Based on the story
"WHO GOES THERE"
John W. Campbell. Jr.
March 4, 1981
35. Helicopter pilot. Likes chess. Hates the cold. The pay
46. The station manager. Stiff. Ex-army officer. Wears a
33. Six-four. Two-fifty. Black. A mechanic. Can be jolly.
But don't mess.
50. Sensitive. Intelligent. Unassuming. An assistant
45. Professional. A decent man. A good doctor.
27. Second string chopper pilot. Crack mechanic. Long hair.
Slight sixties acid damage.
22. The cook. Bright. Black. Irreverent. But kindhearted.
44. Stocky. Rugged looking. A geophysicist. An incipient
38. A meteorologist. Dutiful. An old pro.
24. The dog handler. Likes it here. Good at his job.
21. The radio operator. Hates it here. Lousy at his job.
In the winter of 1982 these men were commissioned by the
United States National Science Foundation to gather data
concerning the physical and natural sciences on the continent
THE MAIN COMPOUND OF U.S. OUTPOST #31
The interior is a cramped and never ending maze of hallways,
passageways and doors which connect the many rooms and
compartments within the compound. Sturdy, but prefabricated
materials have been used in its construction.
There is a laboratory. An infirmary. A kitchen and mess hall.
A communications room and sleeping quarters. Other cubicles
are for storage and supplies.
The most spacious area of the building, and the main center
of activity, is the Rec Room. Of the many entrance ways to
this room can be seen the small work chambers with their
sophisticated computers and other scientific equipment.
The below quarter houses the generator and still other
compartments for storage.
A long underground tunnel connects the main compound to the
A STARRY BLACKNESS
From out of the billions, the smallest of specks drives slowly
forward. It closes; getting larger; its features becoming
more identifiable: a vessel. Flip-flopping; out of control.
Its stern roaring with flame. It passes; its blue fire surging
into the screen.
BLIND AND FERAL WHITENESS
...Glacial desert... gusts of snow... superimpose:
ANTARCTICA 1982 WINTER
Loud and strident. A helicopter streaks across frame. It
travels precariously close to the ground; its chassis battered
and swayed by the wind.
Red dials beam on the faces of two men. One carries a rifle
and searches the horizon with binoculars. The other pilots.
Their unkempt faces, their blazing eyes notate a wildness.
They bark at each other in some Scandinavian tongue. Two men
arguing like mad and desperate children.
The man with the binoculars sights something.
EXT. HORIZON - BINOCULARS' POV - A DOG
It turns and snarls at the craft some fifteen hundred yards
to its rear. Then whirls and gallops off. A gun blast kicks
up snow at its heels.
Another blast of rifle fire as the man takes issue with his
prey. The pilot slams a fist into his gunman friend and
implores for better aim. The craft swoops lower and the engine
is put into full throttle.
EXT. HILL - THE DOG
running feverishly up and over a hill of ice. A weather-
beaten, wooden sign sticks up on the other side:
U.S. NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION -- OUTPOST #31
A rifle blast kicks up more snow.
EXT. COMPOUND OF U.S. OUTPOST #31
A large, almost snow-covered building. Not far from that a
tall, meteorological balloon tower.
A scattering of several small shacks at varying distances
from the main compound. The smaller hovels are connected by
wooden planked walkways and steadying ropes. Multicolored
pennants stick put of the snow marking pathways and directions
to outdoor experiments.
A tractor and two helicopters sit idle, covered with mounds
of continuously mounting snow.
TWO MEN, NORRIS AND BENNINGS
standing some thirty yards from the main building are in the
process of letting up a large red balloon. Childs, a hefty
black man, is twenty yards away tinkering with a snowmobile.
Their beards are caked with ice. It is winter and it is harsh.
The faint sound of the copter turns their attention.
flying ever lower now. The man with the gun leans dangerously
outside and fires away at the dog as it nears the outpost.
outside the compound look to one another, incredulous.
much too low now, and chastised by the wind, attempts a high-
speed landing, directly on the heels of the sprinting dog.
It bounces violently on the hard-packed surface.
Once. Twice. Passing the dog.
A third bounce sends it skidding. It flips; its blades
snapping off like toothpicks. It lands belly-up, soundless
except for the whine of its engine.
The man with the gun rolls out before the explosion.
INT. MAIN COMPOUND
The half a dozen men, playing cards, monitoring equipment,
listening to music -- spring to their feet, startled.
The dog reaches Norris and Bennings, as they awkwardly wade
through the snow, toward the downed copter.
of the crash, his eyes crazed with determination, struggles
to his feet. Heedless of his companion, he double-times his
way to the men and the dog. He reloads his gun and bellows
in his Scandinavian tongue.
Norris and Bennings have no idea what he is saying.
The survivor waves his arms as if shooting them off, screaming
as he does so; his face now caked with blood.
The two men are bewildered. The dog jumps up, licking and
pawing them, imploring for safety.
Blam!! The visitor fires. The men jump back in disbelief.
What the fu...
Blam! Blam! The crazed visitor screams and fires as he stalks
after them. His countenance ablaze, mad. Ice and snow kick
up about the terrified Americans. A bullet smacks into the
dog's hip, sending it skidding and howling in pain.
Childs, the black man by the snowmobile, takes cover, diving
behind his machine.
Bennings is hit. Norris pulls, drags him back toward the
compound. The dog crawls along beside them.
The intruder is relentless in his assail. He runs, screaming,
firing, screaming, reloading and firing.
Total confusion. Some watch helplessly through the small,
fogged-up and translucent windows. Others try to mobilize
grabbing for their heavy jackets.
CLOSE ON A .357 MAGNUM
as it efficiently breaks through a windowpane and into the
cold. A steady hand grips it firmly.
getting closer. Kablam! Suddenly, his head jerks back. He
falls to his knees and then face down into the snow.
NORRIS AND BENNINGS
stare blankly, but relievedly at the fallen man. The dog
whimpers in pain.
pokes his head out from under the snowmobile.
INT. MAIN COMPOUND - REC ROOM
The rumbling of voices fades. The men adjust their eyes to
station manager Garry, as he extracts his gun from the broken
window, relieves it of its spent shell and puts it away.
EXT. BURNING COPTER
Several men spray snow on the burning wreckage. There is no
hope for the pilot.
CLOSE ON THE PALLID FACE OF THE SCANDINAVIAN INTRUDER
A neat round hole is set in the middle of his forehead.
Station manager Garry holds up something akin to an ID.
Norwegian... Jans Bolen.
Fuchs, a young and sensitive-looking biologist, stands closest
to the large area map of Antarctica. Several men sit and
stand around viewing the body that lies on two brought-
Gotta be from the Norwegian camp.
How far's that?
'Bout eighty kilos southwest.
Garry directs his attention to Childs, the large black man
who had been working on the snowmobile. Next to him sits
Norris, the rugged-looking, fortyish, geophysicist, who was
one of the men being shot at.
You catch anything he was saying?
Am I starting to look Norwegian to
Garry motions inquiringly to Norris.
Yeah. I caught that he wanted the
better part of my ass to come apart.
Dr. Cooper, mid-forties, works on the outstretched leg of
Bennings, the meteorologist. Clark, the dog handler, is
mending the hip of the wounded dog off in the corner.
Bennings lets out with an ouch.
Don't "ouch" me. Two stitches. It
just grazed you.
He helps a shaken Bennings up off the table.
What in the hell were they doing...?
Flying that low... shooting at a
dog... at us...
Stir crazy. Cabin fever... Who knows.
The dog yelps and whimpers as Clark tries to calm him.
I'll be here a while. Shell's pretty
INT. RADIO ROOM
Blair, senior biologist, fifty, balding, leans against the
He looks on as the young, bored-looking radio operator,
Sanchez, attends to his equipment. Bursts of static.
It's no go.
Well, get to somebody. Anybody. We've
got to report this mess.
Look, I haven't been able to reach
shit in two weeks. Doubt if anybody's
talked to anybody on the whole
Nauls, the cook, glides along on his roller stakes down one
of the many narrow hallways that connect the various
compartments of the main compound. He is black, a little
mischievous, about twenty-two.
He comes to a flashy skidding stop at one of the entrances
to the rec room area, where the men are gathered with the
Maybe we at war with Norway.
Palmer, a spacy, twenty-seven year old, novice pilot and
mechanic, grins as he lights a joint. He directs a remark to
station manager Garry.
Was wondering when "El Capitan" was
going to get a chance to use his pop
Garry rebukes him with a stern look and then turns to Fuchs.
How long have they been stationed
Fuchs leafing through a pile of papers.
Says here about eight weeks.
Dr. Copper enters the room. Bennings limping after him
(shaking his head)
That's not enough time for guys to
Bullshit, Bwana, sweetheart. Five
minutes is enough to put a man over
I mean Palmer been the way he is
since the first day.
Palmer smiles and flips the cook the bird.
How many in their party?
Started with six. There'd be four
How do you know?
The men's attention turn to Copper.
...Guys as crazy as that could have
done a lot of damage to their own
before they got to us.
Nothing we can do about that.
Yes, there is. I'd like to go up.
In this weather?
Winds are going to let up a tad,
next couple of hours.
Can't condone it myself. But it is a
short haul. Hour there, hour back.
Garry still does not much like the idea. Palmer takes another
hit off his joint.
Shit, Doc, I'll give you the lift
Forget it, Palmer. Doc, you're a
pain in the ass.
Norris, go get MacReady.
Slight laughter from some of the men.
MacReady ain't going nowhere. Bunkered
in till spring.
Just go get him.
Anyway, he's probably ripped.
EXT. U.S. OUTPOST #31
Norris, bundled in his sixty-five pounds of clothing, exits
the main compound. He walks the prefab wooden planks up the
precipice; his destination is someone a hundred yards up the
slope -- to a shack. He grabs onto the steadying ropes and
pulls himself against the wind and blowing sleet.
INT. MACREADY'S SHACK - CLOSE ON ICE CUBES
being dumped into a glass, followed by the pouring of whiskey.
An electronic Voice is heard.
Bishop to knight four.
MacReady takes a sip of his drink; makes his way over to his
electronic chess game. A large Mexican sombrero hangs on his
back. He is tall; about thirty-five. His shack is sparse but
unkempt. A few centerfolds on the wall are interspersed by
an occasional poster of some Mediterranean or South American
The chess game is of larger than normal size. The pieces
move automatically with the press of a button. He sits down
and chuckles over his opponent's bad move.
Poor little son of a bitch. You're
starting to lose it, aren't you?
He confidently taps out his move. His companion's response
Pawn takes queen at knight four.
MacReady's grin slowly fades as he examines the board. There
is a pounding at his door. MacReady broods for a bit, heedless
of his visitor and makes his next move.
Rook to knight six. Check.
More impatient pounding. MacReady glares at his opponent for
a beat. He bends forward, opens up a flap containing the
chess game's circuitry and pours in his drink. There ensues
a snapping, popping sound as smoke and sparks rise from the
machine; followed by a flush of chess gibberish.
MacReady gets up from his seat, mumbling on his way to the
He opens the door. Norris steps in followed by a flurry of
snow and wind.
You jerking off or just pissed?
We got any more of those electronic
chess things down in supply?
Get your gear on.
One of the grounded choppers is being readied for take-off.
Childs holds a huge industrial torch to the engine, warming
INT. MAIN COMPOUND - CORRIDOR
Garry, Bennings, Dr. Copper, Palmer and MacReady wind their
way through the slender corridors on their way to the chopper.
Dr. Copper carries a satchel of medicine supplies. MacReady,
going over his flight chart, looks mad as hell. Dialogue
is goddamn insane...
...Quit the griping
MacReady. Sooner you're
there -- sooner you're
It's against regulations to go up
this time of year!
Screw regulations! Four guys could
be crawling around on their bellies
So, I don't want to end up crawling
around with them when we go down.
Look, if you're going to keep
bitching, MacReady -- Palmer's offered
to take him up...
What are you talking?! He's had two
months training in those choppers!
What is it out there, anyway? Forty-
And the horse you rode in on. Sixteen
for how long?! You can't predict
this time of year...
INT./ EXT. CHOPPER
Dr. Copper sits next to MacReady, who is at the controls.
MacReady tightens the string of his sombrero around his neck
and starts up its choking engine.
MacReady fights violently with the controls as he struggles
to get the craft into the air. It finally rights itself and
moves up and off into the grey-white sky.
INT. MAIN COMPOUND
A couple of the men mingle in the area. Clark, the dog
handler, looks out the window.
Mac's really taking it up, huh?
The dog, a large bandage on his hip, wades through the room.
Under tables. Past men's legs. It hobbles slightly. No one
EXT. THE CHOPPER
moves over a ridge of ice. Columns of smoke can be seen rising
ominously from a quarter mile off.
INT. CHOPPER - POINT OF VIEW
As they near, the smoke looms thicker. A black, tar-like
gush; billowing up into the grey sky from the whiteness below.
EXT. NORWEGIAN CAMP
Smoke climbs upward in the f.g. MacReady sets his craft down.
Pull back to reveal the camp itself: resembling the aftermath
of a western fort, sacked and ravaged by Indians.
Small fires and debris are strewn everywhere. The prefab
Administration Building exposes gaping holes. Smoke rises
from the almost entirely snow-buried Quonset huts. Embers
swirl in every direction.
The two men look at each other in silence. They get out.
CLOSE ON A LARGE, MAKESHIFT FUNERAL PYRE
smoldering to a close. A hastily conceived crematorium. Wood,
books, furniture, tires, anything that will burn has been
mixed together with the charred remains of several dogs and
the body of a man.
Curious mounds of a melted and blackened goo are heaped within
A small can of gasoline lies nearby. A large oil drum not
MACREADY AND COPPER
their faces ashen as they take in this grotesque sight.
MacReady turns to view the Norwegian compound. He then
exchanges a look with Copper. MacReady heads back toward the
MacReady unhinges the shotgun that is latched to the panel
behind the seats.
EXT. THE MAIN BUILDING - THE DOOR
MacReady and Dr. Copper stand hesitantly amidst the wisps of
snow and embers. MacReady tries the door. It is unlocked. He
slowly pushes it open with his gun. A creaking. A long pitch-
black corridor. Copper shines a flashlight.
No answer. Just wind. They exchange a look and enter.
INT. NARROW CORRIDOR
The two men move slowly. It is dank and cold. Their breath,
bleating like exhaust. A soft, steady wind howls overhead.
The flashlight is not much help.
Further down, they hear a faint hissing sound. As they get
closer it more resembles static. The flashlight finds a door
at the end of the corridor. The sputtering static comes from
The face of the door has been shredded. An ax sticks out
from its middle. MacReady wrenches out the ax. There is blood
on it. The men acknowledge this for a beat.
MacReady tries the knob. It opens slightly. Something is
blocking it from the other side.
Anybody in there?!
Come to help you!!
MacReady pushes against the door.
Give me a hand.
They push, shove, grunt. The door gives a bit. Finally more.
It widens enough for MacReady to see that a large computer-
like machine is blocking their path. MacReady wedges in and
shines the flashlight.
It is the communications room. Holes in its roof have allowed
in the freezing cold. The flashlight exposes the back of the
radio chair. One more nudge allows them into the room.
A beat as they catch their breath. MacReady spots a Coleman
lantern. He lights it with a match. Holds it up. The brighter
light exposes the top of a man's head sitting in the radio
Hey, Sweden...! You okay?
The chair rocks slightly with the gentle breeze. They inch
closer. A yard from the chair, MacReady stops the Doctor.
He pokes his gun at the chair's back.
Dr. Copper spots something. From the man's wrist on the
armrest, he follows a long, yarn-thick, red line, ending in
a pool of frozen blood on the floor.
The two men step around the chair. The Norwegian stares up
in blanched death. A gaping black hole for a mouth.
His throat and wrists slit. An old-fashioned straight razor
in his lap.
MacReady turns off the hissing radio, and marches to the
other door. It is locked and barricaded.
(more to himself)
My God, what in hell happened here?
Come on, Copper.
The two men free a machine-like obstacle from the other exit.
MacReady opens a lock and pushes the door open.
More blackness. Stronger wind. Copper holds the lantern high
as they make their way down a row of wooden steps and into a
cavernous, underground causeway.
They're not Swedish, goddamn it,
they're Norwegian, MacRe --
Whap!! Something slaps into the Doctor's face from the
darkness. The lantern crashes to the ground. The Doctor
stumbles, falls. MacReady grabs the flashlight and whirls in
different directions. A panting beat. Silence.
Dr. Copper holds up what hit him. A thick centerfold, buffeted
by the wind. MacReady takes it.
Norwegian of the Month, Doc. Harmless.
MacReady pockets it for further viewing.
INT. THE NARROWEST OF CORRIDORS
The supporting beams have long since buckled and cracked
from the constantly moving ice underneath. The evidence of
fire has further weakened the foundations. The wood creaks
overhead. Bits of ice and silt trickle down.
The two men walk hunched, cautious. MacReady gingerly tries
to make his way around a broken and smoldering beam. He
brushes it gently sending a shower of debris from the yawning
The two men wait until it subsides and then moves on.
Further down. MacReady's knee bumps into something along the
wall, causing him to stumble slightly. He shines his light
An arm is sticking out of a steel door about three feet off
the ground. The door has been slammed shut. The arm pinned,
its fist still gripping a small welding torch.
The flame long since gone out.
He tries the door. Unlocked. It opens. The arm drops to the
ground. It has been severed by the force of the slam.
Its owner is nowhere to be seen.
MacReady, sickened, coughs. Dr. Copper mumbles.
They step over the arm and into another slim passageway.
Moving along they come to rest in front of a door with
Norwegian lettering on it.
MacReady pushes it open with his foot. Dozens of papers fly
about, flailed by the holes in the Quonset hut-style roof.
The place is a wreck. They enter. MacReady surveying the
small room with his flashlight.
Broken beakers, test tubes, a microscope are illuminated.
MacReady notices a video camera.
Portable video unit.
Copper makes his way over to the main work table. He shuffles
through papers, glancing at the writing.
All in Norwegian.
Dr. Copper bends down and begins gathering the papers, strewn
about the room.
What are you doing?
Could be important work. Might as
well bring it back.
It's getting late. Hurry it. I'm
going to check the last few rooms.
He exits. Amongst the rubble, Dr. Copper finds a pocket tape
recorder and several cassettes. He selects a tape and is
about to pop it in when he senses something to his rear. He
turns. Looks. A beat. Nothing.
MacReady shoves himself into another room.
Debris and wood flush down on him. The receding ceiling had
been blocking the door from above. He brushes his coat and
shines the light upwards.
The ceiling is a shambles. He then shines the light deeper
into the room.
INT. NORWEGIAN LAB
Dr. Copper is playing the small tape recorder. A casual
Norwegian voice drones on as if making notes. He fast
forwards. The same casual drone.
Copper, come here!!
Dr. Copper enters, squeezing in, through the door. The wood
cracks overhead. More debris comes falling down.
Careful. It's about to go.
Copper dusts himself. MacReady stands before a huge block of
ice. Fifteen feet long. Six feet wide. Four feet tall.
It has partially melted, but its thawing process has been
stopped by the now freezing temperatures within the outpost.
Its one curious feature: the middle has been thawed and
scooped out. Giving it the appearance of a large bathtub.
The two men study it uncomprehendingly.
MacReady's gaze turns to a large metal cabinet at his left.
He moves for a closer look. Several photographs are pasted
to its door. Small snapshots of the Norwegians at work and
He tries to open it. Stuck. The partially caved-in ceiling
is slightly blocking the top of the door. He tries again,
careful not to dislodge the wood and plaster above. Bits of
dust float down.
His grip is too strong. It gives suddenly, unexpectedly. The
large metal door flies open.
Large chunks splash from the ceiling. They come thumping to
the floor, behind and in front of the open cabinet door.
MacReady coughs and waves away the dust. He peers inside.
Nothing much. Some empty shelves. Some small scientific gear.
His flashlight then locates a large photograph taped to the
inside of the cabinet door.
It is a picture of five Norwegians, arm in arm, all smiles,
toasting each other. They are on either side of the frozen
block of ice, pridefully displaying it for the camera. The
block looks much thicker. Its interior opaque.
MacReady looks to the block of ice and then back to the
photograph. He untapes it, pockets it and shuts the door.
An armless corpse swings into his face from behind the closing
door. Dislodged from the ceiling, the body and MacReady go
crashing to the floor.
INT. U.S. OUTPOST - RECREATION ROOM
The loud beat of Warren Zevon's song, "The Werewolves of
London," can be heard throughout the compound. The room is
empty. Close on a video pong game, its ball of light lazily
traveling back and forth. The dog, its tail wagging, its
bandage on, walks by.
Zevon's record is blasting from Nauls' stereo. He skates
from the big walk-in freezer and plunks down a large side of
beef on the wood-cutting table to thaw. He skates from pot
to pan keeping time with his sounds.
He smells. Tastes. Adds a little something here, a touch
there. He clearly enjoys his work.
Station Manager Garry stops past the open door.
Turn that crap down, Nauls. You can
hear it all over the camp!
Oui, Bwana. Can do.
He skates over and turns it down, but not much.
INT. COMMUNICATIONS ROOM
Garry enters and sees that Sanchez has nodded off in front
of his receiver. His headgear is still on. Garry walks over
and turns up the volume, the static jolting Sanchez awake.
You reach anybody yet?
We're a thousand miles from anybody
else, man. It's going to get a hell
of a lot worse before it gets better.
Well, stick to it.
INT. COMPOUND CORRIDOR
An empty hallway. Larger than most. Doors to several sleeping
quarters on either side. The dog slowly walks through.
One of the doors is open up ahead of his left. The dog stops
in front of it and looks in. Someone is inside.
Inside the small cubicle, a slight portion of a man's back
can be seen as he sits bent over a chair; his large shadow
displayed on the wall.
Back in the corridor. The dog looks up the hall once and
casually to the other end. No one. He enters the room. The
sound of a man's voice, too indistinct to tell whose, mumbles:
The sound of a glass breaking. A muffled scuffling. The door
is slammed shut from the inside. And then silence.
Fuchs, the young biologist, is finishing up his daily jog
around the compound. He stops at the end of a long Quonset
hut almost completely buried in the snow. The hut is fifty
yards long and connects to the main compound. He enters a
tunnel from a latch door up top.
He jogs down the steps, passing the underground dog kennel
and trots toward the compound through the long narrow tunnel.
He passes and waves to Clark, who rolls along a wheelbarrow
of dog food.
opens the door to the small kennel and serves up the dinner.
The dogs, about seven of them, yelp and bark eagerly.
INT. UNDERGROUND PASSAGEWAY
near the fuel supply bladders. Older and more rickety than
the quarters above.
Childs waltzes through, humming, a big smile on his face.
He stops at a door with six locks on it. Different kinds.
Combination locks, key locks, etc. He opens each one
INT. STORAGE ROOM
Inside are several marijuana plants. Sun lamps beam down on
them. Childs inspects them with a wide grin.
How my brothers and sister doing
today? Doin' fine.
He moves over to a tape deck, selects a cassette, grins back
at the plants and turns it on.
What say to some nice Al Green for
my babies, huh?
He waters them carefully, as Al Green sings softly. He hears
a panting and turns around to see the dog. His bandage is
What you...? You get the hell on out
The dog is shooed off. Childs turns back grumbling.
...Comin' in here... goin' to urinate
on my babies.
INT. MAIN COMPOUND - HALLWAY
Blair passing through, holding a chart and carrying a rack
of test tubes, notices a large bandage on the floor. He picks
it up, inquiringly. It is mangled and shredded.
INT. GENERATOR ROOM
Palmer works on the generator. He hears the sound of
approaching propeller blades from outside. And then the sound
of his tool box crashing to the floor. He turns to see what
caused the ruckus.
The dog, who has entered the shed, has jumped on the work
table and upended the tool box on its eagerness to look out
of the above window. Palmer curses under his breath and calls
Clark! Will you kennel this goddamn
(bangs wrench against
It paws at the window and watches as the chopper, carrying
MacReady and Dr. Copper, fights against the newly arrived
heavy winds and lands safely.
INT. STATION MANAGER GARRY'S QUARTERS
Garry, MacReady, Dr. Copper, Norris, Bennings, Blair and his
assistant, Fuchs, are present. The small Norwegian video
unit has been set up and its contents are being viewed on a
TV screen. Grainy, home movie-ish, no sound.
The proceedings are grim.
Shots of the Norwegian's at work. Others of them playing
soccer on ice. Generally the footage is a prosaic record of
their day-to-day life.
Norris shuffles the bundle of notes Dr. Copper brought back
...Seems they were spending a lot of
time at a place four miles northeast
of their camp.
What were they involved in?
MacReady, working on the video machine, answers.
Little ice core drilling... some
seismology... glaciology... same old
shit we do.
The present footage is a shot of them all naked and probably
drunk, holding a sign across their waists as they stand
outdoors in super-freezing weather.
How much more of this crap is there?
About nine more hours.
We can't learn anything from this.
MacReady turns on the light and shuts off the video machine.
He then slides the portable tape deck across the table to
Dr. Copper. They exchange a look.
MacReady and I were listening to
some of these cassettes on the way
Like you gentlemen to hear it.
A Norwegian voice drones on calmly, making verbal notes.
What do you want from us?
Dr. Copper fast forwards. The calm voice continues. And then
a loud blast, followed by pounding. The sounds of confusion.
Voices. Loud. Frenetic. Men's feet running up and down wooden
floorboards. A gurgling. A hissing.
Screams. And then a screeching. More blasts mixed with the
din of wild, carnage-wrought cries. And then more screeching.
A screeching unlike anything these men have ever heard.
The men look from one another in silence as they listen.
Dr. Copper turns it off.
Goes on like that quite awhile.
What do you gentlemen make of it?
Could be anything... Men in
isolation... some beef that
snowballed... got out of hand...
Maybe the whole camp got bent...
Something they ate. What about food
Dr. Copper taps the tape deck pensively.
He glances at MacReady, and then back to the others.
There's something else we want you
Dr. Copper and MacReady begin dumping the heavy contents of
a large plastic trash bag onto the slab.
We found this.
Displayed on the slab is what appears to be the corpse of a
man. Badly charred. What is left of the trousers and shoes
of the bottom torso are ripped and split, as if his legs and
feet had burst from the inside. His upper body is an almost
undecipherable gnarled mass of protoplasmic mush.
The head is strangely disfigured and looks larger than normal.
It is situated not on its shoulders but near the abdomen.
Tendon-like appendages are wrapped around the carcass and
sticking up and out in odd postures. One is wrapped around
the body's left leg.
The shirt has been ripped and lies shredded in the tar-like
The men grimace.
I know he's pretty badly burned...
but could fire have done this?
Blair, sickened but fascinated, pokes at the tendon-like
things and the tarry goo.
Blair, I'd like you and Fuchs to
help me with autopsies on this one
and the one Garry shot this morning.
INT. REC ROOM - LATER - CLOSE ON A TABLE HOCKEY GAME
Foosball. Nauls and Clark are going at it hot and heavy.
Sanchez sits off in a corner thumbing through an old issue
Bennings, Norris and Garry are engaged in a card game.
Bennings is about to play a card when he feels something
under the table. He looks. It is the dog.
Clark, will you put this mutt with
the others where he belong?!
larger than most of the other rooms and well-equipped.
Dr. Copper is performing an autopsy on the Norwegian intruder,
killed early that morning.
Blair sits over his microscope, while Fuchs prepares slides.
The other body is draped with a sheet, waiting its turn. Dr.
Copper pulls off his gloves.
Nothing wrong with this one.
Find anything toxic?
No drugs... alcohol. Nothing.
Clark leads the dog through the long, cold tunnel toward the
kennel. A new dressing has been placed on its hip.
He unlatches the door to the kennel and leads him in.
About twenty feet long, five feet wide. Poorly lit.
Cramped with dogs. Some of them sleeping. Others pacing around
and curious, greet their new companion, sniffing, panting
and rubbing up against him. Clark pats the dog and several
others, then leaves, latching the door behind him.
INT. SLEEPING CUBICLE
Childs lies in his cot watching a small television. The show
is a tape of an American TV game show. He has seen this one
too many times, extracts the cassette and injects another
Palmer is stretched out in the other cot, reading a comic
book and smoking a joint. Childs beckons for it and takes a
A small area, just off the rec room. Set up like a bar.
MacReady is alone looking over the rest of the videotapes
from the Norwegian outpost. Mundane to esoteric chores of
Antarctic camp life. He looks bored.
Blair, hovering over the microscope, lays in a slide, focuses
and motions for Dr. Copper to take a look.
Copper is confused as he examines. He shrugs.
I don't understand.
Fuchs takes the opportunity to look. Blair moves over to the
disfigured corpse and indicates one of the fibrous, tendon-
It's tissue from one of these sinewy
Fuchs is befuddled as he examines.
What in the world kind of cell
structure is this?
That's the point.
I don't get you, Blair.
I'm not sure it is any kind of cell
structure. Biologically speaking.
This really isn't my field, Blair.
Let's wrap for the day.
Dr. Copper undoes his lab coat and lays it over a chair as
he exits. Blair stares down ominously at the mutilated body.
EXT. COMPOUND - NIGHT
A steady stream of sleet pounds the compound and small
INT. REC ROOM
Vacant. The wall clock reads four-thirty.
Sleeping cubicles on either side. The sound of snoring.
Bleary-eyed, MacReady is in the process of blowing up some
strange inflatable object. As he puffs away, he still keeps
an eye on the Norwegian video tapes. His balloon begins to
take shape. It blossoms into a life-size replica of a full-
breasted woman. Something on the tape catches his eye. He
rewinds, then starts it forward again.
The screen shows the Norwegians on the surface of what appears
to be an enormous, flat glacier. They are spread out on the
ice around a large odd oval shape; their arms outstretched.
It fades to black and then a Norwegian comes on mugging
childishly in front of the camera, apparently quite pleased
The tape fades to black again and the picture reappears.
This time they have marked off the large oval area with flag
Closer shots show three of the men digging a deep hole into
the ice. There is a small patch of something dark and metallic
at the bottom.
MacReady leans forward, intrigued.
The men are now sinking something deep into the ice at various
points around the markings. MacReady squints and mumbles to
Decanite...? Thermite charges...?
The tape jump cuts again showing a long shot of the markings.
No Norwegian in sight. An explosion kicks up the ice. A beat
as the ice sprays to the ground. Then the camera appears to
shake as the ground beneath it quivers.
Another immense explosion follows. An earthquake-like force
throws the camera to the ground.
The tape continues, distorted, unviewable. A distinct crack
in the lens. MacReady lets go of his companion and quickly
rewinds. The deflating mannequin is sent sputtering around
INT. KENNEL - NIGHT
Most of the dogs are sleeping or lounging. The new dog watches
them calmly, silently.
He takes several steps towards a group of about five dogs
and sits upright. Completely still. He stares at them. A
beat. The dogs are aware of something. They begin to seem a
bit confused, uncomfortable.
The new dog continues to stare. Sitting rigidly, unnaturally
still. His eyes dead, lusterless black spheres.
Bewildered, a few dogs start to pace. As if sensing something:
a portent. A danger. But so odd. They begin a soft, purring
The new dog remains a statue. The growling builds. More dogs
begin to pace. Nervously. Faster, encircling.
Emitting hisses, snarls. The lack of response driving them
into a frenzy.
Barks. Growls. More frenetic pacing. The din escalating.
Three dogs start to close in on the stranger.
THE SHADOW OF THE NEW DOG
against the kennel wall. The shadow suddenly lurches upward,
The kennel roars.
MacReady is still going over bits of the same footage,
fascinated. He hears the far-off clamor of the dogs.
INT. NAULS' QUARTERS
He, too, bothered by the noise, tosses and turns in his sleep.
INT. CLARK'S QUARTERS
Clark snores. MacReady has entered.
No response. MacReady nudges him. Clark rolls away, annoyed.
MacReady pinches his snoring nose, cutting off the air.
Clark sits up, groggy.
Dogtown's going nuts. Take care of
Clark, sleepy, irritated, makes his way down the freezing
corridor. The wind soughing loudly overhead.
reaches the kennel door. The savage outpouring of noise from
within baffles and angers him. He unlatches the door.
What's got into...
Smack! Just as he opens the door, two dogs, as if jettisoned
from a cannon, knock him off his feet. Growls, barks, snarls.
And a screeching from within.
MacReady is fetching himself a beer. The sound of the far-
off screeching. He freezes. A beat. He turns and sprints.
HIS BEER CAN
as it smashes the glass of the fire alarm. He pulls the lever.
The alarm is blaring throughout the camp. MacReady, Garry,
Norris run through the narrow tunnel led by Clark.
MacReady carries a shotgun. Garry, half-dressed, has his
.44. Clark, a fire ax.
I don't know what the hell's in there,
but it's weird and pissed off,
whatever it is.
Chaos. Men, half-naked, bounce from their cubicle.
Pulling on their pants, digging into shoes.
INT. CHILDS' CUBICLE
Childs is grappling with his belt buckle.
Mac wants the what?!
(at the doorway)
That's what he said. Now! Move!
Bennings is off.
as the men approach the locked kennel door. The two dogs,
thrown into Clark, back ferociously and scratch at the door
trying to get back in. One is badly bloodied.
The fight inside rages on. MacReady and Clark brace themselves
by the narrow door. Norris and Garry hold back the two
hysterical dogs. Clark undoes the latch and he and MacReady
enter the kennel.
The light has been broken and it is pitch black. MacReady
snaps on his flashlight. Norris and Garry can't contain their
animals and the dogs burst into the room. They smash into
MacReady and send him sprawling. Total confusion: the dogs;
the men; the screeching; the blackness.
Mac, where are you?
MacReady gropes for his flashlight and rights himself. He
finds Clark. Then shines it around the cramped room trying
to get his bearings.
The light finds a mass of dogs in a wild melee in the corner.
Barking mixed with hissing, a gurgling, a screeching.
Dogs being hurled about and then charging back into the fray
with a vengeance.
The flashlight illuminates parts of some "thing." A dog.
But not quite. Impossible to tell. It struggles powerfully.
Garry pokes his head into the blackness.
What's going on, damn it?
MacReady aims his shotgun at the entire pack.
I'm going to shoot.
Clark wades into the pack, grabs at dogs' hides and throws
them back. He then wields his ax into the fray, chopping and
hacking away at the gurgling, hissing silhouette.
From out of nowhere, a large, bristly, arachnid-like leg
springs up and wraps around Clark's ax. It sends Clark
smashing violently into the wall.
More men running, nearing the kennel. Several squeezing in
with Garry, trying to get a look.
MacReady fires several rounds. A dog is flung at him, knocking
him and his flashlight once more to the ground.
Garry squeezes in and begins blasting away in the direction
of the hissing and screeching. A dog is hit. MacReady crawls
for his flashlight.
Clark? Where are you? Clark!
Blam. Blam. Garry continues firing at the silhouette.
Childs, huffing and puffing, lugs the huge industrial torch
toward the crowded kennel doorway.
Childs, you got the torch? You get
your ass in here!!
Childs scrunches in, disoriented by the blackness, and bumps
into Garry, knocking him off balance.
Where are you?
MacReady signals with his flashlight and then points it at
the gathering of snarling dogs.
Torch it over there!
Screw the dogs!! Torch it!!
Childs lets loose with a burst of blue flame. A mewing, a
Part of the kennel starts to burn.
We're on fire!
Don't let up, Childs!
Childs moves closer, continuing his assault on the hissing,
Men charge into the room and begin spraying dogs and burning
walls. Dogs and men choke and cough amidst the smoke and
The screeching lessens. The hissing and gurgling fade. Childs
turns off his torch.
INT. REC ROOM - NEXT MORNING
Those of the men that have gathered exhibit a pale and quiet
Blair, in silent awe, stands over the badly burned corpses
of two interlocking dogs, that lie before him on a table.
They are connected as if they were one animal. Though, the
one wearing the remnants of Clark's bandage is much larger
and appears less dog-like. Its entire torso is cracked and
peeled, as if its innards were trying to burst out.
Odd appendages, recoiled and withered by the flame, are
wrapped grotesquely about both bodies.
Clark, his eyes set in glassy stare, sits in shock. Nauls
comforts him. Childs stands nearby smoking a joint and staring
at the floor.
Blair, transfixed, continues hovering over the united
cadavers. Weighing. Thinking. A very worried look on his
The dead bodies of two other dogs from the kennel are not
Fuchs is attending to the shredded bodies of three other
badly wounded dogs.
INT. REC ROOM
Nauls pats Clark on the shoulder and grins, trying to pick
up his spirits.
It's okay now, man. It's dead. It's
Clark turns to him with a childlike smile.
I know. Mr. Childs killed it. I saw.
Right, man. Right.
INT. SMALL WORKROOM
Norris is going through some maps. MacReady is bent over his
shoulder. Norris finds the one he's looking for.
Here. This is where they were spending
most of their time.
Bennings pokes his head in the room.
Pretty nasty out, Mac. Thirty-five
Screw it, I'm going up anyway.
INT. MAIN COMPOUND - MORNING
Station Manager Garry has joined Blair by the stuck-together
bodies. Blair motions to the bandage.
Was that dog, the Norwegian dog?
I just can't comprehend any of this.
It was just a dog.
"tweren't no dog, Bwana.
That tape MacReady showed us this
Couldn't make much of it myself.
I've asked him to try and locate the
site. Okay with you?
Sure. You think there's a connection?
high above the Antarctic expanse.
MacReady pilots. Young Palmer and Norris are with him.
It is clear but the winds are troublesome. The ride is a
shaky one. Norris refers to their map. He points.
One of their sites would be directly
They aim for a large mountainous wall. As they go up and
over... they see:
FLAT, GLACIAL EXPANSE
On the surface, an enormous blackened oval shape.
INT. U.S. OUTPOST #31 - LAB
All the bodies of the dogs have been brought in. Fuchs stands
by as Blair studies through his microscope.
INSERT - A MICROSCOPIC SAMPLING
of two cells. They appear to be much different from each
other. They are joined at the ends but are completing the
process of breaking off from each other.
A disturbed look on his face. He checks his watch, as if
timing the procedure.
EXT. GLACIER - TRACKING WITH MACREADY, NORRIS AND PALMER
as they walk along the ice. They come to a stop at the edge
of a sharp drop.
Pull back to reveal -- the massive black hole about fifteen
feet beneath the ice. Charred, gnarled and mangled metal are
all that is left of what was once an enormous sphere.
MacReady's and Norris' eyes meet each other in silence.
Palmer is in awe.
MacReady finds a burst thermite canister. He and Norris climb
They move along amongst the wreck. Almost everything but the
skeletal superstructure has disintegrated into a fine ashy
Norris digs for ice samples at the perimeter of the wreckage,
while MacReady browses through the center.
Palmer continues to marvel, as he walks around the oval,
atop the ice.
MacReady returns and kneels down next to Norris as the latter
examines a piece of metal.
Magnesium of some type... or some
kind of strange alloy.
(looks out at debris
And those poor dumb bastards had to
go and blow the hell out of it.
So what do you make of it?
You know damn well what we both make
No chance it could have been some
new kind of test craft?
Norris shakes his head no.
Seismic activity has been pushing
this are up from way down for a long
(holds up ice sample)
...This ice it was buried in...
It's over a hundred thousand years
Palmer calls out, waving them over.
The two men join Palmer about fifty yards from the oval.
A large rectangular chunk has been cut out of the ice. It is
fifteen feet long, six feet wide and eight feet deep.
MacReady kneels down to observe. A beat.
A gust of wind picks up the snow at their feet.
INT. REC ROOM - NIGHT
Fascinated, a few of the men are reviewing the Norwegian
video tapes of the finding of the mysterious craft.
MacReady sits quietly by his chess set contemplating a large
glass of Scotch. Clark, less interested than the others, is
flipping through the Norwegian nudie magazine.
Blair, looking worried, sits off in a corner, pondering the
photo of the block of ice and fingering a piece of crumbled-
up metal brought back from the site.
Childs, viewing the tapes, can't quite believe it all.
Okay now, Mac, run this by me again.
Thousands of years ago this rocket
ship crashes, right...? And the...
MacReady is not listening.
Look, I'm just guessing...
Well, go on.
Nauls, about to prepare dinner, scowls as he rummages through
his many cabinets.
Where's that big ol' steel pot of
He turns to examine the cabinets above the large stove. He
spots something in the nearby kitchen trash can.
Disgusted, he pulls out a torn and shredded pair of long
INT. REC ROOM
...So it crashes, and this guy,
whoever he is, gets thrown out, or
walks out, and ends up freezing.
I just can't believe this voodoo
bullshit. You believe this voodoo
Blair says nothing, lost in thought.
Palmer, stoned, a joint dangling from his mouth, is searching
for information through stacks of old issues of The National
Enquirer and The Star.
Happens all the time, man. They're
falling out of the skies like flies.
Government knows all about it...
Chariots of the Gods, man... They
practically own South America. I
mean they taught the Incas everything
Cool it, Palmer!!
Palmer shakes a magazine at him adamantly.
Read von Daniken! Have you read von
Daniken? Get your facts straight!
Clark marvels at a particular photo.
Jesus, why would those guys ever
want to leave Norway...?
Nauls skates into the room. He shakes the crumpled-up pair
of long johns in his fist.
Which one you muthers been tossing
his dirty underwear in the kitchen
He flings it across the room. It lands on MacReady's chess
I want my kitchen clean. Germ free!
Nauls spins on his skates and storms off. MacReady fetches
the strangely shredded underwear and rolls it up, while Childs
So, MacReady, come on now. These
Norwegian dudes come by... find him
and dig him up...
MacReady tosses the ball of cloth across the room into a
Yeah, they dig him up and cart him
back. He gets thawed out, wakes up
and scares the shit out of them. And
they get into one hell of a brawl...
Now how's this motherfucker wake up
after thousands of years in the ice,
I don't know how. Because he's
different than we are. Because he's
a space guy. What do you want from
me, anyway. Go ask Blair.
You buy any of this, Blair?
A beat as Blair stares straight ahead, transfixed. He speaks
softly, to no one particular.
It was here... got to that dog... It
was here in this camp...
The men take in his grave countenance.
So...? So what? It's over with.
Blair turns to them. A pause. The men search his face.
Well, isn't it?
INT. LAB - CLOSE ON A SHEET
as Blair rips it off exposing the tangled mess of interlocking
Pull back. All the men have gathered. Some of the men settle
into chairs, others stand.
Whatever that Norwegian dog was...
It... It was capable of changing its
(indicates their dog)
...when it attacked our dog... it
somehow was able to digest... or...
absorb it... and in the process shaped
its own cells to imitate our dog's
(holds up gooey dog
...This for instance isn't dog at
all -- it's imitation... We got to
it before it had time to finish or...
...I think the whole process would
have taken an hour... maybe more.
And then I suppose both would have
changed back to dog form.
Well, that Thing in the ice sure
weren't no dog.
Of course not... But whatever it was
revived, it... Well, The Thing was
probably disoriented... and realized
it couldn't survive for long in our
atmosphere... But being the incredibly
adaptable creature it was... it tried
to become something that could...
Before the Norwegians killed it...
it somehow got to this dog.
What do you mean "got" to the dog?
It was a life form that was able to
imitate and reproduce, whatever it
ate or absorbed, cell for cell.
The concept is staggering. I know...
I... I don't fully understand it
You're saying... that big muther in
the ice, became the dog.
I think we're talking about an
organism... that could imitate other
life forms... perfectly... It could
have gone on and on... It could have
become one dog... It could have become
as many dogs as it wanted to -- and
without losing any of its original
You been into Childs' weed, Blair?
Blair slams his fist on the slab.
Look, I know it's hard to believe...
So what's our problem?
Well... there's still some cell
activity... it's not entirely dead
Several of the men nearest the carcasses jump back knocking
over a chair.
EXT. COMPOUND - NIGHT - CLOSE ON THE DOG CARCASSES
lying on the snow. Splash. They are being soaked with
You can't do this! You can't burn
Pull back. Fuchs is beside himself. Childs has the large
torch. MacReady empties another can on the bodies. Dr. Copper
And the horse you rode in on, Fuchs.
Light it up.
Childs lights the tip. Fuchs makes a determined move for the
Well, I'm not going to let this
Childs struggles with him for a beat and then flings him to
the ground. Dr. Copper grabs him preventing him from getting
Childs splays the remains with a jet of flame. Fuchs shakes
his head in frustration and disgust.
I just can't believe it... We're
going to go down as the biggest bunch
of assholes in history...
Fuck history. At least we're going
to live to be an old bunch of
INT. KENNEL - NIGHT
The night feeding. Clark dishes out the food. Blair is taking
blood samples from the remaining three dogs.
Clark, did you notice anything strange
about that dog? Just anything at
all? Any little thing?
No. Just that he recovered real
quick... That night when I found him
in the rec room, he had already
scraped off his bandage. Before I
put him with the others, I redressed
his wound and noticed it had healed
up real good...
A beat as Blair stares at Clark.
(pets dog vigorously)
What was he doing in the rec room?
Well, after I worked on him -- thought
I'd let him rest. Left the room for
a bit. When I came back, he was gone.
Well, where was he? Where did he go?
Don't know. Looked for him for a
bit... couldn't find him.
(a long beat)
You're saying he wasn't put into the
kennel until the night?
Clark seems uneasy under Blair's intense gaze.
Blair stands, his eyes still glued to Clark.
How long were you with the dog? Alone,
Ah... He was hurt bad. Bullet nicked
an artery... I don't know... An
hour... hour and a half...
Blair's eyes glaze as if in revelation.
What the hell you looking at me like
Nothing. Nothing at all.
He backs out of the kennel.
INT. HALLWAY - COMPOUND
Irritated, distressed, station manager Garry moves briskly
down the hall. Blair, worried and pale, tries to keep up
...It could have gotten to somebody...
No, I... I don't mean infection...
Garry stops at the entrance to the communications room.
Any luck yet?
Couple seconds of an Argentine disco
Well, stick with it. I want you at
it round the clock. We got to get
help in here...
No... No, you can't let anyone in
here... That dog was all over this
Bennings interrupts, entering the hallway, referring to his
Travel-wise, tomorrow may be okay.
But after that some pretty nasty
northeasterly shit's coming in.
The men outside come stomping through the hallway.
Listen to me, Garry. Please...
If the weather clears enough before
we reach anybody -- I'm sending you
and Doc up to MacMurdo...
No! You can't let people
I ain't going anywhere in
anything over forty knots,
The hell you won't, MacReady!
Don't you understand?! That Thing
didn't want to become a dog...
Damn you, Blair! You've already got
everybody half-hysterical around
You can't let anybody leave!
I've got six dead Norwegians on my
hands, a burned up flying saucer,
and we've just destroyed the
scientific find of the century. Now
Close on Blair, ashen-faced, falling silent. As if in a daze,
he watches the men as they continue to converse. Suspicious,
EXT. COMPOUND - NIGHT
Pitch black except for the barest of lighting which outlines
the building. Wind. The swirl of ice.
INT. MACREADY'S CABIN - NIGHT
Far away from the others, MacReady sits in his little hovel
putting the final screw into his mended chess set.
On the other side of the set, his busty, inflatable companion
has been propped up in a chair. His sombrero hangs down her
back, keeping her in place. Hawaiian music plays from his
He puts down his screwdriver, holds up his glass and offers
a toast with a big grin.
He clinks the drink he has made for her that rests on her
side of the board. He sips. He turns on the machine and makes
his first move.
Now go easy on me, Esperanza. I'm
just a beginner.
The set answers for Esperanza.
Rook takes bishop at Queen four --
Rook take pawn at Queen two -- Rook
takes Queen at Queen one -- Checkmate.
He flips open the circuitry panel in disgust. He tosses his
screwdriver on the board and grabs his drink, downing it.
He reaches inside his ice bucket. Empty.
Never any damn ice around here...
EXT. MACREADY'S CABIN - NIGHT
MacReady exits. He swacks at a nearby bank of ice with a
small ice pick.
Now in Mexico... Tahiti... They got
ice... They got ice coming out of
The sound of a clanking. He turns his attention. Metal against
metal. Strange. MacReady listens. It appears to be coming
from far off below, near the camp.
as he makes his way down with the aid of the steadying ropes.
The clanking louder now. He senses the direction.
at the bottom near the main compound. The sound has stopped.
He looks around in the near blackness. A beat.
sitting idle in the dark. MacReady approaches. The door to
one of the cockpits is slightly ajar. He opens it cautiously.
MacReady slips in. He turns on a flashlight. The controls
have been mangled. Beaten with something heavy. Bang!!
MacReady, startled, turns. Like the sound of a gun. Coming
from the main compound.
INT. COMPOUND - MAIN ENTRANCE
Confusion. Shouts. MacReady enters. He grabs Palmer as he
and Bennings rush by.
Blair. He's gone berserk.
He's in the radio room. Got a gun.
Beat on Sanchez something fierce.
HALLWAY - RADIO ROOM ENTRANCE
The men are on either side of the open radio room doorway.
Garry peeks his head in. A gunshot blast forces him back.
Sanchez lies on the floor, groaning. Blair holds the gun on
the door. He wields a fire ax with the other hand and smashes
down on the radio.
Anybody interferes, I'll kill!
Nobody's getting in or out of this
MacReady has joined the others.
He smashed one of the choppers up
good. Childs, go check the other one
and the tractor.
Childs is off.
Blair crunches the ax down once again, while keeping an eye
on the door.
...You think I'm crazy? Fine! Most
of you don't know what's going on --
but I'm damn well sure some of you
BACK TO HALLWAY
The back window. A couple of us could
maybe surprise him.
Too damn dangerous.
BACK TO RADIO ROOM
...You think this Thing wants to
become an animal? Dogs can't make it
1000 miles to the sea. No skua gulls
to imitate this time of year... No
penguins this far inland... Don't
you understand?! It wanted to become
He brings the ax down hard on the radio.
BACK TO HALLWAY
Childs runs up, out of breath.
He got both choppers and the
tractor... I don't know how bad yet.
Garry readies his large .357 Magnum.
No, wait a minute.
The fuse box.
Norris double-times down the hall.
MacReady turns the corner and into the rec room. He grabs
one of the thick card tables.
MacReady returns with the table to the hallway.
...Can't you see...? If one cell of
this Thing got out it could imitate
every living thing on Earth. Nothing
could stop it! Nothing!
Look Blair, maybe you're right about
this. But we've got to be rational.
We've got to talk this over. I'm
unarmed and I'm coming in.
No, you're not! I don't trust any of
reaches the fuse box. He opens it.
MacReady readies the table like a shield.
If you're right we've all got to
The lights go out. MacReady charges into the black room.
Blair fires. MacReady barrels into him, knocking him to the
ground. He pummels him with a right hand and manages to
control the gun.
The others dive in and pile on.
Heavily-clothed, MacReady, Fuchs and Dr. Copper help a dazed
Blair to a toolshed some seventy-five yards from the main
More spacious than MacReady's. Very livable. Two windows.
Blair has been placed on the cot. Dr. Copper injects him
with a sedative.
Why am I here?
It's for your own protection, Blair.
And mainly ours.
Fuchs and MacReady nail boards over the windows.
Leave a bit of an opening so he can
Blair's droopy-eyed, heavily drugged features loom up at
MacReady through the window.
How you doin', old boy?
I don't know who to trust.
Know what you mean, Blair. Trust is
a tough thing to come by these days.
Just trust in the Lord.
Watch him close. Ask him why he didn't
kennel the dog.
Blair's face disappears from the window.
EXT. COMPOUND - DAY
Harsh and grey. Getting very dark as winter takes a stronger
hold. Bennings is dumping the trash in a large hole in the
snow which acts as the trash dump.
Bennings finishes and drags the empty bins past Palmer and
Childs, who are fixing the wounded choppers.
INT. RADIO ROOM
The radio looks a mess. Norris and Sanchez, a bandage wrapped
around his head, examines the damage. He is in pain and still
looks a little groggy.
I'll see what I can do. But they
didn't teach me much about fixing
Norris smiles and pats him comfortingly.
They didn't teach you much about
working them either.
INT. MESS HALL - MORNING
CLOSE ON A BUFFET OF EGGS, BACON, TOAST, ETC.
Pull back. The men help themselves. It is a cramped, elongated
Dr. Copper approaches Nauls and hands him a capsule.
Put this in Blair's juice before you
take him his tray.
Clark comes running into the room, pallid, out of breath.
The men turn to look.
INT. THE KENNEL
Empty. Clark and Garry examine the latch of the kennel door.
Doesn't look broken.
No. Door was wide open. I know I
EXT. COMPOUND ABOVE THE UNDERGROUND KENNEL
CLOSE ON THE DOGS' TRACKS in the snow. They lead from the
kennel's open stairwell and out onto the ice. All the men
All three of them took off.
MacReady is writing down what appears to be a list on a pad.
How long do you suppose they've been
I haven't seen them since their last
feeding. Could be as much as twenty-
They couldn't have gotten that far
in this weather.
Garry and several others turn to MacReady quizzically.
You're not thinking of going after
them, are you?
I am going after them.
What in the hell for? Even if Blair's
right -- they'll just die out there.
No food. They're over a thousand
miles from anything.
Chopper aren't going to be ready for
MacReady hands his list to Bennings.
Get these things out of supply and
meet me over by the snowmobiles.
You're not going to catch them in
one of those with the start they
Palmer, how long would it take you
to strap those big four-cylinder
Oh, I got you. Not too long.
Then get a move on. Childs, come
He puts his arm around Childs and pulls him along. The others
watch them walk off, a little bewildered.
(shouting after them)
Besides, what are you going to do
when you catch up to them?
Bennings is reading MacReady's list.
(hands list to Garry)
Whatever he's going to do, he ain't
EXT. OUTDOOR WORK AREA - CLOSE ON THE BARREL
of the large torch. A fierce stream of flame bursts from its
Pull back. The stream has shot out some fifteen feet.
Childs has been modifying it.
I can get maybe another five or six
feet out of it.
That's good enough.
CLOSE ON PALMER
as he works on the snowmobiles. Into frame rolls a wheelbarrow
on sleds. A box marked DYNAMITE is its most prominent article.
Pull back. Bennings reads off the list of supplies.
All right... Box of dynamite... box
of thermite... three shotguns... box
of flares... two flare guns... thirty
cans gasoline... and a case of
Let's load 'em.
EXT. ANTARCTICA - ICESCAPE
The two vehicles rip across the hard, flat ice, bolstered by
the added horsepower. They follow the still visible dog tracks
in the snow.
sliding across the horizon, signaling midday. The snowmobiles
whoosh past. Bennings drives the one loaded with supplies.
MacReady and Childs double up on the other.
steadying his binoculars, while Childs drives, spots something
up ahead. The vehicles slow down and come to a halt. Something
lies just ahead of them in the whiteness, in the middle of
the dog tracks.
kneel down by the "something." It is the half-eaten remains
of a dog. Its hind legs and lower stomach picked clean. Its
ripped hide, flapping in the wind. Its top half missing.
What is it?
MacReady follows the line of continuing dog tracks.
Dogs don't eat each other.
Where's the other half?
Probably the next meal.
MacReady moves to the snowmobile and grabs a two-gallon can
of gasoline. He turns to Bennings.
Where these tracks headed?
Nowhere... Just straight to the ocean.
A beat as MacReady takes this in. He pours the gas over the
remains and sets it aflame.
Childs and Bennings are not that anxious to continue.
They could be hours ahead of us,
Gonna get dark soon, too. Supposed
to be fifty below tonight.
MacReady gets on and revs up the engine.
Turn back if you want.
Childs and Bennings return shrugs.
making its last pass, rolling off the horizon. Only a slight
orange hue left.
move slower, positioned on either side of the tracks. The
tracks abruptly change direction. The men come to a stop.
It is much colder now. Their beards, a mask of white powder.
MacReady surveys the new direction. They are headed toward a
far-off ridge of bluffs. Large, windswept mounds of ice.
as they move through a valley of newly-formed dunes and tall
ice cliffs. The last of the sun obscured, the headlamps are
turned on and pointed at the tracks.
The men look behind, in front, and from side to side, as
they proceed cautiously through the maze. Up ahead MacReady
It sits, its back to them, unconcerned, heedless of their
arrival. It is munching on the other half of the dog carcass.
The men stop their machines some twenty yards from it. They
are hemmed in at the valley's narrowest point.
Childs, carrying the torch, and MacReady, armed with a
thermite bomb, wade awkwardly but carefully toward the animal
in their snowshoes. Bennings stands back by the snowmobiles.
Childs and MacReady spread out some dozen feet from the dog.
It continues to pay them no mind, content to chew its food.
Where's the other one?
Bennings surveys the tops of the snow bluffs that encircle
them with his flashlight.
Where's your buddy, boy? Huh?
No response. MacReady searches the near vicinity with his
light. All three are growing uneasy.
Let that thing fly, Childs. Don't
let up until he's ash.
Childs turns on the gas and lights the tip.
Bennings is still watching the bluffs. Something from beneath
the snow reaches up and grabs his feet. He is ripped back
down through the hard snow in one incredibly powerful motion.
He screams, his head the only thing sticking out of the ice.
Childs and MacReady turn, confused, unable to see anything
be Bennings' screaming head. They rush toward him.
The sound of a snapping, a crackling to MacReady's rear.
He freezes; turns back to the dog. Its back is still to him;
its coat of hair sticking up like that of a porcupine. It
snarls; its face turns slowly toward him.
Its skin splitting; its mouth ripping open wildly.
Childs stops, confused as to who to help first. He notices
the dog hunched and ready to spring. He steps back toward
MacReady. The dog/Thing leaps for MacReady; an incredible
jump of some twenty feet.
Childs lets loose a blast, hitting the dog in midair; the
force of the spray knocking it back and tumbling to the ice
MacReady throws his thermite canister. It discharges and
engulfs the screeching animal in fire.
howling in pain. The ice underneath him thrashes violently.
Childs and MacReady stand by helplessly, unable to see what
has him or what action to take. Childs moves closer to help.
(pulls him back)
Bennings' head disappears with a sudden jerk through the
ice. The ice continues to rumble like boiling water, moving
in different directions. Part of Bennings' body pops up in a
different area and is just as quickly pulled back down.
MacReady and Childs watch on in frustration and anger.
What we going to do?!
How the fuck do I know?!
Bennings' head and shoulders then surface near one of the
snowmobiles. Something has him. Unclear as to what. The jowls
of a dog. But huge. Bennings' heavy clothing begins to rip,
tear, as if his skin underneath was bulging out. The jowls
seem to be absorbing his head.
MacReady runs for the snowmobile.
He's gone already! Do it!
Childs blasts away. The ice begins to melt as Bennings and
whatever has him catch fire. A screeching.
MacReady grabs cans of gas from the snowmobiles. Suddenly a
steel-like, arachnid-shaped arm shoots out in pain and with
incredible force pierces the fiberglass chassis of the
snowmobile. MacReady is knocked back. He recovers and dumps
cans of gasoline on the writhing mess.
He dives and rolls away from the lunging appendage.
He and Childs watch on as Bennings and The Thing roar in
flame. Behind them, the other dog/Thing continues to burn.
The screeching, mewing and gurgling wails on, all about them.
They look to each other in disbelief, their faces illuminated
by the flickering flames. The strident sounds beginning to
Its slim, orange arc sets, signaling the start of the Vernal
Equinox. And the beginning of six months of darkness.
INT. COMPOUND - REC ROOM
The men are interrogating Clark. He is frazzled and defensive.
...I'm telling you I don't remember
leaving the kennel unlatched...
Childs is holding the industrial torch directly in his face.
Bullshit! You left it open so they
could get out!
EXT. TRASH DUMP
MacReady, waist-deep in trash and snow, searches for
INT. REC ROOM
The interrogation continues.
...Would I even have told you they
were gone if I had anything to hide?
But why didn't you kennel that dog
I told you I couldn't find...
(pushes torch away)
...get that out of my face.
Childs grabs him by the collar and rips him off his chair.
Don't you be telling me...
Nauls steps between them.
Lighten your load, sucker. You ain't
the judge and executioner around
Who you trying to protect,
mutherfucker? I'm telling you this
S.O.B. could be one of them.
Garry breaks it up, pulling them apart. MacReady enters from
the outside. A bundle is tucked under his arm.
Hold on, damn it. We're getting
nowhere... If this bit of Blair's
about absorbing and imitating is
true... then that dog could have
gotten to anybody.
And if it got to Clark... Clark could
have gotten to anybody.
MacReady moves over to the table.
Theoretically any of us could be
whatever the hell this thing is.
Norris shakes his head, rubbing his chest in slight
It's just too damn wild -- I can't
MacReady pushes his sombrero back over his head.
Well, you can believe it now.
He drops the bundle he had been holding on the table between
the men. It is the shredded pair of long johns.
Nauls found this yesterday. It's
ripped just like the clothing on the
Norwegian we brought back. The same
thing was happening to Bennings'
clothes when it got to him. Seems
these Things don't imitate clothes.
Just flesh and bone.
The men look from one another. Silence. MacReady picks it up
and examines the label.
What do you wear, Clark?
I wear a size large, too.
So do I. So do most of us.
The uneasiness in the room grows.
Doubt if it got to more than one or
two of us. But it got to someone.
Somebody in this room ain't what he
appears to be.
A pause as all eyes travel from man to man.
Well, what we going to do?
Norris turns to Dr. Copper and Fuchs.
Can there be... some kind of test?
To find out who's what?
A serum test possibly.
Right. Why not?
It's a simple blood typing test.
This Thing's blood chemistry is
different than ours. Basically we
mix someone's blood with
uncontaminated human blood. If we
don't get the proper serum reaction --
then that person isn't human.
Whose uncontaminated blood we going
We've got blood plasma in storage.
How long will it take you to prepare
A couple of hours.
Well, get to it.
Garry unhinges a key from his belt and hands it to Dr.
Copper. Dr. Copper and Fuchs head for the infirmary.
How's that Thing get to the dogs? I
though we stopped it in time.
Copper thinks they swallowed pieces
of it during the fight.
And that was enough?
DR. COPPER (O.S.)
Garry. The rest of you! Come here!
The men rush in. Fuchs and Copper stand by the open plasma
storage refrigerator. The inside is a mess of dried blood.
The bladders have been ripped open. Copper is ghastly pale.
Somebody got to the blood... sabotaged
Oh, my God.
A horrified silence.
Was it broken into?
No. Somebody opened it. Closed it.
And then locked it.
Sanchez twitches, terrified.
Well, who's got access to it?
I guess I'm the only one.
And I've got the only key.
Several pairs of eyes turn to Garry.
Would that test have worked?
I think so.
Somebody else sure as hell thought
Who else could have used that key?
Ah... no one... I give it to Copper
when he needs it...
Could anyone have gotten it from
I don't see how... when I'm finished
I return it right away.
When was the last time you used it?
A day or so ago... I guess.
Garry senses the nervous and inquiring eyes on him.
I suppose... well, it's possible
someone might have lifted it from
That key ring of yours is always
hooked to your belt. Now how could
somebody get to it without you
Look, I haven't been near that...
Silence as the men continue to stare. Sanchez is perspiring.
Copper's the only one who has any
business with it.
The eyes shift from Garry to Copper.
Now... wait a second, Garry, you've
been in here on several occasions...
And the Doc thought of the test.
So what?! Is that supposed to leave
him in the clear?! Bullshit!
Sanchez bolts out the door. Stunned for a beat, the others
chase after him.
in terror, runs at top speed through the narrow corridors.
Opening and shutting doors. The others are in pursuit.
They shout for him to stop.
as he reaches a small armory. A glass case set into the wall.
A half dozen rarely used guns are inside. He tries the handle.
He hears the clamor of feet and voices as the others are
nearing. He breaks the glass and grabs a shotgun. Then a box
of shells. He frantically tries to load, but is too nervous.
The others arrive at the end of the hallway. Garry pulls his
handgun and points.
Put that down!
I'll put this right through your
No one doubts Garry's sincerity.
You guys going to let him give orders?
I mean he could be one of those
The other regard Garry tensely. No one oblivious to the fact,
that Sanchez just might be right.
Put it away, Sanchez. Just put it
Still trembling, he tosses the shells back into the broken
case, leans the gun against the wall and begins to sob.
Nauls skates over to comfort him.
The men watch as Garry lowers his gun. He turns to them.
I don't know about Copper. But I
didn't go near that plasma...
But I guess you'll all rest easier
if someone else is in charge.
He hands his gun to Norris.
Can't see anyone objecting to you,
...Don't think I'd be up to it.
Haven't been feeling well lately.
Childs goes for the gun.
I'll take it...
MacReady beats him to it.
Maybe it should be someone a bit
more even-tempered, Childs.
Roving eyes pass about the hallway. Nobody is sure who to
trust. MacReady seems as good as any.
INT. REC ROOM
The men have gathered to discuss plans. Furtive and
untrustworthy glances are passed around the room.
...From what we know this Thing likes
to go one on one. So we stick together
as much as possible. In two's and
Childs points to Garry, Dr. Copper and Clark.
What do we do about those three?
We got morphine, don't we.
Well, we keep them loaded. Stash
them here in the rec room and watch
'em twenty-four hours.
(ears perk up)
Morphine? You know I was pretty close
to that dog, too.
Palmer is ignored.
We should sleep in shifts.
Right. Half of us awake at all times.
How we going to try and find out
who's... you know, who's who?
Can you think of any other tests?
I'll try. I could sure use Copper's
You can eighty-six that thought right
Dr. Copper eyes his accuser solemnly.
Also... When this Thing turns... it
turns slowly at first. I think we
can handle it in that state. But if
it ever got to full power... from
what I saw of that Norwegian camp...
well, I just don't know... It would
probably take it an hour or more to
get like that. So no matter what
anybody's doing, we all return to
this room every twenty minutes.
Anybody gone longer than that...
anybody trying to leave... we kill
EXT. COMPOUND - DARKNESS
It is the dead of winter. Six months of darkness ahead. Palmer
fights the cold as he works dismantling the engine of the
He frowns, searching for something.
Where's that magneto? Can't find a
darn thing around here any more.
INT. REC ROOM
Copper, Clark and Garry sit moodily together on a couch.
Norris awkwardly prepares to give them their injections.
He is new at this. Childs stands guard with his torch.
Dr. Copper offers to help.
I'll do it. You're going to break
the needle in my arm.
No, Doc. He's doing a real fine job.
MacReady and Sanchez are foraging through the trash dump.
Look for shoes, too. And burned cloth.
INT. RADIO ROOM
Norris has begun dismantling the radio. He rubs at his chest
as he disengages the headset.
Following Nauls as he skates through the labyrinth.
Checking waste bins. Pausing to look behind shelves and any
obscure hiding place.
MacReady passes him coming the other way.
That thing's too smart to be hiding
any more of its clothes, MacReady.
Just keep looking.
Fuchs is poring over a book. Several others lie open on his
MacReady pokes his head in the lab.
How's it going?
Nothing yet. But, MacReady, I've
been thinking... If our dogs changed
by swallowing parts of that other
one... We better see to it that
everyone prepares their own food and
we eat out of cans.
A siren goes off, signaling the end of a twenty-minute period.
Sanchez pulls himself out of the trash dump.
Palmer carries a large part of a helicopter engine toward
The hallway near the supply storage cubicle. MacReady holds
the door open as Palmer makes his way to him lugging the
heavy helicopter part.
Childs passes by from the other direction.
Childs, where's that magneto from
Ain't it there?
He passes by.
No it ain't there. Would I be asking
if it were there?
Move it, Palmer.
INT. SUPPLY STORAGE ROOM
Palmer sets down the heavy part. Norris follows him inside
with a bundle of radio gear. They move back out into the
hallway. MacReady locks the door behind them.
The three move down the hall toward their appointed rendezvous
at the rec room.
Start taking apart those snowmobiles
Cramped. Several of the men are preparing their food.
Opening cans. Heating them in pots.
Nauls wearily approaches Blair's tool shed with a tray of
food. He hears a pounding from within.
I got your goodies, superdude.
He peeks in through the opening in the boarded-up window.
Blair is nailing himself in from the inside. He looks pretty
What you doin'?
Nobody's getting in here. You can
tell them all that!
Well, who the hell you think wants
to get in there with you?
Nauls slides the tray in the slot. It is immediately shoved
back out and topples onto the ice. Some of the food has
splashed on Nauls' heavy coat.
Now why'd you go and...
And I don't want any more food with
sedatives in it. I know what you're
up to. Don't think I don't. And if
anyone tries to get in here -- I've
got rope. I'll hang myself before it
gets to me.
Nauls picks up the tray, heads back mumbling.
Crazy white scientist motherfucker...
Palmer works on the snowmobile. Sanchez resumes searching
through the trash.
INT. BALLOON TOWER
MacReady slashes into the huge uninflated weather balloons,
rendering them useless. Tanks of helium and hydrogen are
Nauls does the dishes. His cassette plays in the b.g.
INT. REC ROOM
Childs continues guarding the three men.
Gotta go to the can, Childs.
Childs follows him to the other end of the room.
Clark walks to the head. Childs moves back to the middle of
the room. As the guard he is much more vulnerable in this
position. Being split between his prisoners.
The lights begin to flicker. The soft purr of the generator
begins to fade.
The lights go out. Nauls calls from the kitchen.
Childs! That a fuse?
No. The generator. You got the
auxiliary box just off the kitchen.
Get to it.
Where's the damn flashlight?
You fellas okay over there?
Dr. Copper giggles in the dark.
Cut that out, Copper.
Nauls? What's taking you?!
I'm working it! Nothing's happening!
That's impossible, man! Okay, Clark,
out of the john where I can see you!
It's shorted out or something!
Clark, you come on out here!!
Childs lights the tip of his torch, allowing him a strong
candlelight. Garry is no longer in the room.
Where's... Where's Garry?
Dr. Copper looks numbly at the empty seat next to him. Childs
finds the portable siren and blares it.
MacReady, Palmer and Sanchez heed the call and head for the
INT. REC ROOM
Childs jerks his head around in different directions.
Where are you, Garry? Don't you move
an inch, Copper.
Nauls, bring me a goddamn flashlight!
Somebody's taken it. I can't find
Clark, you want me to come in after
MacReady, Sanchez and Palmer come in from the outside.
They bump into each other trying to get their bearings from
the lack of light. Palmer, the only one who seems to have
one, turns on his flashlight.
MacReady, that you?
It's the generator I think! No power.
Well, let's get down there.
Well, hang on!
INT. GENERATOR ROOM
Palmer and MacReady stumbling down the stairs. MacReady turns
Both look around. Sanchez is gone. Palmer's light finds the
motionless generator. He examines it.
The fuel pump... it's gone...
You've got to get up to supply, Mca.
If we don't get this thing started
soon, it'll freeze on us and we'll
never get it going.
MacReady dashes upstairs into the darkness.
The lab door is opened. Fuchs holding a small candle walks
out. As he passes, the shoulder of a man springs into frame.
INT. GENERATOR ROOM
Palmer is feverishly working underneath the generator on his
INT. REC ROOM
The temperature continues to drop rapidly. Childs swats
himself to keep warm, while still keeping an eye on Dr. Copper
and the rest of the room.
MacReady rushes out of the supply room, with a fuel pump,
bumps into somebody.
Who... Who is that?
The silhouette moves on down the hallway.
Sanchez...? Hey, who...
Mac, where the hell is that pump!!
INT. GENERATOR ROOM
MacReady holds the flashlight for Palmer. Their breath, puffs
of white smoke.
Somebody definitely messed with it.
We going to make it?
Hope so. Another ten, fifteen minutes.
What I don't get is...
The sound of a screeching. From somewhere in the compound.
The two men's faces, locked in fear.
INT. REC ROOM
The generator has been repaired; the lights within the
compound are back on.
Grim and tense. Everyone is present but Fuchs. Eyes flit
from man to man. Palmer, Nauls and Sanchez are spread out
about the room, keeping as much distance as possible from
Norris and Childs are tying the Doctor, Clark and Garry to
the couch. MacReady prepares several makeshift blowtorches
as he kneels on the ground.
Where were the flashlights?
Screw the flashlights. Where the
hell were you?
Tons of stuff's been missing around
here. Magnetos, cables, wire...
Kitchen things, too...
Anybody see Fuchs... or hear him...?
No answer as the men's faces roam the room. Childs glares at
Garry as he begins to tie him in.
Where'd you go?
Garry's groggy features stare blankly.
I said where? Where'd you go?!
Was dark... find a light...
You lying bastard...
Garry struggles to his feet, affronted.
I rather don't like your tone...
He grabs Childs by the collar.
You sit back down...
Childs whales on him with a right hand. Both go tumbling
over the couch. MacReady and Norris dive in breaking it up.
MacReady, furious, pulls Childs away.
Norris breathing heavily from the activity, massages his
chest. The strong, stormy winds overhead batter the roofing.
MacReady glances up. He and Childs release each other.
That storm's going to start ripping
any minute -- so we don't have much
He thrusts one of the blowtorches hard into Childs' stomach.
We've got to find Fuchs. When we
find him -- we kill him.
If he's one of those Things, we've
got to get to him before he changes...
Nauls, you and Childs and I'll check
the outside shacks...
He tosses torches to Sanchez and Palmer.
Sanchez, you and Palmer search the
I ain't going with Sanchez.
Sanchez snaps his head toward Palmer. Palmer looks at the
I ain't going with him. I'll go with
Well, screw you, man!
I ain't going with you!
Well, who says I want you going with
Cut the bullshit... Okay, Sanchez,
you come with us. Norris... you stay
(refers to tied-up
Any of them move -- you fry 'em. And
if you hear anything, anything at
all you let loose the siren. We all
meet back here in twenty minutes
And everybody watch whoever you're
with. Real close.
The men survey each other.
EXT. COMPOUND - NIGHT
MacReady and Nauls, wearing their snowshoes and using flares
for light, pull themselves along the steadying rope that
leads to Blair's shed. They are careful to keep an eye on
each other as they move along.
Sanchez heads off in the direction of another shack.
INT. COMPOUND - HALLWAY
One of the many doors creak open. Childs and Palmer stealthily
move into the next corridor. Palmer falls a few steps behind.
What'd we ever do to these Things
Childs freezes and snaps his head around facing Palmer. A
Don't walk behind me.
He moves to the other side of the wall, parallel with Childs.
They continue on, skimming along the sides of the corridor
in plain view of one another.
Nauls and MacReady arrive at Blair's shack. They peer in
through the spaces between the boards.
A weak light burns as Blair is seated eating out of a can. A
hangman's noose dangles from the ceiling nearby.
Blair jumps in fear, spilling his can.
Has Fuchs been out here?
Blair approaches the boarded-up window. He looks haggard and
I've changed my mind... I'd... I'd
like to come back inside... I don't
want to stay out here any more...
Funny things... I hear funny things
Have you come across Fuchs?
Fuchs...? No, it's not Fuchs... You
must let me back in... I won't harm
anyone... I promise...
He and Nauls trudges off. Blair shouts after them.
I promise! I'm much better now! I'll
be good!! I'm all better!! Don't
leave me here!!
INT. REC ROOM
Norris continues his watch on the sedated trio. He anxiously
tries to keep an eye on the various entrances behind and in
front of him. He rubs his chest in pain.
I'm getting worried about you. You
ought to have a checkup.
Let's just not get worried about
anything just now.
After all this mess then.
After all this mess.
EXT. COMPOUND - THE SLOPE TO MACREADY'S SHACK
The winds are thick and vicious now. MacReady and Nauls pull
themselves along the rope fighting their way up the slope. A
violent gust sends MacReady's body horizontal, but still
hanging onto the rope. The wind slaps him back down. His
flare and torch tumble back toward Nauls.
Nauls saves the torch from rolling down the hill.
MacReady, lying vulnerable, watches Nauls pull his way toward
him. He tenses. Nauls reaches him. A beat. He hands back his
torch. Relieved, MacReady pulls himself upright.
INT. COMPOUND - KITCHEN - CLOSE ON THICK POWER CABLES
that line the wall. They have been torn apart. Childs and
Auxiliary light cables...? Been cut.
Cut, bullshit. Been pulled apart.
EXT. MACREADY'S SHACK
as they reach the top. The remaining flare their only light.
Very dark. They stand on either side of the door. MacReady
shoves it open. Pitch black inside. MacReady flips the light
switch. Doesn't work.
They enter. Hunched. Torches ready. The place is a mess. The
winds as strong as on the outside.
The single flare illuminating the ceiling. Almost all of the
corrugated, steel roofing is gone. As if ripped off.
(shouting to be heard)
Where's the roof?!
MacReady stares up incredulous, as they advance through the
This storm do that?
Couldn't be possible. Must have
weighted a ton and a half...
Nauls kicks over a chair. A naked, fleshy object bounds high
into the air. Nauls thrusts out his torch, catching the
breasts of the inflatable woman. She pops and is sucked out
through the hole in the roof.
Nauls tries to catch his breath.
Goddamn white women.
Underground, rickety corridor. Palmer stands by as Childs
undoes the many locks to the room that houses his plants.
One by one. Palmer twists his head in every which direction.
Childs pulls open the heavy door. A flush of snow and wind
push them back. They wedge their bodies at the entrance to
the lightless room.
They enter. The light from the hall exposes the completely
smashed-in window high above the plants. The plants look
Somebody broke in.
Now who'd go and do...
Saddened, angry, Childs goes to check the damage to his
plants. Palmer, his face set in horror, yanks him back.
Let go of me...
Don't get near 'em. The plants!
They're alive. Those things can
What's it going to do, being a plant?
Palmer readies his small torch.
We got to burn 'em.
Now hold on, you dumb...
Palmer sprays them with flame. Childs pushes him to the
ground, and tries to swat out the fire.
You stupid, sonofa...
Palmer, his mouth agape with terror, screams and points to
the closing door to their rear. Childs whirls.
One arm outstretched, swings into view. An ax, embedded deep
into his chest, pins his frozen body to the inside of the
INT. REC ROOM
Norris startled by the scream, turns on the siren.
INT. PLANT ROOM
Sanchez has joined Childs and Palmer. The body of Fuchs is
still pinned to the door. Sanchez tries to wrench the ax
loose. It is too deeply embedded and won't budge.
Whoever put this through him...
Sanchez observes Childs' hulking frame and adds pointedly:
...is one bad-ass and strong muther.
No one's that strong, boy!
Tracking with the three men. Opening and closing doors, as
they make their way back to the rec room. They keep their
distance from each other, watching each other while they
Why didn't it imitate Fuchs? Isn't
that its number -- to get more
Wasn't enough time. Generator was
out, what...? Thirty minutes. Takes
the bastards an hour, maybe two to
He was working on a test. Fuchs must
have been onto something. These
bastards got scared and got rid of
INT. COMPOUND - CLOSE ON PALMER'S FACE
shouting down a passageway.
CLOSE ON CHILDS
A strong driftwind streams snow across the ground obscuring
everything but the very top of the buildings.
The siren screams.
INT. REC ROOM
Rigid, immobile faces. Listening to the storm overhead.
How long they been out now?
Forty... Forty-five minutes.
Silence, as the uneasy eyes measure one another.
We better start closing off the
VARIOUS ANGLES OF THE COMPOUND
Childs, Sanchez and Palmer -- closing off and bolting the
entrances to the camp.
All of you! Come here!
INT. COMPOUND MAIN HALLWAY - POINT OF VIEW - THE MEN
Through the fogged-up windows, a figure can be seen
approaching the main compound. It pulls and drags its way
along the guide rope, fighting the gale force winds.
weapons in hand, huddle at the main doorway. They unbolt it.
Sleet and hail send Nauls rolling in from the outside. The
men force the door back and lock it.
The weary Nauls kneels on the floor and gasps for air.
The others surround him.
Nauls weighs each of them ominously, while digging down
underneath his heavy jacket.
Cut him loose of the line up by his
Cut him loose?
When we were up poking around his
place... I found this...
He pulls out a thick bundle of heavy clothing. It is mutilated
and partially burned. He holds out the jacket to show the
Close on name tag -- it reads: R.J. MACREADY The men, as
they examine in a hush.
...It was stashed in his old coal
furnace... wind must have dislodged
it... I don't think he saw me find
The men continue to examine in various states of disbelief.
...Made sure I got ahead of him on
the towline on the way back... cut
He's one of them.
When do you think it got to him?
Could have been anytime. Anywhere.
(to Nauls, suspicious)
If it did get to him.
When the lights went out...
Would have been a perfect time...
Right. Garry was missing...
(goes for him)
Fuck you, Palmer.
Childs and Norris separate them.
This is just what it wants... to pit
us against each other.
A pounding at the door sends the men jerking backward.
Nauls scampers to his feet. They tense.
No answer as the men surround the door, their weapons ready.
...Hey, somebody! Open up, it's me,
...Come on, damn it... The towline
snapped. Been crawling around like a
seal out here...
Bullshit! He's got to know damn well
I cut it!
The men keep their voices low.
Let's open it.
You think he's changed into one of
He hasn't had enough time.
...Nothing human could have made it
back here in this weather without a
...Where is everybody?! I'm half
Let's open it. Now...
Why you so damn anxious to let him
He's so close. Maybe our best chance
to blow him away.
No. Just let him freeze out there.
What if we're wrong about him?
Then we're wrong.
The muffled breaking of a window down the hall. The men turn.
The supply window!
What we going to...
All right... all right... we've got
no choice now...
INT. SUPPLY ROOM
Pitch black. MacReady's voice is heard cursing as he appears
to be stumbling around, looking for a light switch. He
responds to the muffled voices at the door.
What's going on out there?
Palmer stands by as Childs tries the knob. Locked.
Damn it, he's got the keys.
Childs rips a nearby fire ax off the wall and begins hacking
away at the door.
INT. SUPPLY ROOM
What are you doing?
You're a dead man, MacReady -- or a
dead whatever the hell you are!
MacReady begins to rummage through the supplies in the
We found your clothes -- the ones
you tried to burn.
You been made, MacReady.
Childs chops away. MacReady desperately continues rummaging
through the supplies.
Someone's trying to mark me, you
bastard... trying to frame me.
Childs cautions to Palmer as he prepares for one last blow.
Move in slow now.
Crunch. The door gives. The men move in. Their blow torches
ready. They freeze.
MacReady stands before them holding a lighted flare. His
hair and clothing are covered with snow; his cheeks and nose
blackened by frostbite. Tucked under his arm is an entire
box of dynamite. He holds the flare dangerously close to the
Anyone messes with me -- the whole
He appears to mean it. They don't seem anxious to test him.
Put those torches on the floor and
They do. He follows them out into the hall.
The men step backwards carefully.
...back way off.
They heed, retreating further down the hall. MacReady glances
...Where's the rest...
Nauls and Norris, who have silently crept in through the
supply window, come flying through the hacked-up door and
barrel into MacReady. Both going straight for the flare.
MacReady spins Nauls off and rips into Norris, sending him
crashing violently into the wall. Nauls tackles MacReady's
legs, pulling him to the floor.
The others rush him. MacReady, still in control of the
dynamite and flare, bellow:
So help me I mean it!!
They skid to a halt. Nauls crawls away, quickly.
It's cool, man. We ain't near you,
man... Stay cool...
Yeah, man, really. Just relax.
Anybody touches me... we go.
Norris, lying on the floor, coughs as if gasping for breath.
He quivers for a moment and then is still. Nauls crawls over
to him and shakes him. A beat.
I don't think he's breathing.
Nauls listens to Norris' chest. MacReady stands.
Go untie the Doc. Get him in here.
Bring the others, too...
From now on no one gets out of my
Norris' body is plopped on the examination table. Copper
stumbles and is steadied by some of the men. MacReady
continues to keep his distance.
Copper places an oxygen mask over Norris' face. He then rips
open his shirt.
So you sweethearts had yourselves a
little trial. I just may have to
kill you on general principle, Nauls.
Copper begins swathing Norris' chest with a gelatin substance.
...Ever occur to the jury that anybody
could have gotten to some of my
clothes and stuck them up...
We ain't buying that.
Damn it, quit the bickering and give
me a hand. Wheel that fibrillator
Sanchez pushes over the portable fibrillator. Copper climbs
up on the table and straddles Norris' chest.
Unnoticed, Clark paws the contents of the instrument tray
behind his back.
Palmer, turn on that oxygen and hold
the mask over his face... Childs,
grab his shoulders.
They do so. Copper holds electrical prongs over Norris' chest.
You're going to have to sleep
...turn that thing on.
Sanchez depresses the "on" button.
Now hold him.
I'm a real light sleeper, Childs...
Dr. Copper presses the prongs onto Norris' chest and shoots
a bolt of current. Norris' body heaves upward. A slight
crackling sound and an odd chirp through the oxygen mask.
Again... More current this time,
Buzzz. Several more jolts from the prongs. Clark's hand has
found a scalpel. He gently lifts it out, bringing it to his
And if anyone tries to wake me...
Damn you, MacReady!
Norris' body begins bounding up. More crackling and popping.
His chest begins to break up and spread. The mask pops off --
a hideous mewing escaping from Norris' distorted mouth.
The men jump back, incredulous. Dr. Copper scrambles off his
chest and flops to the floor.
They watch on in stunned horror as The Thing that was Norris
begins to change, to spread awkwardly on the slab.
Its clothes tearing. A shoe splits in half and falls to the
floor, exposing the beginnings of a talon.
MacReady charges toward it, shooing the men off.
Get out of the way!!
He unloads with a stream of flame. The body writhes in pain,
belching and hissing. The slab catches fire. It struggles,
lunges for the floor, straightens up, and moves a few feet.
A black and yellow substance rips through its trousers and
squirts to the floor. Norris' body collapses on the
fibrillating machine in flames. Extinguishers are ripped
from the walls and put to work.
MacReady watches the smoking particles of ooze in fascination,
as they twitch and mew on the floor.
Within seconds the fire is out. The men stand around in awe
as they look upon The Thing that was once Norris.
MacReady continues to observe the small particles. Their
tiny squeals abating into silence.
INT. REC ROOM
MacReady, still carrying the industrial torch, has maneuvered
all the men into the room. He holds Garry's .44. He has
untaped the explosives from his chest and laid them on the
nearby table next to two more boxes of dynamite.
What you got in mind, MacReady?
A little test.
What kind of test?
I'm sure a lot of you already know.
He tosses a ream of steel cable and some rope to Palmer.
Palmer, you and Copper tie everyone
down. Real tight.
For your health.
Let's rush him. He's not going to
blow us all up.
Damn if I won't.
You ain't tying me up.
Then I'll have to kill you.
Then kill me.
MacReady points the .44 at Childs' head.
I mean it.
MacReady cocks his gun. Childs holds his ground.
I guess you do.
A beat. Clark springs for MacReady. Scalpel raised.
MacReady spins and fires three shots, point-blank, the forces
of the charges sending Clark flying backwards. The others,
themselves about to pounce, stop -- as MacReady whirls the
torch and gun back toward them.
being tied securely to couches and chairs.
Tie up Clark, too.
Norris looked pretty dead, himself.
Bullets don't kill these Things.
MacReady turns on a Bunsen burner while he cuts the rubber
covering off an electrical cord, exposing the copper wire.
All the while, he keeps his eye on the men.
We should have jumped his ass.
Now Copper, you tie Palmer up.
Copper starts to tie Palmer to the small couch next to Childs
We're going to draw a little bit of
What are you going to do? Drink it?
Watching Norris in there... gave me
the idea that maybe every part of
you bastards is a whole. Every piece
of you is self-sufficient, an animal
unto itself. When a man bleeds it's
just tissue. But blood from one of
you Things won't obey. It's a newly
formed individual with a built-in
desire to protect its own life. When
attacked, your blood will try and
survive -- and crawl away from a hot
grimacing as Dr. Copper pinches a scalpel to his thumb and
collects a small portion of his blood in a dish.
All the men have been tied up. Palmer, Childs and Garry on
the small couch. The others, including the lifeless corpse
of Clark, in chairs.
Copper returns the plate to the table and sets it down in
line with the other plates of blood that he has collected.
The names of each man have been scribbled onto the plates.
MacReady slides the Doctor a fresh plate.
Copper cuts his thumb, his blood dribbles onto the plate.
He stands nervously for a beat.
Slide it back here.
Copper pushes it toward MacReady.
Now step way back.
Copper steps backward, moisture beginning to collect on his
brow. MacReady begins to heat the copper wire over the Bunsen
The men watch intently. The wire begins to glow. MacReady
points the torch directly at the Doctor. Both of them
perspiring. MacReady lifts the glowing wire from the flame.
The Doctor is dead still. MacReady slowly touches the wire
to the Doctor's plate. A soft hiss.
MacReady heats it again and tries once more. The same soft
hiss. MacReady and the Doctor both let out a sigh.
I guess you're okay.
I didn't think you'd use that
fibrillator on Norris if you were
one of them.
He hands Copper the torch.
He cuts himself with the scalpel and begins collecting his
Now I'll show you what I already
He heats the wire and puts it to his plate. The same harmless
hissing. All eyes continue to watch as he tries again. The
same result. Childs mumbles.
Load of bullshit.
We'll see. Let's try Clark.
He heats the wire and lays it in Clark's dish. The hissing.
So Clark was human, huh?
So that make you a murderer.
MacReady glances over the group.
He sets Palmer's plate in front of him and heats the wire.
Pure nonsense. This won't prove a
Thought you'd feel that way, Garry.
You were the only one who could have
gotten to that blood plasma...
(placing the wire in
...we'll do you last...
Screech!!! The blood howls, trying to crawl off the plate.
Palmer bolts forward with incredible force, racing for
MacReady; his face splitting; his mouth roaring -- dragging
the couch, Childs and Garry with him. He smashes into MacReady
knocking him over the table.
It's all happened too fast. Copper tries to get off a burst
of flame. The ever-changing Palmer breaks his bonds and leaps
on the Doctor.
The others sit helpless, struggling at their bindings.
MacReady dives on Palmer's back and the three go rolling to
the floor. Screeching. Crackling. MacReady pounds viciously
at Palmer's head. A powerful, shirt-splitting arm sends him
skidding across the floor.
Copper momentarily has control of the torch. Just as he
positions it, Palmer's mouth splits from his chin to his
forehead and engulfs the entirety of the Doctor's head.
The big torch slaps against the wall. Palmer bounds to his
feet, wrapping his arms around the dangling, struggling body
of Dr. Copper.
The men are screaming hysterically. MacReady tries to fire
up the bruised torch. Busted. Won't work.
Frustrated, he charges up behind Palmer and begins hammering
the thick steel instrument over his head.
The shirt of Palmer's back erupts in MacReady's face.
Splitting and ripping wildly, exposing the beginnings of yet
another orifice. A blackened, iron-strong tongue lunges
outward. Stunned, MacReady manages to elude it, diving for
the top of the table by the boxes of dynamite.
MacReady lights the fuse of a thick roll and bounds from the
table. Palmer awkwardly spins in circles, swinging the
Doctor's body like a propeller blade, struggling to keep on
balance, as he advances on MacReady. The second orifice,
spitting and snarling as it continues to take form.
MacReady waits until Palmer's back spins around, facing him.
Only two yards away, MacReady flings his lit roll into the
ever-evolving second mouth and leaps onto the couch covering
Childs and Garry with his body.
A muffled boom, as the swallowed explosive ignites from deep
within Palmer and sends his flesh splattering all over the
room. MacReady rolls away from Childs and Garry as fast as
perspiring profusely, his hand trembling slightly, prepares
to continue the test. He heats the wire.
The men are pouring sweat, white-knuckled.
One of the smaller torches is pointed at Nauls. He closes
his eyes. MacReady places the heated wire into his plate.
Hiss. MacReady exhales. Nauls opens his eyes.
MacReady unties Nauls with one hand, while the torch stays
glued to the others.
MacReady heats the wire once again. Both he and Nauls have
torches aimed at Sanchez. Sanchez is near tears.
The wire is dipped into the plate... Hisssss.
Sanchez breaks down and sobs.
sits stoicly, while he watches the preparations for his turn.
Let's do it, Bwana.
Nauls and Sanchez take aim five yards away. Fierce,
determined. The wire comes off the flame into the plate...
the harmless hissing.
The muscles in Childs' face melt into a sigh.
snap towards station manager Garry. Childs, suddenly realizing
who he is sitting next to, squirms.
Get me... get me the hell away from...
cut me loose, damn it!
Nauls rips away his bindings. The other two stand guard.
Childs scrambles off the couch and onto the floor.
stares grimly ahead. Childs soaks his clothing with a can of
gasoline. He is then surrounded. The room tenses, adrenalin
pumps, breathing halts.
The burner. The torches. The wire. The plate. Garry's face.
MacReady tries again. Hiss. The men breathe. Their torches
are lowered. Nauls throws his on the floor.
Sanchez and Childs flop down in chairs. MacReady wipes his
A long silence. Sanchez weeps quietly with relief.
I know you gentlemen have been through
a lot. But when you find the time...
I'd rather not spend the rest of the
winter tied to this couch.
A beat. Childs starts to giggle. The strain on MacReady's
jaw begins to lessen. Garry sits catatonic. Nauls scowls at
Childs' uncontrollable laughter.
The infectious rasping causes MacReady a slight smile as he
looks up, taking comfort in the sound of the raging Antarctic
wind vibrating the roof. Nauls, untying Garry, grumbles, at
Shut the damn hell up.
Childs wipes his eyes and grins over toward MacReady. His
smile fades, MacReady is now stone-faced. Childs' grin goes
stale, in sudden realization.
(almost a whisper)
EXT. COMPOUND - NIGHT
The wind rumbles. The storm is at its peak. MacReady, Childs
and Nauls, guided by their flares, pull themselves along the
steadying rope, headed, for Blair's shack.
The door is wide open. They pause by the entrance, trying to
balance against the wind. They enter.
INT. BLAIR'S SHACK
Empty. A few of the floorboards are loosened. They pull them
up. They stare down into a large hole beneath the planking.
Something is down there. They pull up more boards.
The hole is some fifteen feet deep. Its dimensions are the
same as the shack. Its space is almost completely taken up
by some strange metallic object.
Crudely fashioned, a patchwork job, but streamlined.
Sheets of corrugated steel are visible; but cut apart and
welded into the desired shapes. The object appears to be
What is it?
Everything that's been missing.
Spaceship of some kind.
Smart S.O.B. He put it together piece
Where was he trying to go?
Anyplace but here.
MacReady pulls out a dozen tightly wrapped sticks of dynamite.
But he ain't going to make it.
Far off, amidst the howling gale -- the screeching. The men
jump. MacReady lights the fuse, as they make it to the exit.
He tosses it in.
EXT. COMPOUND ALONG THE ROPE
The explosion echoes behind them. The men pull along. Their
heads jerk in circles, searching into the blackness.
Some twenty yards to their rear something swooshes down,
severing the line. The wind sends the men tumbling along the
ice. Childs loosens the line and is blown away, rolling out
MacReady and Nauls have lost their torches. They pull
feverishly along the ground trying to make it to the compound.
The screeching closes in behind them. MacReady loses his
grip on the rope and is blown toward the main building.
He crawls along looking for an opening.
Nauls slides near the outside entrance to the dog kennel.
He climbs down through the open stairwell.
INT. PLANT ROOM
MacReady has found the broken window. He rolls through it,
landing on the frozen plants below. Something smashes at the
glass above his head, trying to get in. He sprints for the
door. Fuchs' frozen body is still pinned to it with the ax.
MacReady grapples with the stiff torso which blocks the knob.
He finally gets it open and lets himself out, slamming and
locking the door from the hall. Fuchs' body swings eerily,
back and forth.
MacReady charges up the stairs from the plant room. He zooms
down the twisting corridors, opening and closing doors. He
rounds a bend and crashes into Nauls coming the other way.
INT. REC ROOM - CLOSE ON SANCHEZ
pouring gasoline into empty bottles, preparing Molotov
Garry is connecting an electrical device: wires attached to
two portable generators. MacReady appears to be injecting
something into empty contact capsules. The men work
Nauls rushes in with another box of dynamite.
What about Childs?
Forget about Childs. He's over.
Nauls begins cutting the wicks off the dynamite.
Make 'em short. They'll go off quicker
if we need to use them.
The wind belts into the roofing overhead. Garry sets the
wiring to the main doorway. MacReady begins blocking off one
of the other entrances with a large computer.
What if it doesn't come?
It'll come. It needs us. We're the
only thing left to imitate...
Give me a hand.
They block off a door with two heavy electrical games.
You and Nauls got to block off the
west side bunks, the mess hall and
You crazy? He might be inside already?
Chance we got to take. We got to
force him to come down the east side
to the door we got rigged.
Nauls starts lacing his skates.
He might just wait us out.
I'm going to blow the generator when
you get back. He'll have to come for
us -- or freeze.
MacReady further barricades the door with small couch.
We've got portable heaters -- we'll
Sanchez and Nauls start to leave.
He dispenses the capsules.
Sodium cyanide. We place them between
our cheeks and gums... This Thing
can't imitate anything that's dead.
A grim silence.
If it gets a hold of you -- bite
down... They're supposed to be fast
and painless... Now move.
Sanchez and Nauls inch their way through.
INT. REC ROOM
MacReady rips linen, soaks the strips in gas, and stuffs
them in the Molotov bottles. Garry tests the current on the
door. Popping, sparks, smoke.
One thousand volts. Should be enough.
Nauls pushes a stove, reinforcing a locked door. Five yards
away, Sanchez maneuvers the refrigerator in front of another
Sanchez hears a quiet purring, bubbling sound. He turns to
You hear that?
A blaring. They whip their attention to stereo speakers on
either side of the kitchen. Rock music screams out. Top
INT. REC ROOM
The same loud music. MacReady and Garry look to the three
speakers attached to the walls. MacReady yells his
incomprehension to Garry. Garry tries to respond. Their voices
Empty. Another of the stereo speakers that line the walls,
Nauls, in sudden realization, screams over the din and points
back in the direction they came.
It's got into the pub! It's turned
on the stereo!
It's in between us and them!! How we
going to get back?!
I can't hear you.
INT. REC ROOM
MacReady, cursing, rips the speakers off the wall.
What are they doing out there?!
The music is now subdued within the room, but continues
booming throughout the camp. Nauls' scream can be barely
What's he saying?
INT. KITCHEN - NAULS
at the top of his lungs...
MacReady! We been cut off!!
A sharp, red, talon-like fingernail, pierces the top of the
door above Nauls' head. It saws downward, quickly.
Black goo drips through the slit. The sawing obscured by the
Sanchez, eyes bulging, points. Nauls turns. A claw rips
through the wood. Nauls dives to the floor.
In the opposite direction, behind Sanchez, another arm splits
through the door and the refrigerator, extends itself five
feet and yanks Sanchez back as if he were a puppet.
Sanchez struggles, looking imploringly at Nauls. He bites
down on his capsule. Nauls takes off like a speed skater.
INT. REC ROOM
The sound of the screeching over the music.
Got to get to the generator.
He opens the door. Looks down the hall. No one. The speakers --
full speed down the maze. Left. Right. Totally reckless. He
hits a straightaway.
from out of nowhere, blasts through the hallway wall, directly
in Nauls' path. A thick arm pins the body to the other side.
Unable to stop, Nauls skids out of control, banging into the
sides of the wall, his cyanide capsule flying out of his
Whatever the rest of it is, it starts to crumble through the
wall. Nauls dives over the arm, somersaults to his feet and
INT. MAIN HALL
MacReady, running, spots Nauls careening out of a turn,
heading toward him.
Screw the generator!!
Nauls blazes by him. MacReady hears the snarls and screeches
heading his way. He streaks after Nauls.
INT. REC ROOM
They make it in. Lock the door... MacReady tries to catch
his breath. Nauls shakes, pants.
Got Sanchez... World War Three
wouldn't mess with this fucker...
Can go through walls... And it's
like all over the place...
Calm down and get in your position.
Position, my ass...
Garry fiddles with the two generators.
I'm going to bump this up, much as I
Boulder Dam might do it.
The loud music in the compound is turned off. MacReady shuts
off the lights. The men spread out. Silence.
INT. REC ROOM
The men watch all the doors. Dead silence. Dark. Whispers.
How long's it been?
Little over two hours.
Maybe it ain't coming.
Then we go after him.
Bet the last place you ever go.
The sound of a door opening and closing. Far off.
Another creaking door is opened. A rustling. Still far off.
MacReady and Nauls spread further apart.
The soft bubbling, cooling sound. A slight scratch at the
door. Garry's hand tightens around the generator switches.
The scratching gets more pronounced. MacReady cautions Garry
with a whisper.
The door begins to pound from the outside. Nauls and MacReady
light two cocktails each.
The door booms. The room's foundations shake. The ceiling
quivers. The gas bombs are cocked.
From the roof The Thing roars down into their midst.
Stunned, the men stumble back. MacReady throws his gas bomb.
Nauls the same.
For a moment it stands silhouetted in flame. Enormous.
Garry bolts for the main door. The Thing's tongue spirals
from his mouth and spears him. The good two-thirds of its
body follows its tongue and engulfs Garry by the door.
Another leg slaps Nauls to the ground. MacReady dodges still
another appendage, dives on the generators and throws the
The current rips through the door. Garry dies instantly.
One of The Thing's talons, still caught in the door, sends
it writhing in pain. It literally rips the door from its
latchings and pounds it to the ground, trying to shake it
loose. Nauls, hobbles, scrambles, out of the opening.
MacReady dives through the window and out into the storm.
INT. COMPOUND - HALL
The distant sound of a motor. Nauls, battered and bloodied,
his leg apparently broken, crawls along the ground. Another
sound, a bubbling and gurgling is heard well to his rear.
The terror forces him to drag faster, oblivious to the pain.
He reaches the bathroom stall. Crawls in. Locks it. The
gurgling nears. Leaning on the toilet seat, he looks about
The Presence pauses at the door. A scratching. Nauls paws,
rips at a cracked and weathered slab of wood, cutting his
fingers as he tries to break it off the siding.
A strong blow begins to breach the stall door. Nauls finally
unhinges the piece of wood, brings the jagged end to one
side of his throat and rips...
INT. LAB WALL
The motorized rumbling nears. The wall seems to explode. The
tractor barrels into the lab. Its enormous shovel scooper
tearing half the room to shreds.
MacReady drives. His eyes glint like a wild man's; he looks
stark raving mad.
His frostbite, now in an advanced stage, resembles black war
paint. He clenches a stick of dynamite between his teeth,
like a buccaneer's cutlass. Two large, compressed air tanks
have been tied together at the top and are draped around his
neck. They are marked -- HYDROGEN.
They are used for the weather balloons.
He pulls the tractor to a stop, yanks the stick from his
mouth, grins and bellows.
Okay, creep! Just you and me now! Be
on your toes! We're going to do a
MacReady guns it through the next wall and into the infirmary.
Medical equipment goes flying. The machine is powerful; the
prefabricated walls buckling under its force.
A trail of viscous yellow ooze leads around a bend.
MacReady rams into the mess hall, sweeping away tables,
chairs. He sings out loud the lyrics of some Mexican song.
All the while he keeps his eyes on everything.
Through the kitchen. The foundation is crumbling. He sings
Gurgling and hissing. A taloned arm slinks around a corner
Chime in if you know that words, old
plows through several more rooms before ending up in the pub
area. He backs it up and retrieves a bottle of liquor from
You like whiskey? Come on, join me
for a drink. Be good for you. Grow
fangs on your chest.
He takes a drink and rams through another wall.
INT. REC ROOM
The tractor blazes into the rec room. MacReady parks it
directly in front of the hole in the roof, created by The
Thing when it surprised them earlier.
Damn it, ran out of gas.
He pulls off the heavy hydrogen tanks and drapes them over
the tractor. As he talks his eyes move like a hawk passing
from roof, to doorways, to rubble.
Wind and ice bristle through the gaping holes, stinging
MacReady with the cold. He winces at his mittenless, blackened
Sweetheart, it's going to get mighty
cold in here soon... You better make
your move... I mean, hell, I'm only
He takes a swig from his bottle.
I know you're bugged because we ruined
your trip, right? Spiffy little toy
you had there.
A slight tremor perks his eyes and ears. He looks up through
the hole, then around. He lights a lighter and cups it in
his hand near the stick of dynamite in his lap.
But your real hang up is your looks...
A stronger tremor. The adrenalin pumps.
(wants him bad)
Atta boy. I know you're around.
The floor shakes. MacReady stands, his head whirling around
Come on, sucker.
The tractor inches up off the ground. MacReady falls forward
and looks straight down through the chassis and into the
vile and grinning face below. A claw flashes up, splitting
the steering wheel but missing his face.
He depresses the ignition, bolting the tractor ten feet.
He jumps, hanging onto the edge of the hole in the ceiling.
The Thing's face and arms burst through the metal plating of
the tractor. The reaching claws just miss him as he pulls
He lights his fuse, drops in the stick, turns and runs.
Half of The Thing's grotesque and angular torso bolts up
through the hole, howling in fury. An appendage springs
outward and winds around MacReady's jacket, hissing like
acid into the fabric.
An immense explosion. The hydrogen tanks send a white fireball
fifty feet into the sky. The Thing's body disintegrating
The force of the blast sweeps MacReady off the roof. He and
the severed appendage crash to the hard ice in flames. He
rolls over and over trying to smother the fire and tear off
the insidious limb.
A ruin. One half of it burnt almost to the ground.
MacReady wears a thick blanket which covers him like a shroud,
from his shoulders to the floor.
He walks bent over and in much pain, trying to blunt patches
of fire with an extinguisher. It is futile. He gives up.
INT. PUB AREA
Mostly untouched by the fire, but like most of the rest of
the camp, exposed to the outside. The storm has settled
CLOSE ON MACREADY
lighting a cigar. His hands are heavily wrapped. He pours
himself a drink.
A puffy white hand, missing two fingers, enters the frame
and whirls a startled MacReady around. It is Childs.
White and black blotches cover his frostbitten face.
Did you kill it?
He looks as weak as MacReady. A beat.
I think so.
What do you mean "you think so?"
Both men speak guardedly and stare at each other suspiciously.
Yeah. I got it.
(refers to Childs'
Pretty mean frostbite.
Childs steps back, keeping his distance. He indicates his
puffy white hand.
It'll turn black again soon enough.
Then I guess I'll be losing the whole
(refers to feet)
...Think my toes are already gone.
MacReady, carrying the bottle and glass, limps over and sits
down behind a gaming table. There is a chess set and several
decks of cards. The two men continue to eye each other.
So you're the only one who made it.
MacReady begins setting up a non-electronic chessboard.
Not the only one.
The fire's got the temperature way
up all over camp... won't last long
Neither will we.
Maybe we should try and fix the
radio... try and get some help.
Maybe we shouldn't.
Then we'll never make it.
MacReady puffs on his cigar. He reveals a small blowtorch
from under the table and places it beside him on top.
Maybe we shouldn't make it.
If you're worried about anything,
let's take that blood test of yours.
If we've got any surprises for each
other -- we shouldn't be in any
condition to do anything about it.
You play chess?
They regard each other for a moment. Childs painfully sits
down across from MacReady.
I guess I'll be learning.
MacReady grins and hands the bottle to Childs. Childs smiles
back and takes a healthy swig.
EXT. COMPOUND - NIGHT
The fires smolder on. Bright embers dance in the blackness --
pushed by the soughing wind.