Monday, October 1, 2012

Starstream #1



Man is the warmest place to hide... except when he cranks the air conditioning up.



56 comments:

Nick Michalak said...

That IS one goofy looking Muppet.

Great job by Nash with that title card animation, and I like that you used the old style John Carpenter credits font at the end. I love seeing you all out.

Nice rundown of the three films. I've never seen the Howard Hawkes produced version, but yes, the John Carpenter film is a bonafide classic that captures an atmosphere of paranoia and isolation with tight suspense. It's a brilliant film, through and through with a hell of a great ensemble cast. It also has some of the best practical creature effects I have ever seen. Rob Bottin was a genius in that craft. The prequel had some good moments of horror, but ultimately, it was forgettable. Just an uninspired screenplay with a bland cast. Nothing much to talk about.

Anonymous said...

Good review Mr. Lovhaug

I always thought The Thing was similar to the 40’s comic character The Heap (they are both plant monsters). They might have changed the way he looked so they would not get sued.

KKDW said...

Not only could classic Doctor Who do better than that, but the Tomorrow People could do better than that!

Alexander Nevsky said...

Eh, Norwegians, Swedes, and Fins use English all the time. Foreign TV and films are subbed not dubbed. It really helps with English usage, how the language is really used, not how a book says it should be. I live in Russia and deal with them a lot as well as travel to the very north of Norway to fish. Have never ran in to a Norwegian that can't speak good English. Even in remote areas.

Anonymous said...

Nice review...I actually liked the Thing prequel. It was decent. Didn't hold a candle to the Carpenter version, but who expected it to. And you could tell the guys who made it at least had some respect for the original. It was certainly better than that videogame spinoff they did.

The way the Thing also acted made sense if you think about it. It's only just got out of the ice, so it'd be disorientated and confused and all that. Hence it'd be more prone to just attack. So by the time of the original film, it'd have worked out that it's better to go the stealthy route. Of course in that film it would've been fine just staying as a dog, but eh.

boooratt said...

AWESOME!!! I've been waiting for this to come for a looooong while! I'm a HUGE fan of The Thing movies and comics!
Loved that opening sequence! Spot on perfect!!
Heeey, I liked the prequel! I still don't get why so many got a stick up their @$$es over that movie, but yet give Promerheus a pass!
I never new this adaptation comic even existed! I'd love to own a copy just for the fact I love the story. It seems to be more based on the original short story than any of the movies. Yes even the goofy 3 eyed monster design was the original form described in the book!
The art in it is pretty good love the dog absorbing scene.
The dialogue in the actually story was a bit better if I recall not as stilted! And fun fact most sci-fi story historians believe that this story was originally started out as a Doc Savage story with the role of McReady originally meant to be the famous fictional adventurer!
Also to answer your 2 questions at the end... most who've sort of studied the original story believe that an infected or replicated person wouldn't know they're the Thing until it is revealed and then they transform! Finding out is what triggers them to change in a monster! There's even a short story from the POV of the Thing itself in-which all it wants is to share its gift of a hive mind mentality. That the memories of the person it absorbs remain intact inside it.

I can't wait to see your thoughts on the sequel comics to the Carpenter movie! The 1st 2 part one is kind of bad the art is like the kind from the Silent Hill comics, but the stories that came after that get a better artist and to me was quite fun!
I'm curious now that it is Halloween/The Thing Month is the last story line temporarily on hold or is it still part of this?

Keith Inman said...

hooray for the whose line is it anyway reference

Jaelan Trapp said...

And yet another comic driven plot is born..I'm PUMPED

Cryptix said...

And the new storyline commences! I have to wonder if and how the Gunslinger shall be tied into this...

As for the comic, it wasn't actually a terrible adaptation of 'Who Goes There'. The problem was mostly that they clipped a bunch of stuff that went toward building tension and paranoia in the story, like actually going through the rabbit test with what they _thought_ were several failsafes, only to discover that _all_ of their animals were infected, including the cows they were keeping for milk...

And IIRC, that's about how the monster was described, too. This illustrator just made it look silly, though.

Can't wait to see the next one. I've seen a few images from the comics, but I'm eager to see the whole story. Of course, since it's featured on your show, I can't imagine it was handled too well... at least it gives you something to talk about. :3

james cousins said...

When I first saw this on the schedule, I thought it was StarScream #1, and would be about the adventures of the most pathetic, backhanded Decepticon of all time. This is still better. (I wish there was more Transformers comics on AT4W.)

harmonicajay said...

John Carpenter's The Thing is one of my favorite horror movies. I like how the people aren't really stupid and actually think instead of just wandering off. Also, great use of the movie's theme song in the beginning and matching the title reveal from the movie. Can't wait for the rest. Also, could you find a way to work in the line that Macready yells at the thing in the John Carpenter version before he blows it up? Actually, you know what I think the Thing's true form is? I don't think it even has one. I think it is some amorphous creature that must possess others in order to take a form.

Kth-77 said...

A sequel to the John Carpenter that isn't a film?


... Will there be a fuse box count joke?

Wes said...

"Astrological research"?

Did you mean "astronomical research"? Because it's hard to imagine anyone getting funding to go to Antarctica to do horoscopes.

;)

Anyone00 said...

So, will there be a fuse box count in the next The Thing videos?

Bellarius said...

Heh, i'm surprised you didn't joke about the pirate "YARRR!" yell during the final battle.

E. Wilson said...

I initially mis-read the title as "Starscream", and thought this was going to be the greatest Transformers crossover since they fought Cthulu.

A combination of the scraggly hair, vacant eyes, and wide smile makes the Thing look like it's drugged out of its mind in this book.

Have you ever had the opportunity to read a short-story called "The Things?" It's the Carpenter movie told from the alien's perspective, and pretty interesting.

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/watts_01_10/

The Monocle Man said...

Here's a thought:

the last two "Silent Hill" storylines were both tied to the main storyline.

First, it was that Dolorem was tied to the forces controlling Silent Hill...somehow.

In the second, it turned out that Wheatley was the cultist who killed Margaret, and that he worshipped the Entity.

So...how is the plot of John Carpenter's "The Thing" gonna be tied to the current storyline? Is the Gunslinger collecting magic guns in the hope of finding a weapon that can destroy the Thing? Is the Gunslinger the Thing in human form? Was the fat wizard from before infected with the Thing (it would certainly explain his "no such thing as evil wizards" bullshit)?

Or maybe the little girl we saw wasn't Margaret at all. Maybe she was a little girl infected with the Thing. Maybe the cause of Linkara's power loss had nothing to do with him "going evil" (which I also found to be bullshit) to begin with...

Captain Haddock said...

You know, if we are gonna have a "the people around Linkara are gonna be absorbed by the Thing", I hope we have the Thing kill Spoony and then absorb it. It would be a perfect way to have an in-story explanation for Spoony's departure.

Same thing with Iron Liz. It good be cool if she came back only to find out that the Thing absorbed her, and that the Thing killed Liz a long time along, thus finally giving an in-story explanation for Liz's departure.

FugueforFrog said...

Muppet Thing...that's going to leave a mark for the year.

Weirdly I saw the original "Thing from Another World" before the Carpenter one, which I saw last year. I think the original movie was just as much about facing the unknown and gave off the idea of an unstoppable monster that couldn't be reasoned with and was essentially a living vegetable. It's not as freaky as the '82 film but I do like it and it was probably one of the most sophisticated sci-fi movies of it's time, up there with some of George Pal's early live-action films like "War of the Worlds" or "When Worlds Collide". In some ways it looked like both movies took from "Who Goes There?" and did their own thing with it if this was the adaptation of it. The 50s version took the early part of the story about the alien found in a frozen wasteland and did it's own thing with it, while the 80s version was more authentic keeping the horrifying idea from the later part of the tale that it could be anyone and the paranoia brought about with a monster that can hide so easily for the sake of it's own survival.

Sort of surprised you didn't use the "watch the skiis" bit from "The Simpsons" (a parody of the original movie's final line)...but with the month's end, I could see that as the epilogue for some reason.

andrei imell said...

Linkara, i just wanted to let you know that your opening monologue to this review has just cemented you place as one of my favorite reviewer's on the internet, as you can probably guess john carpenters the thing is one of my favorite movies of all time, and you doing a month dedicated to it has me jumping up and down with joy.

Keep up the good work :)

Dragons Dusk said...

I feel bummed I've never gotten to see the '82 version of The Thing, something I plan to try and correct soon.

This was an interesting comic, and a nice hook at the end for the month's events.

Anonymous said...

Oh crap, and it's the Thing.

Not really a fan of horror unless it was like Doctor Who or Ghostbusters.

In fact I'm truly a wuss to it all, heck I'm acrophobic( unless I'm in motion ala roller coaster) and Herpaphobic ( unless it's a turtle oddly enough.)

Even more so, my Mom's birthday is Halloween.

The review is fine and the thermite stuff was fantastic.

I love the new joke clip from Who's line.

DarkSeraphim said...

Oh man I love horror! I am a total wuss but I love being scared...except with spiders. Those evil eight legged bastards can stay the hell away from me. *shudders* Clowns too...well, the Tim Curry variety anyway *hugs Boffo* A fabulous review as ever! The Thing is my favorite film! The John Carpenter version of course.

Mr.Evil said...

Huh. Never realized they did a comic remake. You learn a new thing each day.

As for the movies, the first was okay (good ol' Vegetable Frankenstein), the John Carpenter version was brillant, and the prequel was... Dear God, the prequel. It's not just bad, it's bad storytelling.

It would take far too long to describe the various plot failures of the prequel, but here's one of the big ones *Spoilers, dud*: toward the end of the movie, one of the Things flees to the crashed alien ship... and powers it up so it can burn through the ice and take off.

Digest that for a moment. The whole reason for the Thing's existance on the planet is that the ship crashed and COULDN'T TAKE OFF. If the ship actually landed well enough that it had power, then A) the Thing wouldn't be escaping the ship and freezing in the process, and B) the ship WOULD BE TAKING OFF AND LEAVING THE PLANET. This one plot point alone is so idiotic that it renders the prequel dis-canon just on general principle.

Arianne said...

Creepy background music is creepy.
Never saw either versions of the Thing though. I do wonder how is this month is going to play out with the current storyline.I'll just wait and see.

Christa Kelly said...

Was that a Cinema Snob reference when you took off your glasses?

Great review.

Taylor -Schmitty- Scheid said...

Okay, Linkara, you caused me to have a total fangirl moment with that Whose Line UK clip.

My hat is off to you and your good taste, sir. :D

Hawkx1 said...

Oh Linkara has Silent Hill taught you nothing when the lights flicker in October it's NEVER GOOD!

Anonymous said...

Linkara, THANK YOU for this point about character behavior. This is why I so dislike Prometheus compared to Alien. In Alien the characters behave intelligently for the most part. In Prometheus they do not. However whenever I point this out I am instantly attacked by people who say 'you just wanted it to be exactly the same as Alien' when in fact I didn't. I wanted it to be as intelligent as Alien.

So thank you for this. Criticizing a movie for being filled with foolish characters (with the possible exception of some types of comedy) should never be taken as a sign that you 'just didn't get it'.

Brendan said...

I never saw any of the Thing movies or read "Who Goes There?", but this episode actually has me interested in seeing them.

I'm mostly interested in the black and white one, though. That looks more to my tastes, but I'll probably check out the 80s version and the book, too.

BTW who wishes they'd do a cross-over between "Who Goes There?" and "Fantastic Four" just so we can see The Thing fight The Thing?

Magnaz said...

Linkara, I'm glad to know somebody else liked Yugioh GX.

babyhenchy said...

John Carpenter's The Thing, I believe, is the ULTIMATE horror film. Every scene is meant to build suspense and create tension and sometimes it's paid off, sometimes not but it never lets up and even 30 years later, there's still so much uncertainty. Even the payoffs only increase the fear and tension.

Take one of my favorite scenes and one of the only jump scares that scares me every time I see it. Where Fuch's light goes out and he lights a candle and kicks a can and all of a sudden you see...something go by making some kind of...sound. Who or what it was is a mystery and the sound it makes is so alien and unnatural that it sends a chill down my spine everytime I watch it.

The prequel seemed to go more for the physical side of the horror and almost completely overlooked the psychological.

I hope that muppet won't stick in my head and ruin the horror when I rewatch the movie for Halloween this year.

JB said...

The guy shooting BURN is actually holding the R rather than the U. How can one even pronounce that ?

A bit of a plot hole with them worrying about a possible infection while McReady already created an opening by shoving a pickaxe in the Thing's skull (Dude, you could have punctured the head of an american legend here...)

Lizard-Man said...

Hey I just noticed, you have Persepolis on your shelf back there! Cool, nice to see some non-superhero stuff on your wall so to speak.

Any chance we'll see you talk about it when you get to Holy Terror? Comparing depictions of Muslims and the like?

Master Control Cynic said...

Uhhh, that's kind of how they describe it in the short story.......

The three red eyes, the tentacles on the head. If you want to see a better DRAWING of it google "The Thing drawn by Barlowe." It takes the same ASPECTS but a WHOLLY different design.

Unknown said...

No mention of the video game? come on Linkara you got time since it is a month all about the thing(also it's on PC).
Also magnesium based not magnesium proper.

The whole ranting about what the prequel did wrong (especially the mistrust issue) seems kinda meh to me as there's no reason beside for your/the viewer's entertainment to have them mistrust between the cultures. Especially, in a time where trust is both your greatest ally (You have to trust that someone else isn't infected) and greatest enemy(the person you trust may be the thing). Also having not everyone be whip cracking smart works, because not everyone is A.going to rationally take an alien infestation B. mentally prepared to take the blow of watching their friends ripped apart/become inhuman. C.

Also, there is few profoundly stupid characters moment when Garry kills the rifle man. While the Rifle man did graze Bennings, he was clearly after the dog for a good reason. Garry just puts him down, no questions asked and they just let the dog in.

Anonymous said...

I was about to say the thing looked like the 3eyed squeeze toy aliens and then you said it for me great review Linkara can't wait till next week

Smallhacker said...

I'm a Swede, but the differences between the Scandinavian countries are minimal. That being said, I have a comment about your statement regarding Norwegians and English.

While I agree that your idea of having a language barrier sounds good from a story standpoint, it's not really that realistic. As already pointed out by Alexander Nevsky, English is kind of a big deal around here, playing pretty significant role in everyday life, resulting in a lot of exposure to it.

However, the main thing I wish to point out is that these people are - presumably - scientists. For most higher educations, a solid grasp of English is a requirement, with some courses often being taught in English, not to mention a lot of the textbooks being in English.

Even if we ignore that, scientists often read and write papers to learn about and publish new findings, which is also in most cases done in English, seeing as it's the lingua franca of science and all that.

Lastly, once one has a sufficiently steady grasp of English to get through a higher education and become a scientist, one doesn't just forget it overnight. Sure, not using English for several years will likely make it deteriorate somewhat, but not to the point where you can't get basic concepts across.

So yeah, I'm not disagreeing with your opinions or anything, but I believe you're underestimating the power, influence and importance of English in the modern world. :)

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Also, there is few profoundly stupid characters moment when Garry kills the rifle man. While the Rifle man did graze Bennings, he was clearly after the dog for a good reason. Garry just puts him down, no questions asked and they just let the dog in."

See, I don't think that's stupid at all. All that they knew was that a crazy guy was lobbing grenades and shooting a rifle at a dog to the point where he didn't care who he was hurting and they couldn't understand a word he was saying. At that point, there's no reasoning with him - you put him down before he injures or kills the rest of your people.

CuriousAbra said...

Something to note is spacecraft heat up on re-entry because they are transferring their kinetic energy into heat energy (via friction with the air). And when you're going 25,000 kilometers per hour...that's a lot of heat energy.

The pertinent point though is the alien craft could've had some kind of anti-gravity device onboard, such that it didn't have to convert its kinetic energy into heat to slow itself.

Anyway, I'm surprised you didn't get more angry at these supposed 'scientists' being so cavalier with extracting the single most amazing find in the whole of human history. "Hey, this thing will get us all Nobel prizes and have our names be remembered forever! We should really be carefu-...nah, Frank, go get the thermite! Let's melt some shit!"

GG Crono said...

Hey Linkara, have you ever read The Things? It's a short story that's a retelling of The Thing, from the Thing's point of view. If not, check it out.

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/watts_01_10/

ultrakirby64 said...

You missed the perfect clip chance Linkara! You could have used the scene from Spoony's The thing review where one of the squad started to randomly dance!

Anonymous said...

here's a thought
what if it indeed attacked the plated of the LGM's before landing on Earth, and this was just one of them absorbed!

doesn't sound as funny anymore

Anonymous said...

hum.. so why do they conclude the thing crashed on earth 10 million years ago? could have been a former earth civilization?! and why "10 million years ago"? they just guessed? and i might be wrong- but when DID antarctica become the frozen wasteland it is now? i think it still was a nice forest back then. actually im pretty sure it was..

and of course i read "starscream".. *sniff*

Gonzo said...

Would anyone else buy a plushie of the Thing? Because I would totally buy a plushie of the Thing.

Anonymous said...

I know others have said it, but I have to confess as well: I misread the title as "Starscream" as well. Though if there's a sequel to this, you'd have an excuse to go "You failed me again, Starstream."

Antagonist said...

Basing an entire month on The Thing, I see?

Eh, this is just me, but I always thought the John Carpenter movie was kind of overrated. Don't get me wrong. It's still a good movie, but I'm reluctant to call it a "masterwork" as you put it. FX aside, the movie was hardly scary, it moved at a snail's pace, and except for Kurt Russl's character, none of the other characters were all that interesting. Also, it had one of the worst climaxes I've seen in a movie.

That said, I still agree with you on how well the Carpenter movie did suspense and atmosphere. Plus the soundtrack was great, too.

Great review as always. Along with ths and Long Box of the Damned, you're really pulling out all the stops this October. Keep it up!

Ming said...

And a new Halloween storyline begins. Kudos to Nash for the title card animation and to you for the old style John Carpenter credits font at the end.

Nice rundown of the three Thing films (50s film, iconic 80s film, and crappy "prequel"). I think the 80s film is the best adaptation of the short story because of its grim tony, atmosphere of paranoia, and uncertainty over whether or not the Thing is truly finished.

Good review of this cheesy comic. This monster design for The Thing in this comic is lame. I think classic Doctor Who, Star Trek the Original Series, and Lost in Space could do better than that!

9ansean said...

I looked up three eyed muppet and found this for you:
http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Thudge_McGerk?file=Thudgemcgerk.jpg
This my first post on this site. Usually I post on tgwtg, but I wanted to see if could add here.

Ed said...

Was that "glasses off" bit a nod to the Snob?

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Was that "glasses off" bit a nod to the Snob?"

Pretty much - an indication that I had gone out of character.

Le Messor said...

See, I'm not convinced that's its original form. Sure, it took the same form when it burned - but maybe it was going through its older forms, like the T-1000 did in the molten metal.

I'm surprised a Trek fan such as yourself didn't make any Odo jokes.

The most paranoid being the ones who are the Thing is not a bad way to throw off suspicion.

"BTW who wishes they'd do a cross-over between "Who Goes There?" and "Fantastic Four" just so we can see The Thing fight The Thing?"

Throw in a bit of the Addams Family, and you might just have something!

Le Messor said...

P.S. You probably know this, but the exclamation marks in dialogue are actually a tech issue, of all things.

Y'see, due to the printing processes, they couldn't be sure anything as small as a full stop would be visible in the final product - so they used bigger punctuation.
!

Robin Adams said...

Interesting! When I saw John Carpenter's film, I never thought about the original form of the Thing; I assumed the Thing was an alien virus. I'll have to track down the short story now.

Taranaich said...

Regarding the form of The Thing:

It was face up there on the plain, greasy planks of the table. The broken half of the bronze ice-ax was still buried in the queer skull. Three mad, hate-filled eyes blazed up with a living fire, bright as fresh-spilled blood, from a face ringed with writhing, loathsome nest of worms, blue, mobile worms that crawled where hair should grow -

So yeah, as Master Control Cynic said, Wayne Barlowe's interpretation is far weirder and creepier than the muppet in the comic.

The entire story can be read here, and I highly recommend it:

http://www.outpost31.com/books/who.txt

pandamonium said...

You know what's disgusting? They hired the best in animatronics and prosthetics to make the effects initially. They were AMAZING. In the end, the story still would've sucked due to crappy writing, but the monster would've been MUCH scarier (see here: http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=fBzpT7VmSaU )

I'm just curious how he was able to figure out that the Thing's blood would react to harm, such as a flame. Our blood is made of cells that are technically "alive", but they don't leap away from flame. I can understand that EVENTUALLY one might come to the conclusion that a being that can merge with others would probably be alive and animate down to the smallest cell, but they don't go through those deductions before reaching the conclusion. In this, some mad doctor just manages to concoct a brilliant test in one of those so-mad-it-just-might-work moments.

It'd actually be pretty terrifying if some of the men in that trio--the final line-up--WEREN'T infected, just tired of being hassled and constantly being under scrutiny. That way they couldn't just assume that anyone untested MUST be infected.