@Gargron That's an invention in the prequel, AFAIK (ref. it drawing heavily on ALIEN, which does the same thing re. the Xenomorphs versus the Space Jockeys).

In the original novel the ship is never implied to be anything other than the Thing's, and the original film has no indications to the contrary either.

@Gargron I mean it, a) arrives in a space ship, b) the dog it possesses in the original film is shown to have above-dog-level-intelligence, and c) the Thing has above *human* level technical knowledge when it uses the human-dude-body to try and re-create its own space-ship. So IMO it is fairly consistently shown as having its own continuous level of sentience?

And it really does seem to do everything possible to try and not cause conflict unless cornered, so...?

@Gargron (This is Doyalist/Watsonian split, too; because of its origins I guess it's hard for me to take anything but a Doyalist view of the original THING, divorced from its later Watsonian canon?)

@Gargron IMO the prequel is, uh... a post hoc rationalization of some of the more on-the-nose elements of the original?

Like, I think it's probably heavily influenced by the ALIEN franchise, which does the whole "malicious alien that can't be reasoned with" much more cleanly than the original THING. And since it was made so much later I'd say it reflects the significant shift in audience attitudes between the time periods?

Seriously. The entire plot of THE THING can be resolved by isolating the Thing and being like:

"Hi. We are human beings. We find it culturally insensitive when you forcibly co-opt our flesh to survive, and will respond aggressively if you do. Please don't initiate this conflict. If you require living flesh to live, we are happy to provide you with non-human samples. We are also happy to provide other material assistance as required. Looking forward to a productive partnership. Thx, humans."

So yeah tl;dr the wildest thing about THE THING is that The Thing... doesn't actually really do anything wrong, per se?

Like it's an alien and its method of survival is confronting to us as humans, but it doesn't seem to behave maliciously. (And multiple scenes show the opposite?)

Instead, basically all the conflict in the film is because the human characters MASSIVELY OVERREACT... *and* no-one ever considers just, like. Talking? To the Thing (since it's obviously sentient)?

(I mean not entirely because it makes its whole shtick *almost* a criticism of Silicon Valley-style capitalism except, phew! The Big Bad is actually aliens and, phew! Also MUSLIMS!!!!!!! So it ends up having this kind of wishy-washy choose-your-own-adventure political stance. But. It aa-aa-aa-aa-almost gets there, probably more than any other superhero film in recent memory.)

Which is also, incidentally, why I think VENOM is suck an odd duck of a film. Because it manages to sit in the middle of a su-uu-uu-uu-uu-uper conservative/right-wing genre (i.e. superhero media), yet because it skips/condenses/etc. so much of its own comics lore in order to shove itself into its running time, it ends up... ki-ii-ii-ii-ii-inda almost ends up on the subversive end of the horror spectrum.

On the flip side is the horror of people like Clive Barker, where "normative" space is itself shown as constricting and in-and-of-itself violent, and transgressing it is both horror and liberation.

(Ref: youtube.com/watch?v=3ge0P8z_q1 )

See also Jordan Peele, and films like JENNIFER'S BODY or TEETH. (All of which, along with Barker's work, at all not coincidentally made by/for/about marginalized peoples.)

TBF I don't think that's... entirely true. But I do think horror has kind of two polar opposite ends, each of which map to different ends of the political spectrum.

The horror of works like THE THING in primarily conservative, i.e. the "invader" coming in to a "normative" space to disrupt it, and that needs to be violently overthrown.

And the whole, "They look like us BUT THEY'RE NOT US!!!! AND THEY WANT TO DESTROY US!!!!!!!" (which Carpenter revisited in e.g. THEY LIVE) is, like... textbook antisemitism.

Like... I like these films but holy hells pretty much every stock horror trope is problematic af.

@Gargron It's based on WHO GOES THERE? by John Campbell, who was, like... a Lovecraft-level racist (among other things).

To drop my own link for reference: alis.me/x/everything-wrong-wit

Like yeah holy shit. I do like Carpenter's film (mostly for the body horror effects, ngl) but the underlying story is such. A. Mess. Like... yikes.

NGL, and since it's new on Netflix: THE THING reads su-uu-uu-uper differently when you know it's based on a work written by a paranoid racist.

Like... VENOM is basically THE THING told from The Thing's point-of-view.

@garpu Like, I personally live about an hour from a major snowfield, and the only reason it doesn’t usually snow in my city itself is because there’s not enough rainfall.

@garpu You… realise it’s roughly the size of the continental US, right? It spans equivalent latitudes to the regions between about Washington and Guatemala (with almost the entire population on the “Washington” end).

Why is "frankenstein in baghdad shmoop" the first autofill thing DDG suggests when I search for that book? o_O

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