How much do you know about The Thing?


By: J. Reinoehl

4 Min Quiz

Image: The Movie DB

About This Quiz

The Thing did poorly at the box office despite becoming a cult classic and being nominated for two Saturn awards. How well do you remember The Thing? Find out by taking the quiz!

What other film with a visitor from outer space came out a few weeks before The Thing was released?

The Thing was released at the same time as Blade Runner and two weeks after E. T. Although The Thing made a little money and was number 8 for three weeks in box office sales, it was not considered a success. They blamed the poor results on the fact the release corresponded with the other two movies.


Who directed The Thing?

John Carpenter (born January 16, 1948) had hits with Starman, Escape from New York, and Halloween, but most of his movies did poorly at the box office (and then went on to become cult classics).


Which character was portrayed by Kurt Russell?

Kurt Russell (born March 17, 1951) was R. J. MacReady in The Thing. He also starred in several other John Carpenter productions, including Big Trouble in Little China, Elvis, and the two movies in the Escape from New York series.


What number was on the sign for the American outpost?

On the sign at the beginning of the movie, the outpost was clearly numbered as 4: "National Science Institute Station 4." However, throughout the dialogue, it was referred to as "Outpost 31." The reason for this was because the number changed when the script was revised.


Which actor portrayed Childs?

Keith David (born June 4, 1956) was best known for playing Childs in The Thing. He has been in many other popular movies, including Men at Work, Platoon, There's Something About Mary and the Riddick films.


Where was the setting of The Thing?

The movie took place at a research station in Antarctica. They filmed it near Stewart, British Columbia.


Which cast member made the shadow on the wall (of the presumably first victim) that was seen when the dog-Thing was exploring the base?

Fans have debated for years about who the shadow was supposed to be, but it really was Dick Warlock. Mr. Warlock was the stunt coordinator and the director used him because he felt David Clennon (Palmer) had a profile everyone would recognize. He wanted to keep it more mysterious.


Finish the quote "Somebody in this camp ain't what he appears to be. Right now, that may be one or two of us. By spring, ___________."

"Somebody in this camp ain't what he appears to be. Right now, that may be one or two of us. By spring, it could be all of us."


Why didn't the Norwegians hunting the dog tell the Americans about it?

When the Norwegians landed, they tried explaining what they were doing, but they did not speak English. Because they were acting crazy, they were both killed before they could communicate the problem.


How far was it from the American base to the Norwegian base?

Although the weather was choppy, Dr. Copper wanted to see if he could help and investigate what had happened. MacReady reluctantly agreed because the trip was only one hour long by helicopter.


What was Windows' job?

Windows (Thomas Waites) was the radio operator, but he hadn't heard from anyone in weeks. They used the nicknames "Windows" and "Mac" (MacReady) without realizing the humor that later audiences would find in naming two characters after opposing computer operating systems.


What was on the videotape they found at the Norwegian camp?

The video only hinted at the discovery of the spaceship by showing the Norwegians digging something big out of the ice. To save money, the producers used the destroyed American base (at the end of the movie) to film the destroyed Norwegian base.


Which character did actor Charles Hallahan play?

Charles John Hallahan (July 29, 1943 – November 25, 1997) was known for his portrayal of Vance Norris in The Thing. He also gave memorable performances in Going in Style, Cast a Deadly Spell, and Dante's Peak. Hallahan had a heart attack while driving and died in the accident that occurred.


What had the Norwegians dug up?

The flying saucer was buried so deep in the ice that they had to use ropes to get down to it. They assumed the alien was ejected during the crash, but it could have crawled to the place it was frozen as well.


Who was the first scientist who the others kill because he has turned into a Thing?

Bennings was originally supposed to be killed by Clark, but the director felt it did not fit in well with the rest of the movie. Instead, Bennings was left alone in the room with the "dead" alien and killed more directly.


What did Blair do to the helicopter?

Blair realized if the cells got to civilization they would quickly take over the world. His first reaction was to destroy everything in the base that could link them to the outside.


Why did they need the blood from storage?

When the blood storage was found destroyed, all of them becomes paranoid because that was how they were going to test who was human. Later, we discover neither Copper nor Garry (the only two with keys) was infected, but they were the only two who supposedly had access to the keys.


What was MacReady's preferred drink?

MacReady was seen throughout the movie nursing a bottle of Jim Beam. If he drank that much when he wasn't under stress, he would have needed almost a dozen cases to keep him through the winter.


"Trust is a tough thing to come by these days. Tell you what—why don't you just _________?"

"Trust is a tough thing to come by these days. Tell you what—why don't you just trust in the Lord?"


What was hanging next to Blair in the tool shed when they checked on him the first time?

The noose hanging in the tool shed appeared at the same time Blair begged to be let inside again because he "felt better." There were three main possibilities as to when Blair becomes infected: (1) When he was doing the autopsy (and it was a slow assimilation), (2) When he locked himself in his room (this was the only point where he changed shirts), or (3) When he was in the shack prior to the noose being seen (presumably by the Thing that attacked Fuchs).


Why did they go to MacReady's shack?

Although part of the script explained that MacReady moved into the main compound because the shack was getting too cold, the director cut it from the movie. When MacReady told Nauls he left the lights off, he was referring to the time when he moved into the compound.


How did MacReady keep them from killing him when he came back after Nauls cut him off?

MacReady said, "Anyone messes with me… and the whole camp goes." He was holding dynamite.


How did MacReady test whether someone was the Thing or not?

"We're gonna draw a little bit of everybody's blood 'cause we're gonna find out who's the Thing. Watchin' Norris in there gave me the idea that maybe… every little piece was an individual animal with a built-in desire to protect its own life… when a man bleeds, it's just tissue, but blood from one of you THINGS won't obey... It'll… crawl away from a hot needle…"


Who failed the blood test?

When Palmer's blood revealed that he was a Thing, the other guys on the couch found themselves tied next to a monster. The Palmer-Thing was killed quickly, but not before it took out Windows.


How did Dr. Copper die?

Dr. Copper tried to shock Norris' heart back to life. He wasn't aware Norris was a Thing at that point.


What was under the tool shed?

Blair-Thing was building a spaceship under the tool shed. The spaceship was small, so the thing could have used it for flying to its old ship, another base, or a more populated country (as opposed to interstellar travel). The remaining humans destroyed it before the Thing could use it.


According to what was said in the movie, why did the Thing destroy the generator?

"Well, that's suicide!" "Not for that Thing. It wants to freeze now. It knows it's got no way out of here. It just wants to go to sleep in the cold until the rescue team finds it."


What did they decide to do when the generator was no longer working?

They started using the flamethrower on everything and wired dynamite in the generator room. They didn't want the Thing to survive through the winter and go home with the rescue team.


Why did Nauls want to kill MacReady?

Although Nauls cut MacReady loose because he found MacReady's clothes by the furnace, Nauls not only helped MacReady determine who was contaminated and who wasn't but also helped MacReady wire the base to explode. The average winter temperature in Antarctica was –49 degrees Celcius, so it was no wonder the others did not think MacReady would survive after being cut from the rope.


Who did we see Blair kill first?

While they were rigging the generator room to blow up, Garry wandered away from the others and was attacked by the Blair-Thing. The Blair-Thing covered his face, so he couldn't scream and then dragged him out of the camera's view.


How did MacReady kill the Blair-Thing in the end?

MacReady's dynamite caused a chain reaction that brought the whole base down. The Blair-Thing was supposed to have remained on-screen for a longer period of time during the end battle, but they filmed it using stop-motion animation. The method was not up to the task at that point in history.


Where was Childs?

MacReady told Childs to kill Blair if he came back without MacReady and the rest of them. If Childs saw the Blair-Thing wandering around, it is possible he went looking for him and got lost in the blowing snow.


Who was still alive in the end?

Childs and MacReady were both alive in the end shot, but one or both of them could have been the Thing posing as a human. Fans have posted various theories on this final scene- from MacReady's noticeable breath (he was breathing and therefore human) to Childs' piercing (he couldn't be the Thing because the prequel says things can't mimic inanimate objects).


How many scenes contained female actors (seen or heard)?

No women were actually a part of the filming crew. The two times women were involved in a scene were (1) the computer playing chess with MacReady who had a female voice and (2) the videotape of the game show that had women on it.


What was the name of the book on which the movie was based?

John W. Campbell, Jr., writing under the pen name Don A. Stuart, wrote Who Goes There? which was adapted four times into a movie about "The Thing:" The Thing from Another World (1951), Horror Express (1972—loose adaptation), The Thing (1982), and The Thing (2011). Alien (1979) and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956).


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