So this movie, unlike the last two, I did not see when I was young. I didn’t witness this triumph until I was a senior in high school.
Growing up I had always been a horror and sci fi movie fan. Party due to the thrill of being scared but mostly due to the nudity! This being a time before the internet made that little thrill a very big deal in my circle.
I remember specifically seeing it on the video rental place walls like so many times growing up. Everytime I noticed it I would be like “Hmmm that looks interesting. I must find out what menacing acts that large man with no face standing in frozen exploding ice is up to!” But just as I’d go to grab it something inside me would sway my hand to grab “Aliens”, “Jason”, “Freddy”, “Chucky”, or any other highly violent, profanity, and nudity laden film that my ten year old self should not have been watching.
The day finally came when I was like “you know what, I’m gonna rent that movie and figure out what that dude on the front with no face is all about and that’s final!”
Let me give you a little background on me. My senior year of college was a momentous year for me to say the least. Nothing bad really happened but I seemed to be insanely stressed about it all the same. I had my future college locked down, I was continuing to get good grades, I had no girls remotely interested in me, so life was essentially pretty freaking sweet. But for whatever reason, every little thing in the entire universe stressed me out beyond belief. And this stress made me worry that other people, like strangers, my best friends, family, dogs, babies, you name it, would notice how stressed I was about everything and think less of me. So that acted as a multiplier and somehow convinced me to try and hide this stress which only compounded it further.
So needless to say, my senior year of high school was a doozie and this movie came at a very momentous, sensitive, and formative time for me.
One strategy I employed to avoid further embarrassment from my peers was hanging out with my younger brother Jon and his friends. They were nice kids. A little too into video games and anime for my taste but none seemed to notice my overall lack of mental stability so it put me at ease to hang out with people who I didn’t feel could judge me even if they were in a judging contest, judged by judgemental judgementalists three towns over or whatever.
Plus, and even though my younger brother was now six feet five inches and weighed a hefty two twenty, if they ever lipped off, I could easily beat up him and say two to five of his friends at the same time. Which I regularly did just to show them who was boss. #Me
We sit down to watch the movie and I pour a big glass of my favorite beverage “Arizona Stress Tea” which they have since discontinued. Likely because I stopped mainlining it. Now keep in mind this was before I started drinking the brownest of the brown liquors. I had drank before this many a time, but it never connected that “hey this might help you to shake some incredibly negative frame of mind for however fleeting and small a period of time.” So Stress Tea was my best bet and supporter at the moment.
The movie starts, it’s super brooding and the landscape is epic as shit. We are immediately entranced with this film and I can tell it’s different in all the right ways. I love Kurt Russell. Think everything he does is underrated. I love aliens. I love sci fi. And I love eighties movies. So we’re ten minutes into this movie and I am in love!
I notice my glass is empty so I fill it up. Each trip to the kitchen I can’t take my eyes off the screen. Even my brother and his nerdlinger friends are entranced and they usually try to play Magic The Gathering or some other equally panty drying game while we watch.
I drink it down. Then another. Then another. Then another. Until all of a sudden I feel clear headed, confident, myself, and frankly fucking fantastic!
The movie continues hitting all the right notes and I start getting really excited. I have been told my excitement and enthusiasm is quite contagious so I notice Jon’s buddies really getting into the movie as well.
We’re screaming at the gotchas and yelling at the badassery that comes with everything that Kurt Russell does.
By the time the movie ends, I’d swear on a stack of bibles this was my favorite film of all time and would be onto infinity. But the fun wouldn’t stop there. I was feeling so good I convinced all these high school freshmen dweebs to accompany me on a late night drive to Steak and Shake and god knows where else.
I was on a roll the whole rest of the night. Messing with the cashier, getting delicious food, getting esteemed laughs with every sentence that came out of mouth. Having a fucking awesome time.
This high I received from the incredible film “The Thing” lasted for about a week. Then it crashed and burned and I was right back to where I started. This bi-weekly up and down emotional rollercoaster would last until I started college and discovered the amazing “healing” effects of alcohol. Though eventually I kicked that habit and had much more luck with diet/exercise/yoga/meditation 🙂
This movie is fantastic! It came out at the perfect time before CG ruined everything. (Fuck you Transformers!) The puppetry and gooey special effects to this day are my favorite (outside of Alien/s of course). It’s fun, it’s cool, it makes you think and it has Kurt Russell at the top of his game.
Go watch this movie! It pairs nicely with a glass of Arizona Stress Tea and three to five non-threatening friends.
And if your non-threatening friends and you are also interested in hearing my screenplay read out loud by real actors you can come to The Annoyance Theater 851 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL on Sunday Aug 9, 2015 from 5:30 PM to 7 PM. Or if you are not in Chicago you can watch the Periscope live broadcast.
Thanks for reading!