LOUISVILLE LOVES HORROR #21: Daniel Tilford of Dry Summers LOVES The Thing (1982)

Over the last two years, indie rock band Dry Summers have released a pair of excellent records that have both maintained a consistent spot in my ongoing rotation. Most recently, the band released OIII, a more vocally driven collection of six songs each boasting a sort of beachy vibe that I usually get from bands like Real Estate(read my review here).

Dry Summers singer/guitarist Daniel Tilford is the next contributor to our on ongoing daily LOUISVILLE LOVES HORROR series where various members of Louisville’s music community write about a personal connection they have to one of their favorite scary movies. He’s a pretty big film fanatic, so asking him to participate was a no brainer. He actually has a new monthly podcast called Under The Influence where he, alongside two friends do drunk commentary tracks for movies that are voted on by their listeners. They have a Halloween episode on the way featuring a commentary on  Stephen King’s Maximum Overdrive which will be released before the end of the month. Go here to subscribe on iTunes.

Read on as Daniel, in his own words talks about an early 80’s John Carpenter classic that in his eyes, never gets old…


Jesus, Phillip. One movie? That’s so hard.

My first instinct was to maybe talk about something that was a little more obscure so I could turn people onto something they hadn’t heard of yet, or had maybe passed over. Your Martin‘s, your Vampire’s Kiss, your Peeping Tom’s. But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I should just talk about what horror movie I’ve just flat out seen the most, the one I keep coming back to, and which just doesn’t ever seem to get old to me: which has to be John Carpenter’s The Thing.

The only two horror movies I end up coming back to perennially are The Thing and Cronenberg’s The Fly. They’re both just incredibly effective and creepy movies, so it was a real coin toss as to which one I’d talk about, but…. I mean… that fucking dog monster, right. I mean, come on…

I know Allen Poe already talked about Halloween, so there’s been some talk about Carpenter already, but what an interesting and singular director. He brought the micro budget slasher pic into the mainstream in ‘78, and then 4 years later, made one of the most impressive, visually bonkers big budget sci fi/horror movies this side of Alien. And from a little ol’ Kentucky boy no less!

It’s such a bummer that this movie did so terribly at the box office, cause I feel like we were robbed of Carpenter going further down the rabbit hole in this vein. I mean, I wouldn’t want to exist in a world without Big Trouble in Little China or They Live, but still I would love to have seen him do some other big, balls out creature feature movies like this one.

Speaking of: the practical effects in this film are just mesmerizing. I can’t think of any other film that creates such a distinct, terrifying and believable world, and then fills it with such insanity. And because the story is told so effectively and the actors are so believable, we can believe in all of the what-the-fuckery of the “alien” and his various mutations.

…And the characters. I mean. Kurt. Fucking. Russell. It’s crazy to think that he was just a Disney child actor a few years before his partnership with Carpenter. He’s such a badass; and sells every line with the dick swinging confidence of the heir apparent to John Wayne he truly was at that time. And Keith David! Shit. Not to give anything away, but the final scene with Kurt and Keith is just so perfect. It’s just so dark and funny. I always just find myself laughing right along with them.

As Joe Bob Briggs would say: we got 22 dead bodies, 3 dead dogs, Defibrillator fu, hand-in-chest chomping fu, Flame thrower fu, head spider fu, poison blood attack, and all kind of body goo fu. 5 stars.