing from Another World' is 5 Stars.

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This reviewer actually left two identical 1-Star Reviews for this movie. I don't know if they are trying to skew the average or not. Maybe they used Kinja to post their review.

I'm not sure that blood and gore counts as pointless in a horror movie about an alien that eats people, but to each his own.


***** ******

Boy I sure made a mistake here ordering this modern verson of "The Thing" I saw the orignal as a kid and it scared me to death. This movie really is way to modern with all the helicopters etc. and blood and guts. Hollywood has really gone way to far today. Anyway I noticed the old original for sale so got it coming. This thing was a waste. Later ***** ******

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I had to put asterisks up there because this reviewer used their first and last name for the title and then signed at the end for some reason. Let me tell you something Mr. ******, helicopters are not modern. They were widely used in 1951 during something called The Korean War. You may have heard of it. Also, if you believe that a movie released in 1982 was over the top for blood and guts, the next three decades of cinema are going to blow your mind. Good luck!


How Is This In The IMDb Top 250?

This could easily have been a Star Trek episode and have been wrapped up in half the time. If only they had a universal translator or spoke Norwegian! The Thing may have been state of the art in 1982, but it just looks cheap in the 21st century where we are used to awesome CGI effects.

I cannot believe that these men are "researchers" - they seem more guys you would find in a police station, both the cops and the criminals. So, you can get high at the research station? And roller skate around it? Not very professional, indeed.

Kurt Russell channels Escape from New York's Snake Plissken for John Carpenter who directed both films. How does Kurt's R.J. MacReady, who is the station's helicopter pilot, know everything and always have the right answer? MacReady wears the worst hat ever worn in the movies.

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Don't bother with this unbelievable farce.

Yes, "if only they had a universal translator or spoke Norwegian!" Then you would have complained that the movie was unrealistic because there is no such thing as a universal translator. If only the Norwegians had shot the dog before it got to the American base. Then we could watched 109 minutes of scientists getting high and rollerskating. And why would it be unprofessional to get high at a research station in Antarctica in 1982 or even roller skate around it? What else are you supposed to do for six months? I bet in Antarctica right now, someone is enjoying some marijuana and rollerblading.

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I'm actually pretty torn on the hat. Is it really the worst ever? What do you think?

Here's your winner for part two.


Dumb

Even when I first saw this moive in the 80's I thought it was dumb and had crappy, cheeseball special effects. It's not scary. It's not funny. It's not action packed. It's a bunch of guys in Antartica being attacked by claymation monsters (I think every once in a while they're getting attacked by sock puppets, which coincidentally, is also not scary) Apparently there's a bunch of geniuses on here that thought this was some kind of cinematic masterpiece and that's totally okay with me. I just disagree, that's all. There was an episode of the X-Files in season 1 called 'Ice' that was a throwback to this movie, but I actually enjoyed that episode. I guess I would recommend watching that instead, or if you're a big fan of this movie, you should still check out the X-Files episode cause it's pretty cool. I apparently offended a bunch of cry-babies when I said Blade Runner sucked, so I want to make sure anyone who reads this understands, my lack of enjoyment of this movie is no way an attack on anyone who likes it. [...]

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You don't like The Thing or Blade Runner? I may be a cry-baby, but I think you're a poopy head! Here's their review for Blade Runner in case you're curious.

Really?

I guess I just don't get it. I've seen lots of cheesy 80's sci-fi movies but I never thought to classify them as masterpieces. Aside from the out-dated effects and crappy acting, it didn't even make sense. I have a hard time sympathizing with a ROBOT. Great, it has feelings. By that standard Short Circuit is a filmmaking masterpiece too. IRobot made a statement about society, but I don't see that here. You want to see a filmmaking masterpiece from the 80's? Go watch Conan the Barbarian. If you can't see how well that film was made then don't tell me I'm close minded because I can't see the greatness of this cheese-fest. People need to grow up. It's a cheesy 80's flick. Just cause you like it, doesn't mean it's the greatest movie ever made.

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Did you really just say that I, Robot makes a better statement than Blade Runner? Strike Two!

1-Star Movie Reviews Archive

|The Iron Giant|A Christmas Story|Dr. Stranglove |Close Encounters | The Princess Bride | Time Bandits | The Goonies | 2001: A Space Odyssey | Alien | Blade Runner

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