Tonight, the Perpetual Notion Machine continues a group discussion of science in the movies by focusing on just one movie – the 1982 thriller The Thing starring Kurt Russell. The group includes Kelly Schwartz, Aryel Clarke, Keven Lauterjung, and Matt Blackburn. This is a John Carpenter production based on a 1938 novella by John W. Campbell Jr. and the original 1951 movie The Thing from Another World. The Thing takes place at an isolated research station on a cold, snowy, and dark Antarctica. And this setting provides a major part of the terror. Science can help explain how the isolation and cold can disrupt a person’s mental acuteness and create paranoia, despite the presence of an alien being. But how can science explain how this creature can mimic existing human beings? And how do these “mimics” interact so well with their human colleagues, just through observation? Only by the science of testing each person’s blood with the heat from the flamethrower could they discover who was alien and who was human.
Here’s a YouTube clip from the The Thing: link to the clip