Clip of the Day: The Thing Chest Defibrillation Scene


In honor of The Thing in theatres tomorrow, today’s clip comes from the seminal sci-fi horror classic of the same name from John Carpenter. We all know that this film, along with The Maltese Falcon, The Fly and Ocean’s 11 are textbook examples of how to do a proper remake, so I won’t go into too much detail on it. What I will say is that this is my favorite moment because it’s a true WTF!!!!! moment. It’s the first real “staring past the gates of Hell” moment in an already intense film. And what’s more amazing is the absolute dedication to the craft that went behind moments like this in the film. Rob Bottin, the FX genuis who created the various Things, was only 22 at the time when he did this. He spent a year and a week living on set, making the various creatures for 7 days a week. For this scene in particular, he used highly flammable materials for the construction of interior of the head and neck models. During the shoot, Carpenter decided that, for continuity reasons, they needed some flames around the scene. Without thinking they lit a fire bar and the whole room, which by now was filled with flammable gases, caught fire. Nobody got hurt, but the entire special effects model, on which Bottin had worked several months, was destroyed. And on top of that, they needed a new one right away. When filming was over, Carpenter sent Bottin to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with extreme exhaustion. He literally almost worked himself to death. So you can see how incredibly high the bar is set with this one. Here’s hoping the 2nd remake can rise to the challenge.

Luke Annand

Film geek, podcaster and newly minted IATSE member from Regina, Saskatchewan. I met Don McKellar once, and he told me that Quentin Tarantino is exactly like me.
  • Christopher Misch

    Gross me out!