Although given a lukewarm reception by critics and the public upon its release, The Thing, like so many of John Carpenter's films, has since acquired a fiercely loyal cult following, and MCA Home Video will have fans of the chilly sci-fi horror in rapture with this outstanding reissue DVD. Originally released in 1998, this Collector's Edition is an exact replica of the previous disc, except for the chilly slipcase packaging. Picture-wise, the film's immaculate whites and cold blues are clean and sharp, and the polar landscapes are awe-inspiring in widescreen. Carpenter is renowned for his inventive use of sound effects and music, and the Dolby 5.1 Audio truly heightens the film's suspense. There is also a mind-boggling array of extra features on the DVD. The theatrical trailer, production notes, and biographies of Carpenter and star Kurt Russell are welcome, but they pale in comparison to most of the other additions. The production archives section, for example, is an extensive combination of text and photos that concentrates on Rob Bottin's eye-popping special effects, and equally interesting is the production art showing early designs of the alien creature. The background archive will interest would-be screenwriters, as it uses pages from the original draft to show how the film took shape. Of the countless other bits and pieces, the outtakes section is surest to please confirmed fans, even though the stills and deleted scenes here are of a mainly expository nature (though at least one deleted scene will delight fans of the movie's sardonic humor). Yet even if it had none of the aforementioned special features, this would be an essential DVD due to the commentary track and 80-minute documentary "Terror Takes Shape." The latter, featuring contributions from all the main players, is an utterly engrossing background to the conception and production of The Thing, and also includes spectacular stop-motion footage that was not used in the final version. The commentary by Carpenter and Russell, meanwhile, is a winning blend of astute analysis and warm recollection that is always enjoyable and occasionally hilarious. This is a wonderful DVD package that will give pleasure to even casual fans of the film.