Podcasta la Vista, Baby! Episode 4 – Predator


“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.”

It’s time to return to the decade of Reagan with Jeremy Whitman of the Rated80s podcast, and look at one of Arnold’s most iconic action films, 1987’s Predator.

When an elite team of commandos embark on a rescue mission in the South American jungle, they find themselves the prey of an extraterrestrial big game hunter. One by one, they’re slaughtered until only one man remains.

And he’s not about to become the monster’s latest trophy.

4 thoughts on “Podcasta la Vista, Baby! Episode 4 – Predator

  1. Words cannot express how much I LOVE the idea that the Predator is actually one of those overprivileged assholes who is shamed by his own people for hunting helpless humans, the same way that dentist guy was for shooting the lion or whatever it was on his tourist safari. The thought of angry Predator Facebook and Twitter posts excoriating Predators posing over dead human tourists in Central America is going to have me giggling for days.

    It even makes in-story sense! Why isn’t Earth overrun with these beings? Why aren’t we an actual Predator farm by now? Because it’s only a few dickish rich kid Predators. Duh.

  2. Yeah, I loved that “Predator as privileged prick on a hunting safari” idea, too. As is often the case, I was listening to this while walking the dog, and actually had to stop to laugh hysterically when you guys were talking about it (and, again, it prompted my dog to give me this rather concerned look). Jeremy’s line of thought really got me thinking after the show: maybe back home he was indeed their equivalent of a dentist, or possibly a CPA. Obviously, he would have to have been quite successful, because he could afford an off-planet hunting safari, and was – as you guys noted – probably a jerk. You know, the overbearing guy at work who brags about his awesome vacations, probably sexually harasses his female co-workers…

  3. I always assumed that Arnie’s team are CIA contract mercs. They used a lot of those kind of people in Central America, during the Reagan years, especially in dealing with the Contras (as well as the mujahadeen, in Afghanistan, who went on to be the nucleus of al-Queda).

    I was a midshipman when the movie came out and saw it with some other midshipman and one of our officer mentors, on a summer training cruise. We laughed our heads off at the military stuff. Jesse’s mini-gun couldn’t have ammo. The gun and batteries by themselves weigh a ton (figuratively). The amount of ammo he is expending would require cases the size of a footlocker; several of them. Later, during that cruise, we stopped in Santa Barbara, for a nautical festival and saw Sonny Landham (Billy, the tracker) in a bar. Big guy.

    Ventura, true to his con artist roots (as a pro wrestler), in interviews claimed he had flashbacks to Vietnam, while shooting the film. It later came out that he never served in Vietnam and never saw combat. Ventura wasn’t a SEAL; he was a Underwater Demolition Team frogman, and never went to “Nam. His unit never did more than maneuvers in the Philippines. His unit was later absorbed into the SEALs, when UDT was eliminated.

    The grenade launchers were real. It was the M-204, which is mounted beneath the M-16 rifle. It’s basically like a shotgun. The tube slides forward and you insert a 40 mm round, with a primer at the base. You close the tube, then the trigger drops a firing pin on the primer, which launches the grenade round. It’s pretty basic; I got to fire one at Camp Pendelton, on my previous summer training period. Richard Chaves carries a multi-round grenade launcher, often used by police units, which can fire the same 40 mm rounds, firing from a cylinder. They aren’t very big and don’t have to be. They lob grenade rounds in an arc, though there is a round that is essentially a 40 mm shotgun round. That you just point and fire at an enemy coming at you. Then watch them turn into mist.

    I always noted that Shane Black’s comic was an issue of Sgt Rock. At the time, he had sold a Rock script and talk was of Arnie starring. Now, picture that: Arnold Schwarzenegger, with that accent, as Sgt Rock, fighting Nazis. Arnie was also supposed to play Doc Savage, from Black’s script (which will now star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

    I still love the film, as ludicrous as it is. It is far more watchable than a lot of similar films and many of Arnie’s films. McTiernan knew how to do a good action music and it has enough monster elements that make it different. Unfortunately, it’s the only decent movie to use the predtors. The sequel took its cue from the much better Dark Horse mini-series (which features the brother of Arnie’s character); but, lost just about everything that made the comic good, except the urban setting. Still, it kind of backs your theaory about the predator being some rich guy who embarrasses the others, as the three predators show up at the end to claim a piece of equipment; but, don’t do any killing themselves.

    This movie is why I still wish McTiernan had been able to realize his inented version of A Princess of Mars. I like John Carter, and it’s good Burroughs; but, McTiernan knew how to do a pulp story.

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