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The Thing$
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Jez Conolly

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781906733773

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906733773.001.0001

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‘Weird and pissed off whatever it is’

‘Weird and pissed off whatever it is’

(p.61) ‘Weird and pissed off whatever it is’
The Thing

Jez Conolly

Liverpool University Press

This chapter talks about the special effects of The Thing. It defines Body Horror and explores its antecedents beyond filmic reference points. The chapter identifies the four key players of the film's special effects: Dale Kuipers, Mentor Huebner, Mike Ploog and Rob Bottin. It describes their resultant work as an all-consuming venture, a benchmark in special effects that would stretch the film's finances and also its production schedule. It describes Bottin's effects as having the amazing ability to generate animacy from inanimacy. The chapter discusses how the Body Horror films of the 1980s specialised in gruesome transformation sequences of one kind or another, which tended to be presented as extended visual party pieces, in order to achieve what most of the films in the genre craved: a reaction similar to that of the audience reception to the works of the pioneers of pre-cinema with their deliberately fright inducing magic lantern shows. It states that The Thing's parade of effects sequences neither interrupt nor dominate the beat of the film. In fact if anything they reflect and accentuate its confidently inexorable stride pattern.

Keywords:   special effects, body horror, Dale Kuipers, Mentor Huebner, Mike Ploog, Rob Botti, The Thing

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