start of Bill Lancaster writing the original script to the final edited
cut of the film, The
Thing underwent some serious changes. A lot of footage ended up
littering the cutting room floor. The Collector's Edition DVD gives us a
look at some of the Outtakes and Deleted Scenes, but it falls shy of
showing us what really was cut. Some of the material was abandoned or
scrapped for various reasons. Some scenes were storyboarded but never
filmed due to lack of time and/or money. Carpenter himself decided to pull
some scenes, like the stop-motion animation footage of the Blair Monster.
And some ideas and concepts never made it past the storyboard stage as
they were deemed just to difficult to pull off.
Here are shots of
some scenes we've been able to track down. They are given in the
chronological order of the film. You can read excerpts from Alan Dean
Foster's novelization HERE. This gives you a sense of context for each scene.
Here is a scene that was
filmed but cut. It has MacReady being introduced after the incident with the
Norwegians. It portrays Mac as even more alcoholic and anti-social than he is,
and he comes across as far from the take-charge "hero" that we see by the end of
the film. Here, Norris goes to rouse Mac who is bunkered in up in his shack. It
is rare footage like this that would've been fantastic to have included on the
DVD. Perhaps a re-release Special Edition DVD in the future???
The Other Norwegian Corpse
This comes from the Outtakes section on the DVD. Here, Mac and Doc find a
second body as they inspect the ruins of the Norwegian camp. The corpse is
discovered inside of a large cabinet. This occurs after the two have found
the ice block, and in fact it happens in the very same room as the ice block.
You can catch a brief glimpse of this cabinet as Copper makes his way to where
Mac is, after Mac calls him over. It's a shame the makers of the DVD
decided, for whatever reason, not to include the full footage of this shot.
MacReady and His "Friend"
This scene was supposed to
occur during the first night after the dog-Thing was caged by Clark but before
the dogs are attacked. It's very early in the morning and Mac is still
awake trying to watch his way through the Norwegian videotapes. He
apparently wants a little "companionship" as he does so. According to the
original script, Mac is the only one who hears the ruckus when the dog-Thing
attacks the kennel. So it turns out that he and his "friend" inadvertently
end up doing the American camp a great service.
on the Ice Field!
These are a few
storyboards of one scene that is particularly memorable to those who have
read the script and Alan Dean Foster's novelization. It is the dog chase out
onto the open ice fields. Instead of being killed by Blair, the
script has the remaining sled dogs being assimilated by the pieces of the
Thing which they had bitten off during the kennel fight. They
subsequently escape from the kennel and start hightailing it to the
Antarctic coastline. Upon discovering the dogs are missing, Mac,
Childs, and Bennings take off after them on snowmobiles.
This scene turns
out to be one of three possible deaths for Bennings: his death we see in the film,
getting murdered in the kennel (of which we see a partial clip on the DVD, see more below),
and this scene on the ice field that was never
filmed. Here, Bennings gets pulled to his doom underneath the ice by one
of the dog-Things. A truly creepy sequence that Carpenter wanted to film
but never attempted due to a pure lack of time and money.
Again, for those who have read
the novel the power failure resulting in the "lights out sequence" remains a
memorable one. Many wish it was included in the final film. However,
Carpenter was not pleased with the end result of the "lights out" footage and so
he scrapped it. During a later scene in the film we hear Palmer answer to
Windows regarding how could the Thing have gotten to MacReady "when the lights
went out." This refers back to this scene that was cut.
Unfortunately we've found no storyboards or still shots from this deleted scene.
If you know of any or have some, please send them in!
The Discovery of Fuchs' Body
in the Greenhouse
sequence was shot for the death of Fuchs. Here, the men have formed
search groups to look for Fuchs who's discovered to be missing after the
lights come back on. Childs and Palmer are paired off together, and
in the course of their search they check out the greenhouse where they
have a stash of weed. They find out that the greenhouse's roof has
been mysteriously ripped away, causing the marijuana crop to go into deep
Notice the door behind Palmer's back. As Palmer and Childs debate
about what to do with this new problem, the door begins to swing shut.
To their horror, the men discover Fuchs has been impaled to the door's
backside by an unknown assailant:
Now, the DVD claims this shot
is of a body found by Mac and Copper at the Norwegian camp. This is a
clear error. They've confused this picture with the second Norwegian
corpse mentioned above. The novel and script have Fuchs impaled this way
but with an axe in place of the shovel. It is clear that the person in this
still is actor Joel Polis who played Fuchs and not an anonymous Norwegian.
Mac and Nauls Check Mac's
This is a very rare
shot. You won't find this picture anywhere except here on Outpost
#31! We've been able to determine with certainty that this shows Mac
and Nauls checking out Mac's shack. Just like what happened to the
greenhouse, the men discover that the roof has been torn away. The
debris in the upper righthand corner comes from this. The two are
obviously shown here reacting to something, and the script tells us what it is.
It is nothing other than Mac's inflatable "friend" when she gets dislodged and
thrown about by the wind.
Alternate Death of Windows
another death sequence for the radio operator Windows. In the film Windows
hesitates and is attacked by Palmer-Thing and tossed aside, seriously hurt
and most likely already being taken over by the Thing. He is
unceremoniously torched by MacReady who does not hesitate. Another
storyboarded scene was planned for Windows' demise. It is similar to his
death in the novel. Windows trying to escape from the Thing is attacked
and dragged away to his death. Interestingly enough, the
script has Windows biting down on a cyanide capsule just before he is
engulfed by the Thing.
Alternate Death of Nauls
There were a
few ideas for the death of the young cook Nauls. As it ends up the
version in the final film is the most bland, just having Nauls wander
away. However, it ends up working well by adding to a high tension climax. One
set-up was for Nauls to encounter what fans have called "the Blair Boxmonster."
As Blair-Thing goes through its initial stages of transformation, it was
supposed to pop up and grab Nauls just as Nauls spots the twitching body
of Garry around a corner. Below is the storyboard for this un-shot scene.
The Death Throes of Nauls
Here is an
especially powerful scene that was planned but never shot. After being
initially attacked by the Blair Boxmonster, Nauls was supposed to burst
through the floor right before the fully grown Blair Monster appears. He would be caught in
the process of being assimilated, calling for help to MacReady
before getting consumed by a giant worm-like tentacle that moves through his
body. Too bad Rob Bottin didn't have the time or technology to pull
this shot off. If he did, then it would've ranked up there with the
Norris Spiderhead in its ground-breaking effects.
Outpost #31 Exclusive Deleted
Windows faces a
transforming Palmer in a rare odd angle shot
The Men Come Upon
Fuchs' Burned Body
(Notice the corpse is not partially buried as shown in the film)
The Men Sitting in
the Dining Area
(This may be a filler shot while they await the return of Mac and Nauls. Rare
A very different shot taken from Fangoria #18 of a dog
howling in what looks like an ice cavern. Caption: "A mechanized dog
built by the FX Crew to serve as a Thing meal." Could this be a
shot from an attempt to film the script/novel ice chase sequence where
Mac, Childs, and Bennings pursue the Dog-Things?
A cut scene with Copper and Fuchs studying
the Norwegian tapes.
in the generator room
The DVD's Outtakes
There are 6 full
motion outtakes on the DVD:
(1) A shot showing Garry reading the dead
(2) A scene with Blair and Fuchs discussing the Thing's
(3) A scene with Blair talking to the men about the Thing. He
explains to them saying, "That thing's not dead yet," and all
the men jump back from it.
(4) A scene with the shredded long johns where MacReady questions Clark about what size he wears.
(5) A scene with Bennings
seeing someone in the kennel which ends with Bennings discovering something
inside the kennel. (Note: there are several cut scene stills from
advertising materials (German Lobby Cards, Japanese Movie Program, Anne
Billson's book) that
show Bennings being attacked in the kennel by an unknown assailant, see photo
below. This may be a continuation or ending to this deleted scene we see.
(6) The final scene is a brief extended ending showing the
smoking ruins of the camp the following day. A lone Husky stops to look
back before taking off across the snow. This ending was shown in some of
the television airings of The Thing.