Okay, let me just say that I really hate when someone asks me for my top ten horror films, simply because it is pretty much impossible for me to narrow down such a huge list of films that I love to just ten titles. This list may change and change again, depending on my mood, the time of day, the weather, and any other number of factors. That being said, one title that would always be on that list, no matter what, would be John Carpenter’s version of the John W. Campbell’s story, Who Goes There?….more commonly known as simply The Thing.
Coming this September, Shout Factory will be unleashing their 2-disc collector’s edition of this 1982 (now) classic. Did we really need another edition of this, since the previous release from Universal Studios back in 2008 was a pretty stellar release? Even more so that you can still pick up copies for well under $10? I guess it really remains to be seen, but the list of new extras on this one are pretty impressive. Here they are, right from Shout Factory’s website:
- NEW 2K scan of the Inter-positive supervised and approved by director of photography Dean Cundey
- NEW 4.1 created from the original 70MM Six Track Dolby Stereo soundtrack
- NEW Audio Commentary with director of photography Dean Cundey
- NEW The Men of Outpost 31 – interviews with Keith David, Thomas Waites, Peter Maloney and more.
- NEW Assembling and Assimilation – an interview with editor Todd Ramsay
- NEW Behind the Chameleon – interviews with visual effects artists Peter Kuran and Susan Turner, special make-up effects artist Rob Burman and Brian Wade and more….
- NEW Sounds from the Cold – interviews with supervising sound editor David Lewis Yewdall and special sound effects designer Alan Howarth
- NEW Between the Lines – an interview with novelization author Alan Dean Foster
- Audio Commentary by director John Carpenter and actor Kurt Russell
- John Carpenter’s The Thing: Terror Takes Shape – a documentary on the making of The Thing featuring interviews with John Carpenter, Kurt Russell, special effects make-up designer Rob Bottin, legendary matte artist Albert Whitlock plus members of the cast and crew (80 minutes – SD)
- Outtakes (5 minutes – SD)
- Vintage featurettes from the electronic press kit featuring interviews with John Carpenter, Kurt Russell and Rob Bottin (12 minutes – SD)
- Vintage featurettes – The Making of a Chilling Tale and The Making of The Thing (1982 – 14 minutes – SD)
- Vintage Product Reel – contains a promotional condensed version of the film with additional footage not in the film (19 minutes – SD)
- Vintage Behind-the-Scenes footage (2 minutes – SD)
- Annotated Production Archive – Production Art and Storyboards, Location Scouting, Special Make-up Effects, Post Production (48 minutes – SD)
- Network TV Broadcast version of The Thing (92 minutes – SD)
- Teaser Trailer & Theatrical Trailers (U.S. and German Trailer)
- TV spots & Radio Spots
- Still Gallery (behind-the-scenes photos, posters and lobby cards)
I do like how they are noting which features are actually new to this release and what is not, so fans know if they’ve already got and have seen some of them. I also like the fact that they show the running times of the older features, though not sure why they wouldn’t do that with the newer featurettes. If these five new featurettes are no more than than a few minutes a piece, that might detract interests in picking up this new release. But if they are considerably longer, than it might get fans to double dip.
Also, for me personally, paying an extra $10 just to get a second fold-out poster by artist Nat Marsh just isn’t worth it. Doesn’t seem lik much of a limited edition. Nothing against Marsh or his work, just a personal opinion.
But what I don’t understand is why would we need the Network TV Broadcast version of this? Who is actually going to sit down and watch it (other than to review), or if they do, would it be more than once? Unless there are scenes in this version that aren’t in the theaterical print, like Carpenter’s Halloween, I just don’t understand the need for this. I’m really hoping this isn’t the reason for a second disc, because that is just a waste of money for the consumers.
I do plan on picking up this new release, as much as I hate to double-dip. But I will be waiting for the reviews to come out first to see if the extras are worth it, as well as how the film looks. Nothing against Shout Factory because they have put out some incredible releases over the years. But I’ve seen my share of releases come out where the print quality wasn’t there, it was the same as the previous release, or it had been ‘cleaned’ too much, meaning altered, like what Anchor Bay did with Halloween years back. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be one of the countless internet trolls out there wanting to pounce on some good news. If this is good as it sounds, I’ll be one of the loudest singing the praises for it.
But as the saying goes, “trust and verify”.