Nearly The Entire Remaining Cast of ‘The Thing’ to Appear at Texas Frightmare
In an unprecedented event, nearly the entire cast of 1982’s The Thing is reuniting at Texas Frightmare Weekend this spring, including director John Carpenter. The classic film turned 40 years old this year, and most of the cast is getting together to celebrate that milestone.
You can find a full list of guests below, and except for the ones who are no longer with us, it reads like a trading card checklist of people associated with the film.
One notably big presence absent from the roster is McReady himself, Kurt Russell. The actor, now 71 years old, is the centerpiece of the movie, taking up second to Rob Bottin’s incredible practical effects that even to this day changed the game for horror movies.
Of course, there are also the Outpost 31 members who have passed on in real life. For instance, Wilfred Brimley who played Dr. Blair died in 2020. Richard Dysart as Dr. Copper passed in 2015, Charles Hallahan (Vance Norris) died in 1997, and Donald Moffat (Gary) left the mortal world in 2018.
T.K. Carter who played Chef Nauls, and is still living, is not listed as one of the alumni appearing for this reunion.
The Thing had a difficult first run at the box office. For whatever reason, the movie was not liked by critics. Roger Ebert said at the time, The Thing was a “disappointment” because of its implausible characterizations and unrealistic choices made by the doctors at the Arctic outpost. Ebert wrote, “‘The Thing‘ is basically, then, just a geek show, a gross-out movie in which teenagers can dare one another to watch the screen.”
But let’s cut Ebert a little slack, he probably had never seen special effects to that degree since The Exorcist, which he called, one of “the best movies of its type ever made.” That was nine years prior to The Thing. Maybe the gross-out factor of The Exorcist had him de-sensitized because there are some really questionable choices made by the humans in that film.
Oh, but there was that criticism from the director of the 1951 original, Christian Nyby, who said of Carpenter’s remake: “If you want blood, go to the slaughterhouse. All in all, it’s a terrific commercial for J&B Scotch.”
Thankfully, Carpenter’s browbeating would turn into accolades once The Thing hit the video tape rental market. There it became a cult favorite and was reevaluated critically, finding new grace among those who saw it as a breakthrough rather than a sci-fi trope.
There are sure to be some very special anecdotes about The Thing once the cast gets together for this 40-year anniversary at Texas Frightmare Weekend.
Here’s the guest list so far:
Peter Maloney as Bennings
Thomas Waites as Windows
Joel Polis as Fuchs
David Clennon as Palmer
Richard Masur as Clark
Keith David as Childs
For more information on the Texas Frightmare Weekend check out their website.
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