John Carpenter's The Thing is, in my humble opinion, not only his best film but one of the defining features of the 1980s and one that you absolutely must see.
The feature has been the subject of plenty of releases before now but this latest looks to be one of the best yet. Shout Factory in the US have gone back to restore the original sound and audio for a new blu-ray remaster and they've added some awesome extras and new box art too.
Ok so honestly I'm not totally convinced by the new artwork, it's a little generic on the one hand (the blue cover) and somewhat too cartoonish on the other hand. But artwork doesn't take away from the film, though it does have to sit on your shelf looking like that.
The new extras inlclude:
2K Scan Of The Interpositive Supervised And Approved By Director Of Photography Dean Cundey
4.1 Audio Mix Created From The Original 70MM Six Track Dolby Stereo Soundtrack
Audio Commentary With Director Of Photography Dean Cundey
Audio Commentary By Director John Carpenter And Actor Kurt Russell
The Men Of Outpost 31 – Interviews With Keith David, Thomas Waites, Peter Maloney And More…
Assembling And Assimilation – An Interview With Editor Todd Ramsay
Behind The Chameleon – Interviews With Visual Effects Artists Peter Kuran And Susan Turner, Special Make-up Effects Artist Rob Burman And Brian Wade And More…
Sounds From The Cold – Interviews With Supervising Sound Editor David Lewis Yewdall And Special Sound Effects Designer Alan Howarth
Between The Lines – An Interview With Novelization Author Alan Dean Foster
That's a very impressive list, though it's a shame to not hear from John Carpenter himself and partner in crime Kurt Russell. At least their good natured commentary from past releases is still intact, as is the excellent 80 minute behind the scenes doc Terror Takes Shape.
It sounds like a really impressive disk and you can get both of these slipcover options plus a two posters with the same artwork by ordering early from Shout Factory.
The only bad news here is that this new version of the film is locked to Region A, that's the USA and Canada, and it looks like the company won't deliver anywhere else. But if you can get past those issues and have a region free blu ray player (which is pretty easy these days) this is a must buy.
The Thing will be out on blu-ray on September 20th, 2016.