I thought it only appropriate that my first film post should be about my first love. The first adult film (and I don’t mean porno!) that I watch over and over again and never get bored of, Predator. Filmed 2 years before I was born, I watched Predator for the first time when I was twelve, my best friends older brother had it on video and we thought it was the best thing since the Spice Girls and friendship bracelets.
The plot in one sentence? Team of commando’s are unwittingly drawn into a game of cat and mouse with an unknown alien life form, shit kicks off!
Everyone must have seen this movie at least once in their life times, it’s an Arnie classic!! But what makes this film special to me are the characters. They are brilliant, not just fodder for the alien that’s picking them off one by one. They each have their own individual qualities that make the film pretty epic.
We’ve got Poncho (Richard Chaves), who despite being the smallest and generally most frightened through-out the film, out lives the majority of the cast! Excellent at playing scared and in pain this guy. Poncho was my favourite for a good few years (I tend to flick between him and Mac, I still can’t decide, what’s your preference?). I really feel his pain when he gets hit with a giant log and breaks what must be the whole of his rib cage. I don’t think I have seen Richard Chaves in any other film, I will have to look this up!!
Hawkins (Shane Black) is the first to go, which is a shame really as I enjoy his terrible jokes, here’s a great example; “Hey Billy, one day I was going down on my girlfriend and I said ‘jeese you’ve got a big pussy, jeese you’ve got a big pussy…’ she said ‘why did you say that twice?’ I said ‘I didn’t…’ you see it was because of the echo…” Cue Billy’s mental laugh.
Blain (Jesse Ventura), one of the most cartoon style characters, giant jaw bone, crater dimple in his chin, MTV t-shirt with a machine gun strapped to his chest, brilliant. Could be a comic book character! He gets one of the best lines in the film too, speaking about chewing tobacco; “you’re all a bunch of slack jawed faggots, this stuff will make you goddam sexual tyrannosaurus… just like me”. And my favourite interaction between Poncho and Blain, where he really shows he is the hardest bastard you ever met (except Dutch of course). Poncho points out “You’re hit, you’re bleedin’ man”, Blain’s response, “I aint got time to bleed”.
Mac (Bill Duke) he is probably the quiet crazy one of the group, like a time bomb waiting to go full on barking. He has a very memorable scene, when the death of his best friend Blain sends him over the edge. Singing “I’m gonna have me some fun” over and over whilst going on a mission to find and kill the invisible Predator. Just after spraying the jungle with a machine gun, decimating every living thing in front of him with the help of his remaining team. He also gets the most gruesome death in my opinion – I would have loved to have seen that brain matter explosion at the cinema! (Weirdly this is the only movie I actually enjoy the blood and gore in.)
Billy (Sonny Landham), now Billy is a funny character, he doesn’t say much but is quietly scary. I heard that he had security on set with him at all times, for the safety of other people that is! I think he was cast for his mental laugh, which plays a central part of the tension build up during the entire film. He dies an honourable death, sacrificing himself for the others.
Dillon (Carl Weathers), there isn’t much to say about Dillon as he is the real villain of the story. But he gets his come-upance, which is very satisfying. Something I noticed about Dillon’s death scene, in the video version when his arm is blown off, you can see his real arm poking out of the bottom of his jacket (fantastic editing from the 80’s there), but they must have noticed because you can’t see it on the DVD copy, which was quite upsetting when I went to show a friend this funny detail.
The woman… hmmm now I know every line in this film but have never remembered the woman’s name. Well it isn’t important, I am not really sure why she is in it, except to distract Poncho and ultimately lead Hawkins to his death by accident. I guess she gives the Predator a back story (as my boyfriend just pointed out!).
Now, last but most definitely not least it’s Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger). He has the best one liners, “Knock knock” *kicks door down*, “Stick around” *throws a machete into someone’s chest and pins them to the wall*. Makes me laugh every time, if a film used those cheesy lines now it would evoke a groan from me, but this 80’s classic can get away with it. Plus, you know, it’s Arnie. He is majorly buff in this film, if you are not a Sci-fi, Action kind of film lover, but you like perving on fine specimens of man, this film is for you. Just skip right to the scene where the team are booby trapping the jungle!! Or before that, there is a sneaky close up of Arnie’s butt wiggling through the jungle. (Come on, I am still a girl). Apparently this homoeroticism was done on purpose, kind of an in joke during the making of the film.
The Predator itself is an awesome creation, not just by the way it looks, with its crazy dreads, full body armour and scary vagina mouth. But also the way it has some sort of morality. Or does it, maybe it just wants a fair fight, as it will only hunt you if you are armed. There is probably no fun in picking off humans who have no defences and are much weaker than you in the first place. This ties in well for the Predator vs Alien gag but don’t even get me started on the sequels. They don’t exist in my book! (Except Predators wasn’t all that bad as a stand alone film.)
The final fight at the end of the film is one of the best climaxes to any film in my opinion. There is a great montage of Dutch preparing himself for battle, going back to basics in the wild, being all filthy… But the humour from the beginning of the film follows right through to the end, with Arnie’s famous quote “You’re one ugly mother f*cker”. Even the Predator himself gets a laugh from the audience, raising an eyebrow at Arnie’s obvious attempts to lure him into a trap. Bringing some humanity to the alien which brings it to life even more so.
The music in Predator is fantastic. The opening scene starts with Little Richard’s Long Tall Sally which sets the mood of the team at the beginning off to a tee. It is set up perfectly for the dramatic change when they hit the jungle. It is haunting, builds suspense, fits the location perfectly, and it’s consistent through-out. It is used so well with the Predators communication too, it repeats anything it hears from the team as if trying to decipher what it means. Pair the tension bongos with a distorted crazy laugh from Billy and you have spine shivers right there!
Actual Predator is played by Kevin Peter Hall, who you do get to see in the film in the flesh, and he gets a very short line even. Do you know which scene??
Well I have been rambling about Predator for a good 45minutes now and I did tell myself my posts wouldn’t be that long so as to save the reader from sheer boredom. If you made it through the whole post, well done, I salute you. You must be a Predator fan too!!
I bet you don’t have a dog called Dutch though in honour of this master piece?
Hope you enjoyed the read 🙂