Predator (1987) features Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura and Kevin Peter Hall. It has since its release become a classic in the world of science fiction and action movies. The Predator design was created by the great Stan Winston and has since then become one of the classic alien designs in cinema.
During the development of the movie, there was a running joke just after the release of Rocky IV, that since Rocky Balboa had run out of earthly opponents, his next opponent would be an alien!
The original Predator design was vastly different from what is seen in the movie. The original design was very far from the current classic design of the monster we now know and love. It originally had large yellow eyes and a dog like head. After production had come to a halt, Stan Winston was consulted to redesign the predator for the movie. On a plane flight next to James Cameron, while Winston was sketching ideas, Cameron suggested he always wanted to see a creature with mandibles – which has since then become part of the Predators iconic look.
The film when it was released was a critical hit and was #1 at the US box office at its opening weekend.
For me personally Predator is one of the guilty pleasures when I watch it. You know the story doesn’t really make sense (who goes into the jungle with a Gatling gun?) but the characters are likeable and everyone has their own characterisations – from Bill Duke’s (Mac’s) constant shaving to Shane Black (Hawkins) big glasses and very bad jokes. Even after seeing the movie countless times it’s just feels and looks fresh. Sure some of the effects don’t look that great, but the practical effects of the Predator suit looks and feels real. On the whole Predator is always a blast to watch. If you’ve never seen Predator, stop reading and go watch the movie, you might like it, you might not.
The film was followed by Predator 2. Read it tomorrow on Nerdipop for our Predator Week special.
Six fun facts about the movie Predator
- Jesse Ventura was delighted when he found out that his biceps where 1 inch (about 2,54cm) larger than Arnold Schwarzenegger’s. He suggested that they measure their arms and the winner would get a bottle of champagne. Ventura lost as Arnold Schwarzenegger told the wardrobe department to tell Ventura that his biceps were bigger.
- The pilot at the end of the movie is played by Kevin Peter Hall. He played the Predator in the movie.
- Jean-Claude van Damme was originally the Predator in the movie. There is a scene in the movie where he is in the suit. He was shot in a red suit against a blue screen.
- Shane Black hated the glasses his character was given, he wanted to wear military ballistic glasses worn by actual troops. Director John McTiernan wanted him to look as geeky as possibly.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger lost 25 pounds in preparation for the role, as he wanted to be lean and muscular to look and fit the role of special ops – who would be both lean and muscular.
- The predator’s blood was made on set using a mixture of liquid from glow sticks and KY Jelly.