The Thing's Special Effects Were So Convincing The Crew Had To Prove That No Animals Were Harmed

John Carpenter is a legendary horror director. As the creative powerhouse behind "Halloween," one of the most influential slasher films ever made, it's hard to discredit Carpenter's revolutionary work. Another classic that this iconic director brought to life is 1982's "The Thing." Known as one of the best creature feature films ever made, fans still debate the film's ending to this day.

Despite "The Thing" originally flopping, it still holds up, partly thanks to the incredible special effects that went into bringing the mysterious parasite monster to life. Considering the film is over 40 years old, those who haven't seen "The Thing" might assume it looks its age. While some of the effects showcased might look dated, overall, the film still looks incredible for its age. At the time of its release, though, the magic that brought the film's monsters to life was even more realistic to audiences. In fact, the crew was even forced to prove that no animals were harmed during the making of the movie.

At the beginning of the film, a Norwegian helicopter is seen chasing down what looks like a completely normal sled dog across Antarctica. They approach an American research facility and the pilot is shot because the Americans misunderstand the pilot's intentions. Afterward, the researchers put the dog in their kennel. Once left alone, the sled dog, which is not a dog, absorbs the other dogs in the kennel, transforming into a horrifying monster.

Some thought this disturbing scene maimed real dogs

The scene where the Thing assimilates the other dogs in the kennel was graphic. Not only did the infected dog's face split open like a Demogorgon from "Stranger Things," its whole body burst open, sprouting tentacles and spider-like limbs from its back. As it assimilated the other dogs, it morphed into a barely recognizable furless monstrosity. The scene in question also showed the details of how it took control of the other dogs and showed one of them being shot in the chest with a shotgun. Eventually, a flame thrower was brought in to torch the monster.

Apparently, the scene was so realistic at the time that The Humane Society got involved because they were convinced that actual dogs were being harmed on set to produce the final results. The film crew was forced to allow their set to be inspected and also show The Humane Society the rigs and setups they used to create the special effects.'s Josh Weiss wrote a lengthy but intriguing article for the 40th anniversary of the movie that discussed the cast and crew's history working on the film. The Syfy article quotes many individuals, including Craig Miller, a publicity consultant who worked on the film. He said that The Human Society thought they were, "doing terrible things to real dogs. We had to bring them in and show them the mechanisms so that they would get it wasn't real."