The Thing Ads - IMDB - Title

Saturday Frights: 1951’s The Thing Ads Are Terrifying!

When we think of The Thing most of us can’t help but think of John Carpenter’s version. I have shared before how breathtaking it was when I first saw it at the local 112 Drive-In. It was bleak, and the special effects by Rob Bottin for a ten year-old were truly terrifying. However that fear also applies to the Howard Hawk’s The Thing from Another World. Not just the special effects, while perhaps looking dated now were impressive for the time. In addition 1951’s The Thing ads, turned out to be scary too.

While some see the 1982 film as a reboot of Howard Hawks’ The Thing from Another World. There are many fans that rightfully feel that it isn’t a reboot. It is in fact an adaptation of John W. Campbell’s Who Goes There? from 1938. Honestly I believe both groups are correct. Furthermore you can hear The Thing‘s Director address some of that himself in the clip below.

[Via] Film SCHOOL Archive

On the subject of Directors, there is indeed some speculation as to who directed The Thing from Another World. Even in that clip with John Carpenter and the late Robert Osborne, it came up in their talk. See there have been rumors for many years that Howard Hawks helmed the film. In addition you have some of the original actors who say it was the legendary Director. Others however say it was in fact Christian Nyby who helmed the movie. It seems the man had a thing or two to say himself about the matter at a reunion for 1982:

“Did Hawks direct it? That’s one of the most inane and ridiculous questions I’ve ever heard, and people keep asking. That it was Hawks’ style. Of course it was. This is a man I studied and wanted to be like. You would certainly emulate and copy the master you’re sitting under, which I did. Anyway, if you’re taking painting lessons from Rembrandt, you don’t take the brush out of the master’s hands.

It sounds very much like the rumors surrounding another 1982 film, released around the same time as John Carpenter’s The Thing. Of course I am referring to Poltergeist by Tobe Hooper.

When the movie was released in 1951, RKO Pictures really wanted to make sure people knew about it. That of course naturally included popular magazines of the day. Which is how through the IMDB I stumbled on so many vintage The Thing ads.
The Thing Ads - Scientist - IMDB

Now I know that wasn’t very scary, right? Take a look at this original piece of advertising courtesy of Museum of Mom and Pop Culture. A little more menacing.
The Thing Ads - Museum of Mom and Pop Culture

I saved the best for last, friends. Do yourself a favor and imagine you were turning a magazine page and came upon this in 1951. Terrifying, no?
The Thing Ads - Little Girl - IMDB

There are many times when I see this type of promotion for a film, I find myself missing those days. It seemed like there was such a strong sense of ballyhoo to it all.

Now that you’ve seen The Thing ads for yourself. Why not check out the original trailer too?

[Via] Horror Film Keller


Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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