For the scenes at the Norwegian camp, Carpenter actually used the charred remains of the American camp burned at the end of the film. Much cheaper than building and burning down another camp.
John Carpenter was not the original target for director. An initial attempt was made to engage the services of Tobe Hooper
. Hooper wrote a script for the film in four weeks. It was not taken up by Universal and the project finally landed with Carpenter.
Not many people realise that Stan Winston was called in to assist with the dog kennel scene. Winston is the special effects genius behind Aliens and the Predator.
Contributed by: James Kennedy
Although the film shares the title of the Howard Hawks 1951 film, Carpenter's 'Thing' is based more on a short story titled "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell, Jr.
The jelly that the thing squirted out was KY Jelly. The dog thing was an animatronic hand puppet, because they wanted the movement to be more organic. Norris's head was a hydraulic rod that pushed the head off and the goo was melted rubber and gum. None of the things were people in suits and they used remote controls to move most of them. At the end, where the thing is moving under the boards, it was actually a steel ball being pulled by a winch.
Contributed by: J.R. Weber
Rob Bottin, who did the makeup effects, moved into the studio and worked seven days a week, eventually checking himself into a hospital for exhaustion.
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When movies are made, scenes are often
left on the cutting room floor.
Sometimes, there will be several versions
of a movie floating about on cable, tv or video etc. Other times, a Director may
release a special cut of the movie.