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July 13, 1982 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1982-07-13

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'Arts
Tuesday, July 13, 1982 Page 7
Records

IL I

g' a film about a monster which attacks an antarctic

John Carpenter, right, directs Kurt Russell, upper left, in
research team.

No thing to speak of

One Way-'Who's Following
Who' (MCA)
I try extra hard to like local bands,
but One Way's latest album is too much
of a mixed bag to risk my reputation on
an out-and-out recommendation.
For one thing, the production and the
players seem to be at odds. The few
embarrassing songs are mixed crystal
clear while the more promising num-
bers suffer from cloudy and uneven
production. The dance tunes, for exam-
ple, seem produced upside-down, with
the cymbal and synthesizer pushed way
up front and the vocals buried God-
knows-where.
The only effective marshalling of all
forces is the title cut, which features a
nice Spinners-style background bounce
and wry, upfront vocal.
In all honesty, my advice is to skip
the album and buy the single, "Cutie
Pie," which is uncharacteristically hip,
mostly thanks to some fancy syn-
thesizer work by "Corky" Meadows. It
may seem a bit slow at first, but given a
chance, it will work in its own sweet
time.
-Mark Dighton
Use Daily
Class ifieds-
764-0557
IINDIVIDUAL THEATRES
1,. 5th .e ofLibrt 7614700
This
Summer's
Delicious -
Comedy Hit!
t~J'~TIgj

By D. B. Christy
0 BVIOUSLY, THE category to
watch at next year's Oscars
will be Best Dramatic Performance by
a Machine.
Between Stephen Spielberg's two en-
tries, I thought it was all sewed up. But
John Carpenter has made a convincing,
if also revolting, bid with The Thing.
The title character is a machine that
is neither as cute as the E.T. robot nor
as scary as the Poltergeist computer
animations. Still, it's got to be the most
lurid mechanical nightmare since the
Alien gave John Hurt an emergency
appendectomy the hard way.
It's easy to disapprove of a movie like
this, even if you enjoy it. After all, we
all deplore gratuitous violence. That's
why Halloween made millions.
But you have to give Carpenter credit
for- his achievement. He has lifted
gratuity to an art form.
The Thing is one of the most com-
pletely gratuitous films ever made. Its
theme is gratuitous violence and the
rest is cut from wholecloth: its charac-
ters are gratuitous; the plot is
gratuitous; about the only thing
missing is gratuitous sex.
In fact, there are no female charac-
ters in the movie at all. However,
feminists need not worry. You're better
off not in this one.
The plot, what little there is of it, con-
cerns a group of researchers stationed
in the antarctic. What they are resear-
ching, God knows. Probably their con-
tracts, looking for an escape clause.
They lead a cosy little life, tucked
away in their quonset huts with their
J&B Scotch and their reefer. How they
got reefer in the antarctic, God knows.
But it probably wasn't homegrown.
Their peaceful existence is shattered
when a Norwegian in a helicopter with
a rifle chases a husky into their camp.
The Norwegian camp is an hour's flight
away, say a hundred miles or so. Why
the Norwegian, telescopic sight and all,
couldn't hit the husky once in an hour,

%ft.00F JE&

God knows. And how the husky made it
a hundred miles across the ice, even
God isn't sure.
Probably, we may safely assume,
this is no ordinary dog. It is no ordinary
Norwegian, either-he manages to
blow up his helicopter and pilot with a
grenade, which flies out of his hand on
the backswing, missing the dog by a
clean fifty yards. A silly mistake, but it
could happen. to anybody. In a silly
movie.
The Norwegian is killed (because if
he lived, he might explain the situation,
and then the movie would end in the fir-
st fifteen minutes, and that would make
too much sense). The dog, no doubt
because of.its bulletproof fur, is not.
It turns out-surprise, sur-
prise!-that the Thing is lurking inside
the dog. When the researchers find out,
in a particularly stomach-churning
scene that ought to have the Humane
Society suing, they are unable to raise
any assistance by radio. Why don't they
hop in their helicopter and leave right
then? Maybe they thought the dog had
just been in the microwave too long.
From then on, the cast competes to
see who, in an orgy of severed ex-
tremities and exploding viscera, can
die most bloodily. The cast is largely
composed of unknowns. They are better
off that way, too.

The only name actor, which is giving
him the benefit of the doubt, is Kurt
Russell. His performance here lies
somewhere between The Computer
Wore Tennis Shoes and Escape from
New York.
Bill Lancaster's screenplay is cer-
tainly more faithful to John W. Cam-
pbell's classic 1938 short story, "Who
Goes There?", than the '50s Thing, a
Saturday afternoon TV staple starring
James Arness in a carrot suit. But Rob
Bottin's redundantly gross special ef-
fecta make-up could give carrot suitsaa
good name.
Still, for those of us sick enough to en-
joy this kind of Thing and honest
enough to admit it, it delivers. Sure, it's
a ten million dollar B-movie, it's a
Depression era escapist fantasy, but
they don't have Fred Astaire and
Ginger Rogers anymore. And as long as
the public will buy a film with no good
reason to exist except its special effec-
ts, we can look for more of these
Things.
My editor has requested that I close
with an unreserved compliment about
The Thing. He has requested that I
close, period. So, I must admit, I
thought its "Lady or the Tiger" ending
was very good. But any ending
would've been good for this film, so long
as it ends. Period.

The "Visitors" played poorly indeed,
But on one thing with "Home" team agreed.
In Ann Arbor they'd found,
Each time when in town, Lunch 11:30 to 1:15
The food was the best in the League! Dinner 5:00 to 7:15
GB. SPECIAL LOW PRICES FOR
STUDENTS
Send your League Limerick to:
The~Ichiganl Manager. Michigan League
y~2fL 91 1 North University
L.Adl J a~. Next to Hill Auditorium YouN illhreceive 2 free dinner
Located in the heart of the campus. tickets if your limerick is used in
it is the heart of the campus one of our ads.

Tue-4:15, 6:15, 8:15, 10:15
Wed-12:15, 2:15, 4:15
6:15, 8:15, 10:15
00 FOR
IT! Sylvester
Stallone
The Greatest Cha enge
Tues. -400, 6:00, 7:55, 9:50
Wed-12:00, 2:00, 4:00
6:00, 7:55, 9:50

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