Predator DVD Cover
Directed by John McTiernan
Produced by Joel Silver,
Written by Jim Thomas,
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger,
Kevin Peter Hall (predator)
Music by Alan Silvestri
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date June 12, 1987
Running time 107 min.
Awards Saturn Award (1988) Best Music - Alan Silvestri
Predator is a 1987 science fiction movie that was directed by John McTiernan and released on Friday, June 12, 1987. It featured actors Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Bill Duke, Sonny Landham, Elpidia Carrillo, Richard Chaves, Shane Black, Jesse Ventura, Kevin Peter Hall, Sven-Ole Thorsen and R.G. Armstrong. The jungle scenes for this movie were located in southern Mexico, near Palenque. The movie was filmed in Puerto Vallarta.
The movie effectively blends the '80s hard action-movie genre with a healthy dose of sci-fi horror. Energetic and masculine, the movie was successful enough (earning $60 million in the United States alone) to generate a sequel, Predator 2, in 1990.
" Soon the hunt will begin.
" Nothing like it has ever been on Earth before. It came from another planet for the thrill of the hunt. It picked the wrong man.
" In a part of the world where there are no rules, deep in the jungle where nothing that lives is safe, an elite rescue squad is being led by the ultimate warrior. But now, they're up against the ultimate enemy. Nothing like it has ever been on earth before. It kills for pleasure, it hunts for sport. But this time, it picked the wrong man to hunt.
" We cannot see it, but it sees the heat of our bodies and the heat of our fear.
" 1 Plot
" 2 Themes
" 3 Plot Parallels
" 4 Details
" 5 Trivia
" 6 External links
Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
The story begins in outer space. A dark, featureless spacecraft hurtles toward Earth. As it makes a close pass on the night side of our planet, it ejects an object that enters the atmosphere and leaves a fiery contrail.
Scene change - somewhere on the coast of Central America. The mission begins when six U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers led by Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer (Schwarzenegger) are ordered by General Phillips (Armstrong) to rescue a Guatemalan cabinet minister who has been captured by guerrilla forces after his helicopter crashed in the jungle across the border.
Along with CIA man Dillon (Weathers), the team is dropped behind the border and begins looking for traces of the minister and his escort. They find the crashed chopper, which appeared to be a "reconnaissance bird", rather than a transport, as well as traces of a dozen rebels being followed by several men with American equipment. It is noted that the pilot must have been hit with something akin to thermal vision, given the accuracy of the shot.
Shortly thereafter, they discover three dead U.S. soldiers hanging from trees, all of them skinned. Dutch recognizes the dog tags of one skinned man, and questions why they were out in the middle of the jungle - Dillon claims to know nothing.
The search and rescue mission continues, and they soon discover the guerrilla post and the hostages being held there. The team attacks and destroys the guerilla base but the prisoners are already dead and turn out to be CIA men. Dutch confronts Dillon and discovers Dillon made up the cabinet minister story, and also admits that the skinned soldiers that had gone missing were ordered there as well. In the aftermath of the battle, the camera switches to the Predator's thermal view, watching from the trees and mimicking the team's speech patterns.
With all guerrillas killed and a female prisoner, Anna (Carrillo), in their custody, they proceed to their rendezvous point for evacuation. As they move through the jungle they are stalked by something that they are unable to see.
The group stops when Billy (Landham), the team's tracker, notices something in the trees that makes him nervous. Anna attempts to escape, with Hawkins in pursuit. He reaches her, but the creature attacks and kills Hawkins (Black) and Blain (Ventura) before vanishing into the jungle using active camouflage. However when Mac (Duke) spots Blain falling to the ground and rushes to him, and sees what appears to be a large, transparent man with flashing yellow eyes. Mac opens fire, running out of ammunition quickly and grabs Blains mini-gun, unloading a full box of ammo as his teammates arrive and also start shooting. As they attempt to kill it by saturating the jungle with bullets they succeed only in slightly wounding the Predator. (A scene a few minutes later shows the creature treating its wounds, revealing fluorescent green blood.)
They mount a defensive position with claymore mines, flares and trip wires. The Predator attacks again in the night and destroys the defensive position. The creature steals the body of Blain without alerting anyone or setting off any of the traps. Early in the afternoon of the next day, the soldiers once again mount a defensive position, this time by preparing a net in an attempt to capture the "killer". The creature falls into the trap but breaks free. Another cannon shot cuts the branch serving as the anchor for the trap and it hits one of the team, Poncho Ramirez, in the chest, injuring him badly.
The predator escapes once more and later goes on a killing rampage that finishes all of Dutch's men with the exception of himself and the female prisoner. Surmising that the Predator won't kill a victim unless they are armed, Dutch kicks a gun out of the woman's hands and tells her to get to the evac helicopter.
Dutch escapes the creature and falls off a cliff into a huge river. Thinking he escaped, Dutch desperately scrambles through the mud-covered ground upon hearing the Predator land seconds behind him. Knowing he can't escape in his condition he resigns himself to a fatal end by huddling against a mass of thick branches and logs. Dutch sees that the stalker is a humanoid alien being utilizing advanced weaponry. Particularly impressive is the device that allows it to "bend" light. As the creature gets closer it pauses and is distracted by a small animal in the underbrush. The creature is unable to detect Dutch because of the mud he is covered with, which shields him from the creature's infrared vision.
Dutch waits until the creature is out of his sight and, lacking any more firearms, begins preparing primitive weapons; spears, arrows and a powerful bow, with which to battle his enemy. Dutch also uses his last grenade launcher rounds to construct a small makeshift bomb. The scenesof his preparation are intercut with scenes of the creature's true intent; it collects the skulls of its victims as trophies.
After nightfall, Dutch sends a war cry that is heard by the creature, an intentional tactic to attract it. During the battle, Dutch is able to damage the alien's camouflage device, making it easier to track. The creature also removes its helmet, revealing a deep-set eyes and a frightening mandibled jaw with four large fangs. The showdown ends with both enemies being wounded, but the Predator more so; Dutch tripped one of his booby traps on it, dropping a tree log on it. Dutch then approaches the Predator pinned under a stump and as he is about to kill his helpless opponement he stops and stares at it asking, "What the Hell are you?" Mortally crippled, the alien laughs (mimicking Billy's laughter at a joke) as he activates a plasma-based self-destruct device that leaves a large area of jungle burned, although Dutch saves himself in traditional action-movie fashion by jumping out of the way of the blast. The rescue team arrives and airlifts Dutch and the woman out of the jungle.
Spoilers end here.
Despite its action-based plot, Predator does have a few notable themes. The concept of humanity warring with nature is prevalent, even beyond the jungle setting and the tactics used by Dutch's team in trying to fight the alien, such as the huge net they rig to capture it. Unfortunately for the team, the jungle surroundings prove to be more useful for the creature, its camouflage and agility being the perfect tools.
There are also slight references to the Vietnam War and the methods used by guerrilla forces during that conflict. The mutilated and