Unused practical FX footage emerges from 2011's The Thing

Ever wondered what the pre-CG effects in 2011's The Thing prequel may have looked like? Here's a brief sample from an unused ending...

"Well, the initial plan – slightly naïve, maybe – was to build everything practically," director Matthias van Heijningen Jr told this very site in a 2012 interview about his prequel to John Carpenter's The Thing. "Although we shot the film practically, at the end of the day, it didn’t hold up. It looked a bit like an 80s movie, actually, which for some people is really special, but perhaps not in 2010, 2011. So we enhanced it with CG."

Already greeted with much criticism before it was even released, The Thing was neither a critical nor financial hit when it scuttled into cinemas back into 2011. Although we won't go into the relative merits of the film here (we've often said it's not as a bad a movie as its 36 per cent score on Rotten Tomatoes might suggest), we've often wondered what those originally shot practical effects would have looked like.

Although the director suggested they "didn't hold up", we're wondering if he's being a little disingenuous - the practical effects displayed in the clip below look wonderfully gooey to us. As captured by Amalgamated Dynamics, the company who provided the numerous animatronic creatures for the film, the footage provides a glimpse of an alternate ending which, so far as we're aware, has never been officially shown.

In it, Mary Elizabeth Winstead's character (and the audience) learns that the creature which attacked her Norwegian camp wasn't the pilot of the spacecraft found earlier in the film, but a specimen which killed and imitated the craft's original crew. Below, we get a rare look at this previously unseen alien pilot, which was replaced (if memory serves) by a computer-generated oddity made of rapidly-shifting cubes. Personally, we prefer the animatronic pilot - but you can leave your thoughts in the comments.

If you're interested, Amalgamated Dynamics have some fantastic images and videos from The Thing and their other projects (not least the classic Starship Troopers) over on their Facebook page - it's well worth a look.

Follow our Twitter feed for faster news and bad jokes right here. And be our Facebook chum here.

Disqus - noscript

I just watched this new Thing recently and although I thought the production value and actors were solid I was amazed at how short it came up in the plot department. This prequel/remake seemed to play it a little too safely and (similarly to Superman Returns) aped the 82 version way too much. What a waste of some solid looking practical effects.

BTW, the practical stuff (squibs and not fake digital blood) in 'Django Unchained' were a sight for sore eyes.

I'm a bit baffled here. My number one complaint of the 2011 Thing was its poor CGI. I can't believe they actually shot scenes with practical effects and decided against it. I agree, the animatronic looks like a better option than CGI. I would like to see some dailies....

That looks like it could have been a bit more impressive than the sub par cgi that was used. Sadly, the movie deserved better than what it got.

I agree with the article, that it wasn't that bad of a film - it just felt too similar to the original and the CGI was too off putting.

Oy! When will filmmakers learn? Practical effects, almost, always work and look better than cgi. The cinema going public are more informed these days and just about everybody I know prefers practical over cgi.

It's quite sad.

"Although we shot the film practically, at the end of the day, it didn’t
hold up. It looked a bit like an 80s movie, actually, which for some
people is really special, but perhaps not in 2010, 2011. So we enhanced
it with CG."

Translation: "A 25 year-old studio exec thought it looked cheesy so we had to replace it with CGI 'cause he said that's what da kidz like these days."

These practical effects may have made the prequel(as weak as the plot was or how so many of the guys looked identical to me)much better. And look at how much work they put into it... it feels like they're actually trying to make an actual prequel and not some cash-in piece of crap with CGI that looks like a cartoon.

You'd have to be stupid as hell to say, no way, after spending money and these guys put so much effort into it... then overruling the director and stating CGI is cool with kids, not something real looking.

Sponsored Links