Episode 59. In Plain Sight: The Thing (1982)

John Carpenter’s terrifying cult classic stands the test of time in many regards – from the practical effects, to the performances to the storytelling, there’s little about the film that doesn’t work. Andrea and Alex tackle the film and its stances on leadership, paranoia, the notion of discovery, and more over a bottle of Jim Beam.


The Thing. Dir. John Carpenter, 1982.


Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from the 1890s to Present by Robin R. Means Coleman. An in-depth look at Black culture and representation through the lens of horror films.

Aids as Monster in Science Fiction by Edward Guerrero.

Filmnoia, or How Fear Permeated Cinema. George Wead’s history of perception and paranoia in North American films.

You Must Remember This podcast – the Blacklist series.

The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31 board game. Can you survive the infection?

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One thought on “Episode 59. In Plain Sight: The Thing (1982)

  1. Steve Madrid says:

    Love the podcast, ladies! AS far as The Thing being an AIDS allegory, I’m not sure I completely agree. As a heterosexual male coming of age in the 80’s, AIDS was mostly considered a problem for the “gay community,” not something straight teens had to worry about. My friends and I were more concerned with an unwanted pregnancy than STDs. I will say that AIDS became part of my consciousness in the early 90’s with the Magic Johnson diagnosis. Even with Johnson’s positive diagnosis, most people speculated that Johnson was most likely a closeted gay man, rather than a heterosexual man with AIDS.

    I do agree that you can retroactively apply the AIDS allegory to The Thing, but it wasn’t until I saw Blade that I feel a mainstream horror/sci-fi/action movie even attempted to deal with the AIDS issue. Even in Blade, AIDS is only implied in passing. That said, there is definitely a strong fear of infection in Carpenter’s film. This fear of infection would continue to manifest in films like 28 Days Later.

    Just my opinion. Keep up the good work!

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