John Carpenter‘s 1982 horror classic The Thing is celebrating its 40th anniversary and Vice Press has a gift for fans of one of the director’s most memorable, and bleakest, films. After developing lenticular versions of legendary artist Drew Struzan‘s iconic poster for the film, the print, and movie poster company is now offering 24×36 screen printed posters as a timed exclusive, allowing fans to own the landmark theatrical artwork in a size never available before from Vice Press. Printing will be done by End Hymns, one of the prominent screen printing companies in the business, assuring these posters will be clean as can be and capture Struzan’s masterpiece.
The Thing is a gory, grotesque remake of The Thing From Another World that is known as much for its terrifying body horror as it is for its paranoia-inducing story. With a cast headlined by Kurt Russell as R.J. MacReady, the film tells the tale of a group of researchers at a remote base in the Antarctic Circle who find something in the ice that uses its victim’s likeness to infiltrate the group and assimilate more bodies. While originally panned by critics, horror fans came to love the film and breathed life back into it thanks to home release sales, making it the cult classic that’s so beloved today.
Even if you haven’t seen The Thing, there’s a good to fair chance you’ve seen Struzan’s artwork for the film which shows someone dressed in winter fatigues standing in the middle of a snow storm with a glowing light emitting from where their head should be. Without showing the grotesque creatures that populate the film, it evokes a heavy sense of unease as viewers try to comprehend what exactly the thing is. It says exactly what needs to be said about the film without giving away the game—something strange is lurking around this icy outpost, and it’s using human bodies as its disguise.
The print will be available in two variants – a normal version of the poster and a foil edition for those who want a bit of a different take on the classic. Alongside End Hymns, Vice Press is also working directly with Struzan along with the team at the graphic design and printing outfit Sep Lab to get everything right. Vice Press has repeatedly worked with Struzan to bring some of his best work back to life for fans, previously teaming with the artist for a special edition of his poster for Hellboy II: The Golden Army.
The creative process behind Struzan’s artwork for The Thing shows the painstaking effort he went through to perfect this now-iconic image. He spoke about the poster in a 2012 interview, saying:
It was a very odd experience. I got an immediate concept, which is not unusual for me; I usually have something roving around in my mind. I dressed up in a winter snow outfit and my wife took a Polaroid of me. This was 30 years ago, back in the stone age when the only way to communicating a hundred miles away was the telephone or the fax machine. So I did the drawing and I faxed it back to the studio and they said, “Fine. We need it by tomorrow morning.” I went to work. We stopped for a moment and I took some more photos with my wife, this time with a 35mm camera. She developed the film for me and I just started drawing, then painting through the rest of the day, then painting through the rest of the night. At 9 am a guy shows up at my doorstep and says, “Is the painting ready?” I had about an hour to go, so I finished painting it and he took it away. Since then it’s done more traveling than I have. [Laughs] It’s been around the world many, many times.
Plenty of companies are showing some love for Carpenter’s little body horror that could for its 40th anniversary. Fathom Events and Universal partnered earlier this year to get the film back into theaters and scare audiences all over again while NECA has a recreation of the Struzan’s poster in figure form coming out. It’s a testament to the enduring impact of this masterpiece—one with horror that can still frighten to this day and a story based on trust and suspicion of our fellow man that’s more relevant than ever.
Vice Press’s The Thing screen print posters will cost you $90/£69.99 for the regular or $110/£79.99 for the foil edition. Sales go live on Vice Press on Tuesday, June 21 at 6 p.m. BST/ 1 p.m. PST and will be open for seven days as a timed exclusive. See the posters below:
The Thing by Drew Struzan
- 7 Day Timed Edition
- 24×36 inches
- Screen Print
- Printed by End Hymns
- £69.99 / $90
The Thing by Drew Struzan Foil Variant
- Edition of 250
- 24×36 inches
- Screen Print on Mirri Foil
- Printed by End Hymns
- £79.99 / $110