I stumbled upon this clever short video today on the internet, and it is a real treat for cinephiles like me.
The Hateful Thing is a short film connecting the visuals of John Carpenter’s 1982 masterpiece The Thing and Quentin Tarantino’s latest opus The Hateful Eight. The editor here does a really terrific job of syncing up the visual cues and clues that lead to the allusions Quentin makes within his work towards his inspiration, The Thing. He has been very vocal about Carpenter’s work being an influence on his own especially with this film.
“The Thing is the one movie that is the most influential movie on this movie per se,” Tarantino told Christopher Nolan during a recent Q&A. “It’s the only movie that I showed the cast. I even showed it to Kurt Russell. He loved watching it with the cast: ‘That’s mine baby, that’s what I did.’ And actually Reservoir Dogs was very much influenced by The Thing so it goes a long way…”
Kurt Russell in Hateful 8. Kurt Russel in The Thing.
You can easily see how both films connect, just through the tone of the paranoid storylines. None of the characters trust each other in Hateful Eight any more than they do in Carpenter’s The Thing. Quentin switched out the sci-fi angle for the western to suit his needs. It all worked out well, even though none of his characters were fearing an unknown creature they still had to fear each other’s unknown nature. The tension from this exploration ratchets up in both films to high levels.
The video essay does a great job of linking these ideas to the visuals that Tarantino referred to within his own film. It’s always amazing to see how Quentin takes his influences like this and makes them new again. I would love to know how much was intentional on his part vs. what just comes out of the creative process from the subliminal mind. If he loves The Thing so much, is it possible, it’s just ingrained into him to create such similar visual callbacks without overtly knowing he is doing it?
It’s only something he can answer for sure. I would love to have that conversation with him.
In the meantime, I’m having a double feature of The Thing and Hateful Eight!!