The Thing

Trivia: During the blood test scene, there's a poster visible on the wall behind Macready for venereal disease awareness, which bears the tagline "they're not labelled." Quite fitting for a film where no-one is sure who among them is human and who is a shape-shifting monster in disguise.

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.

Trivia: Special Effects legend Stan Winston helped design and led the crew that operated the dog-thing, insisting that he was just assisting Rob Bottin on set.

Erik M.

Trivia: The ruins of the American and Norwegian camps are actually the same set. Carpenter saved $750,000 by only filming the one set with different lighting rather than building a second one.

Trivia: When Dr. Cooper loses both his arms after the Norris-Thing's chest opens into a mouth and bites him, that's really a double-amputee wearing a mask to resemble the actor.

Erik M.

Trivia: Maybe it's just foreshadowing, but if you notice the scenes in the infirmary, the two tables are not operating tables, but portable autopsy tables. There are two of them, but nothing designed for "live" patients. Kind of makes you wonder about Doc's credentials.

Mark Bernhard

Trivia: After Director John Carpenter screened his completed film, the movie studio insisted that he go back and film a scene where MacReady is in a hospital, explaining how he alone survived. Carpenter had to fight to keep the original ending.

Mark Bernhard

Trivia: The Thing is based on a short story called, "Who Goes There?" Director John Carpenter ignored the original film and leaned heavily on the written story, which focuses on the idea that no one knows who's infected and who's not.

Mark Bernhard

Trivia: Universal's first choice to direct was Tobe Hooper, who was under contract and considered a better choice. Hooper even wrote two drafts of the screenplay as a horror-comedy, without the shape-shifting elements. After Carpenter was hired and the film made, co-producer Stuart Cohen reportedly said, "We avoided a disaster." (Sources:, Variety).

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Trivia: The "Blair-Thing" sequence was originally created with stop-motion animation, but a lot of the sequence was cut out since director John Carpenter was not happy with the final result. Carpenter thought it looked too fake so the full scene did not make it into the final cut of the movie.

Trivia: Keith David wore gloves for most of his scenes because he had recently broken his hand in a car accident, so he had to wear gloves to cover the cast.

Trivia: The female voice heard on the computer that MacReady is using to play chess is that of Adrienne Barbeau, director John Carpenter's ex-wife.

Trivia: In the scene after Macready visits the Norwegian base, he is explaining what he saw to everyone. Childs questions what he says calling it voodoo, while Palmer says "Chariots of the Gods, man. They practically taught the Mayans everything they knew." This is in reference to Eric Von Daniken's 1968 book Chariot of the Gods, about ancient aliens being the catalyst for our modern world. (00:39:30 - 00:40:30)

Trivia: In the scene where Mac destroys Palmer with a stick of dynamite, the explosion was much bigger than Kurt Russell had been led to expect. Watch him closely as the explosion occurs. He flinches violently and nearly falls down. It's quite comical.

Grumpy Scot

Trivia: Makeup artist Rob Bottin had a nightmare making the film; he worked for 100 days straight without going home to his family, he slept on the locker room floor of the Universal lot, he had to fight to get all of his designs in the film, and as a result of the stress, he caught double pneumonia and suffered a bleeding ulcer.

Trivia: The final line of dialogue of the film was not in the script. Kurt Russell came up with it while filming the scene. (Sources:,

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Plot hole: It's never explicitly stated or shown that the Thing reproduces with each victim until the movie is nearly over (when Palmer infects Windows). Most viewers figure it out from the context, but it's unclear just when and how the characters themselves have come to this conclusion. This was an inadvertent result of an editing decision and a visual goof: there is a deleted scene in which Blair explains much more directly that the Thing multiplies according to how many victims it takes, and in its place in the final film is a scene containing a computer simulation that director John Carpenter acknowledges was a failed attempt at explaining the organism's life cycle.


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

Question: Was the huge monster McReady encounters, and subsequently blows up, the actual "default" form of the Thing? After all, the correspondent DVD chapter is titled "The Real Thing". Yes, they do say that the Thing could've imitated millions of different lifeforms, but it must've had a form to begin with.

Answer: At the end, the large creature presented itself as an amalgam of beings it had absorbed-part Blair, part dog, and various other beings with tentacles, insect-like legs, and a worm-like body. I don't believe that we really ever see what its true form is, if it has one.

Erik M.

Answer: In the book, it was vaguely humanoid with blue rubbery skin, a head of writhing tentacles, and 3 glowing red eyes. There is a picture of it in Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials by Wayne Barlowe.

Grumpy Scot

More questions & answers from The Thing

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