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Product: The Thing: Collector's Edition
Company: Warner
Review By: Byron Hinson
Price: $20:99

Aspect Ratio Regional Information DVD Disc Details
2.35 : 1

1 : USA
Closed Captioning: CC
Master format: Film
Sides: 1 (SS-RSDL)
Chapter stops: 45
Average Bit Rate: 6.5
Running Time: 127 Mins


Sound: English English Commentary






I have been a long-time fan of all John Carpenter movies, yes even Big Trouble In Little China, but The Thing was the first Carpenter movie I ever saw. The moody lighting, great acting, special effects and music drew me into the film and it has remained one of my all time favorites movies ever since. This 'Collector's Edition' DVD not only comes with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, but also a whole bunch of special features.

The Thing stars Kurt Russell in the role of MacReady, A.Wilford Brimley as Blair and Donald Moffat as Garry. Kurt Russell is excellent in the lead role of alcoholic MacReady, it is one of the few roles he has been really good in (Breakdown not included).

The plot goes as follows. In the winter of 1982, a twelve-man research team (don't know what they were actually doing there in the first place) at a remote Antarctic research station discovers an alien buried in the snow for over 100,000 years. Soon unfrozen, the form-changing alien wreaks havoc, creates terror and becomes one of them. "The Thing" is a shapeshifter, and it can change to any organic form it likes. And its really, really hard to kill. Dr Blair gradually goes mad while calculating all of the possibilities for a take-over by such an alien lifeform. The remaining team members become weary of one another, as it is almost impossible to detect where the alien could be.

How It Grades
  Picture Quality: 85%
Sound: 91%
Special Features: 92%
Movie Overall: 94%
DVD Overall: 91%


The movie is excellent, John Carpenter manages to blend together the perfect amount of tension, action and gore, while not being as scary as Halloween.

Now onto the actual DVD itself...The quality of the picture is wonderful, far, far higher in quality than I ever imagined it would be, if you have ever seen "The Thing" on TV or Video you really haven't seen it. The white, blue and red colours are stunning, as the movie is set in the Antarctic you'll see a lot of snow, ice and fire. The gorier parts of the movie stand out, Rob Bottin's special effects seem to be highly enhanced on this DVD.

The soundtrack has been completely remastered in Dolby Surround 5.1 and is as expected amazing if you have the full speaker set-up. There isn't any of the usual noisy video or any out of place loud speech/music, everything is perfectly set-up. (Morricone's musical soundtrack is also on a hidden audio track of the disc; for those who'd like to access it.

From the main menu, go to Bonus Materials.
                    Select the Terror Takes Shape documentary.
                    Activate the Language Selection button.
                    Press Music Score!)

There are a number of bonus extras packed onto this DVD, they include an great documentary "The Thing: Terror Takes Shape" which features Carpenter, Russell, Cundey and many other members of the cast, they go into great detail explaining film, special effects etc. The running commentary is also well made, with Carpenter and Russell discussing all aspects of the movie and for once on a DVD, never boring you to death with pointless dribble.

The DVD also includes various outtakes from "The Thing" and once you view them, I think you will be glad they never made it into the movie. There were a couple of things that disappointed me about the DVD, no 16X9 enhancements, and I would have also liked to see the script of the movie on the CD, but they can be forgiven. Overall....this is one of the best DVD's currently available, not only in terms of picture and sound quality, but also with the amount of added bonus features.


Specs & Package
Overall Score 91%
Release Date Out Now
In The Box? 1 DVD
1 Inlay Card
Special Features Running Commentary with Kurt Russell and director John Carpenter. John Carpenter's THE THING: Terror Takes Shape, an 80-minute original documentary, featuring interviews with John Carpenter, Kurt Russell, special effects make-up designer Rob Bottin, legendary matte artist Albert Whitlock, plus many other members of the cast, crew and special effects team.

Also Featuring:

- Never-before-seen stop motion animation footage cut from the film.

-Exclusive work-in-progress visual effects footage.

-Behind-the-scenes location footage. Original Theatrical trailer. Outtakes from the film. Behind-the-scenes photographs. Storyboards and conceptual art. Annotated production archive. Hidden Musical Score

The Good Points Excellent story
Well acted
Lots of extras
The Bad Points Not Anamorphic
Memorable Scenes  
Back Of The Box (Click to enlarge)
Reviewers DVD & PC Setup Pentium II 450
Windows 98 Second Edition
128 Meg SD-Ram
Matrox G400 32MB AGP Graphics Card
DirectX 7a
SoundBlaster Live! Value
17" LG Electronics Monitor
Microsoft Force Feedback Pro
Microsoft Game Pad Pro (USB)
Microsoft Digital Sound System 80
Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer

DVD TV Player - Pioneer DV-626D
Widescreen TV - Sony KV-28WS2U 28"
DVD-ROM: Toshiba SD-1202


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