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The Behind the Scenes Pic of the Day is goooooone, MacReady!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s Behind the Scenes Pic!

Today’s BTS images are a bit different. While still technically behind the scenes, these aren’t the typical on-set shots. I’m giving up two very cool images of Rob Bottin and team’s work on John Carpenter’s The Thing. First up is a line-up of Norris heads.

I think this is a pretty incredible shot, honestly and while I got it from the folks at the Practical Effects Group it’s clearly scanned from a magazine, so apologies to whichever magazine originally ran this image.



And then there’s this fantastic close look at the final creature, the Blair Monster. You don’t get to see a lot of it in the movie, but the very talented Randy Cook did some nice stop motion work on it nonetheless. There are details to this puppet that I never knew existed, most notably the lizard segment.

God, I love October! Thanks for joining along. Here’s that great shot, click to enlargen!



If you have a behind the scenes shot you’d like to submit to this column, you can email me at

Tomorrow’s pic will hot-curl you to death.

-Eric Vespe
Follow Me On Twitter


Click here to visit the complete compilation of previous Behind the Scenes images, Page One
(warning: there are some broken links that will be fixed as soon as I can get around to it)

Click here to visit the complete compilation of previous Behind the Scenes images, Page Two

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 3, 2012, 6:15 p.m. CST


    by deathbird

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 6:15 p.m. CST

    good movie

    by Stifler's Mom

    More eerie than scary, but a classic nonetheless.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 6:15 p.m. CST

    Pretty Cool

    by MasterControlProgram

    Practical Effects are the best -- End of Line --

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Best movie ever?

    by JackDeth

    Best movie ever.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 6:16 p.m. CST


    by deathbird

    Hot damn! Oh, and I love this movie dearly.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 6:17 p.m. CST tomorrow's pic Toxic Avenger???

    by kindofabigdeal

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 6:18 p.m. CST


    by DarthJedi

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 6:18 p.m. CST

    Been watching this thing every night on the way to sleep

    by TheUmpireStrokesBach

    Netflix is my bedtime storybook.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 6:27 p.m. CST

    cheatin bitch

    by IndianaPeach

    j&b scotch ftw

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 6:29 p.m. CST

    The effects on this film are still A+

    by Randy

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 6:35 p.m. CST

    awseome pics

    by 6000_little_griglets

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 6:38 p.m. CST

    Blair Monster???l

    by IamZardoz

    Ive seen that movie 30 times at least including seeing it the first day it came out and I didnt notice til now the "Blair" part of that monster. Ill be damned. Guess I was too busy staring at that giant maw with teeth or the claw arms or whatever....

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 6:41 p.m. CST

    You gotta be fuckin kiddin me!

    by iamatroll

    When HBO would play this movie repeatedly during the 80's, I spent many a late night reveling in it's gory, icky, not of this earth goodness! Yeah, Kurt Russell played his usual badass self, but I felt more in tune with their "resident stoner" member whose best weapon for dealing with The Thing was to toke up... Oh, yeah....

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 6:43 p.m. CST

    I aint' going with Windows...

    by Joelseph01

    I'll go with Childs

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 6:43 p.m. CST

    You don't understand! That thing wanted to be uuuuussss!

    by Joelseph01

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 6:44 p.m. CST

    Yeah, fuck you too!!

    by KongMonkey

    Damn shame the full segment didn't turn out better. Could have been a great closing money shot.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 6:55 p.m. CST

    I've never seen so many prop heads taking a shit.

    by Christian Sylvain

    Thank you, rob bottin.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 6:55 p.m. CST

    I never realized it turned into PARASITE EVE!

    by sweeneydave

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 6:56 p.m. CST

    Great flick

    by lv_426

    As far as iconic 1982 films go, I prefer the darker visions of The Thing, The Road Warrior, and Blade Runner to that of E.T. I was watching Dangerous Days last night, and they were talking about how E.T. sort of ruined all the sci-fi/fantasy films of the summer of 82 by tuning everyone's brains to a state of cute and suger-coated that clashed really violently with the type of things that directors like John Carpenter and Ridley Scott were going for with their science fiction films.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 7 p.m. CST

    Carpenter proved that a remake isn't always a bad idea

    by Logan_1973

    I always think of THING '82 before jumping to conclusions on a remake.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 7:02 p.m. CST

    Watch this movie like 6 times a year, never gets old.

    by notcher

    Great pics "Cheating Bitch."

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 7:16 p.m. CST

    Carpenter proved that a remake isn't always a bad idea

    by heylookoverthere

    But then the 2011 The thing reminded us that 99% of the time, it is a bad idea.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 7:17 p.m. CST

    the pics

    by cesareo

    i think i remember seeing these in cinefantastique in 1982

  • He returned it a couple days later. He said it was, "Too slow," and there was "not enough action" so he couldn't finish it. What the fuck is wrong with this little shit? I saw this film when I was ten or so and it kept my rapt attention.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 7:27 p.m. CST

    for fellow geeks in Sydney:

    by mojination

    there's a double bill of this plus Poltergeist later this month at the Cremorne Orpheum!!

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 7:30 p.m. CST


    by 6000_little_griglets

    Yeah, i lent my copy to a 20-something at work after admittedly having talked it up a bit... they had the same *bored* reaction.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 7:33 p.m. CST


    by Have_Penis_Will_Travel

    gag me with a spoon

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 7:35 p.m. CST


    by Monnie Knapp

  • I mean, they weren't exactly aiming for the same audience, were they? ET was a mainstream family film for everybody, and The Thing was a hard R, sci-fi horror aiming for a more specific genre niche. The mass audience of kids, women and older folk that would have taken to ET because of its optimistic, sentimental view of fantasy/ science fiction wouldn't have been interested in a dark, gory move like The Thing, anyway, even if ET had never been released. I think the real reason Blade Runner, in particular, flopped was that people expected it to be a full-on action adventure type of sci-fi movie, probably because of Ford's association with Star Wars and Indy, but instead it turned out to be a very slow moving, atmospheric and philosophic piece, without much in the way of a propulsive surface narrative or big action sequences. I don't know; people could make the argument that Star Wars and Close Encounters primed everyone for an optimistic take on science fiction as well, but it didn't put people off Alien, did it?

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 7:40 p.m. CST

    it's supposed to snow tonight... best time to watch this film

    by Monnie Knapp

    On a desolate North Dakota night, with the wind howling and white-out conditions this movie takes on a whole new level of eerie.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 7:49 p.m. CST

    The real REASON why The Thing is lightning in a bottle...

    by Immortal_Fish

    ...same reason why we'll never see another flick like Twelve Angry Men. All male cast. I invite reasons that explain why I am totally rawng.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 7:50 p.m. CST

    Immortal_Fish, "The Grey."

    by ChaunceyGardiner

  • of a short story.

  • For one, I think that John Carpenter's vision, as with "Escape From New York," was to make a very smart and very brutal thriller whose bleak politics made them very divisive movies. Think of how rare it is to have a film as violent as "The Thing" to be a box office smash? "The Exorcist" was one of the few examples that I can think of, and it just happened to be one of those films that coincided with the zeitgeist of the times, got people talking. In the long lineage of the cultural wind, it benefited from an audience that was ready to be challanged and terrified by it. "The Thing," on the other hand, is a two-fold masterpiece. First, it assaults you with the evisceration of the human physiology, the pure unabated goriness of the human exposed. I think that few people can get beyound this, and, to a degree, I think the film willfully separates itself from any other film of its time - this type of "showmanship," a glareing disregard for what is considered acceptable, more often than not backfires on its creators and its home studio. Think of how "Shame" was completely shut out of any awards considerations last year when it was clearly one of the year's most powerful films as seen by its shocked reception by the critical media. I also think of how "The Wild Bunch" at its time was a benumbing film, instead of an electrifying one. Secondly, "The Thing" is a horror movie that desires you to think as much as it wants you to feel. You have to be a dedicated audience member to parse through its viscera, to stay with its characters and to put them up to the scrutiny that the plot demands: Who can you trust? When do you draw the line as to who can trust? Its prevadeing doubt and the dread and horror that drives it there, they are serious tactile experiences that a true fan can savour. It is an overwhelming motion picture, much like "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," that pushes boundries and demands its audience to imperil itself along with the film's characters: we do not cheer when these characters die, we call out in horror. We do not anticipate victory, we pray for survival. I may prefer the wit and streamlined beauty of the original Howard Hawks-scripted film but I recognize the monumental icon of extreme horror that "The Thing" has become and that it deserves. Not my favourite Carpenter film by any stretch (it still makes me nauseous), but one of his key films and one of his most challangeing works.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 8:17 p.m. CST

    Turd, as always, you are spot on.

    by Jack Black

    Carpenter has said that the Thing was brutally bashed by the critics and fans of the genre, something which was a big surprise to him. The fans hated and turned their back to the movie and as a result it bombed in the BO. So ET had nothing to do with its failure, it was the fans of the genre who didn't like it in the first place. So why they didn't like it? My guess is that they were expecting a faithful remake of the 50s monster hunt movie but with the aesthetics and atmosphere of the ALIEN movie. Instead they witnessed something entirely different,original and somewhat offensive to their cinematic sensibilities. The grotesque designs of the Things and the gruesome violence which were visualized with groundbreaking practical effects did a lot of damage to the reputation of the film, although nowadays they are considered a key element to the iconic status which the movie enjoys.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 8:19 p.m. CST

    there are some females in The Grey

    by Monnie Knapp

    The wife we see many times, for one. Also, there's at least one waitress in the dive at the beginning. However, I don't agree with the assertion that The Thing worked so well due to the all male cast. I don't see an all male cast as misogynistic, either. The cast is great, but the film could have worked with a mixed gender cast as well--I feel as though the direction, effects, sets and score add a lot to the picture, adding a woman to the mix wouldn't have trumped that, in my opinion.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 8:22 p.m. CST

    immortal fish, see also: Stand By Me.

    by Happyfat73

    Random anecdote: I wrote a script a few years back that was a boys' coming of age story in the same vein as Stand By Me. First set of notes I got back on it began with "can you make one of the characters a girl?" Grrr.</p> </p> Also, yes, The Thing is the best movie ever.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 8:29 p.m. CST

    The Lizard Segment

    by Hill_Valli

    Isn't that supposed to be "the thing's" dog form from the beginning of the film? At least that's what I always thought it was supposed to be.....

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 8:30 p.m. CST

    Also, the quote is: You've got to be fuckin' kidding....

    by Hill_Valli

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 8:41 p.m. CST

    hill_valli that's the dog from the intro, not a lizard.

    by Jack Black

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 8:56 p.m. CST


    by Hill_Valli

    Okay well I guess you didn't read my post then...

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 9:04 p.m. CST

    I "LOVE" this movie...the feel good movie of all time. ;)

    by DementedCaver

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 9:07 p.m. CST

    Alien says fuck you to the all male cast theory...

    by Jay

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 9:18 p.m. CST

    I always thought the lizard part was

    by herbie

    a dinosaur that had been absorbed from its long-buried remains.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 9:19 p.m. CST

    hill_valli my post was an agreement to your post.

    by Jack Black

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 9:19 p.m. CST

    tomorrow's pic will be from...

    by frehleyisgod

    Sleepaway Camp...!!! Sweet...!!!

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 9:27 p.m. CST

    My all-time favorite movie. Ever.

    by Cassius_Crackhead

    I first saw this back in '83 on a new-fangled VHS tape machine when I was 9 years old. Needless to say, I haven't been the same since. The atmosphere, the acting, Rob Bottin's makeup FX, the music, the downbeat nihilistic perfection. Yep. It's my favorite movie. I'm sure John Carpenter hears that a lot. I just can't understand why people (even some horror fans) hated it so much when it was first released.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 9:39 p.m. CST


    by Hill_Valli

    My mistake

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 9:46 p.m. CST

    Turd, you make some good points

    by lv_426

    I think the sentiment the interviewees on the Dangerous Days doc were going for was more that it wasn't completely the fault of E.T. More that was a general sense of people not being in the mood for darker sci-fi/fantasy films. You're right about there being some different audience demographics for these films, but obviously some overlap with the sci-fi/fantasy fans. There were also some darker genre films that did well that summer. The Road Warrior and Conan The Barbarian both did well. Although, compared to Blade Runner, they are pretty action-packed, and of course The Thing has such a bleak ending that it probably turned some people and critics off for good. I guess part of my ranting is that I am just not a massive E.T. fan. Sure it is a good film, but maybe not as great as it was when I saw it as a young little shit. Compared to Blade Runner or The Thing, E.T. is not this amazing masterpiece that people make it out to be IMO. Not to shit on Spielberg or anything. Raiders, Jaws, and Close Encounters are amazing Spielberg films from that era, and I would put those three films of his on par or nearly on par with classics like The Thing '82 and Blade Runner.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 10:14 p.m. CST

    Wish they showed more of this in the film

    by Steve Lamarre

    cool pic though.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 10:22 p.m. CST

    Hate me. I like the prequel.

    by Dawhiteguy

    Now we need a sequel with Nauls, MacReady, Childs and Lloyd

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 10:56 p.m. CST

    Embiggen.. not enlargen...

    by intheyear2525

    please..just cause you say something a thousand times does not make it so..

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 11:17 p.m. CST

    RE: The Things unpopularity

    by Baragon

    It's amazing how attitudes change given enough time. I was 11 when The Thing and Bladerunner came out and I remember the hostile reaction to both films from the movie going public. The Thing was called "depressing" and "gross" while Bladerunner was criticized for Ford's performance with some people calling him a "human punching bag". There were even cartoons drawn for and published in Starlog magazine comparing Ford to Elmer Fudd! I don't care though. The Thing I watch whenever the mood strikes me. The blu ray is striking.

  • of Starlog and Cinefantastique. In the actual movie, they usually ended up looking pretty laughable.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 11:52 p.m. CST

    I saw the trailer for The Thing ahead of The Wrath of Khan.

    by Ironhelix

    I was only 9 years old, but the trailer made such an impression on me, that I could not wait to see it. Remember that day like it was yesterday.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 11:56 p.m. CST

    why are there a series of Norris heads?

    by ufoclub1977

    I seem to remember a continuous shot of it sliding down the other side of the table, and the head was moving and stretching to both open mouthed and closed mouthed expressions with one prop... right?

  • Oct. 4, 2012, 12:11 a.m. CST

    June 25, 1982.....

    by IamZardoz

    The Thing and Blade Runner opened the same friggin day! Today we get Adam Sandler or whatever....

  • Oct. 4, 2012, 1:47 a.m. CST

    Where did Rob Bottin go?

    by Das_Butt

    Anybody know? The Thing is up there among the 10 best movies ever made and part of it is because Bottin's unreal and masterful (practical) effects. And I'm sorry to read about you guys who tried to show it for a younger generation and they didn't get it. But, youth is wasted on the stupid.

  • Oct. 4, 2012, 1:51 a.m. CST

    "I know you gentlemen have been through a lot...

    by DocPazuzu

    ...but when you find the time, I'd rather not spend the rest of the winter TIED TO THIS FUCKING COUCH!!!" Probably my favorite movie of all time. Flawless. Also, I've never understood the notion that E.T. somehow killed The Thing and Blade Runner. Even if these movies had been released in one-year intervals the numbers would still have been the same. The notion that if you see a saccharine or nihilistic film, that film will dictate the rest of your moviegoing habits of the season, is absurd. I'm old enough to have seen all three movies on the big screen and I love them all for different reasons. Even if E.T. had never been released, neither The Thing nor Blade Runner would have clicked with American audiences at the time.

  • Oct. 4, 2012, 1:54 a.m. CST

    The Thing and ET

    by BenBraddock

    I saw them both that summer, and loved them both! Why wouldn't I? They are both genre movies made by master-filmmakers at the top of their respective games, and both films succeed brilliantly with what they set out to do. I don't get the whole "one film's success ruining the other film's chances" thing at all. I think all genre fans back in the day went to see both movies, along with Khan, Poltergeist, Conan, Blade Runner..

  • Oct. 4, 2012, 1:55 a.m. CST

    Rob Bottin gave great heads

    by BenBraddock

    Here's proof!

  • Oct. 4, 2012, 2:36 a.m. CST

    Fav Movie

    by Salamander

    defo my fav horror film, seen it tons of times and never gets old. The prequel wasn't too bad but not as good I just wished they'd make the sequel similar to the dark horse comic they produced showing what happened next. *Sigh* give carpenter budget already :)

  • Oct. 4, 2012, 7:58 a.m. CST

    Tomorrow's picture from...

    by masos1138

    Blues Brothers

  • Oct. 4, 2012, 9 a.m. CST


    by Stephen

    Oh my god! they got it right! There's the axe! Right where it's supposed to be!!

  • Oct. 4, 2012, 9:25 a.m. CST

    here's my essay

    by Stephen

    Concerning the prequel Usually I anticipate the burning shitness of movie like The Thing requel. And then I either don't go or I go expecting the worst and then can sort of enjoy it. But this time when I found out it was a prequel and not a remake, I got excited. The SF writer in me said "there's a movie here." There's so much story. So much that was only hinted at in the JC masterpiece. This could work. But then we got a bullshit retread with teeth instead of blood and some wooden woman as the lead instead of Russell's brilliant charmingly nihilistic MacReady. I wasn't expecting genius, but I was hoping for an interesting story. I firmly believe that the bitterness and anger of Carpenter is unreproducible. There's a bubbling horror that existing just underneath all of his films. Even the quote bad ones like Village of the Damned just drip with evil. Evil that can only be created by a man who isn't afraid of the monster under the bed he IS the monster under the bed who's afraid of going out into the world and trying to live there with the rest of earth who is quaintly happy with becoming a neutered housewife of a society.

  • Oct. 4, 2012, 10:20 a.m. CST

    I'll keel yew...! [cheesy gun SFX]

    by Nasty In The Pasty

  • Oct. 4, 2012, 10:20 a.m. CST

    I'm all better now and I wanna come back inside

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    C'mon, man.

  • Oct. 4, 2012, 10:57 a.m. CST

    All Male Cast, or all ADULT Cast

    by blue_dog

    As with Alien, you'd never see a movie today cast with all 30-somethings, none of whom is a hardbody or a 90210 leftover. Stand the cast of Alien next to the cast of Prometheus and tell me which one looks like a group of actors. Some thing for the Thing vs. the ghey prequel. The Thing is fantastic, and yes, practical effects fucking rule over CGI. Though I'm not afraid to admit the final battle in the Thing looks like shit and is what keeps the movie from being a a+ classic . . . Have you read the bit about how Tom Cruise is older now that Wilford Brimley was when they filmed the Thing? Scientology keeps you younger than Quaker Oats, yo.

  • and I think most people do on some level.

  • Oct. 4, 2012, 12:29 p.m. CST

    Soundtrack flipped me over the first time...

    by Darth Macchio

    The late great Ennio Morricone turns in a haunting 'electronica' type soundtrack unlike anything Carpenter had done (his work with Alan Hollworth was excellent as well but nothing tops Ennio!) I recall seeing this on HBO's first run a million years ago and just being mesmerized not only by the movie but by the soundtrack. Also - this movie has the single greatest animal performance of ALL TIME. Watch again and tell me I'm wrong. All practical effects and simple training. Yet the dog never once "breaks character" - it gives me chills to watch it every time. And for the trolls...yes Carpenter said he wanted to remake the Hawks film but the credits of Carpenter's work is actually's based on "Who goes there?" by John Campbell. Yes, Carpenter is wrong when he calls it a remake...I'd say he actually meant "inspired" by Hawks (who was a major influence on Carpenter from what I understand) but, story-wise, actually based on the original short-story by Campbell. I've read "Who goes there?" many times, have the original Varese-Sarabande soundtrack (utterly brilliant work by Morricone throughout), have Carpenter's work on every format except videodisc (I doubt my old vhs copy would even be watchable given how many times i played it). I've said it before years back on AICN..was one of the only voices to even say it at the time...and while it's ultimately semantics...its still fun... If Carpenter's 1982 "The Thing" is a remake of Hawks's 1951 "The Thing from another World", then that must mean that Jackson's 2001 "Lord of the Rings" is a remake of Bakshi's animated "Lord of the Rings" released in 1978. And I'm guessing no one here has ever, not even for one moment, considered Jackson's work to be a remake of the 1978 animated film.

  • Oct. 4, 2012, 5:01 p.m. CST

    One of the best films ever made

    by kimbers

    love it on so many levels casting, characters, special effects, horror, scifi yet grounded in the realism of a bunch of crusty men looking you could well imagine spending an antarctic winter at the bottom of the world. havent seen the prequel but I imagine it was full of perfect hollywood teeth and unnecessary babeage. The Thing was Carpenter at the top of his game they dont make like that any more

  • Oct. 4, 2012, 7:37 p.m. CST

    The Ward is still better

    by Dawhiteguy

    than todays other horror movies.

  • Oct. 4, 2012, 9:16 p.m. CST

    Actually darth macchio...

    by ufoclub1977

    I always thought upon seeing Fellowship of the Ring that Jackson lifted the drama and expressive vibe of the portrayal of the black riders from the animated Lord of the Rings (which I saw in the theater way back then) and carried that over into the style of the visions and supernatural elements of his subsequent Ring films as well.

  • Oct. 4, 2012, 10:08 p.m. CST

    The Thing Prequel..

    by darthwaz1

    ..was actually pretty good!

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 1:14 a.m. CST

    "The Thing" is John Carpenter's masterpiece. Period.

    by Darkness

    The practical effects in this movie are ingenious by the great wonderkind that is Mr. Rob Bottin: The guys an absolute friggin genius. The way fear and tension permeates throughout this film is something that our current so-called horror flicks could take serious advisement from. It's a shame it suffered under the heft of "E.T", but what a summer of choice! "The Thing", "Conan The Barbarian"...Friggin, "Blade Runner". Oh, the days of old. Still mulling over watching the remake.

  • Oct. 5, 2012, 7:38 a.m. CST

    "The Thing" PC videogame was very good...

    by Faw

    It would had made a good sequel