Thaw, The

A scientist (Val Kilmer) finds a wooly mammoth frozen in the ice, which has thinned out because of global warming. When a group of college students visits the remote science station to check it out, they soon learn that the mammoth had been infected with dormant parasites — bug-like critters that feast on warm-blooded flesh.

  • Starring: Val Kilmer, William B. Davis
  • Director(s): Mark A. Lewis
  • Producer(s): Trent Carlson, Andria Spring
  • Screenwriter(s): Mark A. Lewis, Michael Lewis
  • Distributor: Lions Gate
  • Animal Coordinator: Creative Animal Talent
  • Release Date: Tuesday, October 06, 2009
  • Rating: Outstanding

Featured Animal Action

The Polar Bear

A polar bear eats meat off the ground while standing on a chunk of snow on a grassy plain. A man shoots a dart at the bear, which wobbles and runs toward him. Moments later, the bear appears unconscious on the ground. Men approach it and pull out the dart. The number of cast and crew members allowed on the set were limited and were instructed to keep a safe distance from the polar bear. Trainers brought the bear to the set a day early to get it acclimated to its surroundings. A roast had been placed on the bear's mark before filming. Trainers walked the bear to its mark on a pile of shaved ice, under which the roast was buried, and then let the bear eat at liberty. Trainers then used flags and verbal cues to get the bear to run toward the camera, where it was rewarded with salmon and donuts, the bear's favorite treats. A hotline wire surrounded the entire set as a precaution, but the polar bear stayed focused on the food the whole time. Deer fencing was also placed around the perimeter to keep out other wild animals.

The tranquilized bear and later, the infected and bloody dead bear, was a prop, which the production provided documentation for.

American Humane also monitored another polar bear scene that was cut from the theatrical release.

The Dog

In the scene in which men talk while a dog lies in the background, the dog was a crew member's dog and lived on the compound. For this mild action, the dog was cued to lie there and do whatever came naturally, and it did not interact with the actors. Off-screen whining and gunfire were sound effects added in post-production.

Other Animals

The bug-like parasites were computer-generated.

Production provided documentation for all of the stock footage seen in the opening montage of various animals.

The raven in the alternate ending was a prop.