The Thing

John Carpenter’s The Thing…Is Becoming A Board Game?!

1982’s The Thing is one of John Carpenter’s greatest movies. Having said that, I want to point out that isn’t hyperbole but just a stone cold fact. Granted in 1982 most audiences weren’t ready to embrace The Thing. While the average movie goer was certainly basking in the warmth of 1982’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and for good reason. There were indeed a few fans of horror that embraced the much darker film of alien contact.
Drew Struzan

In addition there were enough fans of John Carpenter as well as his exceptional film about isolation and paranoia. That The Thing continued to quietly capture fans by and large over the years. I can still vividly recall the sense of delicious dread and fear watching it for the first time, at a local Drive-In. Furthermore John Carpenter’s take on John W. Campbell’s novella Who Goes There? over the years has mutated from cult film to full-fledged classic.

{Via] Thriller Chiller Films

I would like to point out I place The Thing in my top ten favorite movies of all time.
The Thing

All things considered it shouldn’t have shocked me that there was an announcement today by Mondo. In partnership with Project Raygun they are producing a board game based on the 1982 movie. Entitled THE THING: INFECTION AT OUTPOST 31 it will boast artwork by Justin Erickson of Phantom City Creative. Of course Outpost 31 was where the cast of characters in the 1982 movie were stationed – an Antarctic research station.
The Thing

As for the style of the game this is what the news release from Mondo stated:
“When we set out to create the first licensed Mondo board game the biggest question was; what film property would we go after? So many of the films we celebrate at Mondo would be an absolute blast in game form,” explained Jay Shaw, Mondo Brand Director. “As soon as John Carpenter’s suspense masterpiece, The Thing was mentioned it very quickly became our top choice,” Shaw noted.

“The next step was to figure out how to actually make a game. We all love playing them, but none of us had designed one before. Game mechanics are an incredibly complicated art form and we didn’t want to enter this space unless we were going to get it right. Luckily our dear friends at Project Raygun were completely up to the challenge. They’ve built an incredibly challenging fast paced game of paranoia that transports players directly into the film,” Shaw continued.”

By all means I do realize that might not be a whole lot to go on. On the positive side until we can get more facts about the game itself – it gives us ample time to start staking a claim on which characters we will want to play.

I call dibs on Fuchs!
The Thing - Fuchs

I also want to thank Earl Green for the heads up on the upcoming The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31 in the first place. Talking it over with Earl, I think we might be able to arrange a night in the future where we can sit down and record the game session. I’m positive there are more than enough people at the arcade who will want to join in for the fun. I’ll also be sure to post any updates on the board game as they come in!

Escape From New York “Lifeclock” Kickstarter!

In 1981 when Escape from New York was originally released I think it took audiences by surprise. At least it certainly did for those at the 62 Drive-In where I first caught the film in my youth.

Trailer Craze

I’m not joking when I say that at nine I was paying attention when I saw John Carpenter’s name. In 1978 the Director helped start the slasher craze with Halloween. One year later and also at the 62 Drive-In I was able to see The Fog. The same in 1981 when Carpenter really delivered a welcome dose of awesomeness with Escape from New York. Not only did the action/sci-fi film make me a lifelong Kurt Russell fan but it also gave my first taste of apocalyptic movies. Not to mention that I learned what an antihero was after watching the badass that is the core of Snake Plissken.

[Via] tomminokker

Now in the movie – in case if you’ve not had the pleasure of seeing it, a Lifeclock helps to keep Plissken motivated. Because when the counter reaches zero it means the end of Snake’s mission to deliver the President back safely. As a matter of fact it means the time to safely administer an antidote to the poison he was injected with has run out too. As has been made clear to Snake from near the beginning of the film.
Escape from New York

So please do try to imagine my surprise when I was contacted by e-mail the other day. To let me know about a new Kickstarter that was started up from the Ridgewood Watch Company. Furthermore it is a campaign to deliver an authentic and official replica of the Lifeclock as seen in Escape from New York!
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Unlike the model used by Snake Plissken, The Lifeclock One sports a few extra features. Since our society tends to value be connected to each other course. Moreso than a loner like Snake that is. Obviously.

[Via] Lifeclock One

So if you purchase a Lifeclock One for yourself you can look forward to:

  • Countdown timer (Hartford Summit configuration only 22:59’:59”)
  • Time (standard time / military time)
  • Up to 8 world clocks
  • Date (five formats)
  • Stopwatch (1/100th second)
  • 18 display animations, 8 character animations
  • Smartphone camera control
  • Push notifications for incoming & missed calls, voicemails and messages (SMS & iMessage)
  • App notification support: Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn with more to come
  • Weather
  • Compass
  • Step counting

To Say Nothing of the fact you’ll like you stepped off the set of Escape from New York!

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lifeclock-one-escape-from-new-york-product-mock-up
Escape from New York - Lifeclock One

So now that you want to know more about the Lifeclock One – hop on over to the Official Kickstarter Page! When they ask who sent you…tell ’em it was the Retroist – or Snake!
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You Can Trust Scream Factory’s The Thing On Blu-Ray!

John Carpenter’s The Thing is one of the greatest movies ever made. I know that is a pretty bold statement. Almost universally vilified on release 34 years ago it managed to achieve cult film status. Slowly finding the audience over the years that could appreciate this masterpiece of horror.
John Carpenter - The Thing

Thanks to Scream Factory The Thing has been released on Blu-Ray today in a Collector’s Edition. If you count yourself a fan of the movie you need to rush out and pick this up right now.

Yes. I am telling you that this Blu-Ray is that worthy. This is more than a chance to crow about a disc with a new interview here or featurette there. This is hands down one of the most epic releases I have had the privilege of reviewing!

I think I might have watched The Thing on TV once.

You are dead to me for saying that! All my joking aside I realize there are people who haven’t seen the film. In a nutshell the movie concerns an American research station in the Antartic that encounter a shape-shifting alien that can perfectly mimic a living organism.

The problem is twofold. The organism wants to assimilate all life and gets very angry when folks try to stop that.

For the next 109 minutes the viewer is treated to one of the most intense science-fiction/horror films ever. The Thing is claustrophobic and bleak – but also strangely uplifting in the character’s defiant actions. You will actually care about those characters too, thanks to the memorable acting by the ensemble cast. I mean when your film boasts the talents of Kurt Russell, Keith David, Donald Moffat, Wilford Brimley, and Richard Dysart to name a few – you can’t help but have great performances.

[Via] Horrorfan

Now let’s talk about those Special Features!

On Disc One:

  • NEW 2K Scan Of The Interpositive Supervised And Approved By Director Of Photography Dean Cundey
  • NEW 4.1 Audio Mix Created From The Original 70MM Six Track Dolby Stereo Soundtrack (5.1 Audio Mix Also Included)
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Director Of Photography Dean Cundey
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Co-producer Stuart Cohen
  • Audio Commentary By Director John Carpenter And Actor Kurt Russell
  • Teaser Trailer (1 minute)
  • Theatrical Trailers (U.S. And German) (5 minutes)
  • TV Spots (1 minute)
  • Radio Spots (2 minutes)
  • Still Gallery (Behind-The-Scenes Photos, Posters And Lobby Cards) (15 minutes)

On Disc Two:

  • NEW Requiem For A Shape Shifter – An Interview With Director John Carpenter In Conversation With Filmmaker Mick Garris (28 minutes)
  • NEW The Men Of Outpost 31 – Interviews With Keith David, Wilford Brimley, David Clennon, Thomas Waites, Peter Maloney, Richard Masur And Joel Polis (51 minutes)
  • NEW Assembling And Assimilation – An Interview With Editor Todd Ramsay (11 minutes)
  • NEW Behind The Chameleon: The Sights Of THE THING – Interviews With Visual Effects Artists Peter Kuran And Susan Turner, Special Make-up Effects Artist Rob Burman, Brian Wade And Stop Motion Animators Randall William Cook And Jim Aupperle (25 minutes)
  • NEW Sounds From The Cold – Interviews With Supervising Sound Editor David Lewis Yewdall And Special Sound Effects Designer Alan Howarth (15 minutes)
  • NEW Between The Lines – An Interview With Novelization Author Alan Dean Foster (16 minutes)
  • NEW Back Into The Cold: A Return To The Shooting Locations Of THE THING – An Animated Photo Gallery Narrated By Todd Cameron Of Outpost31.com
  • NEW The Art Of Mike Ploog Gallery (12 minutes)
  • Disc Two Archival Extras:

  • 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)
  • Network TV Broadcast Version Of THE THING (92 minutes – SD)
  • Outtakes (5 minutes – SD)
  • Vintage Featurettes From The Electronic Press Kit Featuring Interviews With John Carpenter, Kurt Russell And Rob Bottin (13 minutes – SD)
  • Vintage Featurettes – The Making Of A Chilling Tale And The Making Of THE THING (14 minutes – SD)
  • Vintage Product Reel – Contains A 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 (54 minutes – SD)

So why not treat yourself today and pick up The Thing Collector’s Edition on Blu-Ray? You can hop on over to the official Scream Factory site and order your copy or just head out to the stores and grab it from the shelf!

Scream Factory Presents: John Carpenter’s Village Of The Damned On Blu-Ray (1995)

Scream Factory
I have mentioned on more than one occasion that in all honesty I have drank deeply of the Kool-Aid that is the work of John Carpenter. There is truly not a film he has made that I haven’t cared for…he is one of the main reasons in my youth that I wanted to pursue a career in filmmaking, so I have a lot of of love for his talent as a Director.

That isn’t to say of course that I don’t hold some films from his career over others. Which brings us to his 1995 remake of the 1960 classic Village of the Damned, this is a film I saw at the Razorback Theater with a group of friends and we quite liked it…it would seem though audiences and critics of the time didn’t share our appreciation of the film. I have come to learn that John Carpenter chose this film as a way to get Universal to green-light another remake he wanted to bring to the big screen, which was The Creature From The Black Lagoon! There was a bit of studio tinkering…and if Peter Jason (They Live!, Village of the Damned) is to be believed…and there is no reason to doubt him, Universal took the picture out of Carpenter’s hands before he was 100% finished with the product. Which might explain why this film doesn’t reach the heights of say Escape From New York or Halloween but it is STILL a good movie, it’s creepy and possesses an embarrassment of quality actors and awesome visual effects.

Thankfully Scream Factory feels the same way as they’ve decided to release a Collector’s Edition on Blu-Ray!

[Via] Pedro Benetone

Village of the Damned concerns the quite little seaside town of Midwich, California when during a joyous fundraiser for the town, every woman, child, man, anything living passes right out after a curious cloud travels over. Anyone that attempts to enter Midwich is knocked out and unlike the 1960 original Carpenter is quick to point out how deadly being rendered unconcious can be as some of the residents lose their lives during this bizarre event.

Village of the Damned - Truck crash

The horror has only begun however for the people of Midwich as they quickly realize that ten of the women in town are now with child, this includes the main protagonists of the film, Jill McGowan (Linda Kozlowski ), Barbara Chafee (Karen Kahn), and Melanie Roberts (Meredith Salenger) who is still pure. The Government who was already alerted when…you know…people just started passing out when they entered Midwich is quick to lend “aid” to those affected by these strange mass pregnancies, led by Dr. Susan Verner (Kirstie Alley). The townsfolk are rightfully frightened by these events but they at least have the support of Barbara’s husband Dr. Alan Chafee (Christopher Reeve) and Midwich’s minister Reverend George (Mark Hamill), whose wife is also one of those affected by the unexplained pregnancies.

Then, all ten of the pregnant women go into labor on the very same night at the very same time. One of the children is sadly stillborn, the child of Melanie, but even with all of the strangeness their are nine happy couples after the delivery. That doesn’t last long though as all nine of the children have pale complexions, white hair, incredibly…frighteningly…intelligent, a complete lack of empathy or any signs of emotions and they all have the same colored eyes.

Those eyes have the tendency to change hue when one of the children is upset and woe be to those that come under that gaze…I guess they do show one sign of emotion…rage…

[Via] Panchogul

It’s pretty evident that these nine children do not fit in or make the townspeople feel safe, so it’s decided that they will separated from children their age and taught by Alan Chafee, his Daughter Mara acts as the leader of the group. There is one member of the group of children that does act differently and that is Jill’s Son, David, who actually shows some small signs of humanity of being able to feel for others. The problem is that Mara and the others actions are forcing the hands of the townsfolk and even the Military. Can anything be done to change what looks to be a violent conflict between the children of Midwich and the World? Or will all of the Earth become as the Village of the Damned?

To find out that answer you will just have to pick up a copy of John Carpenter’s The Village of the Damned when it’s released tomorrow on April 12th. This being a Scream Factory release you know they will include Special Features worthy of your time:
NEW It Takes A Village: The Making Of Village Of The Damned Featuring Interviews With Director John Carpenter, Producer Sandy King, Actors Michael Pare, Peter Jason, Karen Kahn, Meredith Salenger, Thomas Dekker, Cody Dorkin, Lindsey Haun, Danielle Wiener-Keaton And Make-up Effects Artist Greg Nicotero
NEW Horror’s Hallowed Grounds – Revisiting The Locations Of The Film
NEW The Go To Guy: Peter Jason On John Carpenter
Vintage Interviews Featuring John Carpenter, Christopher Reeve, Kirstie Alley, Linda Kozlowski, Mark Hamill And Wolf Rilla (Director Of The Original VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED)
Vintage Behind-The-Scenes Footage
Theatrical Trailer
Behind-The-Scenes Still Gallery

So feel free to hop on over to Scream Factory’s Official Site to pre-order your copy of John Carpenter’s Village of the Damned or wait until tomorrow to pick it up at your local retailer…or risk the wrath of Mara!

Join John Carpenter and Scream Factory as They Lead the Assault on Precinct 13!

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Check this out my creeps, tonight you can watch the 1976 classic Assault on Precinct 13 right here courtesy of our close personal fiends at Scream Factory! The broadcast will also feature an exclusive interview with the monstrous maestro himself John Carpenter! Read on for all the deadly details:

Delivering terrifying perils and action suspense, Scream Factory’s SUMMER OF FEAR DRIVE-IN presents a special movie live stream screening of John Carpenter’s classic siege thriller ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13, featuring an exclusive interview with legendary filmmaker John Carpenter, on Friday, June 6, 2014 (7 pm PT/ 10 pm ET) on www.summeroffear.com and Scream Factory’s official YouTube channel.

Written and directed by John Carpenter, ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 combines the elements of a classic western and a modern thriller to create a riveting cult classic. Isolated and cut off from the city inside a soon-to-be-closed L.A. police station, a group of police officers and convicts must join forces to defend themselves against the gang called Street Thunder, who have taken a blood oath to kill someone trapped inside the precinct. The film stars Austin Stoker (Battle for the Planet of the Apes), Darwin Joston (Eraserhead) and Laurie Zimmer (American Rasberry).

Presented by Scream Factory, the SUMMER OF FEAR DRIVE-IN takes place over three consecutive Fridays this month (June 6, 13 and 20). Viewers will be treated to a special live online screening of select films at www.summeroffear.com and Scream Factory’s official YouTube channel. Scream Factory’s SUMMER OF FEAR DRIVE-IN experience recreates the retro drive-in theater feel (i.e. coming attractions, vintage refreshment ads and so forth) and the webcast will include never-before-seen interstitials from talent/filmmaker associated with the films, covering a variety of topics pertaining to the film. Upcoming SUMMER OF FEAR DRIVE-IN movies: NIGHT OF THE DEMONS (Friday, June 13) and WITCHBOARD (Friday, June 20).

Viewers will be able to interact with Scream Factory and fans during the broadcast. On the www.summeroffear.com site, the audience can socialize using #summeroffear on Twitter. On YouTube, they can post their comment on the player page.