The Way of All Flesh: On John Carpenter's 'The Thing'

Episode 160 · December 20th, 2023 · 1 hr 15 mins

About this Episode

As a horror movie, John Carpenter's The Thing seems to have it all: amazing practical effects, body horror, psychological drama, Kurt Russell ... Indeed, there is only one element this movie lacks, and that is anything at all corresponding to the titular villain. There is no thing in The Thing! What we have instead is a process, a pattern, a way for which the term "thing" is as good as any other. (What is a thing anyway?) In this episode, Phil and JF, having decided that Carpenter's film qualifies as a Christmas movie because there is snow (and a dog) in it, explore the metaphysical implications of a cult classic.

Support us on Patreon.
Buy the Weird Studies sountrack, volumes 1 and 2, on Pierre-Yves Martel's Bandcamp page.
Listen to Meredith Michael and Gabriel Lubell's podcast, Cosmophonia.
Visit the Weird Studies Bookshop
Find us on Discord
Get the T-shirt design from Cotton Bureau!


John Carpenter, The Thing
Weird Studies, Episode 100 on Carpenter Films
Weird Studies, Episode 157 on Videodrome
Ridley Scott, Blade Runner
Ridley Scott Alien
Thomas Aquinas, On Being and Essence
Ernest Fenollosa, The Chinese Written Characters as a Medium for Poetry
Weird Studies, Episode 89 on ‘Mumbo Jumbo’
Weird Studies, Episode 127 on ‘The Impossibility of Automating Ambiguity’
Wikipedia, “Quiddity”
Vilhelm Hammershøi, Danish painter
Jez Conolly, The Thing
Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation
Dylan Trigg, The Thing a Phenomenology of Horror
Plato, The Timaeus
Lucretius, “On the Nature of Things”
Clive Barker, The Great and Secret Show