It is with this tag-line, and a truly inspired piece of poster art that John Carpenter introduced the alien horror epic that is The Thing back in 1982. Much like Labyrinth, this film failed to find its core audience during that initial theatrical run. Probably didn’t help it opened against Blade Runner, splitting the Sci-Fi crowd, and the fact that E.T. owned the box office for most of the year, winning the box office 16 of the first 26 weekends following its release. Still, The Thing has a strong cult following, and holds up well today with some amazing performances and stunning practical effects.
Is Alien a rip off of the Mario Bava flick Planet of Vampires?
They say that life imitates art, but what happens when art imitates art? Well, sometimes lawsuits, but most of the time we see great homages to movie scenes taken from classic (and not so classic) films. This often gives the scenes new life in someone else’s vision.
We here at Grizzly Bomb love a good horror flick and I have just heard news of a great creature feature raising funds on Kick Starter called Harbinger Down. Straight from the Kick Starter page here is the films plot.
A group of grad students have booked passage on the fishing trawler Harbinger to study the effects of global warming on a pod of Orcas in the Bering Sea. When the ship’s crew dredges up a recently thawed piece of old Soviet space wreckage, things get downright deadly. It seems that the Russians experimented with tardigrades, tiny resilient animals able to withstand the extremes of space radiation. The creatures survived, but not without mutation.
Now the crew is exposed to aggressively mutating organisms. And after being locked in ice for 3 decades, the creatures aren’t about to give up the warmth of human companionship.
Or for more information on the plot and tone of the movie you can watch these videos below with Alec Gillis talking about the Kick Starter project.
The really great thing about this project is the talent behind it. Lance Henriksen is on board and even though he has appeared in some utter tripe he is also one of the most versatile actors out there and is always entertaining in whatever he puts his hand to. Tom Woodruff Jr. you may not recognize but he is co-founder of ADI (amalgamated Dynamics INC) the company working on the movie. They have won academy awards and have done work on such classics as Alien vs. Predator, The Thing, Tremors, Pumpkinhead, Spider-Man and The Santa Clause 2…………Yeah so mostly amazing movies! Seriously if you do not know what these guys and gals do then check out there YouTube channel here. But Tom is also one of the most well-known suit performers and you will have seen his work on stuff like Aliens, Pumpkinhead and The MonsterSquad. The main force behind this project is Alec Gillis who has worked with top directors like James Cameron, Ridley Scott, Neil Blomkamp and many more as well as contributing the effects he has also done second unit work and TV work. There are so many more professionals working on this movie that I do not have the space to list them but this film will be packed with some of the best workers in the film industry today.
The thing that interested me about the project was the fact that it is only going to be using practical animatronics and make up effects for the monsters. None of this slightly dodgy CGI effects, this is going to be an old school affair. Many comparisons to The Thing are going to be drawn here (mutating organisms that like warmth, a crew stuck in the middle of nowhere, etc) but is that really a bad thing? The remake/prequel to the original thing was a bit of a wash out because of its reliance on obvious CGI and not prosthetics. It is about time we had an old-fashioned creature movie and I for one cannot wait. Look at some of the sketch designs to see some of the awesome stuff they have planned for the project, some of which has a H.P.Lovecraft feel to it.
If you enjoy what you have seen here then there is still time to contribute to the project through the Kick Starter link . It ends on Friday June the 7th at 1.45pm EDT so if you love the movies of the 80s where monsters felt real and not clunky CGI creation and you want to donate then now is the time. If this has not won you over then maybe you should listen to Lance himself tell you about his passion for the project. Fingers crossed this project gets off the ground because it looks incredible.