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Thing, The (1982)

by Bill Lancaster.
From the story "Who Goes There" by Don A. Stuart.
Second draft, March 4, 1981.

More info about this movie on IMDb.com


FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY


CAST

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

GARRY, 46.
The station manager. Stiff. Ex-army officer. Wears a handgun.

CHILDS, 33.
Six-four. Two-fifty. Black. A mechanic. Can be jolly. But don't mess.

BLAIR, 50.
Sensitive. Intelligent. Unassuming. An assistant biologist.

DR. COPPER, 45.
Professional. A decent man. A good doctor.

PALMER, 27.
Second string chopper pilot. Crack mechanic. Long hair. Slight sixties acid damage.

NAULS, 22.
The cook. Bright. Black. Irreverent. But kindhearted. Roller skates.

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

BENNINGS, 38.
A meteorologist. Dutiful. An old pro.

CLARK, 24.
The dog handler. Likes it here. Good at his job.

SANCHEZ, 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:

A BLIND AND FERAL WHITENESS

... 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.

EXT.  HORIZON - BINOCULARS' POV - A DOG

It turns and snarls at the craft some fifteen hundred
yards to its rear.  Then whirls and gallops off.  A gun
blast kicks up snow at its heels.

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.

TWO MEN, NORRIS AND BENNINGS

standing some thirty yards from the main building are in
the process of letting up a large red balloon.  Childs, a
hefty black man, is twenty yards away tinkering with a
snowmobile.  Their beards are caked with ice.  It is
winter and it is harsh.

The faint sound of the copter turns their attention.

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.

                         NORRIS
          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.

CHILDS

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

CLOSE ON THE PALLID FACE OF THE SCANDINAVIAN INTRUDER

A neat round hole is set in the middle of his forehead.
Station manager Garry holds up something akin to an ID.

                         GARRY
          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.

                         FUCHS
          Gotta be from the Norwegian camp.

                         GARRY
          How far's that?

                         FUCHS
          'Bout eighty kilos southwest.

                         GARRY
                  (surprised)
          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.

                         GARRY
          You catch anything he was saying?

                         CHILDS
          Am I starting to look Norwegian to
          you, Bwana?

Garry motions inquiringly to Norris.

                         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.

                         BENNINGS
          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.

                         CLARK
          I'll be here a while.  Shell's
          pretty deep.

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.

                         SANCHEZ
          It's no go.

                         BLAIR
          Well, get to somebody.  Anybody.
          We've got to report this mess.

                         SANCHEZ
          Look, I haven't been able to reach
          shit in two weeks.  Doubt if
          anybody's talked to anybody on the
          whole continent.

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.

                         NAULS
          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.

                         PALMER
          Was wondering when "El Capitan" was
          going to get a chance to use his pop
          gun.

Garry rebukes him with a stern look and then turns to
Fuchs.

                         GARRY
          How long have they been stationed
          there?

Fuchs leafing through a pile of papers.

                         FUCHS
          Says here about eight weeks.

Dr. Copper enters the room.  Bennings limping after him
slightly.

                         GARRY
                  (shaking his head)
          That's not enough time for guys to
          go bonkers.

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

                         PALMER
          Damn straight.

                         NAULS
          I mean Palmer been the way he is
          since the first day.

Palmer smiles and flips the cook the bird.

                         GARRY
          How many in their party?

                         FUCHS
                  (referring)
          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.

                         GARRY
          Nothing we can do about that.

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

                         GARRY
          In this weather?

                         DR. COPPER
                  (turns to)
          Bennings?

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

                         GARRY
          A tad?

                         BENNINGS
          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.

                         PALMER
          Shit, Doc, I'll give you the lift
          if...

                         GARRY
          Forget it, Palmer.  Doc, you're a
          pain in the ass.

                         GARRY
                  (turns)
          Norris, go get MacReady.

Slight laughter from some of the men.

                         NORRIS
                  (grins)
          MacReady ain't going nowhere.
          Bunkered in till spring.

                         GARRY
          Just go get him.

                         NORRIS
                  (stands)
          Anyway, he's probably ripped.

EXT.  U.S. OUTPOST #31

Norris, bundled in his sixty-five pounds of clothing,
exits the main compound.  He walks the prefab wooden
planks up the precipice; his destination is someone a
hundred yards up the slope -- to a shack.  He grabs onto
the steadying ropes and pulls himself against the wind and
blowing sleet.

INT.  MACREADY'S SHACK - CLOSE ON ICE CUBES

being dumped into a glass, followed by the pouring of
whiskey.  An electronic Voice is heard.

                         VOICE
          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 paradise.

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.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         VOICE
          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.

                         VOICE
          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
door.

                         MACREADY
          ... Cheating bastard...

He opens the door.  Norris steps in followed by a flurry
of snow and wind.

                         NORRIS
          You jerking off or just pissed?

                         MACREADY
          We got any more of those electronic
          chess things down in supply?

                         NORRIS
          Get your gear on.

                         MACREADY
          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.

INT.  MAIN COMPOUND - CORRIDOR

Garry, Bennings, Dr. Copper, Palmer and MacReady wind
their way through the slender corridors on their way to
the chopper.  Dr. Copper carries a satchel of medicine
supplies.  MacReady, going over his flight chart, looks
mad as hell.  Dialogue overlaps.

            MACREADY                      GARRY
    ... Craziness...             ... Quit the griping
    This is goddamn insane...    MacReady.  Sooner
                                 you're there -- sooner
                                 you're back.

                         MACREADY
          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!

                         MACREADY
          So, I don't want to end up crawling
          around with them when we go down.

                         GARRY
          Look, if you're going to keep
          bitching, MacReady -- Palmer's
          offered to take him up...

                         MACREADY
          What are you talking?!  He's had two
          months training in those choppers!

                         PALMER
                  (defiant)
          Four!

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

                         BENNINGS
          Sixteen.

                         MACREADY
                  (disgusted)
          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.

                         CLARK
          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.

CLOSE ON A LARGE, MAKESHIFT FUNERAL PYRE

smoldering to a close.  A hastily conceived crematorium.
Wood, books, furniture, tires, anything that will burn has
been mixed together with the charred remains of several
dogs and the body of a man.

Curious mounds of a melted and blackened goo are heaped
within 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 chopper.

THE CHOPPER

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

EXT.  THE MAIN BUILDING - THE DOOR

MacReady and Dr. Copper stand hesitantly amidst the wisps
of snow and embers.  MacReady tries the door.  It is
unlocked.  He slowly pushes it open with his gun.  A
creaking.  A long pitch-black corridor.  Copper shines a
flashlight.

                         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 within.

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.

                         MACREADY
          Anybody in there?!

Nothing.

                         DR. COPPER
          We're Americans!

Nothing.

                         MACREADY
          Come to help you!!

MacReady pushes against the door.

                         MACREADY
          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 chair.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         MACREADY
          Sweden?!

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?

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         MACREADY
          Hey, Sweden!!!

                         DR. COPPER
                  (irritated)
          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.

                         MACREADY
          Norwegian of the Month, Doc.
          Harmless.

MacReady pockets it for further viewing.

INT.  THE NARROWEST OF CORRIDORS

The supporting beams have long since buckled and cracked
from the constantly moving ice underneath.  The evidence
of fire has further weakened the foundations.  The wood
creaks overhead.  Bits of ice and silt trickle down.

The two men walk hunched, cautious.  MacReady gingerly
tries to make his way around a broken and smoldering beam.
He brushes it gently sending a shower of debris from the
yawning roof.

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.

                         MACREADY
                  (wincing)
          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
          Christ...

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
          ... Laboratory.

Broken beakers, test tubes, a microscope are illuminated.
MacReady notices a video camera.

                         MACREADY
          Portable video unit.

Copper makes his way over to the main work table.  He
shuffles through papers, glancing at the writing.

                         MACREADY
          Anything?

                         DR. COPPER
          All in Norwegian.

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

                         MACREADY
          What are you doing?

                         DR. COPPER
          Could be important work.  Might as
          well bring it back.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         MACREADY
          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 play.

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:

INT.  U.S. OUTPOST - RECREATION ROOM

The loud beat of Warren Zevon's song, "The Werewolves of
London," can be heard throughout the compound.  The room
is empty.  Close on a video pong game, its ball of light
lazily traveling back and forth.  The dog, its tail
wagging, its bandage on, walks by.

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.

                         GARRY
          Turn that crap down, Nauls.  You can
          hear it all over the camp!

                         NAULS
          Oui, Bwana.  Can do.

He skates over and turns it down, but not much.

INT.  COMMUNICATIONS ROOM

Garry enters and sees that Sanchez has nodded off in front
of his receiver.  His headgear is still on.  Garry walks
over and turns up the volume, the static jolting Sanchez
awake.

                         SANCHEZ
          Hey, man...!

                         GARRY
          You reach anybody yet?

                         SANCHEZ
          We're a thousand miles from anybody
          else, man.  It's going to get a hell
          of a lot worse before it gets
          better.

                         GARRY
          Well, stick to it.

INT.  COMPOUND CORRIDOR

An empty hallway.  Larger than most.  Doors to several
sleeping quarters on either side.  The dog slowly walks
through.

One of the doors is open up ahead of his left.  The dog
stops in front of it and looks in.  Someone is inside.

Inside the small cubicle, a slight portion of a man's back
can be seen as he sits bent over a chair; his large shadow
displayed on the wall.

Back in the corridor.  The dog looks up the hall once and
casually to the other end.  No one.  He enters the room.
The sound of a man's voice, too indistinct to tell whose,
mumbles:

                         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.

CLARK

opens the door to the small kennel and serves up the
dinner.  The dogs, about seven of them, yelp and bark
eagerly.

INT.  UNDERGROUND PASSAGEWAY

near the fuel supply bladders.  Older and more rickety
than the quarters above.

Childs waltzes through, humming, a big smile on his face.
He stops at a door with six locks on it.  Different kinds.
Combination locks, key locks, etc.  He opens each one
separately.

INT.  STORAGE ROOM

Inside are several marijuana plants.  Sun lamps beam down
on them.  Childs inspects them with a wide grin.

                         CHILDS
          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.

                         CHILDS
          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 gone.

                         CHILDS
          What you...?  You get the hell on
          out of here.

The dog is shooed off.  Childs turns back grumbling.

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

INT.  MAIN COMPOUND - HALLWAY

Blair passing through, holding a chart and carrying a rack
of test tubes, notices a large bandage on the floor.  He
picks it up, inquiringly.  It is mangled and shredded.

INT.  GENERATOR ROOM

Palmer works on the generator.  He hears the sound of
approaching propeller blades from outside.  And then the
sound of his tool box crashing to the floor.  He turns to
see what caused the ruckus.

The dog, who has entered the shed, has jumped on the work
table and upended the tool box on its eagerness to look
out of the above window.  Palmer curses under his breath
and calls out.

                         PALMER
          Clark!  Will you kennel this goddamn
          dog?
                  (bangs wrench
                   against pipe)
          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.

INT.  STATION MANAGER GARRY'S QUARTERS

Garry, MacReady, Dr. Copper, Norris, Bennings, Blair and
his assistant, Fuchs, are present.  The small Norwegian
video unit has been set up and its contents are being
viewed on a TV screen.  Grainy, home movie-ish, no sound.
The proceedings are grim.

Shots of the Norwegian's at work.  Others of them playing
soccer on ice.  Generally the footage is a prosaic record
of their day-to-day life.

Norris shuffles the bundle of notes Dr. Copper brought
back with him.

                         NORRIS
          ... Seems they were spending a lot
          of time at a place four miles
          northeast of their camp.

                         GARRY
          What were they involved in?

MacReady, working on the video machine, answers.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         BENNINGS
          How much more of this crap is there?

                         DR. COPPER
          About nine more hours.

                         BENNINGS
          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
          back.
                  (somberly)
          Like you gentlemen to hear it.

A Norwegian voice drones on calmly, making verbal notes.
Norris shrugs.

                         BENNINGS
          What do you want from us?

                         MACREADY
                  (flat)
          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.
                  (beat)
          What do you gentlemen make of it?

                         GARRY
          Could be anything... Men in
          isolation... some beef that
          snowballed... got out of hand...

                         NORRIS
          Maybe the whole camp got bent...
          Something they ate.  What about food
          poisoning, Doc?

Dr. Copper taps the tape deck pensively.

                         DR. COPPER
          Maybe.

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 mess.

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.

INT.  REC ROOM - LATER - CLOSE ON A TABLE HOCKEY GAME

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

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

                         BENNINGS
          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?

                         BLAIR
          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 hit.

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.

                         BLAIR
          It's tissue from one of these sinewy
          rods.

Fuchs is befuddled as he examines.

                         FUCHS
          What in the world kind of cell
          structure is this?

                         BLAIR
          That's the point.

                         DR. COPPER
                  (tired)
          I don't get you, Blair.

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

                         DR. COPPER
                  (sighing)
          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 sticks.

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 himself.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         MACREADY
          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 growl.

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.

                         MACREADY
          Clark.

No response.  MacReady nudges him.  Clark rolls away,
annoyed.

MacReady pinches his snoring nose, cutting off the air.
Clark sits up, groggy.

                         MACREADY
          Dogtown's going nuts.  Take care of
          it.

INT.  TUNNEL

Clark, sleepy, irritated, makes his way down the freezing
corridor.  The wind soughing loudly overhead.

CLARK

reaches the kennel door.  The savage outpouring of noise
from within baffles and angers him.  He unlatches the
door.

                         CLARK
          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.

                         CLARK
          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.

                         CHILDS
          Mac wants the what?!

                         BENNINGS
                  (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.

                         CLARK
          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.

                         GARRY
          What's going on, damn it?

MacReady aims his shotgun at the entire pack.

                         MACREADY
          I'm going to shoot.

                         CLARK
          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.

OUTSIDE

More men running, nearing the kennel.  Several squeezing
in with Garry, trying to get a look.

INSIDE

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.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         CHILDS
          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.

                         CHILDS
          Where are you?

MacReady signals with his flashlight and then points it at
the gathering of snarling dogs.

                         MACREADY
          Torch it over there!

                         CHILDS
          The dogs?

                         MACREADY
          Screw the dogs!!  Torch it!!

Childs lets loose with a burst of blue flame.  A mewing, a
screeching.

Part of the kennel starts to burn.

                         GARRY
                  (panic)
          We're on fire!

                         MACREADY
          Don't let up, Childs!

                         GARRY
                  (to outside)
          Extinguishers.

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 CO2.

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 uneasiness.

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 face.

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.

                         NAULS
          It's okay now, man.  It's dead.
          It's over.
                  (beat)
          You see.

Clark turns to him with a childlike smile.

                         CLARK
          I know.  Mr. Childs killed it.  I
          saw.

                         NAULS
          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.

                         NORRIS
          Here.  This is where they were
          spending most of their time.

Bennings pokes his head in the room.

                         BENNINGS
          Pretty nasty out, Mac.  Thirty-five
          knots.

                         MACREADY
          Screw it, I'm going up anyway.

INT.  MAIN COMPOUND - MORNING

Station Manager Garry has joined Blair by the stuck-
together bodies.  Blair motions to the bandage.

                         BLAIR
          Was that dog, the Norwegian dog?

                         GARRY
          I just can't comprehend any of this.
          It was just a dog.

                         CHILDS
                  (evenly)
          "tweren't no dog, Bwana.

                         BLAIR
          That tape MacReady showed us this
          morning...

                         GARRY
          Couldn't make much of it myself.

                         BLAIR
          I've asked him to try and locate the
          site.  Okay with you?

                         GARRY
          Sure.  You think there's a
          connection?

                         BLAIR
          Maybe.

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.

                         NORRIS
          One of their sites would be directly
          over here.

They aim for a large mountainous wall.  As they go up and
over... they see:

A FLAT, GLACIAL EXPANSE

On the surface, an enormous blackened oval shape.

INT.  U.S. OUTPOST #31 - LAB

All the bodies of the dogs have been brought in.  Fuchs
stands by as Blair studies through his microscope.

INSERT - A MICROSCOPIC SAMPLING

of two cells.  They appear to be much different from each
other.  They are joined at the ends but are completing the
process of breaking off from each other.

ON BLAIR

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

EXT.  GLACIER - TRACKING WITH MACREADY, NORRIS AND PALMER

as they walk along the ice.  They come to a stop at the
edge of a sharp drop.

Pull back to reveal -- the massive black hole about
fifteen feet beneath the ice.  Charred, gnarled and
mangled metal are all that is left of what was once an
enormous sphere.

MacReady's and Norris' eyes meet each other in silence.
Palmer is in awe.

                         PALMER
          Wow...

MacReady finds a burst thermite canister.  He and Norris
climb down.

They move along amongst the wreck.  Almost everything but
the skeletal superstructure has disintegrated into a fine
ashy powder.

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.

                         NORRIS
          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.

                         MACREADY
          So what do you make of it?

                         NORRIS
          You know damn well what we both make
          of it.

                         MACREADY
          No chance it could have been some
          new kind of test craft?

Norris shakes his head no.

                         NORRIS
          Seismic activity has been pushing
          this are up from way down for a long
          time...
                  (holds up ice
                   sample)
          ... This ice it was buried in...
          It's over a hundred thousand years
          old.

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.

                         CHILDS
          Okay now, Mac, run this by me again.
          Thousands of years ago this rocket
          ship crashes, right...?  And the...

MacReady is not listening.

                         CHILDS
          MacReady!

                         MACREADY
          Look, I'm just guessing...

                         CHILDS
          Well, go on.

INT.  KITCHEN

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

                         NAULS
          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
johns.

INT.  REC ROOM

MacReady theorizes.

                         MACREADY
          ... So it crashes, and this guy,
          whoever he is, gets thrown out, or
          walks out, and ends up freezing.

                         CHILDS
          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.

                         PALMER
                  (rambling)
          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...

                         CHILDS
          Cool it, Palmer!!

Palmer shakes a magazine at him adamantly.

                         PALMER
          Read von Daniken!  Have you read von
          Daniken?  Get your facts straight!

Clark marvels at a particular photo.

                         CLARK
          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.

                         NAULS
          Which one you muthers been tossing
          his dirty underwear in the kitchen
          trash?!

He flings it across the room.  It lands on MacReady's
chess set.

                         NAULS
          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 paces.

                         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.

                         MACREADY
          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...

                         CHILDS
          Now how's this motherfucker wake up
          after thousands of years in the ice,
          huh?

                         MACREADY
                  (annoyed)
          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.

                         CHILDS
          You buy any of this, Blair?

A beat as Blair stares straight ahead, transfixed.  He
speaks softly, to no one particular.

                         BLAIR
          It was here... got to that dog... It
          was here in this camp...

The men take in his grave countenance.

                         GARRY
          So...?  So what?  It's over with.

Blair turns to them.  A pause.  The men search his face.

                         BENNINGS
                  (edgy)
          Well, isn't it?

INT.  LAB - CLOSE ON A SHEET

as Blair rips it off exposing the tangled mess of
interlocking dogs.

Pull back.  All the men have gathered.  Some of the men
settle into chairs, others stand.

                         BLAIR
          Whatever that Norwegian dog was...
          It... It was capable of changing its
          form...
                  (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
                   leg)
          ... This for instance isn't dog at
          all -- it's imitation... We got to
          it before it had time to finish
          or...

                         NAULS
          Finish what?

                         BLAIR
          ... I think the whole process would
          have taken an hour... maybe more.
          And then I suppose both would have
          changed back to dog form.

                         PALMER
          Well, that Thing in the ice sure
          weren't no dog.

                         BLAIR
                  (impatient)
          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.

                         CLARK
          What do you mean "got" to the dog?

                         BLAIR
          It was a life form that was able to
          imitate and reproduce, whatever it
          ate or absorbed, cell for cell.

Silence.

                         BLAIR
          The concept is staggering.  I
          know... I... I don't fully
          understand it myself.

                         CHILDS
                  (skeptically, points)
          You're saying... that big muther in
          the ice, became the dog.

                         BLAIR
                  (nodding)
          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 mass...

                         NORRIS
          You been into Childs' weed, Blair?

Blair slams his fist on the slab.

                         BLAIR
          Look, I know it's hard to believe...

                         GARRY
                  (breaking in)
          So what's our problem?

                         BLAIR
          Well... there's still some cell
          activity... it's not entirely dead
          yet.

Several of the men nearest the carcasses jump back
knocking over a chair.

                                            CUT TO:

EXT.  COMPOUND - NIGHT - CLOSE ON THE DOG CARCASSES

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

                         FUCHS (O.S.)
                  (in violent
                   protestation)
          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.

                         MACREADY
          And the horse you rode in on, Fuchs.
                  (to Childs)
          Light it up.

Childs lights the tip.  Fuchs makes a determined move for
the torch.

                         FUCHS
          Well, I'm not going to let this
          happen...

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.

                         FUCHS
          I just can't believe it... We're
          going to go down as the biggest
          bunch of assholes in history...

                         MACREADY
          Fuck history.  At least we're going
          to live to be an old bunch of
          assholes.

                                            CUT TO:

INT.  KENNEL - NIGHT

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

                         BLAIR
                  (perplexed, bothered)
          Clark, did you notice anything
          strange about that dog?  Just
          anything at all?  Any little thing?

                         CLARK
          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.

                         BLAIR
          That night?

                         CLARK
                  (pets dog vigorously)
          Yeah.

                         BLAIR
          What was he doing in the rec room?

                         CLARK
          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.

                         BLAIR
          Well, where was he?  Where did he
          go?

                         CLARK
          Don't know.  Looked for him for a
          bit... couldn't find him.

                         BLAIR
                  (a long beat)
          You're saying he wasn't put into the
          kennel until the night?

Clark seems uneasy under Blair's intense gaze.

                         CLARK
          Well... yeah.

Blair stands, his eyes still glued to Clark.

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

                         CLARK
          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.

                         CLARK
          What the hell you looking at me like
          that for?

                         BLAIR
          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.

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

                         GARRY
          Anybody sick?

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

Garry stops at the entrance to the communications room.

                         GARRY
          Any luck yet?

Sanchez shrugs.

                         SANCHEZ
          Couple seconds of an Argentine disco
          station.

                         GARRY
          Well, stick with it.  I want you at
          it round the clock.  We got to get
          help in here...

                         BLAIR
                  (alarm)
          No... No, you can't let anyone in
          here... That dog was all over this
          camp...

Bennings interrupts, entering the hallway, referring to
his meteorological chart.

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

                         FUCHS
          ... Goddamn fools...

The men outside come stomping through the hallway.

                         BLAIR
                  (pleading)
          Listen to me, Garry.  Please...

                         GARRY
                  (to MacReady)
          If the weather clears enough before
          we reach anybody -- I'm sending you
          and Doc up to MacMurdo...

             BLAIR                      MACREADY
    No!  You can't let         I ain't going anywhere
    people leave...            in anything over forty
                               knots, Garry...

                         GARRY
                  (snapping)
          The hell you won't, MacReady!

                         BLAIR
          Don't you understand?!  That Thing
          didn't want to become a dog...

                         GARRY
                  (fed up)
          Damn you, Blair!  You've already got
          everybody half-hysterical around
          here.

                         BLAIR
          You can't let anybody leave!

                         GARRY
          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, frightened.

                                            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.

                         MACREADY
          All set.

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

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         MACREADY
          Aw shit.

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

                         MACREADY
          Sorry, hon.

He reaches inside his ice bucket.  Empty.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         MACREADY
          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.

MACREADY

as he makes his way down with the aid of the steadying
ropes.  The clanking louder now.  He senses the direction.

MACREADY

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.

INT.  COMPOUND - MAIN ENTRANCE

Confusion.  Shouts.  MacReady enters.  He grabs Palmer as
he and Bennings rush by.

                         MACREADY
          What's...

                         PALMER
          Blair.  He's gone berserk.

                         BENNINGS
          He's in the radio room.  Got a gun.
          Beat on Sanchez something fierce.

HALLWAY - RADIO ROOM ENTRANCE

The men are on either side of the open radio room doorway.
Garry peeks his head in.  A gunshot blast forces him back.

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.

                         BLAIR
          Anybody interferes, I'll kill!
          Nobody's getting in or out of this
          camp...

HALLWAY

MacReady has joined the others.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         BLAIR
          ... 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 do!
                  (crunch)

BACK TO HALLWAY

                         NORRIS
          The back window.  A couple of us
          could maybe surprise him.

                         MACREADY
          Too damn dangerous.

BACK TO RADIO ROOM

                         BLAIR
          ... 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 us!

He brings the ax down hard on the radio.

BACK TO HALLWAY

Childs runs up, out of breath.

                         CHILDS
          He got both choppers and the
          tractor... I don't know how bad yet.

Garry readies his large .357 Magnum.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         BLAIR
          ... 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!

                         MACREADY
                  (humoring)
          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.

                         BLAIR
          No, you're not!  I don't trust any
          of you!

NORRIS

reaches the fuse box.  He opens it.

HALLWAY

MacReady readies the table like a shield.

                         MACREADY
          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 compound.

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.

                         BLAIR
          Why am I here?

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

                         MACREADY
          And mainly ours.

EXT.  SHACK

Fuchs and MacReady nail boards over the windows.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         MACREADY
          How you doin', old boy?

                         BLAIR
                  (softly)
          I don't know who to trust.

                         MACREADY
                  (humoring)
          Know what you mean, Blair.  Trust is
          a tough thing to come by these days.
          Just trust in the Lord.

                         BLAIR
                  (beat)
          Watch Clark.

                         MACREADY
          What?

                         BLAIR
          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.

                         SANCHEZ
          I'll see what I can do.  But they
          didn't teach me much about fixing
          these things.

Norris smiles and pats him comfortingly.

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

INT.  MESS HALL - MORNING

CLOSE ON A BUFFET OF EGGS, BACON, TOAST, ETC.

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

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.

                         CLARK
          The dogs...

                                            CUT TO:

INT.  THE KENNEL

Empty.  Clark and Garry examine the latch of the kennel
door.

                         GARRY
          Doesn't look broken.

                         CLARK
          No.  Door was wide open.  I know I
          latched it.

EXT.  COMPOUND ABOVE THE UNDERGROUND KENNEL

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

                         CLARK
          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
          gone?

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

                         MACREADY
          They couldn't have gotten that far
          in this weather.

Garry and several others turn to MacReady quizzically.

                         GARRY
          You're not thinking of going after
          them, are you?

                         MACREADY
          I am going after them.

                         NORRIS
          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.

                         PALMER
          Chopper aren't going to be ready for
          days.

MacReady hands his list to Bennings.

                         MACREADY
          Get these things out of supply and
          meet me over by the snowmobiles.

                         GARRY
          You're not going to catch them in
          one of those with the start they
          got.

                         MACREADY
          Palmer, how long would it take you
          to strap those big four-cylinder
          carburetors on?

                         PALMER
                  (grins)
          Oh, I got you.  Not too long.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         GARRY
                  (shouting after
                   them)
          Besides, what are you going to do
          when you catch up to them?

Bennings is reading MacReady's list.

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

EXT.  OUTDOOR WORK AREA - CLOSE ON THE BARREL

of the large torch.  A fierce stream of flame bursts from
its nozzle.

Pull back.  The stream has shot out some fifteen feet.
Childs has been modifying it.

                         CHILDS
          I can get maybe another five or six
          feet out of it.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         BENNINGS
          All right... Box of dynamite... box
          of thermite... three shotguns... box
          of flares... two flare guns...
          thirty cans gasoline... and a case
          of alcohol.

                         MACREADY
          Let's load 'em.

EXT.  ANTARCTICA - ICESCAPE

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

                                            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:

MACREADY

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.

                         CHILDS
          What is it?

MacReady follows the line of continuing dog tracks.

                         MACREADY
          Maybe dinner.

                         BENNINGS
          Dogs don't eat each other.

                         MACREADY
                  (beat)
          I know.

                         CHILDS
          Where's the other half?

                         MACREADY
          Probably the next meal.

MacReady moves to the snowmobile and grabs a two-gallon
can of gasoline.  He turns to Bennings.

                         MACREADY
          Where these tracks headed?

                         BENNINGS
          Nowhere... Just straight to the
          ocean.

A beat as MacReady takes this in.  He pours the gas over
the remains and sets it aflame.

                         MACREADY
          Let's move.

Childs and Bennings are not that anxious to continue.

                         CHILDS
          They could be hours ahead of us,
          Mac.

                         BENNINGS
          Gonna get dark soon, too.  Supposed
          to be fifty below tonight.

MacReady gets on and revs up the engine.

                         MACREADY
          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 spots:

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.

                         CHILDS
          Where's the other one?

Bennings surveys the tops of the snow bluffs that encircle
them with his flashlight.

                         MACREADY
                  (to dog)
          Where's your buddy, boy?  Huh?

No response.  MacReady searches the near vicinity with his
light.  All three are growing uneasy.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         MACREADY
          Childs!!

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.

BENNINGS

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.

                         MACREADY
                  (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.

                         CHILDS
          What we going to do?!

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         MACREADY
          Torch them!!

                         CHILDS
          But...

                         MACREADY
          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 subside.

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.

                         CLARK
          ... I'm telling you I don't remember
          leaving the kennel unlatched...

Childs is holding the industrial torch directly in his
face.

                         CHILDS
          Bullshit!  You left it open so they
          could get out!

EXT.  TRASH DUMP

MacReady, waist-deep in trash and snow, searches for
something.

INT.  REC ROOM

The interrogation continues.

                         CLARK
          ... Would I even have told you they
          were gone if I had anything to hide?

                         GARRY
          But why didn't you kennel that dog
          right away?

                         CLARK
          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.

                         CHILDS
          Don't you be telling me...

Nauls steps between them.

                         NAULS
                  (to Childs)
          Lighten your load, sucker.  You
          ain't the judge and executioner
          around here!

                         CHILDS
          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.

                         GARRY
          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
discomfort.

                         NORRIS
          It's just too damn wild -- I can't
          believe it.

MacReady pushes his sombrero back over his head.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         MACREADY
          Size large.
                  (grins)
          What do you wear, Clark?

Clark stews.

                         CLARK
          So what?

                         NORRIS
          I wear a size large, too.

                         MACREADY
          So do I.  So do most of us.

The uneasiness in the room grows.

                         MACREADY
          Doubt if it got to more than one or
          two of us.  But it got to someone.
                  (beat)
          Somebody in this room ain't what he
          appears to be.

A pause as all eyes travel from man to man.

                         SANCHEZ
                  (scared)
          Well, what we going to do?

Norris turns to Dr. Copper and Fuchs.

                         NORRIS
          Can there be... some kind of test?
          To find out who's what?

                         DR. COPPER
          A serum test possibly.

                         FUCHS
          Right.  Why not?

                         GARRY
          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.

                         CHILDS
          Whose uncontaminated blood we going
          to use?

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

                         GARRY
          How long will it take you to prepare
          this?

                         DR. COPPER
          A couple of hours.

                         GARRY
          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.

                         PALMER
          How's that Thing get to the dogs?  I
          though we stopped it in time.

                         MACREADY
          Copper thinks they swallowed pieces
          of it during the fight.

                         PALMER
          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 it.

                         NAULS
          Oh, my God.

A horrified silence.

                         MACREADY
          Was it broken into?

                         FUCHS
          No.  Somebody opened it.  Closed it.
          And then locked it.

Sanchez twitches, terrified.

                         MACREADY
          Well, who's got access to it?

                         DR. COPPER
          I guess I'm the only one.

                         GARRY
          And I've got the only key.   

Several pairs of eyes turn to Garry.

                         MACREADY
          Would that test have worked?

                         DR. COPPER
          I think so.

                         NORRIS
          Somebody else sure as hell thought
          so.

                         MACREADY
          Who else could have used that key?

                         GARRY
          Ah... no one... I give it to Copper
          when he needs it...

                         MACREADY
          Could anyone have gotten it from
          you?

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

                         NORRIS
          When was the last time you used it?

                         DR. COPPER
                  (uneasy)
          A day or so ago... I guess.

Garry senses the nervous and inquiring eyes on him.

                         GARRY
          I suppose... well, it's possible
          someone might have lifted it from
          me.  But...

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

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

Silence as the men continue to stare.  Sanchez is
perspiring.

                         GARRY
          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...

                         FUCHS
          And the Doc thought of the test.

                         CHILDS
                  (anger)
          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.

                         GARRY
          Hey, Sanchez!

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:

SANCHEZ

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.  Locked.

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.

                         GARRY
          Put that down!

                         SANCHEZ
                  (trembling)
          No.

                         GARRY
          I'll put this right through your
          head.

No one doubts Garry's sincerity.

                         SANCHEZ
          You guys going to let him give
          orders?  I mean he could be one of
          those Things.

The other regard Garry tensely.  No one oblivious to the
fact, that Sanchez just might be right.

                         MACREADY
                  (calm)
          Put it away, Sanchez.  Just put it
          away.

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.

                         GARRY
          I don't know about Copper.  But I
          didn't go near that plasma...
                  (beat)
          But I guess you'll all rest easier
          if someone else is in charge.

He hands his gun to Norris.

                         GARRY
          Can't see anyone objecting to you,
          Norris.

                         NORRIS
          Sorry, gentlemen...
                  (rubs chest)
          ... Don't think I'd be up to it.
          Haven't been feeling well lately.

Childs goes for the gun.

                         CHILDS
          I'll take it...

MacReady beats him to it.

                         MACREADY
          Maybe it should be someone a bit
          more even-tempered, Childs.

Childs glares.

                         MACREADY
                  (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.

                         MACREADY
          ... From what we know this Thing
          likes to go one on one.  So we stick
          together as much as possible.  In
          two's and three's.

Childs points to Garry, Dr. Copper and Clark.

                         CHILDS
          What do we do about those three?

                         MACREADY
          We got morphine, don't we.

Fuchs nods.

                         MACREADY
          Well, we keep them loaded.  Stash
          them here in the rec room and watch
          'em twenty-four hours.

                         PALMERS
                  (ears perk up)
          Morphine?  You know I was pretty
          close to that dog, too.

Palmer is ignored.

                         NORRIS
          We should sleep in shifts.

                         MACREADY
          Right.  Half of us awake at all
          times.

                         SANCHEZ
          How we going to try and find out
          who's... you know, who's who?

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

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

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

Dr. Copper eyes his accuser solemnly.

                         MACREADY
          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
          'em.

                                            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 helicopter.

He frowns, searching for something.

                         PALMER
                  (mumbles)
          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.

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

EXT.  COMPOUND

MacReady and Sanchez are foraging through the trash dump.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         NAULS
          That thing's too smart to be hiding
          any more of its clothes, MacReady.

                         MACREADY
          Just keep looking.

INT.  LAB

Fuchs is poring over a book.  Several others lie open on
his desk.

MacReady pokes his head in the lab.

                         MACREADY
          How's it going?

                         FUCHS
          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.

                         MACREADY
          Gotchya.

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.

                         PALMER
          Childs, where's that magneto from
          Chopper One?

                         CHILDS
          Ain't it there?

He passes by.

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

                         MACREADY
          Move it, Palmer.

INT.  SUPPLY STORAGE ROOM

Palmer sets down the heavy part.  Norris follows him
inside with a bundle of radio gear.  They move back out
into the hallway.  MacReady locks the door behind them.

HALLWAY

The three move down the hall toward their appointed
rendezvous at the rec room.

                         MACREADY
                  (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.

                         NAULS
          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 crazed.

                         NAULS
          What you doin'?

                         BLAIR
          Nobody's getting in here.  You can
          tell them all that!

                         NAULS
          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.

                         NAULS
          Now why'd you go and...

                         BLAIR
          And I don't want any more food with
          sedatives in it.  I know what you're
          up to.  Don't think I don't.  And if
          anyone tries to get in here -- I've
          got rope.  I'll hang myself before
          it gets to me.

                         NAULS
          You promise?

Nauls picks up the tray, heads back mumbling.

                         NAULS
          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.

                         CLARK
          Gotta go to the can, Childs.

Childs follows him to the other end of the room.

                         CHILDS
          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.

                         CHILDS
          Oh, no.

The lights go out.  Nauls calls from the kitchen.

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

                         CHILDS
          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.

                         CHILDS
          Cut that out, Copper.
                  (beat)
          Nauls?  What's taking you?!

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

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

                         NAULS (O.S.)
          It's shorted out or something!

                         CHILDS
                  (shouting)
          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.

                         CHILDS
          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 compound.

INT.  REC ROOM

Childs jerks his head around in different directions.

                         CHILDS
          Where are you, Garry?  Don't you
          move an inch, Copper.
                  (shouts)
          Nauls, bring me a goddamn
          flashlight!

INT.  KITCHEN

Pitch black.

                         NAULS
          Somebody's taken it.  I can't find
          it!

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

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.

                         MACREADY
                  (shouting)
          What's happened?!

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

                         MACREADY
          Yeah!

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

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

                         CHILDS (O.S.)
          MacReady!

                         MACREADY
          What?

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

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

                         CHILDS (O.S.)
          Gee, thanks!

INT.  GENERATOR ROOM

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

                         MACREADY
          Where's Sanchez?

Both look around.  Sanchez is gone.  Palmer's light finds
the motionless generator.  He examines it.

                         PALMER
          The fuel pump... it's gone...
                  (frantic)
          You've got to get up to supply, Mac.
          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 back.

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.

                         MACREADY
          Who... Who is that?

The silhouette moves on down the hallway.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         PALMER
          Somebody definitely messed with it.

                         MACREADY
          We going to make it?

                         PALMER
          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.

                         SANCHEZ
          Where were the flashlights?

                         MACREADY
          Screw the flashlights.  Where the
          hell were you?

                         PALMER
          Tons of stuff's been missing around
          here.  Magnetos, cables, wire...

                         NAULS
          Kitchen things, too...

                         MACREADY
          Anybody see Fuchs... or hear him...?
          Huh?

No answer as the men's faces roam the room.  Childs glares
at Garry as he begins to tie him in.

                         CHILDS
          Where'd you go?

Garry's groggy features stare blankly.

                         CHILDS
          I said where?  Where'd you go?!

                         GARRY
          Was dark... find a light...

                         CHILDS
          You lying bastard...

Garry struggles to his feet, affronted.

                         GARRY
                  (slurring)
          I rather don't like your tone...

He grabs Childs by the collar.

                         CHILDS
          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.

                         NORRIS
          Enough...

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.

                         MACREADY
          That storm's going to start ripping
          any minute -- so we don't have much
          time.

He thrusts one of the blowtorches hard into Childs'
stomach.

                         MACREADY
          We've got to find Fuchs.  When we
          find him -- we kill him.

                         SANCHEZ
          Why?

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         MACREADY
          Sanchez, you and Palmer search the
          inside...

                         PALMER
          I ain't going with Sanchez.

Sanchez snaps his head toward Palmer.  Palmer looks at the
others.

                         PALMER
          I ain't going with him.  I'll go
          with Childs...

                         SANCHEZ
          Well, screw you, man!

                         PALMER
          I ain't going with you!

                         CHILDS
          Well, who says I want you going with
          me?!

                         MACREADY
          Cut the bullshit... Okay, Sanchez,
          you come with us.  Norris... you
          stay here...
                  (refers to tied-up
                   men)
          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
          regardless.
                  (a beat)
          And everybody watch whoever you're
          with.  Real close.

The men survey each other.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         PALMER
          What'd we ever do to these Things
          anyway...

Childs freezes and snaps his head around facing Palmer.  A
beat.

                         PALMER
          What?

                         CHILDS
          Don't walk behind me.

Another beat.

                         PALMER
          Right.

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.

                         MACREADY
          Hey, Blair!!

Blair jumps in fear, spilling his can.

                         MACREADY
          Has Fuchs been out here?

Blair approaches the boarded-up window.  He looks haggard
and afraid.

                         BLAIR
          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.

                         MACREADY
          Have you come across Fuchs?

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

                         MACREADY
          We'll see...

He and Nauls trudges off.  Blair shouts after them.

                         BLAIR
          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.

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

                         DR. COPPER
                  (yawning)
          After all this mess then.

                         NORRIS
                  (nodding)
          After all this mess.

EXT.  COMPOUND - THE SLOPE TO MACREADY'S SHACK

The winds are thick and vicious now.  MacReady and Nauls
pull themselves along the rope fighting their way up the
slope.  A violent gust sends MacReady's body horizontal,
but still hanging onto the rope.  The wind slaps him back
down.  His flare and torch tumble back toward Nauls.
Nauls saves the torch from rolling down the hill.

MacReady, lying vulnerable, watches Nauls pull his way
toward him.  He tenses.  Nauls reaches him.  A beat.  He
hands back his torch.  Relieved, MacReady pulls himself
upright.

INT.  COMPOUND - KITCHEN - CLOSE ON THICK POWER CABLES

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

                         PALMER
          Auxiliary light cables...?  Been
          cut.

                         CHILDS
          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.

                         NAULS
                  (shouting to be
                   heard)
          Where's the roof?!

MacReady stares up incredulous, as they advance through
the room.

                         NAULS
          This storm do that?

                         MACREADY
                  (shouting)
          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.

                         NAULS
          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.  Nervous.

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.

                         CHILDS
          My babies.

They enter.  The light from the hall exposes the
completely smashed-in window high above the plants.  The
plants look frozen.

                         PALMER
          Somebody broke in.

                         CHILDS
          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.

                         PALMER
          Childs!!

                         CHILDS
          Let go of me...

                         PALMER
          Don't get near 'em.  The plants!
          They're alive.  Those things can
          imitate anything...

                         CHILDS
          What's it going to do, being a
          plant?

Palmer readies his small torch.

                         PALMER
          We got to burn 'em.

                         CHILDS
          Now hold on, you dumb...

Palmer sprays them with flame.  Childs pushes him to the
ground, and tries to swat out the fire.

                         CHILDS
          You stupid, sonofa...

Palmer, his mouth agape with terror, screams and points to
the closing door to their rear.  Childs whirls.

FUCHS

One arm outstretched, swings into view.  An ax, embedded
deep into his chest, pins his frozen body to the inside of
the door.

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.

                         SANCHEZ
          Whoever put this through him...

Sanchez observes Childs' hulking frame and adds pointedly:

                         SANCHEZ
          ... is one bad-ass and strong
          muther.

                         CHILDS
          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 walk.

                         PALMER
          Why didn't it imitate Fuchs?  Isn't
          that its number -- to get more
          recruits.

                         CHILDS
          Wasn't enough time.  Generator was
          out, what...?  Thirty minutes.
          Takes the bastards an hour, maybe
          two to absorb somebody.

                         SANCHEZ
          Why Fuchs?

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

                                            CUT TO:

INT.  COMPOUND - CLOSE ON PALMER'S FACE

shouting down a passageway.

                         PALMER
          MacReady!!

CLOSE ON CHILDS

bellowing.

                         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.

                         CHILDS
          How long they been out now?

                         NORRIS
          Forty... Forty-five minutes.

Silence, as the uneasy eyes measure one another.

                         CHILDS
          We better start closing off the
          outside hatchways.

VARIOUS ANGLES OF THE COMPOUND

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

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

INT.  COMPOUND MAIN HALLWAY - POINT OF VIEW - THE MEN

Through the fogged-up windows, a figure can be seen
approaching the main compound.  It pulls and drags its way
along the guide rope, fighting the gale force winds.

                                            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.

                         PALMER
          Where's MacReady?

Nauls weighs each of them ominously, while digging down
underneath his heavy jacket.

                         NAULS
          Cut him loose of the line up by his
          shack.

                         CHILDS
          Cut him loose?

                         NAULS
          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.

                         NAULS
          ... It was stashed in his old coal
          furnace... wind must have dislodged
          it... I don't think he saw me find
          it.

The men continue to examine in various states of
disbelief.

                         NAULS
          ... Made sure I got ahead of him on
          the towline on the way back... cut
          him loose.

                         SANCHEZ
                  (incredulous)
          MacReady...?

                         NAULS
          He's one of them.

                         SANCHEZ
                  (scared)
          When do you think it got to him?

                         PALMER
          Could have been anytime.  Anywhere.

                         CHILDS
                  (to Nauls,
                   suspicious)
          If it did get to him.

                         NAULS
          Look, man...

                         PALMER
          When the lights went out...

                         NORRIS
          Would have been a perfect time...

                         PALMER
          Right.  Garry was missing...
                  (pointedly)
          ... And Sanchez...

                         SANCHEZ
                  (goes for him)
          Fuck you, Palmer.

Childs and Norris separate them.

                         NORRIS
          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.  Fear.

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

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

The men keep their voices low.

                         PALMER
          Let's open it.

                         CHILDS
          Hell no.

More pounding.

                         SANCHEZ
                  (shaking)
          You think he's changed into one of
          those Things?

                         NORRIS
          He hasn't had enough time.

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

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

                         PALMER
          Let's open it.  Now...

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

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

                         CHILDS
          No.  Just let him freeze out there.

                         SANCHEZ
                  (voice cracking)
          What if we're wrong about him?

                         CHILDS
          Then we're wrong.

The muffled breaking of a window down the hall.  The men
turn.

                         PALMER
          The supply window!

                         SANCHEZ
                  (terror)
          What we going to...

                         NORRIS
          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.

                         MACREADY
          What's going on out there?

HALLWAY

Palmer stands by as Childs tries the knob.  Locked.

                         CHILDS
          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

                         MACREADY
          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
darkness.

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

                         MACREADY
          What clothes?

                         CHILDS (O.S.)
          You been made, MacReady.

Childs chops away.  MacReady desperately continues
rummaging through the supplies.

                         MACREADY
          Someone's trying to mark me, you
          bastard... trying to frame me.

HALLWAY

Childs cautions to Palmer as he prepares for one last
blow.

                         CHILDS
          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.

                         MACREADY
          Anyone messes with me -- the whole
          camp goes.

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

                         MACREADY
          Put those torches on the floor and
          back off.

They do.  He follows them out into the hall.

HALLWAY

The men step backwards carefully.

                         MACREADY
          ... back way off.

They heed, retreating further down the hall.  MacReady
glances behind him.

                         MACREADY
          ... 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:

                         MACREADY
          So help me I mean it!!

They skid to a halt.  Nauls crawls away, quickly.

                         NAULS
          It's cool, man.  We ain't near you,
          man... Stay cool...

                         PALMER
          Yeah, man, really.  Just relax.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         NAULS
          I don't think he's breathing.

Nauls listens to Norris' chest.  MacReady stands.

                         MACREADY
          Go untie the Doc.  Get him in here.
          Bring the others, too...
                  (grins menacingly)
          From now on no one gets out of my
          sight.

                                            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.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         MACREADY
          ... Ever occur to the jury that
          anybody could have gotten to some of
          my clothes and stuck them up...

                         CHILDS
          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.

                         CHILDS
                  (to MacReady,
                   threatening)
          You're going to have to sleep
          sometime.

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

Sanchez depresses the "on" button.

                         DR. COPPER
          Now hold him.

                         MACREADY
          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,
          Sanchez...

Buzzz.  Several more jolts from the prongs.  Clark's hand
has found a scalpel.  He gently lifts it out, bringing it
to his side.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         SANCHEZ
          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.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         CLARK
          What you got in mind, MacReady?

                         MACREADY
          A little test.

                         PALMER
          What kind of test?

                         MACREADY
          I'm sure a lot of you already know.

He tosses a ream of steel cable and some rope to Palmer.

                         MACREADY
          Palmer, you and Copper tie everyone
          down.  Real tight.

                         CHILDS
          What for?

                         MACREADY
          For your health.

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

                         MACREADY
          Damn if I won't.

                         CHILDS
                  (a beat)
          You ain't tying me up.

                         MACREADY
          Then I'll have to kill you.

                         CHILDS
          Then kill me.

MacReady points the .44 at Childs' head.

                         MACREADY
          I mean it.

MacReady cocks his gun.  Childs holds his ground.

                         CHILDS
          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.

                         MACREADY
          Tie up Clark, too.

                         PALMER
                  (bemused)
          He's dead.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         CHILDS
                  (muttering)
          We should have jumped his ass.

                         MACREADY
          Now Copper, you tie Palmer up.

Copper starts to tie Palmer to the small couch next to
Childs and Garry.

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

                         NAULS
          What are you going to do?  Drink it?

                         MACREADY
          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:

SANCHEZ

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.

                         MACREADY
          Now you.

Copper cuts his thumb, his blood dribbles onto the plate.
He stands nervously for a beat.

                         MACREADY
          Slide it back here.

Copper pushes it toward MacReady.

                         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 burner.

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.

                         MACREADY
          I guess you're okay.

                         DR. COPPER
                  (shaken, facetious)
          Thank you.

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

He hands Copper the torch.

                         MACREADY
          Watch them.

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

                         MACREADY
          Now I'll show you what I already
          know.

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.

                         CHILDS
          Load of bullshit.

                         MACREADY
          We'll see.  Let's try Clark.

He heats the wire and lays it in Clark's dish.  The
hissing.

                         CHILDS
          So Clark was human, huh?

MacReady nods.

                         CHILDS
          So that make you a murderer.

MacReady glances over the group.

                         MACREADY
          Palmer now.

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

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

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         MACREADY
          Copper!!

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:

MACREADY

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.

CHILDS

sits stoicly, while he watches the preparations for his
turn.

                         CHILDS
          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.

                         CHILDS
          Muthafu...

ALL EYES

snap towards station manager Garry.  Childs, suddenly
realizing who he is sitting next to, squirms.

                         CHILDS
          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.

GARRY

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.

Hisssss.

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 face.

A long silence.  Sanchez weeps quietly with relief.

                         GARRY
          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 Childs.

                         NAULS
          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.

                         MACREADY
                  (almost a whisper)
          Blair...

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
unfinished.

                         NAULS
          What is it?

                         MACREADY
          Everything that's been missing.

                         CHILDS
          Spaceship of some kind.

                         MACREADY
          Smart S.O.B.  He put it together
          piece by piece.

                         NAULS
          Where was he trying to go?

                         MACREADY
          Anyplace but here.

MacReady pulls out a dozen tightly wrapped sticks of
dynamite.

                         MACREADY
          But he ain't going to make it.

Far off, amidst the howling gale -- the screeching.  The
men jump.  MacReady lights the fuse, as they make it to
the exit.  He tosses it in.

EXT.  COMPOUND ALONG THE ROPE

The explosion echoes behind them.  The men pull along.
Their heads jerk in circles, searching into the blackness.

Some twenty yards to their rear something swooshes down,
severing the line.  The wind sends the men tumbling along
the ice.  Childs loosens the line and is blown away,
rolling out 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:

INT.  REC ROOM - CLOSE ON SANCHEZ

pouring gasoline into empty bottles, preparing Molotov
cocktails.

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 feverishly.

Nauls rushes in with another box of dynamite.

                         NAULS
          What about Childs?

                         MACREADY
          Forget about Childs.  He's over.

Nauls begins cutting the wicks off the dynamite.

                         GARRY
          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.

                         SANCHEZ
          What if it doesn't come?

                         MACREADY
          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.

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

                         NAULS
                  (protest)
          You crazy?  He might be inside
          already?

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         SANCHEZ
          He might just wait us out.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         MACREADY
          We've got portable heaters -- we'll
          last longer.

Sanchez and Nauls start to leave.

                         MACREADY
          ... Hold it.

He dispenses the capsules.

                         MACREADY
          Sodium cyanide.  We place them
          between our cheeks and gums... This
          Thing can't imitate anything that's
          dead.

A grim silence.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         MACREADY
          Looks good.

                         GARRY
          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 outlet.

Sanchez hears a quiet purring, bubbling sound.  He turns
to Nauls.

                         SANCHEZ
          You hear that?

                         NAULS
          Hear what?

A blaring.  They whip their attention to stereo speakers
on either side of the kitchen.  Rock music screams out.
Top volume.

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, thunders.

INT.  KITCHEN

Nauls, in sudden realization, screams over the din and
points back in the direction they came.

                         NAULS
          It's got into the pub!  It's turned
          on the stereo!

                         SANCHEZ
          What?!

                         NAULS
          It's in between us and them!!  How
          we going to get back?!

                         SANCHEZ
          Can't hear you.

INT.  REC ROOM

MacReady, cursing, rips the speakers off the wall.

                         MACREADY
          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
heard.

                         GARRY
          What's he saying?

INT.  KITCHEN - NAULS

at the top of his lungs...

                         NAULS
          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 music.

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.

                         MACREADY
          Got to get to the generator.

He opens the door.  Looks down the hall.  No one.  The
speakers -- blaring music.

NAULS

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 mouth.

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.

                         NAULS
          Get back!!

                         MACREADY
          The generator!

                         NAULS
          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.

                         NAULS
          Got Sanchez... World War Three
          wouldn't mess with this fucker...
          Can go through walls... And it's
          like all over the place...

                         MACREADY
          Calm down and get in your position.

                         NAULS
          Position, my ass...

Garry fiddles with the two generators.

                         GARRY
          I'm going to bump this up, much as I
          can.

                         NAULS
          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.

                         GARRY
          How long's it been?

                         MACREADY
          Little over two hours.

                         NAULS
          Maybe it ain't coming.

                         MACREADY
          Then we go after him.

                         NAULS
          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.

                         MACREADY
          Wait...

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.
Grotesque.

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 switch.

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.  LAD 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.

                         MACREADY
          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.

Boom.

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 on.

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
          boy.

MACREADY

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.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         MACREADY
          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 fingers.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         MACREADY
          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.

                         MACREADY
          But your real hang up is your
          looks...

A stronger tremor.  The adrenalin pumps.

                         MACREADY
                  (wants him bad)
          Atta boy.  I know you're around.

The floor shakes.  MacReady stands, his head whirling
around the room.

                         MACREADY
          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
considerably.

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.

                         CHILDS
          Did you kill it?

He looks as weak as MacReady.  A beat.

                         MACREADY
          I think so.

                         CHILDS
          What do you mean "you think so?"

Both men speak guardedly and stare at each other
suspiciously.

                         MACREADY
          Yeah.  I got it.
                  (refers to Childs'
                   condition)
          Pretty mean frostbite.

Childs steps back, keeping his distance.  He indicates his
puffy white hand.

                         CHILDS
          It'll turn black again soon enough.
          Then I guess I'll be losing the
          whole thing...
                  (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.

                         CHILDS
          So you're the only one who made it.

MacReady begins setting up a non-electronic chessboard.

                         MACREADY
          Not the only one.

                         CHILDS
          The fire's got the temperature way
          up all over camp... won't last long
          though.

                         MACREADY
          Neither will we.

                         CHILDS
          Maybe we should try and fix the
          radio... try and get some help.

                         MACREADY
          Maybe we shouldn't.

                         CHILDS
          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.

                         MACREADY
          Maybe we shouldn't make it.

                         CHILDS
                  (beat)
          If you're worried about anything,
          let's take that blood test of yours.

                         MACREADY
          If we've got any surprises for each
          other -- we shouldn't be in any
          condition to do anything about it.
                  (beat)
          You play chess?

They regard each other for a moment.  Childs painfully
sits down across from MacReady.

                         CHILDS
          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

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