In an almost unprecedented event the entire distribution since the 1982s The thing meets at Texas Frightmare Weekend this spring inclusive director John Carpenter. His classic film turned 40 this year, and most of the cast is getting together to celebrate the milestone.
You can find a full guest list below, and except for those who are no longer with us, it reads like a trading card checklist of people associated with the film.
A particularly large presence absent from the list is McReady it, Kurt Russell. The actor, now 71, is the centerpiece of the film, second only to Rob Bottin’s incredible practical effects, which are still game-changers for horror movies today.
Of course, there are also Outpost 31 members who died in real life. E.g, Wilfred Brimley who played Dr. Blair died in 2020. Richard Dysart as Dr. Copper put it in 2015, Charles Hallahan (Vance Norris) died in 1997 and Donald Moffat (Gary) left the mortal world in 2018.
TK Carter who played Chef Nauls and is still alive, is not listed as one of the alumni appearing at this reunion.
The thing had a rough first run at the box office. For whatever reason, the film was not well received by critics. Roger Ebert said at the time: The thing it was a “disappointment” due to its implausible characterizations and the unrealistic choices made by the doctors at the arctic outpost. Ebert wrote“‘The thing“It’s basically just a nerd show, a terrible movie that teenagers can dare each other to watch.”
But let’s cut Ebert some slack, he probably hadn’t seen special effects to this extent since the Exorcist, which he called, one of the “best films of its kind ever made”. That was nine years ago The thing. Maybe the gross-out factor of the Exorcist they desensitized it because there are some really questionable choices made by people in that movie.
Oh, but there was that criticism from the director of the 1951 original, Christian Nyby, who said of Carpenter’s remake: “If you want blood, go to the slaughterhouse. All in all, it’s a great advert for J&B Scotch.”
Fortunately, Carpenter’s knocks once turned to praise The thing hit the videotape rental market. There it became a cult favorite and was critically reevaluated, finding new grace among those who saw it as a breakthrough rather than a sci-fi trope.
There will certainly be some very special anecdotes about The thing once the cast gathers for this 40th anniversary at Texas Frightmare Weekend.
Here is the guest list so far:
Peter Maloney as Bennings
Thomas Waites as Windows
Joel Polis as Fuchs
David Clennon as Palmer
Richard Masur as Clark
Keith David as Childs
John Carpenter May 26-28
For more information on Texas Frightmare Weekend, check them out website.