CREEPY CLASSICS presents...
Every weekend we're watching movies together...whether you're in Pennsylvania USA, or Sydney Australia. It's a throwback! Back to the days when you had the anticipation for waiting till the weekend to see the classic horror or science fiction film that was listed in the TV Guide. The plan is to watch a movie at 7:30PM on Saturday night in your own time zone. Or, if you can't Saturday night...anytime during the weekend. Then, we'll all get together and e-mail our thoughts on the film...a few paragraphs...or simply a sentence if you'd like. They after-viewing reviews appear on our Creepy Classics/Monster Bash News Page. See the latest thoughts posted by viewers ther now.
Concept submitted by Mike Adams of Carteret, New Jeresey.
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Creepy Classics Spotlight Movie Last Weekend - THE THING (1951)
Every week, readers here are selecting a movie to view...then we all try to watch it together utilizing our DVD/video library. This past Saturday night, many of us watched THE THING (1951). This was suggested by The Monster Bash Conference, Butler, PA. Details about movie nights to come are HERE. Please include your name and location after your comments, so we can see how we're all joining together from diffeent locals around the globe! Let's all Synch-Up Saturday nights at 7:30PM, or catch it sometime over the weekend!
This was a different viewing. It was rolling on the big screen at MONSTER BASH 2010, outside under the stars...echoing through the woods in Butler, PA. This movie is my favorite science fiction film. Great characters, great acting, great directing, great monsters...and it really makes youthin about other lifeforms...out there. At this screening, there were green flying saucers that lit up through the woods behind the screen at different heights and distance at the ending speech - "Keep watching the skies."
Then the final scene was re-enacted live next to the creen as the credits rolled as "The Thing" (played by Dan Weber and made-up by Jill of Ballhoo Produtions) was backlit by spotlights...creating that image of the silhoutted monster. Dan, with lifts and head piece was an imposing 6' 7" of vegetable monster. Complete with a pleading doctor (that was swatted aside) payed by Shawn Isreal. Monster Bash's Bob Pellegrino and yours truly were in leather jackets with axe and 4X4. The 4X4 was picked up by the thing after it was flung at him and he jumped on a wood planking. He chased the leather jacketed air force men back into the Days Inn conference center and all heck broke loose! What fun with a favorite movie.
-Ron Adams, Ligonier, PA
Ken Blose, Mexico
It's been said many times before, and for good reason, that what sets this movie apart from other 50's Sci-Fi films is the emphasis it puts on it's humans, not it's monster. Granted, James Arness is most impressive as the imposing thorned hand invader from the planet where the vegetables set the rules, but it's the cast of his would be victims who steal the show. I can't think of another sci fi or horror film that gives us such an enjoyable ensemble of characters. The harsh arctic weather that surrounds the lonely outpost is juxtaposed by the warmth that is radiated by the people within. One is invited within the ranks of the crew that is made up by scientists, the military, a cook and a journalist, and it's not such a bad place to be....until the ice melts!
Here's where the fun begins. This wonderful cast is now in danger, and we fear for them. I've said often that what really can hurt a movie in our favorite genre is when we have no love or concern for it's characters. I think that was one of the things (no pun) that hurt John Carpenter's remake. I could not bond with a single character. Please be aware, I do like Carpenter's version very much, and in no way do I wish to do it injustice. But, back to this version's characters, Kenneth Tobey is suddenly cast into the role he was made for...."monster fighter!" ,and its a role he accepts without hesitation. It's a testament to his devotion to his role as a leader and protector of his subordinates, as well as the civilians involved. He is the definitive Sci Fi hero who knows his duty and does it. His men follow without question, showing that this is more than good soldiers listening to their superior, it's men fighting for the life of their friends. The eggheads who act in the name of science are a great little snag for our brave soldiers. They are a minor menace compared to the other one that waits outside in the snow, but they do make things (no pun) interesting. Margaret Sheridan adds a great feminine touch as Tobey's would be love interest, and Douglas Spencer is amazing as Scotty the news man. He is a bit less wise cracking and a bit more sensible than other reporters, which elevates our respect for him. His final speech still gives me goosebumps, and boy did it give me goosebumps this past Saturday night as he instructed us to "keep watching the skies" and I looked up and saw the flying saucers suspended from the trees (a great Ron Adams Bash touch), and then lifted my eyes further up to the skies themselves and wondered how much longer before we are actually visited.
One last note, Dimitri Tiomkin's score (along with Bernard Herrmann's score for The Day the Earth Stood Still) helped define what Sci Fi music truly should be. When I was a boy my father used to tell me how good this movie was and to keep my eyes open for it. He told me one night he went to see it at the local theater, and then went right to work to handle the midnight shift. In the middle of the night there was a power failure. I know the area where he was working at the time, and to this day it's still a very lonely place. His co-worker, who also happened to be his brother in law, started in saying, "hey Georgie I think it's the Thing and he's comin' ta get ya" My father's reply "hey Julie get the hell outta here ,will ya!" He probably tried to put up a brave face, but I believe he may have been a bit nervous....I know I would have been.
Have great week ...see you on Saturday.
Hey Everybody, Hope You Made It To The Bash and Enjoyed Yourselves! - I KNOW I DID! - Somehow it seems like THE BASH takes forever to get here and THEN - WOOSH!- Before you know it the show and the weekend is over!- I really thought Saturday evening`s festivities rocked BIG-TIME! (and to start it all off was the BIG drive-in screening of this classic 1950`s film thriller!) It sure was nice that the weather held up and the pre-Three Stooges pie-throwing contest was a HOOT!- followed by a fun DAFFY DUCK Warner Brothers classic cartoon short! But once that GREAT BLAZING TITLE IN WHITE LETTERS SHOWED ITSELF WE ALL KNEW WE WERE IN FOR A SCARY TREAT! (there`s nothing like watching a scary flick with hundreds of other movie fiends while munching on pizza!)
Anyway, here are a few quick observations that I have about this ultimate science-fiction classic! (By the way, I watched it again Monday evening as well): 1) This film is wonderfully directed by Christian Nyby (although it DEFINITELY bears the trademarks of a Howard Hawks film production (I.E. PRACTICAL, PROBLEM-SOLVING MEN, STRONG-WILLED,SEXY WOMEN AND STRONG, SNAPPY AND OVERLAPPING AS WELL AS HUMOROUS DIALOGUE.) Some of this film`s success must go to Charles Lederer, who wrote the script with Howard Hawks in about 4 1/2 days (pretty quick, heh??!!) 2) The wonderful, intelligent overlapping dialogue between all of the characters in this tense thriller is ONE of the big reasons why this film still really shines brightly today and this type of conversation usage is really rare for this type of film (especially back when this came out in 1951!) 3) Margaret Sheridan really does a nice job in the lead female role in this one- potraying a woman (Nikki Nicholson) who appears to be in full control of herself and her emotions- whether confronted by a boyfriend (Captain Pat Hendry-who is played wonderfully by the great Kenneth Tobey!) who is giving her "the business" or by a blood-drinking vegetable monster from outer space! - And on top of it, SHE is the one who comes up with the idea of how to stop and destroy the menace! --"Boil It, Stew It, Bake It, Fry It"- Way To Go Young Lady!- Margaret Sheridan`s role and performance in this film set a standard for all future women heroines in sci-fi/horror films to come! 4) Kenneth Tobey was NEVER BETTER in a science fiction/horror film (he exhibits equal parts of tenderness, caring and humor ALONG with urgency, fear and anger) when confronted with the alien menace from beyond the stars.His role here, also in many ways, set the standard for the tough male hero in scores of future genre films to come! 5) I LOVE DOUGLAS SPENCER IN THIS MOVIE!!!! -- In many ways, he is given the best and juiciest lines in this film AND I love how he starts off playing a "TOUGH" wisecracking newspaper reporter in the beginning of the movie only to pass out and FAINT! at the climax of the film! (When the creature has disintegrated from the arcs of electricity shrinking it) GUESS YOU WEREN`T SO TOUGH, HUH SCOTTY??!! By the way, he utters my favorite line from this film! - "An Intellectual Carrot!" "The Mind Boggles" 6) No discussion of this film would be complete without mentioning the wonderful, eerie, intense and disturbing film score by the great Dimitri Tiomkin (especially in the scenes when the alien is attacking the men/dogs) This film would not have the same impact without it! 7) Robert Cornthwaite, who plays the headstrong, single-minded and obsessed scientist Dr. Arthur Carrington deserves GREAT kudos for his performance in this film!- for he provides the main focus/human conflict when discussing the opposing sides of scientific thought that come about when they discover the body of the alien and ship it back to the camp and then later, when the creature escapes and starts snacking on the residents, forcing the Captain and his men to make a decision to destroy the creature- all against Carrington`s wishes. We all know how this argument ends up- don`t we, folks?! 8) Lastly, we can`t forget about the actor who played "The Thing" itself!- The one and only James Arness! Standing at 6' 6" he towered above the other actors in the cast AND with four inches added to his height with built-up shoes along with that creepy facial make-up- he really made an impact on those audiences who saw this in the theatre back in 1951!
With that being said, I loved the staging of the climax of this one at Saturday`s showing in Butler, P.A.! Seeing Dan Weber as "The Thing" was pretty cool!- and I got a kick out of seeing him chase Ron Adams (dressed complete in his authentic Kenneth Tobey leather bomber jacket-and carrying an axe!) and Bob Pelligrino (with a huge 4x4!) back into the Day`s Inn Hotel! (Talk About A Scarific Ending!) What A Blast! My Rating For "The Thing" (1951): 5/5 stars (This rating doesn`t happen too often!) So until next week fellow Bash mates, when we watch John Agar overact with black contact lenses intact in the cult classic "The Brain From Planet Arous" I wish you a nice trip home to your local abode from Butler, P.A.!
----Dan Brenneis-Strongsville, Ohio- Monster Bash Staff Member And LifeTime FilmFan Extroadinairre.
Thanks for another great Bash! Here's my two cents on the spotlight movie
Wow, what can you say? I think this is a movie that is more than a classic
A lot of times the "love interest" scenes in these movies seems to slow down
Overall I think the best lines came from the reporter Scotty (Douglas
Seeing this on the big screen was also a treat! Overall a great choice for
PS-Ron-during the conference I overheard one of your staffers talking to
You can get the DVD of THE THING (1951) in the Complete DVD Catalog in-line at Creepy Classics.