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John Carpenter's

 

Home Media

Collector's Edition, 16X9, HD-DVD, & Blu-ray

On September 30th, 2008 Universal released THE THING on Blu-ray DVD.

 


On October 24th, 2006 Universal released a HD-DVD version of the film. A return to the classic original artwork and a HD version of the film in 1080-p High-Definition Widescreen.

 

 

On October 26th, 2004 Universal released a 16X9 enhanced DVD of the film with a new slip case and cover art. Other than the anamorphic transfer there is no new Bonus Materials on the disc. All in all it is a cool release and the new cover artwork has kind of grown on us here at the Outpost, but nothing beats Drew Struzan's 'glow-face'.

 

             

On September 8th, 1998 Universal released the Collector's Edition DVD.  It was immediately treasured highly by fans of the film because with the disc came quite a few Special Features.  This included a running commentary of the film with director John Carpenter and Kurt Russell.   Also included as Bonus Materials are:

 

-The Thing: Terror Takes Shape 80-minute documentary featuring interviews with Carpenter, Russell, special make-up effects designer Rob Bottin, matte artist Albert Whitlock, and other members of the cast, crew, and SFX team

- Never-before-seen stop motion animation footage cut from the film

- Exclusive work-in-progress visual effects footage

- Behind-the-scenes location footage

- Original theatrical trailer 

- Outtakes from the film 

- Behind-the-scenes photographs 

- Storyboards and conceptual art 

- Annotated production archive

- HIDDEN BONUS FEATURE!  Universal has also hidden an Easter egg on the DVD.  It is a hidden soundtrack segment.  To access it, select the Terror Takes Shape documentary.  Then go to “Language Selection” and you will find an entry that says “Music Score”.  Click on this and it will take you back to the Terror Takes Shape screen.  Now click on "Play" and the dialogue of the documentary is now replaced by Ennio Morricone's original soundtrack!  (Note: this extra feature is found only on Region 1 DVD, not Region 2.)

The only setback with this DVD is the lack of 16X9 enhancement for widescreen TV's.  It is really a letdown that this superb disc wasn't transferred to 16X9 anamorphic.  However, the transfer it does have is fantastic.  The original print used in the process must have been in excellent condition. (In Oct. 2004 Universal released a 16X9 anamorphic DVD of THE THING.)
 

  A Review of The Thing DVD by Eric Slyter

   

The real reason to have this DVD is the Special Features.  There are literally hours of bonus materials.  There is a very informative and compelling 80 minute documentary called Terror Takes Shape which features interviews with John Carpenter, Kurt Russell, the late Charles Hallahan (Norris), Joel Polis (Fuchs), as well as behind-the-scenes personnel who worked on the movie, such as the very entertaining Rob Bottin (special effects).  Not as informative, but entertaining and interesting nonetheless, is a running feature commentary that you can listen to as you view the movie, with John Carpenter and Kurt Russell discussing the scenes as they play out. 

Additionally, there are several very intriguing deleted scenes.  They are not restored into the original film, but viewable on their own.  I thought they were very well done, and in my opinion should not have been cut from the movie, but there's no helping that.  I would've been happier if they had included all the cut footage that is mentioned in the documentary and feature commentary.  In a section of its own is information pertaining to the "Blair Monster", wherein the original stop-motion footage is spliced together with the footage that was retained in the movie.  There are also a large number of storyboard drawings that pertain to scenes in the movie, as well as various conceptual drawings and more making-of archival information.  (I haven't even gotten around to all of it!)  Of the many notable treasures available on this DVD, one of the most compelling for me was the theatrical trailer.  Watching it makes me want to see the movie yet again, despite having seen it dozens (and dozens!) of times previously!  Very spooky. 

If you are a fan of this movie, then you owe it to yourself to go out and get a DVD player, and put this gem in it right away.  Top-notch releases like this Collector's Edition are the reason to own a DVD player!

Run Time: - 1 hour, 49 minutes 
Color 
Region 1 NTSC 
Rated: R 
Letterboxed 2.35:1 | 16x9: No 
1 Disc 
Dolby Digital 5.1 

Back cover of the DVD  

 

UK DVD insert

       

           

 

VHS (UK, S. Korea, France, Italy)