John Carpenter Took His Cast Into The Cold To Make The Thing Less ‘Boring’

Weeks later, filming resumed in British Columbia where the daily outdoor temperatures reflected the story’s bleak conditions. How cold was it? It was so cold and isolated that, as Carpenter told LA Weekly, “Everybody was eager to do whatever I wanted in order to get out of there.”

Masur, who wasn’t used to such frigid surroundings but decided that his character Clark was, went without some of his arctic gear for rehearsals and often lost feeling in his extremities as a result. But the fraternity among the cast was as thick as a glacier, and star Kurt Russell, who plays helicopter pilot R.J. MacReady in the film, gave Masur as warm a welcome as you can get in that part of the world — a process known as “Hyderizing,” named after the Alaskan inn that serves a unique warming agent. As he explained to LA Weekly:

“So we got into the Hyder Inn, and we’re the only two people there. Kurt says to the bartender, ‘My friend here needs to get Hyderized.’ The guy brings this little 4 oz. juice glass, and he fills it with white liquid. You have to blow it back in one shot and then turn it over on the bar. Then the bartender rubs the glass around on the bar, picks the glass up and lights it on fire. The glass explodes instantly because it was full of pure grain alcohol. Your head explodes after the booze hits your stomach. You’re s***-faced drunk almost immediately, especially if you’ve been working all day and haven’t eaten in several hours.”

The two-mile walk back to base camp was freezing cold, but Masur, fully loaded, didn’t feel a thing. It’s no wonder why MacReady kept his whiskey bottle close.

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