Predator (1987): Breakdown by RANTBO
A team of mercenaries lead by Ah-Nuld fight for their lives against a 7’ 2½” trophy-hunting alien Rambo in a jungle. Wargasms ensue.
[THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THEIR BADASSITUDE]
THE HEROES: DUTCH’S RESCUE TEAM (NOT ASSASSINS)
Left to Right, Top To Bottom
Arnold Schwarzenegger is MAJ. Alan “Dutch” Schaefer: The Leader of the Pack
If It Bleeds, He Can Kill It.
Lead by the cigar chomping, man-beast and ultimate male, Dutch, this ensemble of men could simply not be stopped by anything human, human made or human designed. The man himself manages to rack up over 30 kills, defeat his alien attacker single-handedly (and without conventional weapons I might add) and he also outruns an atomic blast. Plus, he deadlifts a truck off the ground. ‘Nuff said.
Carl Weathers is George “Sonavabitch” Dillon: The Man With The Hidden Plan
He Used To Be Someone We Could Trust, But The CIA’s Got Him Pushing Too Many Pensols.
Weathers’ Dillon is rebuilt from the ashes of Rocky IV’s Apollo Creed into a phoenix of pure masculine win. Not only does he not die after having his fucking arm shot off his body, he continues to stand upright AND fight back with his remaining appendages. Also, he manages to hold his own arm wrestling with Arnold for like 25 seconds. How many men could claim that at the time?
Jesse “The Body” Ventura is Blain “Nasty Habit” Copper: The God Damn Sexual Tyrannosaurus
He Ain’t Got Time To Bleed.
Ventura’s Blain is simply the baddest mother fucker in the entire movie. With a push-broom mustache, affinity for lip-rot tobacco and pre- reality show MTV, he backs up his manly appearance by packing the second largest ‘guns’ in the film which he uses to lug around “Ol’ Painless”. A minigun whose manufactured purpose was to be bolted to the side of military helicopters. Not only that, but he also uses it. And well, I might add. Sir, I salute you.
Bill Duke is Mac “Not A Fuckin’ Scratch ” Eliot: The Ghost Killer
He’ll Bleed You—REAL Quiet.
Big, black and bad-tempered, Duke brings his best into Mac, the team’s token “on-the-edge” violent psychopath. Halfway through the movie, Mac snaps like a fuckin’ rubber band and directs all his shell shocked rage into killing his provoker. And if it wasn’t for the alien’s high-tech wizardry, I for one think he would have been successful. Also, he shaves with nothing but sweat for lubricant. Fuck yeah, dude.
Sonny Landham is Billy “The Big Blade” Sole: The Master Tracker
He Fears No Man.
True story, in order to legally be part of the film Sonny Landham had to be issued a bodyguard to protect OTHER people from him. Now while I realize this is the actor and not the character, it’s impressively badass none the less and to bring it back on topic, he carries that “not-one-to-fuck-with” presence into his character of Billy. Silent and stoic, Billy got the short end of the bad-ass stick by having one of the greatest ‘stand-your-ground-and-fight’ moments in cinematic history, only to lose the glory of looking death in the face and telling to go fuck itself by the filmmaker’s oddly choosing not to film the showdown. However, we do get to see Billy slice open his own chest with a machete just before, as if to say, “I’ll cut my OWN heart out, mother fucker! What chu gonna do to scare ME!?”
Richard Chaves is Jorge “Poncho” Ramirez: The Grenade Launchin’ Latino Thunder
He Can Make It! He Can Make It!
Chaves’ Poncho is easily the most reserved of the crew and as such, is often the most forgotten. While he is physically fit, he is dwarfed by the company he keeps and add to this the fact that he displays no unique characteristics to either his ethnicity or status within the group of beef-cakes, there really isn’t much to say about the man. However, he does prove his worth with a grenade-launcher during the village raid and more than affirms his inclusion to the team by refusing to die after having his insides pulverized into silly putty by a falling tree trunk. So, I’ll give him that.
Shane Black is Rick “The Joke-Man” Hawkins: The Four-Eyed Funny Guy
His Girlfriend Has A Big Pussy.
Hawkins is more in the forgettable vein of Chaves in physicality and status, but with just five or so improvised lines, Black makes him instantly more memorable. A natural to funny one-liners, being one of the greatest (IMO) screenwriters of action comedy at that (or any) time, Hawkins’s comparative skinniness, glasses and general nerdiness is forgiven in his audacity and penchant for outlandish female anatomy jokes. But unfortunately, he doesn’t really last long enough during “the hunt” to prove himself as worthy of Predator prey. But I still like him…
Jean-Claude Van Damme was Predator: The Muscles From Brussels Outerspace
He Quit After Two Days Of Shooting…
I just needed another picture to even out the collage and I didn’t want to include the woman.
Kevin Peter Hall is The Predator: “El cazador trofeo de los hombres” (The Demon That Makes Trophies Of Men)
He’s One Ugly, Mother Fuh-kAh.
The gentle giant. Hall—not Predator. Hall was brought in during the middle of the shoot to take over the role as Van Damme’s weird looking version was agreed upon by pretty much everyone (Jean-Claude included), to be far too goofy looking to be taken seriously. And as much as I dig JCVD, KPH IS the Predator.
The combination of Winston studios’ gnarly “take-two” alien suit with Hall’s imposing stature and spot-on lizard-meets-body building-mime mannerisms and arguably THE most badass creature mask ever created (which used concept ideas from one James Cameron. True fact), Predator became an instant movie monster icon. Easily the best since Frankenstein’s, in my opinion.
THAT said—What. A. Pussy. Yeah, that’s right. A cheap-shootin’, environmental cloaking, otherworldly weapon using, pussy-faced pussy. At least up until the end battle with Dutch. But even then the credit to going mano-a-alieno belongs to the Major’s raw, unbridled manliness in deciding to fight back with his fists and from the land, not Predator. Though so impressed the alien warrior is, he follows suit, I’ll give him that. But who wouldn’t be inspired by a half naked, mud covered, battle worn Arnold? I’m half tempted to go outside right now and kill something with a sharp stick myself just thinking about it. But it is in this act of kinda-sorta balancing the brawling scales that Predator redeems his previous superior technology based bullshit attack methods and becomes every bit the bad-ass that Schwarzenegger deserves to go toe-to-claw with in the climax of an epic action movie. Of course then in defeat he makes like a sore-losing bitch and tries to blow up Dutch with his ace-tech in the hole, nuclear arm-band thingy… Oh, well. There’s always part 2.
[THE SEX AND VIOLENCE]
DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO:
Blain: Bunch of slack-jawed faggots ‘round here!
Exposed arms larger than most men’s legs (and twice as powerful). Smooth shaved chests, glistening with sweat and heaving with well posed sighs. Raving lust-fueled bickering. And not one barrel smaller than a .50 caliber, 12” combat knives and enough sharpened wood to armor a fucking Ewok village… Are you kidding me? There’s not a flaccid penis in the house.
Between his slow, feature-length strip-tease and constant chomping on the wet end of his beloved cigars, Dutch is king of the homoerotic jungle. And what would a king be without his queen? Enter Dillon. Weather’s skin appears as though he cooled himself off between takes in a kiddy-pool filled with K-Y Jelly. Not to mention they sealed their partnership by a vein bulging arm clasp and were flown into Val Verde to the sounds of Little Richard and Jesse Ventura’s playful erotic heckling. Welcome to the jungle, indeed.
EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY:
Despite my memory (even after recently re-watching it), there actually was a woman amongst all those rippling pectorals. AND she actually served a purpose.
Kinda. I mean, she’s the one who “names” the alien. And it’s her that Dutch is shouting to when he utters his famous ‘CHOPPAH!’ line. I’m sure there was something else she contributed, but I forget. So while she never strips down or makes a mockery of her gender (it’d be pointless anyways with this group of guys), she does manage to get ruffed up a bit and taken captive, spending a good portion of the second act tied up. But all-in-all, there is nothing overt or worth going into detail about. Plus, the guys keep her safe and she survives the whole ordeal, so it kinda makes up for the day and half of mild abuse.
MURDER BY NUMBERS: [90 Humans, 01 Alien and a Scorpion]
Click HERE for the Body Count Breakdown
Simply outstanding. Between the attack on the village, the dismemberment of Dutch’s team and the random scenes of violence featuring the alien’s skinned, disemboweled and de-boned victims; hung from trees, piled on the jungle floor and discarded like used tampons, this flick is one giant gory onslaught of pain, brutality and the bullets, blades and explosions that cause them.
MOST SATISFYING ASS-KICKING AND/OR KILL:
After Mac goes A.W.O.L. chasing after the alien, Dillon seeks him out and in finding his corpse, makes a stand. His eye line finds the Predator, and it’s quick draw time. Unfortunately for Dillon, Pred’s plasma canon is remote controlled and gets the drop on him before he can take aim. The shot takes Dillon’s arm clean off and sends it to the jungle floor, trigger finger spasaming and shooting off rounds. Dillon, badass that he is, gives the pain only a second before drawing his second gun. Apparently the alien gives him some macho respect for this move and decides to finish him off face-to-face. Though it’s still insanely unfair as the alien unveils a set of Wolverine claws and proceeds to impale the poor sonovabitch Dillon upon them. ~SNIKT!~ It’s very sad. But a totally bitchin’ way to go.
[THE BEST OF THE REST]
Predator Drew First Blood
Come On—Come On—Do it, DO IT! Come On, Come On! Kill Me, I’m Here! KILL ME! I’m Here, KILL ME! COME ON KILL ME I’M HERE! COME ON!—DO IT NOW! KILL ME! ~DUTCH
His team mutilated and strewn about the jungle, Dutch is finally driven too far and decides to stand his muddy ground. And after Ramboing together a bunch of traps out of branches and foliage, the time comes to lure the beast into his den of makeshift pain. So Dutch lights a torch, climbs to a cliff edge and lets rip a feral battle cry from deep within his well toned guts. “RaaaaaaaaaaaWHOAAAAAAAAA!!!” A shout so manly, when copied into audio form and played while sleeping, it’s been proven to increase the size and girth of men’s penises up to 8 and 3 full inches, respectively. True fact.
While there are a bunch of really great and memorable lines within the film, there are very few “one-liners”. The one that stands out happens during the attack of the guerilla camp, inside one of the few buildings left standing. Appearing as though one of the baddies is going to get the drop on the Major, in the nick of time, Dutch spins around and hucks a 20lbs machete like it was a throwing star and pins his would-be dispatcher to the shanty wall…
This movie actually contains a scene in which Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sonny Landham, Bill Duke and Carl ‘Stormy’ Weathers clear-cut a wide jungle terrain with machine-guns and grenade-launchers in a blood-lust fueled rage over the death of Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura. I’m going to go ahead and state right now—Predator is the most macho movie ever made.
Shot and released in the height of the Golden Age of Bad-Ass Cinema (1987), every second of this film is locked and loaded with sweat, blood, bullets and sweat soaked, bloody, bullet strapped muscles. The four cornerstones of every great 80s Action flick.
The film begins in space as a small one-man alien vehicle is shat from the womb of a mothership and hurtled toward Earth. And that’s the entire backstory of the title character. This film does NOT fuck around. We then join Major Alan ‘Dutch’ Schafer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and his team of elite mercenaries as they climb out of a helicopter amidst a cloud of stogy smoke onto a military compound for briefing on a mission to rescue a Cabinet Minister and eviscerate the entire village of Val Verde Guerilla Warriors that kidnapped him. AND, more importantly, to arm wrestle with Carl Weathers.
Of course, as you all know, the film decides to center more on the rescue mission, as opposed to the Arnie/Carl dick measuring contest. But, thankfully, it ends up being just as entertaining, as the aforementioned alien turns out to be an elite trophy hunter stalking the Val Verde jungle waiting to take on every Bill, Shane or Arnold who wonders across his path packing a machine gun. But the battle of survival and species superiority comes second to Dutch’s Team’s original mission, which plays out in epic 80s action fashion.
So the flick effectively ends up being one-half Rambo: First Blood Part II, one-half Ridley Scott’s Alien. Making Predator the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of the Action-Horror genre. Only instead of being filled with fatty sludge, it’s packed with 24” biceps and 6 pack abs.
While I personally prefer First Blood Part II in the action department, Predator is in no short supply of epic jungle combat. With a perfect blend of realistic carnage and over-the-top one-liner spewing, unstoppable killing-machine heroes, the attack on the guerilla encampment is one of the finest examples of how to show the horrors of modern warfare, whilst still making it zany and fun. And as luck would have it, this first act sequence that could have easily closed out a film without wanting, is only a taste of the unadulterated machismo to follow.
As for the second half, Predator simply owns Alien in the sci-fi thriller department. A bold statement, true, but one I stand behind. And here’s why—the respective casts.
The Alien Cast: A handful of old men, two women, a robot and Yaphet Kotto. With no disrespect to who Ripley would eventually become in James Cameron’s Aliens (a whole other ball-game), Alf could have taken this motley crew down with ease and had plenty of time to go back and devour that cheap-gag cat.
The Predator Cast: These guys…
While Arnold himself could have easily carried a film like this alone at this time, when you add in guys like Weathers, Duke, Landham and Ventura—it’s a bad-ass overload (did I mention Sven-Ole Thorsen makes a cameo?). My point being, if THIS group of people are terrified, running for their lives and being taken out easier than sedated cattle—that’s some scary shit, folks. Alien Vs. Predator—what a joke. That’s like saying Girl Scouts Vs. Green Berets. It’s no contest.
Feel free to try and debate me on this, but remember who Predator’s also got in it’s corner…
– Produced by Joel ‘Lethal Weapon’ Silver
– Directed by John ‘Die Hard‘ McTiernan
– Second Unit Directed by Craig R. ‘Action Jackson‘ Baxley
– Shot by Donald ‘The Edge‘ McAlpine.
– Edited by John F. ‘Commando‘ Link and Mark ‘Rambo: First Blood Part II‘ Helfrich.
– Composed by Alan ‘The Delta Force‘ Silvestri (one of his all-time greatest).
And Predator even nabbed the single greatest aspect to the Alien franchise: Special effects creations by Stan ‘The Terminator‘ Winston. In short, this flick is an action movie royal flush. Watching this film on a regular basis has been proven to effect the male body in much the same way as HGH, but instead of shrinking your testicles, it makes them pulsate. This film’s got bawls. It’s the perfect example of what a summer popcorn flick should be, the definition of ‘an action packed thrill-ride’ and a classic in the genre of badass cinema. As Dutch might say, “it gets bed-tah by da minute.” In other words—it’s not to be missed.
[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]
If it bleeds, Arnold can kill it. And if it doesn’t—he can probably lift it.
[THE AOBG ACTION CHECKLIST]
[X] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor” [Everyone, I’m pretty sure…]
[ ] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[ ] Crotch Attack
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[ ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[X] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[X] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[X] Manly Embrace(s)
[X] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting [Sven-Ole Thorsen]
[X] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[X] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[X] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[ ] Tis The Season
[ ] Torture Sequence(s)
[X] Unnecessary Sequel [Predator 2 (1990)]
[ ] Vehicle Chase(s)
[ ] Vigilante Justice
[TOTAL: 18 outta 25]
RUN—GO! GET TO DA CHOPPAH!
Predator (1987) © Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation / Review © AllOuttaBubbleGum.com and Ty ‘RANTBO’ Hanson