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Deadly Manor




Thing, The

Comparison:

  • US TV-Version (SV)
  • Theatrical Version (KF)
Release: Oct 10, 2019 - Author: GKnoess - Translator: Asphyxia - external link: IMDB
The Syndicate- respectively Network-TV Broadcast Version (US TV Version) from Universal was compared with the uncut theatrical version from Universal.
Both are included on the US Blu-ray Collector's Edition from Scream Factory. This Blu-ray was used for the following comparison, but both versions can also be found on the German Blu-ray set from Turbine.

The US Collector's Edition offers a bunch of additional material and a new 2K sampling of the interpositive material. The picture quality of the theatrical version is outstanding. Even a bit better is only the 4K-scanning one year later from Arrow Video, which also formed the basis for the German Blu-ray-Set from Turbine available since 28 March 2019. The syndicate version, on the other hand, is only available in SD format in the bonus material section on the US Blu-ray and was also released by Turbine as a curious extra on the German Deluxe Edition. As a matter of fact, the source material was obviously a VHS recording.

While the theatrical version is available in widescreen format, the syndicate version for TV broadcasting was converted to 4:3 full-screen format at the time. Many important picture contents were lost in this way.


Theatrical VersionUS-TV-Version



The present Syndicate version was interesting for a cut report from several points of view. On the one hand, the US TV versions often deviate from the theatrical version. In addition to many reductions in violence and action, it often happens that gaps created in this way are closed again by alternative material. Due to the high violence factor of The Thing this was to be expected.

John Carpenter has made numerous changes and adjustments to The Thing even in scenes already shot. Here are to mention in particular the already shot (deviant!) killings of Bennings and Fuchs as well as the "Baby-Doll"- and greenhouse scenes, which are documented on photos and lobby cards but were not included as deleted scenes in previous releases of the film.

Examples of documented deleted scenes:


MacReady sits in a shirt with a striking ethno pattern in front of the chess computer. Behind him hangs an advertising poster for the city of Cairo. In front of him are two (!) filled glasses of whiskey.



Copper and MacReady find another dead Norwegian researcher hanging upside down in a cupboard at the Norwegian station.



MacReady plays with an inflatable sex doll while watching the video footage from the Norwegian station in his hut.



Bennings was stabbed to death with a screwdriver in a first, finished version in the dog kennel by a stranger.



Palmer and Childs search for fox in the former greenhouse of the station ...



... and find him impaled with a shovel on a door of the greenhouse.



Nauls and MacReady search MacReady's cabin after finding Fuchs' burned body.



It was therefore interesting to see if any of this deleted material found its way back into the film within the syndicate version.

Another aspect that made the syndicate version interesting for a cut report was Scream Factory's announcement that this version would contain an alternative ending. Since John Carpenter had directed a total of three different endings for the theatrical version, but only showed two of them to a test audience at all, it was interesting to know what the alternative ending contained here shows.

Would one learn more about Childs' and MacReady's fate? After all, the third (never shown) alternative ending contained a shot of MacReady waiting for his death in the burned station, who was found just in time by the rescue team and subjected to a blood test. So he probably would have survived. This ending was shot by John Carpenter in case the producers would force him to change his preferred nihilistic end towards a positive one. Only a production photo of this ending is circulating, proving that the end was actually shot.



In the second alternative ending, discarded after the test screening, Childs was completely removed in the last scene. He would have been - like Nauls - a victim of the thing.

After viewing the material one has to note that the existing expectations were only partially fulfilled. So the syndicate version actually contains material from the original killing scene of Bennings and also numerous extended dialogue scenes (e.g. autopsy), but you don't get to know anymore about the fate of Fuchs or MacReady and Childs. The alternative ending does not correspond to any of the alternatives shot by Carpenter. Rather, it was compiled by Universal from unused archive material from the hunting scene with the helicopter and a warning appeal from a commentator himself. John Carpenter later said that this was probably the revenge of Sidney Sheinberg, the studio boss at the time, for Carpenter's failure to consider some of his creative proposals for the theatrical version, including a more optimistic ending. With the syndicate version he finally achieved this against Carpenter's will.

The syndicate version of "The Thing" is therefore only interesting for fans of the film and completeists.


Runtime of the syndicate version (subsequently titled SV): 93:45 minutes
Runtime of the uncut theatrical version (subsequently titled KF): 108:40 minutes

201 cuts and changes = 14 minutes and 55 Sec
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SV 0:00 to 0:44
KF 0:00 to 01:23
The intro runs much faster in the SV than in the KF.
49 Sec

SV 0:43
In the SV, Ennio Morricone's Score starts significantly later with the insertion "Directed by John Carpenter".
No time difference

SV 01:30
KF 02:08
A narrator reads the text board "Antarctica, Winter 1982" off-screen.
No time difference

SV 02:43 to 02:46
KF 03:22
Only in SV: The helicopter can be seen much longer.
+3 Sec



SV 03:57 to 04:07
KF 04:32 to 04:42
Reverse order: While in the KF the sign "United States National Science Institute Station 4" is shown first and then a total of the research station is shown, in the SV the total of the station is shown first. No time difference

Theatrical VersionUS-TV-Version



SV 04:07
KF 04:38 to 04.39
The sign "United States National Science Institute Station 4" can be seen one second longer.
1 Sec



SV 04:11 to 04:18
KF 04:47 to 04:52
Alternative footage:
In the SV, Windows is shown working on the radio. A speaker informs off-screen that Windows is a radio operator and that he could not wait any longer to fly back to the USA.
In the KF, Blair and Copper play table tennis, while the rest of the team reads or otherwise spends their time.
+2 Sec

Theatrical VersionUS-TV-Version



SV 04:18
KF 04:53 to 04:55
Only in the KF: MacReady reaches into the ice bucket.
2 Sec



SV 04:18 to 04:32
KF 04:55 to 05:09
The narrator informs in the SV from off-screen that MacReady is the helicopter pilot of the station and worked earlier as a test pilot, until he has argued with his superiors.
No time difference

SV 04:32
KF 05:10 to 05:46
MacReady makes his next move in a chess game with the computer. The computer reacts and "checkmates" MacReady. Out of rage, he opens the computer's case and pours the whiskey and ice cubes into it. Sparks fly out of the circuit board. Detail on the side: The voice of the chess computer in the KF comes from Carpenter's (former) wife Adrienne Barbeau.
36 Sec



SV 05:03 to 05:09
KF 06:17
Only in the SV: You see Childs watching the Norwegian helicopter. The narrator informs off-screen that Childs is a mechanic who moved from commercial school to an airline company, but he didn't like it any better.
+6 Sec



SV 05:40
KF 06:47 to 06:50
Only in the KF: After MacReady has put on his sunglasses, he looks even longer at the Norwegian helicopter with the whiskey bottle in his hand and takes a sip from the bottle.
3 Sec



SV 06:54 to 06:55
KF 08:03
Only in the SV: Longer view of the landed Norwegian helicopter before the Norwegian takes another hand grenade out of the box.
+1 Sec



SV 07:04 to 07:06
KF 08:11 to 08:13
Different footage:
In the KF: After the hand grenade fell out of the hand of the Norwegian pilot and the rifleman shouts horrified: "Away! Away!", the rifleman runs away from the helicopter while the pilot searches for the hand grenade in the snow.
In the SV the shot of the dog who jumps towards and licks off Bennings, already shown at 06:54, is shown. However, this is now a slightly extended shot.
No time difference

Theatrical VersionUS-TV-Version



SV 07:44 to 07:48
KF 08:54
Only in the SV: After Garry has shot the Norwegian, a dramatic music is laid over the scene that doesn't match Morricone's score at all.
No time difference

SV 07:48
KF 08:58 to 09:05
The body of the shot Norwegian stiffens again before it finally slackens. MacReady and Norris lie in the snow and watch in a horrified way.
7 Sec



SV 07:48 to 07:55
KF 09:05
Only in the SV: Garry removes the empty cartridge cases from his revolver and reloads it. The narrator informs that Garry has served in the army for 30 years and that he loves his current job as station chief very much.
+7 Sec



SV 08:00
KF 09:10 to 09:10
The injured Bennings takes a sip from MacReady's whiskey bottle.
0,5 Sec



SV 08:00 to 09:58
The events in the SV are accompanied by strange organ music, while no score can be heard in the KF. No time difference

SV 08:10
KF 09:22 to 09:24
The dead Norwegian can be seen longer.
2 Sec



SV 08:44 to 09:08
KF 09:52 to 10:16
The narrator informs that Clarke is taking care of the dogs and is working on a study on the effects of extreme cold on animal behaviour. The entire crew is on site on behalf of the US National Institute of Science to conduct physical and scientific experiments on the Antarctic continent.
No time difference

SV 09:04
KF 10:17
In the KF MacReady says „First goddamned week of winter!“. In the SV he can only say „First damned week of winter!“.
No time difference

SV 09:08 to 09:14
KF 10:22 to 10:28
Alternative footage:
While in the KF you can see in close-up how Copper sews the bullet wound in Benning's leg, in the SV you can see this from another camera perspective.
No time difference

Theatrical VersionUS-TV-Version



SV 09:15 to 09:30
KF 10:28 to 10:35
The narrator informs us off-screen that Copper has a medical degree from Harvard University. He was then educated at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Due to a personal tragedy, he had embarked on an adventure with the research station. Bennings is said to be a meteorologist and to have published numerous articles in his field. It is interesting that the alternative camera angle of the KF (there from 10:25 to 10:31) was used to illustrate the commentary, which was supplemented by additional material here (in the SV from 09:15 to 09:18 and from 09:25 to 09:30).
+8 Sec



SV 09:41 to 09:52
KF 10:43
The narrator informs that Blair is a pioneer in the field of microbiology whose research contributed significantly to the establishment of a DNA research foundation. He made many discoveries in the field of cell growth. The footage used here is a second use of the following shot in the SV at 36:24 and the KF at 41:28, in which Blair looks at the photos from the Norwegian station in the lounge. +11 Sec



SV 10:06
KF 10:58
While Blair says "Come on. Come on."in the KF, he becomes clearer in the SV "Windows! Come on. Come on."
No time difference

SV 10:14
KF 11:04
In the KF, Windows apologizes to Blair with "Look. I haven't been able to reach... shit... in two weeks." In the SV, however, he says "Look. I haven't been able to reach a soul in two weeks."
No time difference

SV 10:23 to 10:55
KF 11:15
The narrator informs that Palmer is the second helicopter pilot who wants to become self-employed as a mechanic after the mission on the research station. Norris is introduced as a geophysicist who had a professorship and suffers from heart problems. The footage of Norris' performance was taken from the scene in which the crew later watched the burnt thing from the Norwegian station in the KF at 23:55. Norris' shot is one tick longer in the SV.
During the introduction of Palmer and Norris Garry examines the dead Norwegian lying on a table. He finds his identification tags and informs the other crew members that it would be Jens Bolan. Fuchs joins them and tells Garry that there is only one Norwegian camp in the area. Garry wants to know how far away this is. Fuchs replies that it is about 50 miles south-west. Garry is surprised that it is so far away. He asks the others if anyone understood anything about the words the Norwegian had spoken before his death. Childs mockingly asks him if he would look Norwegian to him( "Am I start looking Norwegian to you, Bwana?").

It is interesting that the dead Norwegian in the prequel The Thing from 2011 bears the name Lars. Here the deleted scene or the TV version was not taken into account.
+22 Sec




SV 10:59 to 11:04
KF 11:20 to 11:25
The narrator informs that Nauls is a very inventive chef who is interested in aviation (?).
No time difference

SV 11:07
KF 11:26 to 11:28
The dead Norwegian and his eye wound can be seen in close-up.
2 Sec



SV 11:10 to 11:15
KF 11:30
The narrator introduces Fuchs. He is the team's second biologist and has worked with Blair at the Rockefeller Foundation. The footage shown is only included in the SV.
+5 Sec



SV 11:10
KF 11:30 to 11:40
Nauls rolls into the room with his roller skates. Palmer pulls on his joint and comments on the incidents. Garry looks at him blamefully before turning to Fuchs.
10 Sec



SV 11:15 to 11:20
KF 11:40 to 11:45
Alternative footage: When Garry asks Fuchs how long the Norwegian has been on the continent, the SV camera shot offers a large view of Fuchs, while the KF gives an overview of the entire room. Garry's final assessment that this hadn't been long enough to go crazy is the KF's footage of Nauls rolling in, while in the SV he rolls in afterwards. This additional shot of Nauls is missing in the SV. No time difference

Theatrical VersionUS-TV-Version



SV 11:20
KF 11:53 to 11:54
Palmer still symbolically shows Nauls the middle finger.
1 Sec



SV 11:22
KF 11:46
In the KF Nauls swear „Bullshit, Bwana.“. In the SV the swearing was weakened to "For what, Farmer?" (or something like that, unfortunately the audiotrack is not clear at this point).
No time difference

SV 11:55
KF 12:21 to 12:22
Palmer puts down his joint and begins his sentence with "Shit! …“.
1 Sec



SV 12:53
KF 13:20 to 13:28
The helicopter's tail rotor begins to rotate.
8 Sec



SV 13:58
KF 14:32 to 14:56
Bennings feels annoyed by Naul's loud music and screams into the intercom that he would like to sleep. Nauls then makes the music even louder. This scene follows later in the SV in a shortened form.
An interesting detail on the side is that the music piece "Substitution" to be heard here had to be replaced for the first TV broadcasts according to the available sources, since Universal did not own the rights for the TV use. It was only for later broadcasts that the rights to the song could be acquired. The present version was therefore probably recorded during one of the later broadcasts. 24 Sec



SV 16:53
KF 17:49 to 17:59
Copper and MacReady see the bloody axe stuck in the door. MacReady throws himself at the door to open it.
10 Sec



SV 17:55
KF 19:02 to 19:20
Copper flashlights the dead Norwegian sitting in the chair. You can see that he has cut his own throat and opened his wrists. The blood is frozen on his body. Copper asks MacReady what the hell happened here.
18 Sec



SV 17:55 to 17:58
KF 19:21 to 19:24
A short shot of the dead Norwegian's right arm. Copper's rhetorical question was placed over MacReady's point of view.
No time difference

Theatrical VersionUS-TV-Version



SV 18:48
KF 20:09
When MacReady turned away from Copper in the Norwegian station, the sentence "The videocassettes oughta tell us something" was placed over it.
No time difference

SV 19:33 to 19:36
KF 20:55 to 20:58
While you can see the ice block in the KF for several seconds in a long shot, the SV is driving over it in a pan. This should obviously compensate for the loss of information caused by the full frame format. No time difference

Theatrical VersionUS-TV-Version



SV 20:42
KF 22:04
When MacReady and Copper leave the burnt Norwegian thing at the Norwegian station to look for a shovel, MacReady's sentence "We can get this thing into the chopper" can be heard.
No time difference

SV 20:44
KF 22:07 to 22:09
The burned corpse can be seen longer.
2 Sec



SV 20:44 to 21:09
KF 22:07
A part of the scene in which Bennings complains about Naul's loud music (KF from 14:32 to 14:47) is shown. In the SV Bennings shouts "Nauls, would you turn that junk down? In the KF he calls "Nauls, would you turn that crap down?" instead.
+15 Sec



SV 21:09
KF 22:10 to 22:20
The Helicopter's approaching the station longer.
10 Sec



SV 21:50 to 21:52
KF 23:00 to 23:42
The camera pans in the KF longer over the burned thing. Blair coughs and turns away. Copper tells Blair to start the autopsy right away. Instead, the SV shows a shot of Garry that would follow in the KF at 23:41.
40 Sec

Theatrical VersionUS-TV-Version



SV 21:52 to 21:56
KF 23:31
The shot in which Copper looks at Fuchs was given preference in the SV and starts earlier.
+4 Sec



SV 21:56 to 22:07
KF 23:41
Additional footage in the SV: The camera pans further from Fuchs to Blair, Bennings and Norris. This shot should obviously follow the transition at KF 23:41. The shot was accompanied by the instruction to perform the autopsy.
+ 11 Sec



SV 22.07
KF 23:44 to 24:20
The camera pans even further over the thing and shows even more horrified crew members. As soon as MacReady looks skeptically upwards, both versions run synchronously again.
36 Sec



SV 22:49
KF 25:01 to 25:18
Blair uses a scalpel to cut open the belly of the dead thing.
17 Sec



SV 22:56
KF 25:24 to 25:25
Blair is looking up to Fuchs.
1 Sec



SV 23:01
KF 25:30 to 25:35
Blair's getting another organ out of the belly of that thing.
5 Sec



SV 23:04
KF 25:39 to 25:47
Close-up of the distorted, melted face of the thing.
8 Sec



SV 23:34
KF 26:16 to 26:31
After Palmer changes the videotape, he goes back to his bed and lights a joint. After the first inhale, he passes it on to Childs, who makes a gesture.
15 Sec



SV 24:55
KF 27:52 to 27:55
The dog thing lies longer with upright head in lurking position.
3 Sec



SV 25:38
KF 28:22 to 28:27
The head of the dog thing bursts apart and a tentacle slips out of the neck after the skull has fallen off.
5 Sec



SV 25:26
KF 28:30 to 28:33
Tentacles pour out of the body of the dog thing.
3 Sec



SV 25:29 to 25:29
KF 28:35 to 28:38
In the SV the shot of the tentacles bursting out of the body of the dog thing is much shorter than in the KF.
2,5 Sec



SV 25:31
KF 28.40 to 28:48
The husky tries to bite a hole in the wire mesh for a while longer. Meanwhile legs grow out of the dog thing.
8 Sec



SV 25:33
KF 28:50 to 28:58
The Husky has meanwhile made a head-sized hole in the wire mesh. The dog thing moves on spider-like legs and turns to the fleeing husky.
8 Sec



SV 25.35 to 25:35
KF 28:59 to 29:05
In the SV there is only a short shot to see how the dog thing spits twice on the fleeing Husky. In the KF it spits much more often on the husky. In the KF you can also see the spitting dog thing in close-up.
6 Sec

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