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!

Check Out Some One Sheet Art Of Bob Peak!

While the name of Bob Peak may not be familiar to you. I can certainly assure you that you’ve seen at least one of his amazing pieces of art in your time. In particular if you are a lover – a connoisseur of films. For example Bob Peak is the one responsible for the iconic design of 1973’s Enter the Dragon one sheet.
Bob Peak

The dystopian tones of 1975’s Rollerball?

Or how about the movie poster for 1981’s Excalibur?

That is in fact the tip of the iceberg, my friends. While Bob Peak got his start in advertising for magazines in 1953 – it was in 1961 when he found what I feel was his true calling. Movie posters. In addition it was that year that United Artists would hire Peak to come up with a design for their upcoming adaptation of West Side Story!

While that might be where Peak got his start he quickly began creating art for other films. Like 1964’s My Fair Lady. Work that shows why his work continues to inspire new generations of artists.

Image courtesy of Bob Peak.Net

In all Bob Peak would go on to create over 130 film posters not to mention having his artwork featured in the likes of Time, Sports Illustrated, and the TV Guide.

Image courtesy of Bob Peak.Net

Sadly Bob Peak passed away in 1992 but he truly left behind a stunning legacy of one sheet artwork. You can find out more about Peak by visiting the artist’s official site. Two in particular I found from his site made my jaw drop. The first being that alternate design for 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture used at the top of the post.

As well as this unused concept for 1983’s Something Wicked This Way Comes. Which can be purchased among many other pieces of art by Peak at Artphoric.com

Image courtesy of Artphoric.com

Now that you’ve seen a little of some of my favorite artwork from Bob Peak. Take a moment and watch this episode of Beyond the Marquee with Jon Donahue.


In the the video, Donahue visits the DREW & BOB: Masters of Movie Art exhibit from 2014. Which featured artwork not only from Peak but Drew Struzan as well!
Drew Struzan

What Were The Films Universal Pictures Was Crowing About Back In 1982?

The other day at the arcade, I had dropped by to record the Zaxxon episode of the Diary of An Arcade Employee podcast and found that Shea had left me a pretty awesome gift. A laminated flyer circa 1982 from Universal Pictures promoting their then upcoming films that they felt would appeal to fans of horror, fantasy, and science-fiction.

I must assume these were handed out at trade shows to get film distributors interested enough to make sure to order enough prints for the films being offered by the studios so they could then lease them to the movie theaters. I love how they remind you of Universal Pictures heritage in those fields of entertainment right off the bat!

Universal Pictures 1982

Then we get the enjoyment of seeing just what Universal was bringing to the table in 1982. I mean, just look at that line up! Cat People. Conan the Barbarian. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. John Carpenter’s The Thing. David Cronenberg’s Videodrome and to end the year out they had Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal!

Universal Pictures 1982 - Cat People - The Thing

By the way, it looks like the dates changed from that flyer which is understandable as studios have a tendency to do this all the time but E.T. hit theaters on June 11th.

E.T. the Extra Terrestrial - 1982

Videodrome though saw itself being pushed back to February 4, 1983.
Videodrome - 1983

This will find a place of honor on my library wall!

The Thing Book and Record

John Carpenter’s The Thing: Theatrical Promotion Book (1982)

Yesterday happened to mark my 40th year on this planet. I want to thank everyone who wished me a Happy B-day over on Facebook, that meant quite a lot. I also do not mind adding that it was a pretty great day in terms of Retro gifts.

The big surprise of the day was that after 28 years I finally have a Star Wars: Return of the Jedi Y-Wing vehicle in my collection. Granted it is one of the Toys R Us exclusive re-release of the famed bomber…but beggars can’t be choosers!

The grandest gift of all came from Retroist regular, Dax, as he somehow got his hands on something I didn’t even know existed. It’s a promotional book for movie theaters that were going to be carrying John Carpenter’s The Thing back in 1982. It’s not about the making of the movie or anything like that but contains the classic story the movie was based on by John W. Campbell Jr., the original story was entitled “Who Goes There?”.

Now check out that awesome cover. The almost X-ray image of the Thing with that tentacle nightmare of a shadow spread out before it. Was this perhaps what was originally intended to be the theatrical poster before the legendary Drew Struzan’s design? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say I would have been just as happy if the image on the promotional book had been used!