Whoa, just curious. Welcome to Just curious media. This let's talk movies. And I'm Jason Connell on the show today I'm joined by Sal Rodriguez. Thank you, Jason. You're welcome, man. And thank you for joining me, Sal. It has been a long time since you've been on the show. Heck, it's been a long time since I've dropped an episode of Let's Talk movies. Yeah,
it has been awhile. August 31 2022.
Well, I know it's been a long time. I just gotten back from my wonderful trip in Los Angeles, where we spent some time together, which was a lot of fun. We actually recorded in person for let's talk movies. No, not that.
It's about that. Oh, let's
talk Cobra Kai. Very special episode, we broke down to The Next Karate Kid. That said, when I got back to Massachusetts, we closed on a new home. And Rhode Island, you know all of this, but our fans don't. They don't know this. And then came my third move in two years. But let's call it final for a while. And that was just a ton of work renovations while we're living in the home. Yeah, it was only 90 minute drive. But it was logistics coming from stuff was coming from different homes, different states. Then I was one of the directors of the mystic Film Festival in late October. And it was just edited and the holidays, had to go visit family. So I am sorry, for my absence. But I can assure you that I'm grounded. I have a new studio, learning my new place in life here in Rhode Island, loving it. And we're back to do more episodes
of Let's Talk movies. You're laying down roots,
laying down roots. And in fact, just curious media has launched a new show. And that is dog gone. The dog on podcast and you are on that first episode. But that is now out there in the universe. So more offerings from just curious media. And I encourage any and everyone who's a dog lover and wants to hear people tell their dogs stories, how impactful it was and dealing with their loss, and just really different tone, different kind of show, but very beautiful, and just getting going. So lots happening. But today, I wanted to lure you in. And as we went back and revisited rewatched. The thing 1982. Let's be clear. I just saw it again for the 10th time and brought you on board to visit me on the air and just talking about this movie because I know you're a huge fan as well.
Yeah, this is one of those movies, one of those few movies. I don't identify as a cinephile, you may argue I am but I don't officially identify as such, because the thing is one of those few movies that I have seen multiple times. Yeah, I probably have seen this thing about 10 times. And I can't say that about many movies.
It has a very high rewatch ability to it, you know, and I watch it every so often. And it's like, oh my god, is it getting better? Or do I always just enjoy the ride? I mean, we even screened the thing on 35 millimeter at the VISTA theatre as part of the Los Angeles United Film Festival at midnight. And that was years ago. You know, and speaking of years, it turned 40 last year 40 years, it's 41. Now, I just couldn't believe it because it holds up so beautifully. And I figured we would just have a little fun here a quick exploration just, you know, just singing its praises celebrating this movie for me to watch it again. I now own it an apple, which I love buying movies and Apple when they go on sale and I can revisit it anytime I want and you know in 4k Looks amazing. Sounds amazing. So I did just the other day, I thought I've got to talk about this movie. And maybe at some point in time, we'll have some cast members on that would be great. But for now, I thought we'd play the classic trailer and then delve into just a few, you know, takeaways and fun stuff and we got a good surprise that I know you're hanging on to so let's queue up the trailer. Look at us going all high tech. So to do the trailer, I have to get prepared.
Oh, it's going on here.
Okay, now I now live in New England. And die. Yeah, well, I guess I've lived in New England a year now but so I know how to get ready for things and different climates because when I live in Los Angeles, I didn't have a jacket that was quite so. Antarctic ready.
Yeah. Well, let me see what the hood looks like.
Yeah, go back. ready.
You're ready for the cold. You're ready for Antarctica.
So bear with us here. As we get this thing queued up
nation 30 Something in the I need some help down here. Can anybody hear me? We found something something something
I love that it's so cool
oh that John Carpenter's names over the past
12 men have just discovered something for 100,000 years it was buried in the snow and ice. Now it has found a place to live inside where no one can see it or hear it or feel it. I know I'm human. Some of you are still human. This thing doesn't want to show itself it wants to hide inside an imitation you'll fight if it has to. But it's vulnerable out in the open that takes us over and it has no more enemies nobody left to kill it and then it's one you guys gonna listen to Gary can be one of those things
man it just feels cold Okay, I'm gonna take up my jacket All right,
that was cool man still holds up a damn even in the even the trailer still holds up.
Yeah, I don't know if you were afraid to talk so then I didn't talk I was like I just gonna get into this.
Well okay, we've never done that before where we've played a video the fully connected so I was like, Yeah, it sounds kind of work. It worked
and then look at this sound like it sounded nice. The trailer was great. But the poster don't don't don't look at that. And the poster. I love what it says the ultimate in Alien terror.
Well, the very beginning where the guy goes something we found something. We found some thing I was like, Oh, I was I was this many years old when I realized oh, yeah, some thing thing. Hello. Yeah.
So those who don't know the synopsis reads is such a research team and Artica is hunted by a shape shifting alien that assumes the appearance of its victims. Now I love that shape shifting alien. Because it really is. Piggybacking a little bit. Omar has a lot of Ridley Scott's Alien in this movie, I would say very similar. You have all these people in space. And then this aliens brought a board ingested into one of them comes out and hunts them down. So it doesn't shapeshift it's just there to knock you out one by one by one and take over. And those are like, incredibly smart. I'm assuming the thing is as well. But it is, you know, a few years after that movie, alien. And then it has some elements of I would say another movie that I'm very fond of is Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Because that is the essence of taking place as somebody it's almost like morphing these two wonderful movies together. Yeah. And then making it its own. For sure. I mean, John Carpenter, enough said, Halloween, the fog Escape from New York. Christine. And so so many more movies. Legendary. He's so big that His names above the title Jhankar.
Yeah, I don't know. I'm kind of prone to call him the ultimate horror director. Would you say even to this day? Is there? Is there anyone that surpasses would you say Wes Craven Wes
Craven would come to mind because he kind of stayed in that lane. But you know, I don't know. I don't even have to give him the title to me. He's just incredible filmmaker. I don't even want to put him in a genre. He's just such a great filmmaker. Yeah.
And not only a filmmaker John Carpenter oftentimes will score his own films,
scores his own films. I know the Halloween theme himself did amazing. And he has great initials. JC Yeah, big fan. So composed by Ennio Morricone, who did so many great things from those Spaghetti Westerns to a lot of Tarantino films and any it's probably easier to name the movies. He didn't score because he just touched everything. I love the score. Having gone back and just watch this movie again. It's like oh my gosh, this want to put the soundtrack on it's that Good. And then we're talking cast. So, me Kurt Russell, John Carpenter would always work with people for the most part again and again. And Kurt Russell among them, you know, Snake Plissken from Escape from New York. He was also an escape from LA which wasn't as good. But he's plays MacCready, which I love that name MacCready. And then you have Wilford Brimley is Dr. Blair, Keith, David is childs and so many more. He says in the trailer, 12 of us are here together. Smart, have 12 You're gonna lose people. You can't start with three. SHAN it's a wonderful cast. You recognize so many of these people. But it's true horror, essentially, like the beats being Sal. A Norwegian dog comes into the camp, by the way, half wolf half Malamute. His name was Jed in real life. But he comes in this camp. But he's being chased by these Norwegians who are shooting him in a helicopter. You know, those old school helicopters missing really bad shots. And they wind up blowing up their own helicopter right before
and they blow it up. They didn't just miss the dog. They killed themselves. They
did a lot of bad things. And they shot one of these guys part of the crew that we get to know. And anyway, the dog comes in the camp and he thanked him and those guys are nuts. Those guys are crazy trying to kill this dog while the dog is the thing. Yeah, and the dog has an amazing scenes where he's just, you know, walking down a hall looks and goes and visits. It's like, oh, my gosh, this dog. And John Carpenter's. Yeah, he nailed it. It's like they couldn't believe how well trained and he did these things. It just worked beautifully in the film. And it just makes it come to life. So he is the thing and slowly but surely, people go up missing. Things are broken into. They're all accusing one another. And I mean, it's a spectacle. But one of the scenes that always came to mind to me, like reflecting on it, like what were the great scenes. It had to be the blood test. And I don't know how what your thoughts were of that scene, or any other memorable scenes in general, but they had to come up with a way because they're already losing some people. How are we going to know you? Sal Rodriguez aren't Sal Rodriguez is Jason Connell. Jason Connell. And do you remember what they did?
Yeah, it has to do with the way the blood reacts to being burned. So they get the piece of metal? Yeah, they take your blood, they put your blood in the petri dish, they get a piece of metal that's hot. They put the hot metal like a paperclip, I think put it into the blood and see what happens. You have to see how the blood reacts normal blood just gonna go. That's all it's gonna do. The things blood, you put the metal into the things but it's gonna react.
It's looking to react. It's protecting itself. And it's a brilliant idea. It's
yeah, very suspenseful. And the you know, the way that you've been describing this movie the last couple of minutes. I've been getting into mystery suspense lately. It's very suspenseful, that blood test is very suspenseful.
Unbelievable. That's my favorite scene. So when they're doing this, they realize it if it is the thing, they're gonna react right away. So most people are tied down until you have been revealed as not being the thing. You're tied down. And then soon as you're not like let me out of this thing. I don't want to be next to this person because you can't recognize
and it starts off with them being trapped. Just like you mentioned. Was there the movie you mentioned about? People being trapped there? You're they're trapped in a place. And then here comes the danger. Oh, aliens. Alien or alien? Somewhere where you have nowhere to run theoretically, nowhere to go. Yeah, right away, starting up right away horror,
there in the middle of nowhere. And there's not a new party coming in with supplies until the spring and that no, it's the dead of winter. It's cold. I have to wear a jacket to watch the trailer. It's it's frigid. Yes. And then there's lots of other things that go off and discover they go to the Norwegian camp, and they discover that they're all dead. And there is an alien buried underneath the ice that they have discovered the Norwegians did. And they were figuring this out. But there's a lot of creepy things. I mean, just the way people shift and the way they act. Well, for Bradley's character, Dr. Blair starts to really just behave differently. And we know as an audience, like, I don't know, he's not how at the same time, maybe he's making decisions to protect himself because he's paranoid because anybody could be the thing. And it's just it's really amazing. high watermark for John Carpenter. This suspense, the effects the effects for the time this isn't CG that phone in this thing and no offense, CG, but it's real effects and it's gruesome. Like the fly, you know, like that movie holds up with its face. X. It's like, oh my gosh, it's disgusting. Well, this is about as disgusting as it gets.
But you say JSON of the best effects for its time I would argue, even today, let's take the CGS No, not even any practical effects guys today wouldn't necessarily do a better job, once you start to bring in the computer graphics is a whole nother story. But I'm talking about because because you have to argue as to whether or not that means it's better. If you do something with with CG is that better? Well, it's not to me. It's not. It's not necessarily
it might be easier to control, but it doesn't make the outcome better.
I'm no no. And it doesn't make me it doesn't take me or keep me in that world. Because all of a sudden, I'm watching animation. Really? Yeah. And you know, these these movies that are doing digital blood instead of corn syrup. You know, I want the corn syrup.
Yeah, let's go back to an American Werewolf in London. That transformation scene in the light not hidden in the dark in the shadows, and you just see him change David notton horrific and you never stopped thinking about that same. So I'm with you. I love a lethal weapon with real explosions and cars really blowing up and you know, the stakes are higher. This is gory to the next level. Yep. And on that note, I believe you won Sal Rodriguez Toy Collector connoisseur has a few items from the thing. And I'd love to see them and share them with our audience.
Jason, I will say if there's one reason and one reason only why you have me as your guest on today's episode of Let's say this is for my thing, collectibles. I mean, who could you call in your arsenal of a co hosts? To who has the thing? I bet you nobody except for me. So I'm very happy to hear just thank you. First thing of these were released by McFarlane Toys a few years ago. I mean, and I mean, like, like 15 1015 years ago. They came with a thing out there. Yep. So it comes with a whole frame. It's called Movie maniacs was this movie maniacs? Yeah, McFarlane movie maniacs there have the thing poster in there then. The first guy is that Mac
ready do you think is that Mac ready on there? Is that the thing?
I think it's just a represent the
things taking over so it's not Mac ready? Yeah, him arriving.
I always said McCready you don't say McCready oh sorry that's a Mac ready? You say Mac ready?
When I see it written out it is M A C capital R EA
the only reason I know that for certain is because my friend my friend Jake named his cat McCready so I'm like I it is
McCready, you should have corrected me earlier. Yes, Kurt Russell plays McCready don't read it. Don't look at it. I'm a Mac guy.
So I get confused Mac iMac ready.
Okay, what's going on there?
I think this is Blair. Oh, I think this is the Blair moment, I think because it's called The Blair creature. I think it's called in the Yes. In the package. Yes. That's um, so that's the Blair and then we have this one. I believe it's called the Norris creature.
Oh my gosh. Look at that. Yes. Fuse.
Yes. And in the package with Norris was my favorite. And it's so fragile. I've cracked his legs off a few times, is the spider head. There's the spider.
That was so gross.
So this will talk about the memorable scenes when the head comes down off that table. The legs pop out terrifying. Oh my god, that and then even though I love the creatures, of course, the thing for me is about the creatures about those horrible effects. You know, horrible meaning good. We have of course, MacCready. So cool. There he is Kurt Russell himself. Now this one's made by Nick the other ones what we're by MacFarlane. This one is by NECA this was a recent release this one only came out about a year ago and was in high demand. I got this one at Target.
Is he the only one of the 12 the only human they
released from the thing was McCready yeah yeah no I'd love child we're we're awaiting them we're all waiting.
Well that looks really good. Looks like a young Kurt Russell there you were saying you can probably get it at Target today.
Let me see that. Look at that.
Oh yeah. Wow, McCready. You know, when they spell that maybe just dumped the A McCready I got thrown off
that I like MacCready. I do that's funny. Mac read. It's almost like a rapper.
Um, too much like an Applehead. Well, that's incredible. Not the show. But that's an incredible collection. So kudos to you. Do you have any take on the ending of the movie because this most recent watch, it's very fresh in my mind. I was sitting there having an internal debate. So listen, spoilers aside, whatever that movie is 40 years old. At the very end of the movie, McCready is still alive. Yeah, well, you don't know if he's been compromised because we don't see everything we assume he Is McCready and he's of true human self. And then Keith, DAVID CHILDS disappears at one point in time at hiding, and then comes in to frame at the very end. And they're outside the camps a mass, they're in the, you know, they're in the Antarctic, they're not going to make it through the night. We have a fire going, but no one's probably going to come. So you're left to think like, hey, let's just have a drink. Enjoy this fire until we freeze to death. Yeah, but people don't know a lot of people go one way or the other is child's compromised or not. And seeing it just recently, my take is he was hiding. He's not been compromised. He's not the thing. The thing was talking out before. Yeah, Child's is a human. McCready is a human.
And both of them are humans. That is my take. It ends with us not knowing but you think neither are
I? Yeah, that's my vote. Okay. Well, I,
I like happy endings. And I hope you're right. Well, they're gonna,
they're gonna die anyway. And unless they built a fort real fast, and like, I don't know why they just kind of made it sound that way. Yeah, maybe there is something they could take, you know, cover in, the food supplies diminished. And there's a lot of bad things, and they're worn out. But I'd like to think they are alive. But I just didn't see either one of them being the thing. Because I don't think like things come up and rationalize with them. The other person is so vulnerable in that moment, it would have been easy to take them out. Plus, remember later in the movie, near the very end, third act, the thing is underground and starts to like, create more chaos than just being a person all of a sudden, it's kind of a bigger beam. You know, it's not even in a person at some of those points, as far as I know. So I'd say
it's an amalgamation of everything, isn't it? Yeah. keeps growing and growing and growing. Yeah. Hasn't John Carpenter commented, surely, surely they've asked him, I think
he's left it to your own device. No director wants to come out and tell you what to think if it lived on this long. And one thing that really bothered me in the movie, seeing it again, and I'm a huge, huge, huge dog fan. It was to see how some of the dogs were, you know, dismissed. Killed. Shot. I know, it's all fake. I know. It's all part of the story of man. Those those scenes really were hard for me this time around like, oh, yeah, I just didn't notice this before or, you know, just caught in different places. And you see, I'm more sympathetic to the fact but no, no dogs were hurt. But the perception was like, Wow, it really stuck with me. And there should be a dog figure. I think in the No,
you know what? No, you know what, Jason, you just refresh my memory. There used to be a company called soda toys, state of the art, toys, soda toys. And they did make a McCready set where he's holding a shotgun. He's wearing a grey shirt. And then the dogs are doing so there's at least one or two dog feet. Yes. So it's a little diorama. Yeah, there is that set. It's a sought after it's old. It's got to be you know, at least maybe 20 years old at this point. In fact, I think maybe the soda toys box set predates the MacFarlane series and which predates the next series, so I think so toys might have even been first.
Well, there you go. Yeah. I mean, that one accurate. Richard Mauser played Clark. He was kind of a gatekeeper of the dog. Yeah. The handler. Yeah. And then you assume in the movie, because the suspense is very high. It's like a Hitchcock movie. You assume since he's shepherding the dogs and here comes the thing. And he took a liking to him, right, the dog went right into him. And you figured they spent time together. So surely Clark's been compromised, right? And then you find out he hadn't been? And McCready shoots him in that one scene. It's like, Oh, my God did these curveballs and this wonderful, wonderful storytelling. Fact, if I watch it every 5678 years, it's like, you forget enough of the stuff that you're like, Oh, yeah. What's gonna happen to this guy? Oh, yeah. What happens to in that begins to play out. And that's good filmmaking. That's great storytelling, and also this ambiguous ending. It's like, well, let me look at it again. Maybe I feel differently next time. And maybe I will
the element of, it's easy. If it's like, okay, I'm good, and they're bad. And I want to kill that person. Yeah. But meanwhile, you have those incidences where you realize, oh, my God, I killed an innocent person. Yep. So it's more than just you're fighting a creature and that happens. And they
start to turn on each other like these movies. Do. We believe this? We believe that you just kill your murderer now. Well, but yeah, no one can trust anybody. Yeah, in a way that's
a murder mystery. It's like a whore. Murder Mystery is what it is.
And that's where it differs from Alien but it had the He, you know, opportunity to come out after alien, which by the way, it's its own masterpiece. I love, love love alien. But in that movie, if you remember it at all the AI, you know, he changes. And when we see him change, it's like, oh, well, he kind of has his own agenda. He's wired a certain way. But everyone else isn't turning on everybody, because they don't think you're the alien. Right? So this is where this movie had the benefit of like, well, let's bring another layer into play here. And it really amps the suspense in its own way. The way it's shot scored. Like I mentioned earlier, the effects and the acting. It's fantastic. And I know we weren't going to talk about this. But there hasn't been a shot by shot remake. But there was another movie that came out not that long ago. But you know, enough years, or I saw it when it first came out. I was like, Oh, yeah. And I thought it was a remake. But you were saying before we recorded that it was a sequel? Or prequel, I should say Sprinklr. Yeah,
I think what it is, is a covers that the other team that they stumbled on reaches the Norwegian. Okay, so it's their Norwegian team, the Norwegian camp, at the end of that movie, The dog runs off. And then at the beginning of this movie The dog is running in. So I think we're led to believe that that other movie that that some people thought was a remake was actually more of a prequel to the movie, the thing and let's not forget that our movie here 1982 Is the thing is officially a remake of something from the 50s. Right, remember that one? But I haven't seen it. But yeah, okay. So that I saw that it was you know, be movie 50 style, but my mother used to talk about it. So when my mother took me to see this movie, she did invoke that previous movie thinking that it was gonna be similar, and it was not at all similar at all other than the fact that it's an alien coming to wreak havoc, you know, that was the the only similarity. So yeah, you have you have the original then you have this one nice and 82, which to me is the gold standard, and then you have that prequel. So I would recommend to go ahead and
go back and revisit that it came out a lot. So it wasn't just a few years ago, it's already like 12 years old now was a long time ago. But I liked this. I liked the acting, but I don't recall them all being Norwegians. But I'm sure they took it a different way.
They might have messed around. But yeah, I think it was pretty cool. Yeah, please watch it. Let me know what you think. Because I do think we were left to think that
we might come back and talk about it. But yeah, I think I think you're right, there was some elements, but you know, it wasn't as impactful. Obviously,
if you liked the practical effects, you're going to be disallowed when you watch that one, because it's going to be all Yeah, it's gonna be all the computer stuff. Sure.
Anyway, this movie just brilliantly done, and I highly, highly recommend checking it out. rewatch it, if you haven't seen it in a while. Or if you've never seen it, good on you. You're gonna love it. I mean, I'd love to watch it with like a newbie, you know, it'd be fun that would sell it's like, oh, let's watch this movie together and just see what they get from it, like get their comments on the effects and whatnot, but
and then Jason You know what, once you've seen the movie once you fall in love with the movie, go get the action figure. Go get the collectible toys by SOTA, MacFarlane and Nico.
Absolutely. So without further ado, please enjoy the thing. So thank you so much for listening. And please be sure to subscribe to the let's talk movies podcast and the let's talk movies YouTube Live Channel. You can also really help us by giving the show a five star rating on Apple podcast.
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