Senior HTF Member
- Mar 15, 1999
- Houston, Texas
- Real Name
- John Williamson
"If it bleeds, we can kill it."
I just finished watching this classic on the new dts DVD, and this movie seems to get better everytime I watch it. Since it's debut back in 1987, I must have seen it more times than I can count, but I still get wrapped up in it everytime! The repeatabilty factor for this film is off the charts and it's also aged very well. I suppose because there really is nothing in the film that dated it to begin with. We have essentially three elements in the film...
1. A group of special forces men who probably still look and speak that way.
2. An alien being where anything goes.
3. A jungle.
There's nothing to point to that screams out 80's in particular, not counting Blain's MTV T-shirt and perhaps the effects for the camoflaged Predator, although I have no problem with that in the least.
It's the gritty, rough and tough look this film has that i've always loved as well, and the way the men are portrayed is more realistic than most of these "grunt" types you see in lesser films. They are tough when they have to be, but they're also portrayed as vulnerable, and when they finall realize what's happening and what's after them...they feel fear. They have realistic human dimension's, we feel badly for Mac when Blain is killed. They feel like real men, in a real desperate situation, cut off from the world in a place so vast and imposing they might as well be on the moon.
Arnold is another major contributer to the enjoyment of the film. He's so at home in roles like this it makes me long for him to do just one more. He's tough, but very likable in the role of 'Dutch', a role that plays against his 'Terminator' persona and I like that. Seeing him being hunted instead of the other way around is a thrill for me. The location where they filmed the movie is staggering in it's size and closed off feeling, as 'Mac' put it "I've seen some badass bush before but nothin like this!", agreed. Sadly, I read some time ago that most of that rain forest was gone now, I can't confirm that, but I remember reading it somewhere.
And of course, I can't leave out the man, er um, creature itself, the Predator. What a magnificent creation by Stan Winston, it's one of my all time favorite film creatures ever created by far. It's so real and believable that you actually believe that it's not from around here. I appreciate it's intelligence in the way it goes about dispatching merciless carnage on Arnolds men one by one.
It also has layers to it's personality which I appreciate, it's amazing the sense we get of it's background and the way it hunts just from a few lines of dialogue from the cast. It's not a mindless monster, but a skilled, veteren hunter that respects the game and it's rules. Afterall, it's just not sporting to kill something unless it's armed and poses a threat. It's no coincidence that it decided to start killing Dutch's men when it saw what Mac did to that defensless scorpion. To the creature, these men were aggressive beings that liked to prey on weaker beings...so it decided to show them what it was like to engage in a REAL game.
The look of the Predator's body is remarkable, with it's array of weapons and body armor, including those badass double retractable blades, it's transport computer system that allows it to control both it's camoflage adaptation and that deadly self destruct device, the shoulder mounted plasma cannon that delivers swift blinding death (particularly to poor Blain and Mac), and it's in-helmet laser guidance system guarenteeing pin point accuracy, right down to it's dirty, reptillian, weathered skin covered by it's now trade mark netting. And of course that face only a mother could love, concealed for most of the film behind a gladiator-like breath helmet.
The Predator is a cinematic wonder to behold...
Then there's the incredible score by Alan Silvestri. IMO it's one of the best compositions he's done for a film. It has a heart pounding rythem that commands your attention and doesn't let the tension falter just because the action has for the moment.
And finally, how about that action! The scene where Arnold and his boys all but decimate a small section of thick jungle foliage with bullets is just classic stuff. Then we come to the last half hour of the film, it's sheer bliss, as Arnold prepares to wage war on the creature, smearing his body with mud like warpaint and delivering his battle cry, then watching as the two warriors from different worlds wage a deadly battle of wits against one another, a war only one can survive.
I have no idea why I started this thread, I guess I was just a little excited having not seen the film in awhile, not since I bought the new disc last year. However after watching it just now, I wanted to share my enthusiasm with you about the classic that is Predator.
It still saddens me when I think that the great creature performer Keven Peter Hall is no longer with us (he died shortly after the filming of 'Predator 2' of complications from the AIDS virus he contracted from a tainted blood transfusion), but if you know that it's him in there, I guess he's immortalized forever. IMO he turns in one of the best creature performances ever caught on film.