Ah Predator, one of the finest action sci-fi films ever made, with one of the most awesome ensemble of tough guy actors, using the most basic of plots to create extreme brilliance at every turn.
Yes Arnold Schwarzenegger was the star of the show, and made during his heyday, Arnie was untouchable, and even a great big alien hunter could not stop fans having every confidence that their hero Arnie would be just fine. However, director John McTiernan brought together one beast of a cast to play Arnie’s, sorry Dutch’s, team of special ops tough guys who could probably take down an entire country by themselves!
Dillon (Carl Weathers), Mac (Bill Duke), Blain (Jesse Ventura) and ol’ painless, Poncho (Richard Chaves), Hawkins (Shane Black) and Billy (Sonny Landham, who had his own security on set to protect the rest of the cast from HIM!). All guys you wouldn’t wanna meet in a dark alley, and a really great collection of characters who end up being hunted by an alien with super cool gadgets, camouflage and an unflinching desire for the thrill of the hunt. After taking out some unfriendlies in glorious fashion during a rescue mission, Dutch and his team soon discover someone, or something is hunting them. Contrary to Mac’s belief, it is not a pig!
It is the Predator himself, and the towering alien (who initially was supposed to be played by Jean Claude Van Damme) begins taking out Dutch’s team one by one, each more violent and gruesome than the next. Predator certainly earned its 18 certificate, in an age when making money was not the be all and end all of films, and directors were happy to bring some ultra violence to pleasure fans, regardless of the certification.
Dillon (Weathers) is not part of Dutch’s team, but is ordered to go with them to over-see the mission. Old friends, Dillon and Dutch don’t quite see eye to eye, and while we all side with Arnie all the way, we are watching in essence Apollo Creed kind of out of his depth in the jungle with no boxing ring in sight. He does alright, and easily keeps up with the macho-ism of Dutch’s crew, but sadly even a one time boxing champion is no match for the Predator.
SPOILERS AHEAD (BUT SERIOUSLY, THERE IS NOT EXCUSE FOR NOT HAVING SEEN THIS!)
As Dutch’s team are reduced to a small few, Mac is furious that his friend Blain has been killed by the alien, and literally goes mad with anger and runs after the Predator. Dillon offers to bring him back, and seals his fate.
After witnessing Mac’s violent death (yay head explosion!), Dillon realises the predicament he is in. The Predator has his red aiming beam pointed at Dillon, who quickly attempts to draw his gun, but sadly is not fast enough. His arm is blasted off in a terrific display of gruesome violence, and Dillon’s still firing the gun arms lands on the floor. He carefully spins round, to show viewers that yes, his arm has indeed been blown off, but what the hell is that I hear you say? Dillon is a freak of nature himself, for he has THREE arms! The third one is tucked away, as back in those days there was not really any CGI to erase Weathers’ real arm, and one of the movie worlds greatest mistakes can be witnessed in all its glory.
Armless, Dillon again tries to draw another gun, but the Predator is just too quick, and he runs at Mr One Hand Man and drives his giant knives through Dillon’s chest, causing an almighty scream which makes birds fly for cover, and Dutch turn around in panic, knowing his friend (and loser in a game of arm wrestling) has also snuffed it at the hands of this mean spirited, invisible hunter. For the first time ever, we see a look of panic on Arnie’s face, and Weathers has just suffered one of the great screen deaths!
Enjoy the ultra violence below, and keep an eye out for that all important third arm!