Predator is another action masterpiece from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s extensive repertoire. The monotone maestro is cast as Major Alan ‘Dutch’ Schaefer, who is to lead his elite squad into the jungles of Central America on a rescue mission. (The Governator is the natural choice for such a venture, having cannily attempted to evade being typecast as the big dude in movies who kicks people’s teeth so far down their throat they come out with their next dump by appearing in the festering ballache that was Jingle All the Way. To this day, I find it impossible to contemplate his appearance in that heap of horsecrap. The whole parenting business seemed a little off, coming from this man-beast. I can’t imagine him as the give me a hug, small child type, more of a grind their bones to make my bread. And then fish the bone-bread turds out of the toilet and eat them again, just because I’m fantastically muscular. As such, nobody will dare question anything I do, no matter how insane. Or, indeed, spectacularly unhygienic, as in this case. But I digress.) Whereupon, they find themselves locked in a grotesquely outmatched battle with an extraterrestrial being, the eponymous Predator. Also known as that belligerent Rastafarian alien, who has been reminding us that dreadlocks are still pretty damn great since 1987.
It’s a great guy’s film, I’d suggest, simply for the miasma of masculinity it’s drenched in. In the opening scene, Dutch greets his old war buddy with that typical friendly greeting, “Dillon! You son of a bitch!” and grasps his hand. The camera, at this juncture, seems to judge it necessary to zoom to about an inch away for a shot of their monstrous, thick as an elephant’s neck biceps. You’d almost expect them to strip off at this point, grease each other up and pose for one of those classical statues of ancient Greek gods. (Not in a homo-erotic way, dudes as mantacular as these would give no quarter to those kinds of shenanigans. So they’d have you believe. They could well return home after a difficult day of lifting dumbbells with each finger for a viewing of Men That Touch Each Other. In the ballbag, in case that wasn’t clear. But who am I to judge?) From here, it’s a veritable rollercoaster ride of manly capers. One of these guys, after all, habitually runs a razor across his already-hairless face. Presumably, when you’re a testosterone machine like the stars of Predator, a full balls-out Santa Claus beard can spring up at a moment’s notice.
The whole macho atmosphere is complemented by some eternally memorable action sequences and one-liners. The assault on the guerrilla camp, instigated by Schwarzenegger’s ludicrous hefting of a huge-ass truck, is a favourite. Who could forget, too, lines of such calibre as “I ain’t got time to bleed,” or “I wouldn’t waste that on a broke-dick dog.” As far as the latter goes, there’s no telling what the hell it means, but it’s safe to say these aren’t the most eloquent of dudes. (When it came to English class, they were otherwise engaged creeping about shooting rebels right in their rebellious nutsacks.) Not to be outdone, undisputed quip-king Arnold also lays down some of his finest work for our delectation. During the attack, a bad guy foolishly attempts to engage Dutch from behind. (If you’ll excuse the innuendo. Perhaps this is one of the actors from Men Who Touch Each Other. We just don’t know.) For this egregious mistake, he gets a knife heaved at his delicate, blood-bleeding throat, with such force that it impales him to the scenery. Schwarzenegger turns to the unfortunate corpse-dude, pauses for a damn I’m awesome. Just wait for this delightful spur-of-the-moment remark I’m about to make, it’s so great you’ll shit look as the camera pans in, before joking, “stick around.” If the precious ambrosial life-fluid pouring from the miscreant’s neck didn’t kill him, such a remarkable dose of wit to the face surely finished him off. Seconds later, before the audience had even recovered from this first instance of hilarity, he clefts a door in twain with a casual kick (sending mangled house-remnants scattering across the floor), and dispenses further death. “Knock knock,” he remarks, pumping the air and planning a masturbation session in his own honour at this second piece of wondrous wordplay.
Predator is, quite simply, a classic from start to finish. The alien itself is a true cinematic icon, even if its name was sullied somewhat by the nut-numbingly bad Alien Vs Predator. The pace is relentless, the action gruesome, the plot... as thin as the web from a spider’s ass. But let’s not be pernickety there, as the convoluted nature of The Da Vinci Code is hardly welcome in this kind of territory. Just ask Billy (seen here failing to GET TO THE CHOPPAH in this image from 8daysageek) if he wants a complex, multi-faceted plot in his action movies. "Huge hairy gorilla balls to that," he'll reply. As man-movies go, this is undoubtedly up there with the best. Where else will you experience the drama of a crew of soldiers leveling a vast swathe of forest in a hail of gunfire?
Nowhere, that’s where.
Behold the Predator in action here, in a game I’m sure is pure ball-dribble however magnificent this makes it look:
Article by Chris Littlechild
Like my work? Have feedback? Hit me with your mighty word-fists on Twitter