31 Days of Horror: The Thing

Who Goes There?

Stupid snow! Sure it's inevitable but it doesn't mean I have to like it. And when it gets this time of year and the temperature drops and the snow falls, then melts, then falls again, I always turn to one movie that always makes me feel better. John Carpenter's 1982 remake The Thing. As cold as it gets here - it always looks colder where Kurt Russell and company are.

Not to discount the original 1951 Howard Hawks "produced" film - it's a damn fine film but Carpenter's remake is absolutely terrifying. Set in the harsh isolation of Antarctica - an American research station stumbles across a couple of Norwegians from a nearby research station that are trying to kill a dog. The Norwegians end up dead and the dog gets to stay with the Americans. A quick trip to the Norwegians' base shows that everybody there is dead and that they had previously dug something up in the ice (which references the 1951 version). And that dog isn't what it seems to be. It's some thing.

The 1951 film featured a group of American scientists and some U.S. army personnel digging up something in the arctic. The creature (James Arness) revives and goes on a rampage. As I said it's a good movie but a vegetable alien monster is no comparison for Rob Bottin's amazing special effects in the 1982 film. Also between the two films Carpenter's is closer to the original short story Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell, Jr. that the movies are based on.

The cold, dark isolation of the arctic is the perfect setting for a scary game of guess who the monster is. This movie looks cold, damn cold. Kurt Russell's beard constantly seems to have icicles hanging from it. And there's nothing worse than freezing your ass off while trying to fight an evil shape changing monster.

Four In The Afternoon

1 THE CUTS COMETH Whacked by falling potash royalties, the Saskatchewan government sharpens its fiscal knife. (CBC)

2 SEVERENCE SCARE Canwest employees fear they'll lose their vacation pay. Isn't that illegal? anyone know? (CBC)

3 WHITE DUDE PUTS BLACK WOMAN IN PLACE Prime Minister Stephen Harper is correct. Governor general Michaelle Jean isn't Canada's head of state--she is the head of state's--the Queen's--representative. But did the PM really need to stick his big, pink nose into this minor gaffe by our country's GG? (Leader-Post)

4 DAILY PYTHON And not just ANY daily Python, but one NO ONE expects! Diabolical laughter!

Pick of the Day: Chad VanGaalen w/ Castlemusic

Tonight's second instalment in the Regina Folk Festival's Concert Series at the Exchange follows on the heels of Final Fantasy and Timber Timbre on Oct. 30. Like it, the headliner here is a veteran of the RFF's main stage. Chad VanGaalen played the festival this year, in fact. Prior to his appearance on Aug. 7 Steve did this Dog Blog post on the multi-talented Albertan.

Another similarity between the two concerts is that like Final Fantasy, VanGaalen is also backed up by a pseudonymous singer-songwriter -- Castlemusic a.k.a Jennifer Castle. Toronto-based, she's collaborated with the likes of Elliott Brood, the Constantines and Fucked Up, but when she performs solo she favours quiet, quirky introspective songs. I'm not sure when the Oct. 8 issue of prairie dog will hit the streets, but inside you'll find an interview with Jennifer by Emily Zimmerman. Here's a video for her tune Man Outa Me. (YouTube)