Scream Factory (a branch of Shout Factory, patron saints of disc-based home video) have announced that they’re going to release a collector’s edition Blu-ray of a film many of us have been waiting for: John Carpenter‘s The Thing.
The new disc will hit shelves on September 20 of this year, and will feature a new transfer, scanned at 2k resolution and painstakingly restored with supervision from the film’s director of photography, Dean Cundey. A new 4.1 audio mix (created from a 70MM print) will also be on the disc. So rest assured — The Thing will look and sound better on this disc than on any other.
All the special features created by Universal for previous releases will also be included in the set, along with a host of brand new features, created by Scream Factory. They are as follows:
• Audio Commentary with director of photography Dean Cundey
• The Men of Outpost 31 – interviews with Keith David, Thomas Waites, Peter Maloney and more…
• Assembling and Assimilation – an interview with editor Todd Ramsay
• Behind the Chameleon – interviews with visual effects artists Peter Kuran and Susan Turner, special make-up effects artist Rob Burman and Brian Wade and more….
• Sounds from the Cold – interviews with supervising sound editor David Lewis Yewdall and special sound effects designer Alan Howarth
• Between the Lines – an interview with novelization author Alan Dean Foster
This flick is a holy relic of creature horror, though no one could’ve told you that when it debuted. It was a box office bomb and a critical punching bag. But over time, it became a touchstone for horror filmmakers and fans everywhere. It’s a testament to the magic of practical effects and the genius of Rob Bottin, who was barely out of high school when he took on the daunting job of handling creatures and makeup for the film.
The Thing belongs in the pantheon of films whose legacies are upheld by the craftspeople and artists who worked so hard to put slimy, bloody creatures on the screen. And it’s not just an excellent showcase for effects — it’s also a masterful suspense thriller about paranoia and the fear of intrusion. That fear works on many levels in The Thing — there could be an intruder in the next room. There could be an intruder inside your body, infecting you. That makes you the intruder, but if you’re infected… do you even know? I’m getting the willies right now just typing this.
Practical effects are one of the great gateways into learning about filmmaking. They’re very tangible, and (of course) they’re super freakin’ cool. Films like The Thing are perfect for formats like Blu-ray, because artistry behind the film is very tangible, and the making of them was fairly well-documented.
If you haven’t yet seen this masterwork of goopy alien terror, this Blu-ray is going be one of the best ways to experience the film. As a bonus, you’ll get to learn about how great movies get made. Double win!