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PREDATOR_ if it bleeds

September 29, 2009

Today’s topic of discussion happens to be one of my favorite movies: Predator, the 1987 film staring (as if you didn’t know) the Govenator himself Arnold Schwarzenegger… back when the big-man was still making half decent movies.  Directed by the Hollywood hotshot of the time, John McTiernan (this being his follow up to Die Hard – which just so happens to be my favorite X-mas movie) I truly believe Predator to be Schwarzenegger’s best film.  The character and plot fit him and his persona perfectly.  The Terminator films were great (if one ignores T3) and I have nothing but respect for James Cameron but there’s something about Arnold, at the height of his career, being hunted down by an alien for sport that is down-right awesome (yes, cooler than a cyborg being sent back in time as an assassin/protector.)

Just another war-film.

This topic, admittedly, is brought on by the intriguing developments regarding the current Predator reboot/sequel in the works by 20th Century Fox (yep, nothing is sacred.)  Being produced (I should really say being “currently” produced – the man seems to have commitment issues) by Robert Rodriguez (Sin City) and directed by Nimród Antal (what?  Never heard of him?  Join the club.)  The film, entitled Predators (a nod to Aliens I suppose?), has not officially been announced as a “reboot” by the studio so I expect some sort of continuation of the first or maybe second film in the franchise (think Superman Returns.)  The Aliens vs. Predator films, in all likelihood, are to be ignored and forgotten (thank goodness.)

Okay, let’s talk Predator.  So not only is this film one of my all-time favorites (due to its sheer awesomeness) but it’s also one of my most enjoyable movie memories from my childhood.  I must of been seven or eight but I can still remember that night.  Without a doubt it was a Saturday (have to love the ol’ HBO Saturday Movie Premiere) and my friend and I were having a sleep over.  Now, keep in mind, we were just kids.  If I knew who Arnold Schwarzenegger was I didn’t give a crap about him.  Back then, only three things mattered in my life: Superman (duh), Thundercats, and Knight Rider.  If it wasn’t either of those three I didn’t want anything to do with it.  Never the less, my parents strongly suggested we put away our action figures and join them in the living room for this movie. My parents told is nothing about the film, nothing at all, other than we might like it.  From what I could tell, it was just another war film I was being forced to watch, probably for educational purposes.

Apollo vs. Arnold

Apollo vs. Arnold

The plot progressed and I, admittedly, was bored.  I’m sure I complained.  I’m sure I was told to shut up.  But this movie had war-film written all over it.  What’s the big deal I thought?  These guys are just running around shooting things.  Nobody is flying.  There’s no talking car.  Why the heck do I care?  Then the first act came to an end and, despite my stupidity, I took notice.
Wait, I thought.  What’s that in the tree? Wait, I asked.  Whose heat vision is that (and what the heck is heat vision)? And my parents chuckled.   Wait, I demanded. Whose killing those guys with freaking lasers? And my parents told me to keep watching.    Wait, I screamed.  What the hell just chopped off Apollo Creed’s arm?! What the hell is going on here?! And then… and then… Oh.  My.  God.  That thing coming out of the water, that thing that has Arnold cowering in the mud, that thing… that thing…  is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.

Arnold vs. Predator

Arnold vs. Predator

And from that moment on, I was hooked. I lived and breathed that movie.  I was already bending my own imaginary bow along my shoulders by the time the credits rolled.  That movie was awesome.  That movie kicked ass.  That movie changed my life.  My friend, on the other hand, didn’t fare so well.  He was spooked and, if I remember correctly, was too scared to spend the night that night.  In retrospect, the sleepover was a small price to pay: that movie forever shaped my imagination and opened the door for me to science fiction in general.  From there I discovered the Terminator, from there I came across Star Trek, not long after that I found Star Wars, all of which led me toward Arthur C. Clark who then introduced me to the work of Stanley Kubrick…

Okay, so maybe I’m out of line.  Maybe I’m holding this movie in too high regard.  In all likelihood I would have ended up where I am with or without having seen Predator that night… but it’s fun to think about it like that.  One things for sure: that movie is awesome.  Arnold kicks ass, the production design is timeless, and the soundtrack is fantastic (I’ve been trying to get my hands on a copy for sometime now.)  If you haven’t seen the movie, perhaps thinking it’s some stupid action movie, get your ass to the video store now.  I give you my money back guarantee (I’m not quite sure what that implies.)  I’m just saying it’s a good movie.  Rent it.

You know its awesome.

You know it's awesome.

In the meantime, read up on the film here.  Crazy as it may seem they shot a good portion of the film with a radically different alien design with Jean-Claude Van Damme wearing the costume (this was before he was starring in his own movies.)  Knowing the alien design was weak, the filmmakers turned to creature master Stan Winston who, with a few recommendations by James Cameron (another reason the man deserves total respect) came up with the design we know and love today.   Check out this crazy picture of the original alien and see for yourself:

What the hell were they thinking?

And for more info on the reboot, click here.

So what do you think?  Let’s hear it…

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Alan Kugler permalink
    September 30, 2009 2:09 am

    Funny, I do not recall making Chris watch this movie.

  2. January 2, 2013 2:52 pm

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    • March 30, 2013 1:36 pm

      47cHi Jesse,Hey I was just wondering if you take sugosetigns for your show if you still do it on this site. I have one that I believe was a prelude to see how well the torture would work. Jeb Bush was involved with the Selmers who ran a adolescent treatment center called the Straights in the 1980 s & the 70 s. This institution made the children urinate & move their bowels in the clothes they had on & make them continue to wear these clothes. They also had spit & sit therapy wear the their peers would spit on them & sit on them if they didn’t follow the rules. From some of the things that I read they were using some of the mind control tactics on them from the Korean war. Jeb Bush gave Betty Selmer an award for Drug therapy in Florida. George Bush appointed her husband as an ambassador to Italy then moved him to another country not sure where. These 2 are the main consultants for the US & international drug policy. I think this would make a great story.Jerry

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