Directed By: John McTiernan
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura, Bill Duke, Elpidia Carrillo, Sonny Landham, Richard Chaves, Shane Black, Kevin Peter Hall
Subgenre: Science Fiction
Synopsis: An elite Special Forces unit ventures into the harsh jungles of Central America to rescue a downed chopper. Little do they know, they are being hunted by something not of this world.
Thoughts: It’s a bit of a stretch to call Predator a horror movie. Sure, it has some pretty graphic scenes and Arny and his boys are being hunted by a pretty bad ass alien, but this is more of an action movie with a dabbling of sci fi and horror. Regardless, it has a place in my collection as well as my heart.
While the story line is very linear and quite simple, Predator has all the ingredients for a classic action flick, starting with one hell of a cast. I’m sure Sylvester Stallone had Predator in mind when he started pulling together the cast of The Expendables. You couldn’t find a bigger action star in the 80s than Arnold Schwarzenegger. Teaming him with Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura, Bill Duke and Sonny Landham literally made the cast larger than life. Those guys were all huge. Shane Black and Richard Chaves round out the team and provide some comedic relief. Shane Black, who played Hawkins, is a noted Screenwriter, with movies such as Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout, Last Action Hero, The Long Kiss Goodnight, and my personal favorite, Monster Squad included in his filmography.
Even more impressive than the cast was the Predator itself. With its intelligent design and badass qualities, it’s no surprise that it would go on to star in movies, comic books and countless merchandise. It was a great move to slowly reveal the creature in the movie, giving just glimpses of the Predator in the early stages.
Director John McTiernan turned his success with Predator into a pretty impressive Hollywood run with hits such as Die Hard and The Hunt for Red October. He’s been pretty quiet the last decade other than a pretty nasty legal issue with wiretapping. I would love to see him come back to the action genre.
While Predator wasn’t a hit with critics in its initial release, it has moved to the top of many lists since. It’s a really fun movie and has some of the best one-liners. The initial Blue Ray release was pretty poor as far as picture quality, but that has since been remedied. You can pick up a two pack of the first two movies pretty cheap, and it is a worthy addition to any colletion.