WHAT’S DOIN’, BASTARDS?
The old adage “trust but verify” doesn’t exist in the wild west of the internet. Anybody with a heartbeat and a decent signal can jump online and post whatever kind of story they want. Usually you can smell the bullshit that’s being served as prime rib from a mile away, but every once in a while (see: the majority of the time) websites around the world eat the bullshit and ask for more (I am sure even DG has done it). Last week a story was reported by multiple sites claiming that a former assistant to John Carpenter had a quote from the director that revealed the ending of THE THING (1982):
“A friend of mine, back when he was an assistant, spent a great deal of time with John Carpenter doing interviews and the like for video games and comic projects. I was discussing my conversation with Larry Turman with this friend and he said
“You know, I asked John Carpenter about The Thing.”
“Oh yeah? What did he say?” I asked.
“He said he never understood where all the confusion came from. The last frame of The Thing is Kurt Russell and Keith David staring each other down, harshly backlit. It’s completely, glaringly obvious that Kurt Russell is breathing and Keith David is not.”
I looked at my friend for a minute, soaking it in. Straight from the horse’s mouth.
“That’s a pretty subtle cue to expect the audience to absorb having seen severed heads grow spider legs and run around,” I said.
“That’s the genius of The Thing,” my friend said, and we moved on to other subjects.”
How is that news worthy? In what universe does that pass as legitimate insight into a story? If you follow the threads, this was originally posted on Reddit but in the “me first” world of film journalism, I guess that counts as a reliable source. We dismissed the story early but it persisted. Only Cinema Blend seemed to question the quote. So, we took it to the source. After speaking with Carpenter’s office, I can assure you that he never said any such thing. In fact, he likes the ending of THE THING being ambiguous. As for the bit about not being able to see the breathe of Childs, it’s because of the lighting, not because Kieth David was holding his breathe. Any report to the contrary is false. Debunked by one email exchange. Trust but verify, part of a complete balanced breakfast.
LOCKED AND LOADED,
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