It is a tradition to watch “The Thing” on the day the last plane leaves the South Pole. We watch both the original 1951 version and John Carpenter’s 1982 version. I find both of them pretty bad. Bad enough in fact to make watching them enjoyable, if only for the unintended comical moments.
The original version is actually set in the Arctic and there is a female on Station, quite remarkable for the 50s, considering that the Air Force fought tooth and nail to not let any females set foot on Antarctica for a long time. Only in 1969 did the first women arrive at the South Pole. The dialog is as corny as it gets and there are some hilarious quotes (Lt. Ken McPherson: “What if he can read our minds?”, Eddie: “He’ll be real mad when he gets to me.” or the last lines by Ned “Scotty” Scott: “Watch the skies, everywhere! Keep looking. Keep watching the skies!”).
John Carpenter’s version is just a gore fest which unsurprisingly tanked at the box office and didn’t win much favor with the critics in 1982, the same year E.T. was released. It now has a bit of a cult following, as these kind of movies do.
Now to the point of this post: All winter-overs and hardcore fans now have a chance to own The Thing. The original creature prop from the 1982 movie is up for auction on EBay. The bid is at $3549 and I think the Antarctic Program should buy The Thing out of the recreation budget. Imagine all the fun we could have for years to come …