In all honesty, we prefer John Carpenter’s version of The Thing, to the original Thing from Another World. It sticks more closely to the short story that inspired them both and finds an existential terror that the first film can’t match. (Seriously: best horror movie of all time.) That said, the original — directed by Christian Nyby with a clear assist (at the minimum) from Howard Hawks — is still a grand science fiction tale from the Golden Age of the 1950s. Hawks’ trademark dialogue gives the characters a machine-gun wit, and watching them square off again James Arness’s evil carrot from beyond the stars is too much fun to resist. It opened today in 1951.
We don’t talk much about Grindhouse anymore, since it’s subsequently been broken into its core components and marketed as two separate movies. But Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror and Quentin Tarantino’s Deathproof were originally created to be part of the same film, along with spot-on fake ads for creepy local Mexican restaurants and faux trailers for non-existent coming-soons directed by the likes of Edgar Wright and Rob Zombie. (We’ve included the trailers below, and they served as the basis for actual movies Machete and Hobo with a Shotgun.) Assembling it all into its original form can be a bit of a trick, but if you get what these guys were going after, it’s well worth the effort. It opened today in 2007.