The Thing

The Thing (1982)

19 corrected entries

(9 votes)

Corrected entry: When Mac, Garry and Nauls are underground, they split up and go alone to separate areas to plant the explosives. They do this instead of staying together despite knowing full well "The Thing" usually attacks a human while they're alone.


Correction: On the other hand if they go plant the explosives together one by one then the thing has plenty of time to disable the explosives right behind them. Sometimes you gotta take risks, if you want to beat this thing knowing it's trying to escape. Stopping it was bigger than their survival.


Corrected entry: If the crew had been trying to contact someone for 2 weeks without success, surely the TV would struggle to receive a signal as well but it appeared to be working fine.

Correction: They only watch their VCR collections.


Corrected entry: Palmer is the second to be infected (if you count Bennings' being licked by dog thing), when the dog creeps up behind Palmer's shadow. And yet Palmer later says things that are inconsistent with a thing: "You gotta be f-ing kidding me," when seeing a new form of a thing as a spider. Even if this were an act in order to fit it with the humans, a thing wouldn't call everyone's attention to a thing trying to escape.

Correction: The Thing imitates humans perfectly, in order to blend in. It doesn't care about other versions of itself, especially small ones. Not drawing attention to the spider thing would only draw more attention to itself. It has much better survival chances when impersonating a human so it will do everything that human does. This includes their way of talking.


Also, he only says it when he notices Windows (I think) saw it.

Corrected entry: When going to the Norwegian camp, MacReady finds several cans marked "kerosin", and thus can easily deduce that they contained kerosene. However, there is no such word in Norwegian. The cans would have been marked with the proper Norwegian word "parafin".


Correction: "Kerosin" is the German word for Kerosine. There's no reason to think all of the camps only used supplies from their own country of origin.

Corrected entry: When MacReady is dictating his log into the tape recorder, in case no one is left alive, he stops the tape player at one point. He then starts the recorder again. If you watch closely, he presses only one button to start it recording. First of all, on these old style recorders, it was necessary to press both play and record at the same time for the machine to record. Not only that, when they show a closeup of him stopping the recording to play it back, both play and record are now depressed, without him having touched the machine again.

wizard_of_gore Premium member

Correction: I thought this was the case too, but if you look closely, you see that when MacCready starts the recording again he does depress both buttons. It's hard to see because of the panning camera shot and the glass of whiskey he's placed on top of the tape recorder, but you can spot that he uses his index finger on the play button and his third finger on the record button.

Corrected entry: MacReady is checking each team member's blood to see if its alien or not. When he gets to Palmer's blood (which leaps out of the petri dish) he makes a face anticipating the special effect.

Correction: He makes the face because he doesn't know who is human and doesn't know how the blood will react to the hot wire.

Corrected entry: In the TV edit, when they are examining the dead Norwegian on the table, he is blatantly blinking his eyes and looking around. Edited out of the normal and DVD versions for obvious reasons.

Correction: Originally, this scene was cut from the movie. Several scenes were cut and then readded in the TV edit, to replace the running length (time). This scene was never supposed to be in the final movie and was not endorsed by the director.

Bruce Minnick

Corrected entry: "There is still cellular activity in these burned remains - they are not dead yet." This hypothesis of Blair turns out to be the horrid truth (when Bennings is the first of the team to be caught by the "Thing"). So, if incineration is no solution, why do the crew members, although being aware of this, keep on torching their "infected" mates? MacReady even blows up Palmer and the final "boss creature" with explosives. Wouldn't this just spread the infection instead of keeping it contained?

Correction: It's not so much that burning doesn't work at all, but you have to be thorough about it. Even if the larger organism has stopped moving and appears to be dead, you still have to make sure all the internals are destroyed in the fire because even small parts of the Thing are deadly and can even function independently. Note that they burn all the Thing carcasses together a second time, and this time they are not in any hurry to put the flame out.


Correction: Burning was the best they could do. Guns, knives and clubs would be useless. Most likely they planned to burn every bit of the Things after finding out who was who, but events got out of control with Blair being a Thing. And when the big creature at the end showed up, MacReady did the only thing he could.

Grumpy Scot

Corrected entry: When the dog/alien first attacks the other dogs in the kennel, Mac come into the room, takes charge of the situation and and orders "Bennings, go get Childs". When Bennings finds Childs, his first words are "Childs, Mac wants the flamethrower". Mac never mentioned a flamethrower. This line helped move the plot quickly forward, but it does not fit.

Bruce Trestrail

Correction: As soon as Mac says Bennings "go get Childs" it cuts immediately to the guys in the hall wondering what is happening. In that time Mac could easily have specified the flamethrowers, they just didn't show it.

Corrected entry: When MacReady and Copper go to the Norwegian base, they find a man with a slit throat. There are icicles of blood hanging from his arms. The guy is frozen solid. How come then, the icicles are more than 6 centimetres long? Surely the blood would have frozen before it gathered up?

Correction: he didn't die from freezing. Obviously, he cut his wrists, or even more likely cut from his wrists all the way up his forearm. Since he didn't 'flash-freeze', the blood began to gather at his arm as he was freezing. Blood is very warm and would've taken longer to freeze than his outer body. As the body was freezing in the extreme cold, the blood gathered and iced over until he was completely frozen.

Corrected entry: When Norris and MacReady are climbing down into the crater that has the spaceship in it, you can see in the right corner of the screen a crewmember climb up, then look startled and drop back down behind the ship. Only visible in the widescreen version. (00:37:30)

Correction: I've looked all over this sequence and can't find the mistake. Does anybody have a screencap or can otherwise confirm?


Corrected entry: In one snow and ice-filled scene, one of the "icicles" is actually swinging back and forth a little, obviously fake.

Correction: The icicle is hanging off a chunk of partially collapsed roof, making swinging perfectly possible.

Grumpy Scot

Corrected entry: When Dr. Copper is trying to revive Norris with the defibrillator, Norris becomes a 'Thing' and his entire chest caves in, becomes a mouth, and rips off Dr. Copper's arms. Watch closely. When Dr. Copper initially breaks through Norris' chest, the teeth on the sides are white and thin, resembling almost canine or shark teeth. When the scene cuts back to Copper's arms being ripped off, the teeth have become large, rough and jagged.

Correction: Everytime we see the Thing, it is constantly changing right before our eyes. Why couldn't it make its teeth bigger?

Grumpy Scot

Corrected entry: At the end of the movie there are only two survivors. They are discussing if either of them is the "thing." Although they are both outside in the frigid cold you can only see Kurt's breath. I assume this makes the other the "thing."

Correction: No because it is demonstrated that a "Thing's" breath is perfectly visible in the cold when the Bennings-Thing moans just before MacReady burns it.

Grumpy Scot

Not so much a correction as a comment...i think Mac shares his bottle with Child's at that point...not a safe thing to do at that point.

Correction: When Childs first arrives at the end, his breath is visible. Also, of note is the fact that Childs still has his earring and gold tooth intact. Now the thing may have known by then that the humans had figured out these things and re-inserted the earring and the tooth, but Childs breath is at the end, just not from the final angle.

Corrected entry: What we first learn from "The Thing" is place and time: "Antarctica, Winter 1982". This, however, makes the several day- and night-sequences depicted in the movie impossible. At the poles, the sun keeps above the horizon for 6 months and below it for another 6 months, so you have exactly one day (the Polar Day) and one night (the Polar Night) per year.

Correction: MacCready says in the film "First Goddamned week of winter", indicating it is not long into the winter cycle. The cycle does not happen instantly. It is not Polar Day, then instantly Polar Night, it is a gradual process, with the days becomeing rapidly shorter, lasting less then an hour at the end. MacCready flys to the Norwegian camp, and arrives back in the dark, meaning that the daylight was probably not long at all.

Soylent Purple

The first day of winter should be the longest night. Solstice. In Antarctica there should be almost no day.

Corrected entry: The second time MacReady and co. visit the Norwegian outpost, they visit the crash site of "The Thing's" massive spacecraft. It has been buried in the snow for millions of years and is some 100 foot beneath snow level. But the ice coffin the Norwegian find "The Thing" in, some distance from the crash site, is buried in, at the most, a few meters of snow.

Correction: At no point in the movie is it referenced to how long the ship has been there. Norris simply says that the ice the ship is buried in is 100,000 years old at least, not millions. The ship crashed into the ice and this could have happened at any time. The ice it crashes into and finally rests in will still be 100,000 years old. Back at base MacReady says that the occupant was thrown out or crawls out and then freezes. If so it would have already been at a higher level than the crater the ship was in . Therefore The Thing would not be buried as deep.


Corrected entry: When Doc uses a computer to watch/simulate dog cells being assimilated by a "thing" cell, we can see a single cell fusing with multiple dog cells to imitate them. This process would lead to the dog being digested until it remains only one cell, and not to the replacement of all of its cells by the imitators. (00:40:30 - 00:41:25)

Correction: The computer simulation isn't showing just one cell taking over an entire dog, but showing how the creature can get the genetic makeup of whatever it touches and replicate it perfectly.


I think it's fair to consider this a goof. John Carpenter states on the director's commentary his goal through this sequence was to demonstrate the life cycle of the Thing, and acknowledges that the visual isn't accurate for that purpose.


Pretty much the entire rest of the movie unfolds as though the simulation showcased the Thing spreading / multiplying: it's followed by text saying the entire human population could become "infected" after a certain amount of time; it's not until after this scene that anyone besides Blair is worried that one or more of them has been taken over. It's a valid movie mistake because the movie itself seems to assume the audience saw something different than what was actually shown.


Corrected entry: The big burly guy with the sweater has a heart attack. When his chest is opened it is soon discovered that he has been assimilated, meaning he was no longer human at that point and would not have had a heart attack.

Correction: The alien entity imitating Vance Norris is faking a heart attack. Vance Norris was replaced by the alien a long time ago.


He definitely isn't faking. He winces from chest pains while he is in a room all by himself, just after he looks out the window and yells "Hey you guys! Come here!" The implication is, like Blair said, when the thing takes over someone it copies them perfectly and also copied Norris' bad heart. It also wouldn't make any sense for him to fake a heart attack at that moment because it caused him to reveal himself to everyone all at once and be killed.


It doesn't take over their bad traits, no need to do that, every single cell of the organism has its own sense of survival, a heart attack wouldn't threaten it. It did fake a heart attack, it's not human, it doesn't use a heart. MacReady was becoming a threat to its survival with the dynamite - the thing wanted to create chaos, and in that way kill them all and eliminate the threat. It lured people close, like the doctor, so he could attack. Besides, it had already copied itself, it was also Palmer.


The chest pains started before Macready came into the building. He definitely wasn't faking a heart attack, he was actually having one. The creature makes a perfect copy of the organism it takes over and because Norris had a bad heart, it also had a bad heart. The creature only reveals itself when it's alone or it has to defend itself. Because the doctor was hurting it with the defibrillator, it was forced to reveal itself.


So you are saying that if the creature had a heart attack alone in a room it would actually die? Why would an actual heart attack threaten a thing that is made up of individual cells that have their own survival instincts? This fact was only revealed after the incident. No, the heart attack wasn't real, it isn't human.


No, I'm not saying the creature would or even could die of a heart attack. I'm saying that the heart attack wasn't faked because the creature made a perfect copy of Norris, including his bad heart. This is all explained after the dog-thing is examined. It has internal organs that look and work just like the creatures it copies. It wouldn't need to fake a heart attack to get people to come closer to it anyway. It can just walk up to anybody it wants to attack. For the entire movie, the creature lies in wait, attacking one person at a time unless it absolutely has no other choice but to defend itself.


I know it's the official explanation given, but I just don't buy it the creature would fail its hidden state so utterly by going into cardiac arrest and drawing attention to itself like that even though every single cell has it own survival instincts. I still say it was the threat of the dynamite, to create confusion. They do think individually or else the dynamite would have worked in it's favor even. It just panicked and did it on purpose.


I think what the movie is saying is that even though each individual cell wants to protect itself, it's still beholden to what particular type of cell it is. So if it's a copy of an eye cell of someone who has bad eyesight, the thing will still have bad eyesight. It didn't know anything about the dynamite when it started having chest pains, that was before Macready even came in.


Corrected entry: Blair shoots 7 times from a Colt Detective Special, which only holds six shots.

Correction: Macready hears a shot while he's checking the chopper. He then runs into the facility, and we don't see Blair. When he finally gets there Blair is standing near a table when he fires the second shot. There was more than enough time for him to load another round between the two shots.

Plot hole: As the gun-toting Norseman approaches the buildings, Garry smashes the single-pane window with his handgun. It is inconceivable that the glazing in a structure near the South Pole would be single-pane glass, that could be broken so easily.

More mistakes in The Thing

Clark: I dunno what the hell's in there, but it's weird and pissed off, whatever it is.

More quotes from The Thing

Trivia: The TV edit of the film differs widely from the theatrical release - lots of footage was purposely edited out, such as when the dead Norwegian on the table blinks, and there is also a narration. Director John Carpenter has publicly stated that he finds the TV edit embarrassing and a disgrace to his movie.

More trivia for The Thing

Question: Was any member of the team aware that they were infected by the creature, or did they not know they were until they began changing?

Answer: The death of Fuchs is probably the best answer to this question, as it appeared that Fuchs burned himself alive before the Thing could assimilate him. It's also possible that Norris suspected he was infected before he transformed. There is a scene in which we see Norris, who is alone, suddenly wince in pain, surprised, and grab at his chest, but he continues functioning normally thereafter. Following the altercation with Mac, Norris collapses and becomes unresponsive, until his chest cracks wide open and bites off Copper's arms. Also, in the blood test scene, Palmer's facial expressions appear to betray his secret, but he was already fully transformed at that point.

Charles Austin Miller

More questions & answers from The Thing

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