Sunday, November 18, 2007

"The Thing" from another flat file--



I was five years old when I first saw "The Thing from Another World". Most of the overlapping and science-heavy dialogue couldn't hold my attention, but when the creature made his appearances my eyes widened. Just the thought of all those people being held hostage in a remote ice station by an alien monster made it seem like a terrifying version of the "I'm gonna get you!" game of hide and seek I'd play with my older cousins. The creature scared the hell out of me, but I couldn't look away.

The most interesting aspect of this film is how little screen time the alien creature was given. And when he is on-screen he's cloaked in shadow. Less was more, much more, as opposed to contemporary horror and sci-fi films wherein all of the gore and details are polished in cgi and thrown at us in each and every scene.

These sketches of the Thing were done while watching a vhs copy and trying to figure out just what this elusive creature actually looked like. In the sixteen years since there have been digitally remastered vhs and dvd releases, along with photos and "making of..." articles in mags like Filmfax, Outre and Cinefantastique, etc... But at the time I made these studies all I had was a vhs player and a pause button.

Looking at these sketches with older, wiser(?) eyes I see plenty of places where I dropped the ball - I didn't notice that he had a chest emblem, five fingers on each hand, his head's too bulbous, etc... but I do remember having fun drawing them.

I hope you've seen this film and appreciate it as much as I do. If you haven't seen it, I envy you- you're in for a real treat.

"Keep watching the skies!--"

4 comments:

bigjiminy said...

I like the feel of your drawings here Vince despite your self-critique. They have an aire of authenticity about them. Your Honeymooner's stuff is incredible too....man!

Oscar Grillo said...

This film, I saw it on it's release, was the scariest thing I've ever seen in my life!

Vince M. said...

Thanks for the kind words, Jim. I really appreciate them.

And Oscar, I agree, it IS one of the most suspenesful films ever made. Plus: it's got Kenneth Tobey in it, one of the most heroic actors since Errol Flynn, in my humble opinion. Thanks so much for stopping by.

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