When an arctic science team finds an alien buried in the ice, they bring it back to their facility where it gets loose and tries to drain their blood to feed its progeny in The Thing from Another World, directed by prolific television director Christian Nyby and produced by Howard Hawks. This is a great monster movie that well exceeds expectations for the genre and the period it was made. While the team protect themselves and learn more about the creature’s mysterious origins, they also argue about whether they should destroy it or keep it alive for scientific study. The infighting almost gets as serious as their fight for survival. I didn’t know any of these actors before, but they make a solid ensemble. I enjoy their rapid-fire banter, perhaps a remnant from Hawks’ earlier screwball comedies. Dmitri Tiomkin spooks things up a bit with a healthy dose of theremin in his musical score.
Maybe it’s mature for its time, or maybe the filmmakers just never let the genre confine their approach to storytelling, but I think this is one of the best ’50s sci-fi flicks I’ve seen. (And John Carpenter’s 1982 remake may just be the best remake of all time.)
Scott studied film and sociology at Indiana University and is currently the video producer for a large publishing company. He is the director of several independent films, including "House of Hope," "Off the Beaten Path," "The Day Joe Left," and "Found." For more about Scott, visit www.scottschirmer.com. Scott is also one of the principal organizers of the Dark Carnival Film Festival. (www.darkcarnivalfilmfest.com)