One of the very few near-perfect horror films is John Carpenter's The Thing -- and Universal's been trying to resurrect this bad boy for years now. Whether it was a sequel, a remake, a TV movie (or series) or even the rather cool video game from a few years back, this well-adored mega-monster movie has inspired a lot of new ideas -- most of which never get off the ground.

Well, now Fangoria brings word that a prequel is the newest experiment, and you know what -- I actually kinda like the idea. True, there's something wonderfully creepy about the mysteries surrounding the origins of that shape-shifting alien bastard -- but if Uni gets the right screenwriters and doesn't monkey around with backstory too much, heck, a Thing prequel might be a pretty cool movie. Strike Entertainment (The Rundown, Slither, Dawn of the Dead) are the ones behind the project, and apparently they're sifting through interested screenwriters as we speak.

Well-known but fun trivia about The Thing: It opened two weeks after E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, which led a lot of movie-writers to assume that "moviegoers preferred nice aliens" back in 1982, thereby explaining The Thing's critical and box office demise. (I say the thing's just too damn gory for general audiences -- even if the effects are now considered the Sistine Chapel of Splat.) The Thing opened against Blade Runner (and Megaforce!), and grossed less than $14 million in total. To put that in some perspective, here are some other 1982 tallies: The Sword and the Sorcerer ($39.1 million), Young Doctors in Love ($30.6 million), The Toy ($47.1 million). Not helping matters: Roger Ebert referred to the film as "a geek show, a gross-out movie," while (if memory serves) most other critics were considerably less friendly than that.

Me, I watch The Thing about twice a year. And it still rocks.