For TRUCKERS AND TRACKERS, ON AIR invited screenwriter Mark Johnson to
crossbreed key genre sources, such as Bill Lancaster’s THE THING screenplay
and Dan O’Bannon’s original script for ALIEN, with themes from his own work.
The blend of fascination and horror evoked by the idea of a “close encounter” is arguably rooted in the fear of the uncontrollable other. In movies, this phobia tips into survivalist hysteria when the confrontation is confined to an inescapable place, such as a spaceship (Alien) or a lonely Antarctic research facility (The Thing). These claustrophobic locations
function ideally as metaphors for the human body and mind.
When “some thing” penetrates this human territory, a being with the capacity to violate
and transform the human body, the panic reaction is to isolate, quarantine, eradicate.
But who carries the threat? Who should be locked-up, re-categorized, terminated?
And how can anyone be sure the threat won’t return?