Oh my god The Thing

Update: John Carpenter has weighed in on Twitter, throws cold water on the whole theory! Aww.

https://twitter.com/?iid=am-209358414613299696801336761&nid=4+status_timestamp&uid=22028735#!/TheHorrorMaster/status/172531459201052672

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Giant Bomb user PM'd this to me, and I simply had to pass it along.

"When you guys were talking about the ambiguous resolution to The Thing, it reminded me of a film analysis I read of the Thing in college, namely that the bottle of alcohol that Kurt Russell and Kieth David share at the end of the film is actually one of the bottles of ether or fuel that Kurt Russell was using for molotov cocktails. Kurt Russell never actually takes a drink of it, but Kieth David does. A human would know the difference between drinking a bottle of ether or gasoline immediately, but the creature has no reference for it, or a gag reflex that an actual human would have when drinking it. It drinks the bottle, imitating a human, not knowing that it was a trick on Macready's part to prove whether David's character had been taken by the creature or not."

Holy shiiiiiiiiit.

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Posted by patrickklepek

Update: John Carpenter has weighed in on Twitter, throws cold water on the whole theory! Aww.

https://twitter.com/?iid=am-209358414613299696801336761&nid=4+status_timestamp&uid=22028735#!/TheHorrorMaster/status/172531459201052672

--

Giant Bomb user PM'd this to me, and I simply had to pass it along.

"When you guys were talking about the ambiguous resolution to The Thing, it reminded me of a film analysis I read of the Thing in college, namely that the bottle of alcohol that Kurt Russell and Kieth David share at the end of the film is actually one of the bottles of ether or fuel that Kurt Russell was using for molotov cocktails. Kurt Russell never actually takes a drink of it, but Kieth David does. A human would know the difference between drinking a bottle of ether or gasoline immediately, but the creature has no reference for it, or a gag reflex that an actual human would have when drinking it. It drinks the bottle, imitating a human, not knowing that it was a trick on Macready's part to prove whether David's character had been taken by the creature or not."

Holy shiiiiiiiiit.

Staff
Posted by Video_Game_King

Wait, so the key to getting a shout-out from the staff is to blow their mind about the plot of a well-loved piece of media? Well, let me tell you a few things about Ocarina of Time...

Posted by JJRage

This just changed my life forever.

Posted by Hailinel

MIND BLOWN.

Online
Posted by Asger

That's pretty awesome! I have to watch it, like, RIGHT NOW

Posted by MooseyMcMan

CRAZY.

Moderator
Posted by seannao

DUDE. I never realized that. That's fucking amazing.

Posted by BulletproofMonk

Oh god that is amazing.

Posted by ReyGitano

My mind can't process this!!! Now I need to bug all of my friends and associates with this new-found piece of knowledge... naturally.

Posted by LiK

Kurt Russel is da man

Posted by jimmah7

JAW DROPPED!

Posted by countinhallways

Any excuse to watch the film again is one I will jump on with great vigour.

*leaps*

Posted by Maluvin

O.O

I need to watch this movie again to be sure but WHOA!

Posted by tineyoghurt

I haven't watched the film, but that sounds pretty awesome.

Posted by SethPhotopoulos

Now that's something you need to pay attention to.

Edited by shadyspace

There's also some solid evidence out there that MacReady is hiding a flamethrower and is about to smoke Keith David.

Posted by Jay444111

Wow... I have watched that awesome movie so many times... and I have never noticed this awesomeness... I got to put that dvd back in again!

Posted by OriginalGman

@Video_Game_King: Tell me a few things about Ocarina of Time.

Posted by Chibi_Kaji

...I think it's time I re-watch this movie again

Posted by Gravehound

There's also the one about Kieth David not having any condensation on his breath where's Kurt Russell does in the final scene

Posted by mortal_sb

watched it only a few times and yeah. that's a pretty good end twist.. but let me tell you some things about "primer"...

Posted by tranquilchaos

One problem remains. The creature has no reason to hide itself if they are the only 2 left. It could just absorb Macready, go into hibernation again, and be done with it.  
 
I think they are both human. It's the only thing that makes any sense.

Posted by Everyones_A_Critic

That shit is indeed rather cray....Ain't it Jay?

Posted by PhilESkyline

Here's the ending for those wanting to see it. Also notice that Keith David's breath doesn't show in the cold air like Kurt Russell's.

Posted by lawgiver

just watched it again and it looks like Kurt is about to drink the bottle when he thinks he is alone before getting startled by Kieth.

Posted by steelknight2000

I don't think this point's valid at all. It makes sense that they were both human. Didn't the PS2 Thing game reveal that Keith David died after the movie? Not that the game is canon or anything.

Edited by Sergotron

How could something like that get passed us all? Wow. And for anyone who hasn't seen the movie yet, this musical number does a pretty good job of running the movie down. Spoilers by the way.

Edited by TheFreeMan

@tranquilchaos said:

One problem remains. The creature has no reason to hide itself if they are the only 2 left. It could just absorb Macready, go into hibernation again, and be done with it. I think they are both human. It's the only thing that makes any sense.

The Thing wouldn't know if Mac had any more dynamite/weapons on him (cause he's wrapped up, right? it's been a while since i watched the movie), and given that Macready had been the guy giving it the most resistance throughout the movie it might be a little wary about trying its luck. If it tried to assimilate him, it could die and it looked like it only ever attacked if it was sure it would win or if its back was against the wall. Since it apparently only ever cared about survival and expansion, the more "logical" of the choices between attack and chill out would be chill out and wait for Macready to freeze to death.

Just my personal explanation.

EDIT: also this is now probably my favourite movie theory ever. never even thought about the bottle being gasoline and I probably never would have. awesome.

Posted by htr10

In a world where people say a lot of stupid, unsubstantiated stuff on the internet, this right here is pure frickin gold. Finally, I can say that the internet has made a meaningful difference in my life.

Posted by GeekDown

I'm never going to see the end of that movie in the same way again.

Posted by mandude

Been waiting for an excuse to watch this lately...

Posted by the_great_skenardo

Set.State(Balls) = Tripped

Posted by Jay444111

@Video_Game_King said:

Wait, so the key to getting a shout-out from the staff is to blow their mind about the plot of a well-loved piece of media? Well, let me tell you a few things about Ocarina of Time...

Now I am interested in hearing this as well.

Posted by Dustpan

My mind has been blown.

Posted by Nottle

Well according to the Thing video game Keith David dies and Kurt Russel finds a helicopter and saves the rescue team... yeah. I rather talk about this theory it's cool and interesting.

Posted by BonOrbitz
OH JOHN CARPENTER WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU?
Edited by Bourbon_Warrior

@PhilESkyline said:

Here's the ending for those wanting to see it. Also notice that Keith David's breath doesn't show in the cold air like Kurt Russell's.

Damn that just made the movie 10x better, has Carpenter even talked about this. They is so much condensation coming out of Kurt and none with Keith it had to be on purpose.

Posted by ManiacMaysin

now I have to go watch the movie again.

Posted by benspyda

@PhilESkyline said:

Here's the ending for those wanting to see it. Also notice that Keith David's breath doesn't show in the cold air like Kurt Russell's.

After watching that clip it seems pretty legit. Goddamn!

Posted by excido

Oh wow that never even occurred to me. Time to rewatch.

Posted by pyromagnestir

Until I see a high res cap of the label on the bottle I say "FUCK I DON'T WANNA BELIEVE IT AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH I HATE CHANGE." There was a noticeable difference in the amount of condensation from breathing between the two in that scene, however, all though Keith David certainly has some.

Posted by OriginalGman

@Jay444111: Nah, trust me, you're not.

Posted by fox01313

Seen the film dozens of times (original 1950s is good too & better than many of the other 1950s sci-fi I've seen) & never caught that before. Will have to go watch it again to catch it. Also check out the commentary on the Thing, just John Carpenter & Kurt Russel laughing & remembering stuff that happened while filming this (about the same as the one for Big Trouble in Little China's commentary).

Posted by y0m0mma

guys, you can see keith david's breath in the initial shots of the above clip. the two actors don't appear in the same shot in the close-ups. they weren't necessarily shot under the same conditions and maybe weren't even shot on the same day. it's a fun theory and all, but i'm inclined to think this is a coincidence of production circumstances. also, as someone above pointed out, why would the creature even need to pretend to be human at this point?

Posted by HellBrendy

In this thread I'd say the bottle is the thing.

Posted by ShaggE

WHAT.

That... makes perfect sense.

As for why the creature would need to act human, I'd say it's because lolmovies. A good antagonist should toy with its prey, especially if it doesn't need to.

Posted by JesusHammer

If you look closely I believe he has different clothes on as well.

Posted by buzz_clik

I've personally always liked to believe it was just two dudes hanging out there in the snow, engaging in a bit of gallows humour as they enjoyed what may be their last moments together (unless someone comes to rescue them from the elements). Over the years, I've heard a lot of people talk about the vapour of each man's breath, but I never liked that explanation.

This detail of who may be the thing is a lot more interesting an angle to me, but it still doesn't hold (frozen) water to me, for a simple reason: What is the Thing waiting for? You've got two dudes out there, one's an alien creature capable of turning into an unstoppable consuming machine and the other's an exhausted, cold, human man. The Thing could just be done with it and suck the poor guy's face off his skull.

Of course, there's the argument that it looks less suspicious if there's two men there waiting to be taken back to civilisation, and they can corroborate each other's stories. That'd mean that there'd be less suspicion aroused and the Thing would have more chance of being taken to a populated area. But on the flipside, why didn't it just wait to be taken back after offing one dude? Or two? Also, if a rescue crew did rock up and find only one guy left and it's the Thing, it could spin any tale about what went on there. Even if it told them an alien had messed everything up, the rescue crew's not likely to instantly believe it.

So, yeah, while this "drinking the fuel" theory is a new one on me and has now shot to the top of the charts in my mind, I'm still going to think that the Thing that was terrorising the guys was killed. That isn't to say, however, that the creature didn't have living parts squirrelled away somewhere... (fade to black, cue Morricone's theme)

Moderator
Posted by Master_Funk

NOOOOOOOOOO MY MIND !!!

Seriously though, that is genius if carpenter actually did it deliberately.

Posted by JCTango

Damn.. I've actually never even seen this movie before... always wanted to, but never got around to doing it. This just makes me want to watch it even more!

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