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                                       "THE THING"

                                      Screenplay by

                                      Bill Lancaster

                                    Based on the story

                                     "WHO GOES THERE"


                                  John W. Campbell. Jr.

                                       SECOND DRAFT

                                      March 4, 1981



               35. Helicopter pilot. Likes chess. Hates the cold. The pay 
               is good.

               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 

               DR. COPPER 
               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. 
               Roller skates.

               44. Stocky. Rugged looking. A geophysicist. An incipient 
               heart condition.

               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 
               of Antarctica.

                          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 
               dog kennel.

               FADE IN:

               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.

                                       "THE THING"

               A thundering...

                                                                   FADE TO:


               ...Glacial desert... gusts of snow... superimpose:

                                  ANTARCTICA 1982 WINTER

               A SOUND

               Loud and strident. A helicopter streaks across frame. It 
               travels precariously close to the ground; its chassis battered 
               and swayed by the wind.

               INT. COPTER

               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.


               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.

               INT. COPTER

               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.


               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.

               THE COPTER

               flying ever lower now. The man with the gun leans dangerously 
               outside and fires away at the dog as it nears the outpost.

               THE MEN

               outside the compound look to one another, incredulous.

               THE COPTER

               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.

               EXT. COMPOUND

               The dog reaches Norris and Bennings, as they awkwardly wade 
               through the snow, toward the downed copter.

               THE SURVIVOR

               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.

               INT. COMPOUND

               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.

               THE SCANDINAVIAN

               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.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. BURNING COPTER

               Several men spray snow on the burning wreckage. There is no 
               hope for the pilot.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. COMPOUND


               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-
               together card-tables.

                         Gotta be from the Norwegian camp.

                         How far's that?

                         'Bout eighty kilos southwest.

                         That far?

               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 
                         you, Bwana?

               Garry motions inquiringly to Norris.

                         Yeah. I caught that he wanted the 
                         better part of my ass to come apart.

               INT. INFIRMARY

               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.

                                     DR. COPPER
                         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...

                                     DR. COPPER
                         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 
               entrance door.

               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 

               INT. HALLWAY

               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 
               dead Norwegian.

                         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 
                         go bonkers.

                         Bullshit, Bwana, sweetheart. Five 
                         minutes is enough to put a man over 
                         down here.

                         Damn straight.

                         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 
                         others left.

                                     DR. COPPER
                         How do you know?

               The men's attention turn to Copper.

                                     DR. 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.

                                     DR. COPPER
                         Yes, there is. I'd like to go up.

                         In this weather?

                                     DR. COPPER
                              (turns to)

                         Winds are going to let up a tad, 
                         next couple of hours.

                         A tad?

                         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.


               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 
               is immediate.

                         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 

                         ...Cheating bastard...

               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.

                         What for?

               EXT. OUTPOST

               One of the grounded choppers is being readied for take-off. 
               Childs holds a huge industrial torch to the engine, warming 
               it up.


               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 

                 ...Craziness... This 
                 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!

                                     DR. COPPER
                         Screw regulations! Four guys could 
                         be crawling around on their bellies 
                         out there!

                         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!


                              (to Bennings)
                         What is it out there, anyway? Forty-
                         five knots?


                         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 
               takes notice.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               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.

               INT. CHOPPER

               The two men look at each other in silence. They get out.


               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 
               the mess.

               A small can of gasoline lies nearby. A large oil drum not 
               far off.

               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 

               THE CHOPPER

               MacReady unhinges the shotgun that is latched to the panel 
               behind the seats.


               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.

                                     DR. COPPER
                         Anybody there?!

               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?!


                                     DR. COPPER
                         We're Americans!


                         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.

                                     DR. COPPER
                              (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.

                         Hey, Sweden!!!

                                     DR. COPPER
                         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.


               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 
               on it.

               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.

                         Holy shit...

               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.

                                     DR. COPPER

               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.

                                     DR. COPPER

               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.


                                     DR. COPPER
                         All in Norwegian.

               Dr. Copper bends down and begins gathering the papers, strewn 
               about the room.

                         What are you doing?

                                     DR. COPPER
                         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.

               INT. HALLWAY

               MacReady shoves himself into another room.

               INT. 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.

                                     MACREADY (O.S.)
                         Copper, come here!!

               INT. ROOM

               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.

                                     DR. COPPER
                         Watch it.

               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.

                                                                    CUT TO:


               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.

               INT. KITCHEN

               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.


               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.

                         Hey, man...!

                         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.


               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:

                                     MAN'S VOICE
                         Hello boy.

               A beat.

               The sound of a glass breaking. A muffled scuffling. The door 
               is slammed shut from the inside. And then silence.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. COMPOUND

               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.

               INT. TUNNEL

               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.


               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 
                         of here.

               The dog is shooed off. Childs turns back grumbling.

                         ...Comin' in here... goin' to urinate 
                         on my babies.


               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 
                         Hey, Clark?!

               THE DOG

               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.


               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 
               with him.

                         ...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?

                                     DR. COPPER
                         About nine more hours.

                         We can't learn anything from this.

                                     DR. COPPER
                         Probably right.

               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.

                                     DR. COPPER
                         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.

               Norris shrugs.

                         What do you want from us?

                         Just listen.

               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.

                                     DR. COPPER
                         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 
                         poisoning, Doc?

               Dr. Copper taps the tape deck pensively.

                                     DR. COPPER

               He glances at MacReady, and then back to the others.

                                     DR. COPPER
                         There's something else we want you 
                         to see.

               INT. INFIRMARY

               Dr. Copper and MacReady begin dumping the heavy contents of 
               a large plastic trash bag onto the slab.

                                     DR. COPPER
                         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.

                                     DR. COPPER
                         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.

                                     DR. COPPER
                         Blair, I'd like you and Fuchs to 
                         help me with autopsies on this one 
                         and the one Garry shot this morning.


               Foosball. Nauls and Clark are going at it hot and heavy.

               Sanchez sits off in a corner thumbing through an old issue 
               of Photoplay.

               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?!

               INT. LAB

               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.

                                     DR. COPPER
                         Nothing wrong with this one.  
                         Physiologically, anyway.
                              (to Blair)
                         Find anything toxic?

                         No drugs... alcohol. Nothing.

               INT. TUNNEL

               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.

               INT. KENNEL

               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 
               game show.

               Palmer is stretched out in the other cot, reading a comic 
               book and smoking a joint. Childs beckons for it and takes a 

               INT. PUB

               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.

               INT. LAB

               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.

                                     DR. COPPER
                         I don't understand.

               Fuchs takes the opportunity to look. Blair moves over to the 
               disfigured corpse and indicates one of the fibrous, tendon-
               like appendages.

                         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.

                                     DR. COPPER
                         I don't get you, Blair.

                         I'm not sure it is any kind of cell 
                         structure. Biologically speaking.

                                     DR. COPPER
                         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 
               surrounding shacks.

               INT. REC ROOM

               Vacant. The wall clock reads four-thirty.

               INT. HALLWAY

               Sleeping cubicles on either side. The sound of snoring.

               INT. PUB

               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 
               with something.

               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.

                         What in...

               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 
               the room.

               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.

               They attack.

               THE SHADOW OF THE NEW DOG

               against the kennel wall. The shadow suddenly lurches upward, 
               seeming larger.

               The kennel roars.

               INT. PUB

               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 

               INT. TUNNEL

               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.

               INT. KITCHEN

               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.

               INT. TUNNEL

               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.

               INT. HALLWAY

               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.

               INT. TUNNEL

               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.

                         No! Wait!!

               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.

               INT. TUNNEL

               Childs, huffing and puffing, lugs the huge industrial torch 
               toward the crowded kennel doorway.

                         What's happening?

                                     MACREADY (O.S.)
                         Childs, you got the torch? You get 
                         your ass in here!!

               INT. KENNEL

               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!

                         The dogs?

                         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!

                              (to outside)

               Childs moves closer, continuing his assault on the hissing, 
               gurgling presence.

               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.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               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 
               far off.

               INT. INFIRMARY

               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 
                         You see.

               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.


               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?


               EXT. CHOPPER

               high above the Antarctic expanse.

               INT. CHOPPER

               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 
                         over here.

               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.


               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.

               ON BLAIR

               A disturbed look on his face. He checks his watch, as if 
               timing the procedure.


               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 
                              in disgust)
                         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 
                         of it.

                         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.

               EXT. GLACIER

               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.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               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.

               INT. KITCHEN

               Nauls, about to prepare dinner, scowls as he rummages through 
               his many cabinets.

                         Where's that big ol' steel pot of 
                         mine?! Damn!

               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

               MacReady theorizes.

                         ...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 
                         bullshit, Blair?

               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 
                         they knew...

                         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 
               trash bin.

                         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 
                         cells exactly...
                              (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...

                         Finish what?

                         ...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 

                              (skeptically, points)
                         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...

                              (breaking in)
                         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.

                                                                    CUT TO:


               lying on the snow. Splash. They are being soaked with 

                                     FUCHS (O.S.)
                              (in violent 
                         You can't do this! You can't burn 
                         these remains...

               Pull back. Fuchs is beside himself. Childs has the large 
               torch. MacReady empties another can on the bodies. Dr. Copper 
               stands nearby.

                         And the horse you rode in on, Fuchs.
                              (to Childs)
                         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 
               back up.

               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 

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. KENNEL - NIGHT

               The night feeding. Clark dishes out the food. Blair is taking 
               blood samples from the remaining three dogs.

                              (perplexed, bothered)
                         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.

                         That night?

                              (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.

                         Well... yeah.

               Blair stands, his eyes still glued to Clark.

                         How long were you with the dog? Alone, 
                         I mean?

                         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 
                         that for?

                         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 
               with him.

                         ...It could have gotten to somebody...

                         Anybody sick?

                         No, I... I don't mean infection... 
                         or disease...

               Garry stops at the entrance to the communications room.

                         Any luck yet?

               Sanchez shrugs.

                         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 
               meteorological chart.

                              (to Garry)
                         Travel-wise, tomorrow may be okay. 
                         But after that some pretty nasty 
                         northeasterly shit's coming in.

                         ...Goddamn fools...

               The men outside come stomping through the hallway.

                         Listen to me, Garry. Please...

                              (to MacReady)
                         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...

                              (fed up)
                         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 
                         fuck off!

               Close on Blair, ashen-faced, falling silent. As if in a daze, 
               he watches the men as they continue to converse. Suspicious, 

                                                                    CUT TO:

               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 
               tape deck.

                         All set.

               He puts down his screwdriver, holds up his glass and offers 
               a toast with a big grin.

                         To us.

               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.

                                     CHESS VOICE
                         Rook takes bishop at Queen four -- 
                         Rook take pawn at Queen two -- Rook 
                         takes Queen at Queen one -- Checkmate.

                         Aw shit.

               He flips open the circuitry panel in disgust. He tosses his 
               screwdriver on the board and grabs his drink, downing it.

                         Sorry, hon.

               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 
                         their ears.

               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.

               THE CHOPPERS

               sitting idle in the dark. MacReady approaches. The door to 
               one of the cockpits is slightly ajar. He opens it cautiously.

               INT. CHOPPER

               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.


               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.


               The men are on either side of the open radio room doorway.

               Garry peeks his head in. A gunshot blast forces him back.

               RADIO ROOM

               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.

               RADIO ROOM

               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.
                              (to Norris)
                         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 
                         stick together.

               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.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. COMPOUND

               Heavily-clothed, MacReady, Fuchs and Dr. Copper help a dazed 
               Blair to a toolshed some seventy-five yards from the main 

               INT. TOOLSHED

               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?

                                     DR. COPPER
                         It's for your own protection, Blair.

                         And mainly ours.

               EXT. SHACK

               Fuchs and MacReady nail boards over the windows.

                         Leave a bit of an opening so he can 
                         see out.

               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 Clark.


                         Watch him close. Ask him why he didn't 
                         kennel the dog.

               Blair's face disappears from the window.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               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 
                         these things.

               Norris smiles and pats him comfortingly.

                         They didn't teach you much about 
                         working them either.

               INT. MESS HALL - MORNING


               Pull back. The men help themselves. It is a cramped, elongated 

               Dr. Copper approaches Nauls and hands him a capsule.

                                     DR. COPPER
                         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.

                         The dogs...

                                                                    CUT TO:

               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 
                         latched it.


               CLOSE ON THE DOGS' TRACKS in the snow. They lead from the 
               kennel's open stairwell and out onto the ice. All the men 
               have gathered.

                         All three of them took off.

               MacReady is writing down what appears to be a list on a pad.

                                     DR. COPPER
                         How long do you suppose they've been 

                         I haven't seen them since their last 
                         feeding. Could be as much as twenty-
                         four hours.

                         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 
                         carburetors on?

                         Oh, I got you. Not too long.

                         Then get a move on. Childs, come 
                         with me.

               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.

                         Holy shit.
                              (hands list to Garry)
                         Whatever he's going to do, he ain't 
                         fucking around.


               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.


               The two vehicles rip across the hard, flat ice, bolstered by 
               the added horsepower. They follow the still visible dog tracks 
               in the snow.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE SUN

               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.

                                                                    CUT TO:


               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.

               THE MEN

               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.

                         Maybe dinner.

                         Dogs don't eat each other.

                         I know.

                         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.

                         Let's move.

               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.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE SUN

               making its last pass, rolling off the horizon. Only a slight 
               orange hue left.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE SNOWMOBILES

               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.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE SNOWMOBILES

               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 

               A DOG

               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.

                              (to dog)
                         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.

               MacReady stumbles.

               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 
               in flames.

               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)
                         Stay 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.

                         Torch them!!


                         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 

               THE SUN

               Its slim, orange arc sets, signaling the start of the Vernal 
               Equinox. And the beginning of six months of darkness.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               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 
                         right away?

                         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.

                              (to Childs)
                         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.

                                     DR. COPPER
                         And if it got to Clark... Clark could 
                         have gotten to anybody.

               MacReady moves over to the table.

                                     DR. COPPER
                         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 
                         believe it.

               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.

                         Size large.
                         What do you wear, Clark?

               Clark stews.

                         So what?

                         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?

                                     DR. COPPER
                         A serum test possibly.

                         Right. Why not?

                         What's that?

                                     DR. COPPER
                         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 
                         to use?

                                     DR. COPPER
                         We've got blood plasma in storage.

                         How long will it take you to prepare 

                                     DR. COPPER
                         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!

               INT. INFIRMARY

               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.

                                     DR. COPPER
                         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?

                                     DR. COPPER
                         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?

                                     DR. COPPER
                         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 

                                     DR. COPPER
                         I don't see how... when I'm finished 
                         I return it right away.

                         When was the last time you used it?

                                     DR. COPPER
                         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 
                         me. But...

                         That key ring of yours is always 
                         hooked to your belt. Now how could 
                         somebody get to it without you 

                              (upset, flustered)
                         Look, I haven't been near that... 
                         that refrigerator.

               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.

                                     DR. 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.

                         Hey, Sanchez!


               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.

                                                                    CUT TO:


               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, 

                         Sorry, gentlemen...
                              (rubs chest)
                         ...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.

               Childs glares.

                              (to others)
                         ...Any objections?

               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.

               Fuchs nods.

                         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?

                              (to Fuchs)
                         Can you think of any other tests?

                         I'll try.  I could sure use Copper's 
                         help though.

                         You can eighty-six that thought right 
                         now, man.

               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 

                                                                    CUT TO:

               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.

                                     DR. COPPER
                         I'll do it. You're going to break 
                         the needle in my arm.

                         No, Doc. He's doing a real fine job.

               EXT. COMPOUND

               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.

               INT. HALLWAY

               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.

               INT. LAB

               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.


               EXT. COMPOUND

               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 compound.

               INT. COMPOUND

               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 
                         Chopper One?

                         Ain't it there?

               He passes by.

                         No it ain't there. Would I be asking 
                         if it were there?

                         Move it, Palmer.


               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.

                              (to Palmer)
                         Start taking apart those snowmobiles 
                         next, huh?

               INT. KITCHEN

               Cramped. Several of the men are preparing their food.

               Opening cans. Heating them in pots.

               EXT. COMPOUND

               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.

                         You promise?

               Nauls picks up the tray, heads back mumbling.

                         Crazy white scientist motherfucker...

               EXT. COMPOUND

               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 
               stacked nearby.

               INT. KITCHEN

               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.

                         Be quick.

               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.

                         Oh, no.

               The lights go out. Nauls calls from the kitchen.

                                     NAULS (O.S.)
                         Childs! That a fuse?

                         No. The generator. You got the 
                         auxiliary box just off the kitchen. 
                         Get to it.
                              (fumbling around)
                         Where's the damn flashlight?
                              (calling out)
                         You fellas okay over there?

               Dr. Copper giggles in the dark.

                         Cut that out, Copper.
                         Nauls? What's taking you?!

                                     NAULS (O.S.)
                         I'm working it! Nothing's happening!

                         That's impossible, man! Okay, Clark, 
                         out of the john where I can see you!

                                     NAULS (O.S.)
                         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.

               EXT. COMPOUND

               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!

               INT. KITCHEN

               Pitch black.

                         Somebody's taken it. I can't find 

                                     CHILDS (O.S.)
                         Clark, you want me to come in after 

               INT. HALLWAY

               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.

                         What's happened?!

                                     NORRIS (O.S.)
                         MacReady, that you?


                                     NORRIS (O.S.)
                         It's the generator I think! No power.

                              (to Palmer)
                         Well, let's get down there.

                                     CHILDS (O.S.)


                                     CHILDS (O.S.)
                         Garry's missing!

                              (to self)
                         Oh, shit!
                         Well, hang on!

                                     CHILDS (O.S.)
                         Gee, thanks!

               INT. GENERATOR ROOM

               Palmer and MacReady stumbling down the stairs. MacReady turns 
               around, looks.

                         Where's Sanchez?

               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.

               INT. HALLWAY

               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.

               INT. HALLWAY

               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...

                                     PALMER (O.S.)
                         Mac, where the hell is that pump!!

                                                                    CUT TO:

               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.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               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 
               the rest.

               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 
                              (a beat)
                         And everybody watch whoever you're 
                         with. Real close.

               The men survey each other.

                         Let's move.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               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.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               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.

               Another beat.


               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.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. COMPOUND

               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.

                         Hey, Blair!!

               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 
                         out here.

                         Have you come across Fuchs?

                         Fuchs...? No, it's not Fuchs... You 
                         must let me back in... I won't harm 
                         anyone... I promise...

                         We'll see...

               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.

                                     DR. COPPER
                         I'm getting worried about you. You 
                         ought to have a checkup.

                         Let's just not get worried about 
                         anything just now.

                                     DR. COPPER
                         After all this mess then.

                         After all this mess.


               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.


               that line the wall. They have been torn apart. Childs and 
               Palmer examine.

                         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.

               INT. SHACK

               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.

               INT. COMPOUND

               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.

                         My babies.

               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 
                         imitate anything...

                         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.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               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:

                one bad-ass and strong muther.

                         No one's that strong, boy!

               INT. PASSAGEWAY

               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 
                         absorb somebody.

                         Why Fuchs?

                         He was working on a test. Fuchs must 
                         have been onto something. These 
                         bastards got scared and got rid of 
                              (suddenly realizing)
                         ...Hey... Where's...

                                                                    CUT TO:


               shouting down a passageway.


               CLOSE ON CHILDS


                         Nauls!! MacReady!!

               EXT. COMPOUND

               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 
                         outside hatchways.


               Childs, Sanchez and Palmer -- closing off and bolting the 
               entrances to the camp.

                                     NORRIS (O.S.)
                         All of you! Come here!


               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.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE MEN

               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.

                         Where's MacReady?

               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 
               inside collar.

               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 
                         him loose.


                         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.

                         Look, man...

                         When the lights went out...

                         Would have been a perfect time...

                         Right. Garry was missing...
                         ...And Sanchez...

                              (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.

                                     MACREADY (O.S.)
                         Open up!

               No answer as the men surround the door, their weapons ready.  

                                     MACREADY (O.S.)
                         ...Hey, somebody! Open up, it's me, 
                              (still nothing)
                         ...Come on, damn it... The towline 
                         snapped. Been crawling around like a 
                         seal out here...

                              (harsh whisper)
                         Bullshit! He's got to know damn well 
                         I cut it!

               The men keep their voices low.

                         Let's open it.

                         Hell no.

               More pounding.

                         You think he's changed into one of 
                         those Things?

                         He hasn't had enough time.

                         ...Nothing human could have made it 
                         back here in this weather without a 

                                     MACREADY (O.S.)
                         ...Where is everybody?! I'm half 

                         Let's open it. Now...

                              (edgy, hostile)
                         Why you so damn anxious to let him 
                         in here...

                              (slightly trembling)
                         He's so close. Maybe our best chance 
                         to blow him away.

                         No. Just let him freeze out there.

                              (voice cracking)
                         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?

                                     CHILDS (O.S.)
                         You're a dead man, MacReady -- or a 
                         dead whatever the hell you are!

               MacReady begins to rummage through the supplies in the 

                                     CHILDS (O.S.)
                         We found your clothes -- the ones 
                         you tried to burn.

                         What clothes?

                                     CHILDS (O.S.)
                         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 
               open box.

                         Anyone messes with me -- the whole 
                         camp goes.

               He appears to mean it. They don't seem anxious to test him.

                         Put those torches on the floor and 
                         back off.

               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 
               behind him.

                         ...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...
                              (grins menacingly)
                         From now on no one gets out of my 

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. INFIRMARY

               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.

                                     DR. COPPER
                         Damn it, quit the bickering and give 
                         me a hand. Wheel that fibrillator 
                         over here.

               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.

                                     DR. COPPER
                         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.

                              (to MacReady, 
                         You're going to have to sleep 

                                     DR. COPPER
                         Quiet down...
                              (to Sanchez)
                         ...turn that thing on.

               Sanchez depresses the "on" button.

                                     DR. COPPER
                         Now hold him.

                         I'm a real light sleeper, Childs...

                                     DR. COPPER
                         Enough, MacReady!

               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.

                                     DR. COPPER
                         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...

                                     DR. COPPER
                         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.

                         God... what...?

               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.

                         What for?

                         For your health.

                              (to others)
                         Let's rush him. He's not going to 
                         blow us all up.

                         Damn if I won't.

                              (a beat)
                         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.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               THE MEN

               being tied securely to couches and chairs.

                         Tie up Clark, too.

                         He's dead.

                         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 
               and Garry.

                         We're going to draw a little bit of 
                         everybody's blood.

                         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 
                         needle say.

                                                                    CUT TO:


               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.

                         Now you.

               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.

                                     DR. COPPER
                              (shaken, facetious)
                         Thank you.

                         I didn't think you'd use that 
                         fibrillator on Norris if you were 
                         one of them.

               He hands Copper the torch.

                         Watch them.

               He cuts himself with the scalpel and begins collecting his 
               own blood.

                         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?

               MacReady nods.

                         So that make you a murderer.

               MacReady glances over the group.

                         Palmer now.

               He sets Palmer's plate in front of him and heats the wire.

                         Pure nonsense. This won't prove a 
                         damn thing.

                         Thought you'd feel that way, Garry. 
                         You were the only one who could have 
                         gotten to that blood plasma...
                              (placing the wire in 
                              Palmer's dish)
                         ...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 
               he can.

                                                                    CUT TO:


               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.


               ALL EYES

               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.

               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 
                         by 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.


               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 
               of sight.

               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.

               INT. HALLWAY

               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.

                                                                    CUT TO:


               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...
                              (to Sanchez)
                         Give me a hand.

               They block off a door with two heavy electrical games.

                              (to Sanchez)
                         You and Nauls got to block off the 
                         west side bunks, the mess hall and 
                         the kitchen.

                         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 
                         last longer.

               Sanchez and Nauls start to leave.

                         ...Hold it.

               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.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. CORRIDOR

               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.

                         Looks good.

                         One thousand volts. Should be enough.

               INT. KITCHEN

               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?

                         Hear what?

               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 
               drowned out.

               INT. HALLWAY

               Empty. Another of the stereo speakers that line the walls, 

               INT. KITCHEN

               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 -- 
               blaring music.


               full speed down the maze. Left. Right. Totally reckless. He 
               hits a straightaway.

               SANCHEZ'S BODY

               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 
               takes off.

               INT. MAIN HALL

               MacReady, running, spots Nauls careening out of a turn, 
               heading toward him.

                         Get back!!

                         The generator!

                         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.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               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.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               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. 
               But closing.

               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 
               himself, frantically.

               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 
                         little remodeling!

               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.

               INT. COMPOUND

               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 

               NARROW PASSAGEWAY

               Gurgling and hissing. A taloned arm slinks around a corner 
               in retreat.

                                     MACREADY (O.S.)
                         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 
               the bar.

                         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 
                         one person...

               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 
               the room.

                         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 
               himself through.

               EXT. ROOF

               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 
               almost immediately.

               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.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. CAMP

               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.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               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.

                                                                  FADE OUT:

                                         THE END

Thing, The

Writers :   John W. Campbell Jr.  Bill Lancaster
Genres :   Action  Horror  Sci-Fi  Thriller

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