The Ultimate in
Man is the Warmest
Place to Hide.
"Mayday, mayday. Can anyone here me? Over. This is U.S. Station 31. Do you read me?
We found something in the
ice. We need some help down here. Can anybody hear me?
something ... we found something ... we found something ..."
(Pleading voice heard over radio static)
"Twelve men have just discovered something. For
it was buried in the snow and ice. Now it has found a place
to live. Inside.
Where none can see it. Or hear it. Or feel it."
(Narrator, Theatrical Trailer)
"First goddamn week of winter..."
"Maybe we at war with Norway...?"
"Hey, thanks for thinkin' about it though."
"Seems to be normal."
"I don't know what the hell's in
there, but it's weird and pissed off whatever it is."
"Mac wants the WHAT?"
"How much more of this crap is there?"
"I just can't believe any of this voodoo bullshit."
"Yes, Garry. They dig it
up. They cart it back.
It gets thawed out, wakes up. Probably not in the best of moods ..."
"Cuz it's different than us,
see? Cuz it's from outer space.
What do you want from me?"
PROBABILITY THAT ONE OR MORE
TEAM MEMBERS MAY BE INFECTED
WITH INTRUDER ORGANISM
IF INTRUDER ORGANISM REACHES
ENTIRE WORLD POPULATION INFECTED
27, 000 HOURS FROM FIRST CONTACT
"You can't burn the find of the century.
Thatís gonna win somebody the Nobel prize."
"I just wanna go up to my shack
and get drunk."
"That thing wanted to be
"I know what you mean Blair. Trust is a tough
thing to come by these days.
Tell you what, why donít you just trust in
"So what? Is that supposed to clear him?"
"I know I'm human. And if you were all
these things, then you'd just attack me right now,
so some of you are
still human. This thing doesn't want to show itself,
it wants to hide
inside an imitation. It'll fight if it has to,
but it's vulnerable out in
the open. If it takes us over,
then it has no more enemies, nobody left to
And then it's won."
"Alright, CUT THE BULLSHIT!"
"Thatís just what it wants, to pit us
against each other!"
"Well, then, weíre wrong!"
"Youíre a dead man,
MacReady! Or a dead
"Anyone messes with me and the
whole camp goes."
"You gotta be fucking kidding."
"This is bullshit, Mac. ... They're DEAD, Mac!"
"I know you gentlemen have been through a
lot, but when you find the time
I'd rather not spend the rest of this
winter TIED TO THIS FUCKING COUCH!"
"Hey, Blair! You down there? We got something for ya!"
"Anywhere but here."
"It's GONE, MacReady."
"Yeah, and fuck you too!"
"Why don't we just wait here
awhile ... see what happens ..."
(MacReady, last line of the film)
THE CLASSIC INTRODUCTION TO THE THING
By Alan Dean Foster
The worst desert on
Earth never gets hot. It boasts no towering sand dunes like the
Sahara, no miles and miles of barren gravel as does the Gobi. The
winds that torment this empty land make those that sweep over the Rub al
Khali seem like spring breezes.
There are no venomous snakes or lizards here because there is nothing for
them to poison. A bachelor wolf couldn't make a living on the slopes
of its Vinson Massif. Even the insects shun the place. The birds
who eke out a precarious life along its shores prefer to swim rather than
fly, seeking sustenance from the sea rather than a hostile land. Here
live seals that feed on other seals, microscopic krill that support the
world's largest animals. Yet it takes acres to support a single bug.
A mountain named Erebus stands cloaked in permanent ice, but burns with the
fires of hell. Elsewhere the land itself lies crushed beneath the
solid ice up to three miles thick. In this frozen waste, this gutted
skeleton of a continent unlike any other, only one creature stands a chance
of surviving through the winters. His name is Man, and like the diving
spider he's forced to carry his sustenance on his back.
Sometimes Man imports other things to Antarctica along with his heat and
food and shelter that would not have an immediate impact on an impartial
observer. Some are benign, such as the desire to study and learn,
which drives him down to this empty wasteland in the first place.
Others can be more personal and dangerous. Paranoia, fear of open
places, extreme loneliness; all can hitch free and unwelcome rides in the
minds of the most stable of scientists and technicians.
Usually these feelings stay hidden, locked away behind the need to
concentrate on surviving hundred-mile-an-hour winds and eighty-below-zero
temperatures. It takes an extraordinary set of circumstances to
transform paranoia into a necessary instrument for survival.
When the wind blows hard across the surface of Antarctica, the universe is
reduced to simpler elements. Sky, land, horizon all cease to exist.
Differences die as the world melts into blustery, homogeneous cream.
Out of that swirling, confused whiteness came a sound; the erratic buzzing
of a giant bee. It cut through the insistent moan of the wind and it
was too close to the ground.
The pilot let out an indecipherable oath as he fought the controls.
The helicopter struggled to gain altitude. Whiskers fringed the man's
cheeks and chin. His eyes were bloodshot and wild.
He should not have been walking, much less guiding a stubborn craft through
wild air. Something unseen was compelling him, driving him. A
recent horror. It overrode common sense and rational thought.
There was no light of reason in the pilot's eyes. Only murder.
Murder and desperation.
His companion was bigger, tending to fat. Normally he lived within the
purview of a fine-grain microscope and composed lengthy dissertations on the
nature of the creatures too small to be seen by the naked eye. But he
was not hunting microbes now. His demeanor was anything but composed.
There was nothing of scientific detachment in his voice as he shouted
directions to the pilot while staring through a battered pair of Zeiss
binoculars. Across his thighs rested a high-powered hunting rifle, the
4X scope mounted on it a clumsy parody of the elegant instruments he usually
He lowered the lenses and squinted into the blowing snow, then kicked open
the door of the chopper and set the restraining brace to keep it open.
The pilot growled something and his companion responded by raising the
rifle. He checked to make sure there was a shell resting in the
chamber. The two men argued madly, like children fighting over a
plaything. But there was no note of play in their voices, no innocence
in their eyes.
The wind caught the machine, throwing it sideways through the sky. The
pilot cursed the weather and struggled to bring his craft back to an even
Ahead and below, a dog turned to snarl at the pursuing helicopter. He
was a husky and malamute mix, but still looked as out of place on that cold
white surface as any mammal. He turned and jumped forward just as a
shell exploded at his heels. The sound of the shot was quickly
swallowed by the constant, uncaring wind.
The chopper dipped crazily in the whirlpool of wild air. It continued
to fly too close to the ground. An inspector would have recommended
revocation of its pilot's license on the spot. The pilot didn't give a
damn what anyone watching might think. He didn't care about things
like licenses anymore. Now his sole concern in life was murder.
(Alan Dean Foster, The Thing, 1- 3)