The Thing (1982)
Why I Love This Scene: It’s cold outside and there’s snow on the ground here on the east coast, which ultimately makes me think of John Carpenter’s The Thing. I can watch this every winter! One of the best horror films EVER with probably the hands-down best practical special effects in cinematic history. I dare you to give me a better example. ILM on their best day can’t do what Rob Bottin did in this one scene alone. Look at the Norris monster when he rises from the chest. There’s like a dozen moving parts and hardly anything holding up that creature. Watching it again, I was marveling at how life-like and believable Norris’ old head on the table looked as it stretched from his body and fell off the table with his eyes moving and tongue wagging. It’s incredible that this was made without a computer. And look at the difference practical effects make compared to modern day CGI. But what a great scene. Kurt Russell being a badass and a scared and bewildered badass to boot. It’s nerve-wrenching and intense and when Palmer casually states: “You’ve got to be fuckin’ kidding” has a small dash of head-shaking humor too.
Most Carpenter films are perfect cold-weather stay-inside and watch a flick on a lazy afternoon movies. In fact I think I watched most of his classics for the first time on lazy afternoons. Sad he lost his mojo lately and would rather sit at home, play video games and eat fried chicken and let every one of his classics get terribly remade but I’m glad he made his mark on the film world.