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By Patrick Samuel • March 12th, 2014
Static Mass Rating: 4/5
20th Century Fox

Original release: June 12th, 1987
Running time: 107 minutes

Director: John McTiernan
Writers: Jim Thomas, John Thomas
Composer: Alan Silvestri

Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Elpidia Carrillo, Jesse Ventura


If you were a kid growing up in the 80s there were quite some movies you might’ve wanted to see but were still a bit too young to be able to. I remember a handful of them all the other kids were boasting about seeing. I also remember feeling excluded and a little jealous that I was the only one who was yet to see Rambo in action, Robocop defending the city and Ripley telling an alien “Get away from her, you bitch!”, but one of the movies I did manage to see before my 10th birthday was Predator. While it scared the living daylights out of me it also introduced me to the action movie icon that’s Arnold Schwarzenegger and gave me boasting rights for the rest of the week at school.

In the years that followed it would become one of my favourite Schwarzenegger movies along with The Terminator (1984), The Running Man (1987) and True Lies (1994). Though not an especially gifted actor, there’s no denying the hulking bodybuilder, and later on Governor of California, cast an impressive shadow in the action movie genre that’s still hard to follow today.

He plays Major Alan “Dutch” Schaefer who’s sent to Central America with a team that includes Mac Eliot (Bill Duke), Blain Cooper (Jesse Ventura), Billy Sole (Sonny Landham), Jorge “Poncho” Ramirez (Richard Chaves), Rick Hawkins (Shane Black) and George Dillon (Carl Weathers) to rescue a politician and his aide who’ve been kidnapped by guerrilla forces. Upon arrival they soon discover the wreckage of a helicopter and the gruesome remains of several Army Special Forces. They’ve been skinned and hung high off the ground in the trees.


After finding a rebel camp and destroying it, they take a prisoner; Anna (Elpidia Carrillo), but later on Dutch learns from his good friend and CIA agent Dillon that the rescue operation was just a pretext to get his team to lead an attack following the disappearance of two other agents in the area. What they don’t realise at this point is that there’s something more sinister out there tracking their every move.

With its lizard-like appearance and protruding jaw-line that exposes even more teeth, the alien creature, which arrived at the beginning of the film, has the ability to turn invisible and track its prey using thermal vision. We see how it sees with thermal imaging when it’s stalking the team. As they’re dispatched one by one, Anna starts to tell them more about the creature and Dutch uses mud to mask his body’s heat signature. PredatorThis also gives him the opportunity to get a look at the alien in its true form before taking it on for a little a one-on-one hand-to-hand combat.

Yet looking at Predator now as an adult I can see some things that went unnoticed when I was a 9-year-old. The creature isn’t just targeting humans randomly. We see this when Dutch realises it only attacks those who have weapons and shouts to an unarmed Anna “RUN! GO! GET TO DA CHOPPA!” as he lies wounded on the ground. The creature’s targeting them because of their actions. For example; Billy’s laughter after destroying the rebel camp, Mac killing a scorpion and Dillon taking Anna hostage. What it sees are a group of barbarous men who enjoy death and destruction and only then does it mark them as prey.

As an action film, Predator gives us a lot of fighting, weaponry and its testosterone levels remains high throughout. There are quite some gory moments too, such as when we see the skinned remains of the creature’s prey, and when we get a good look at the creature itself. It haunted me for nights after I first saw it, but then I guess that’s why these movies weren’t really made for kids. Still, it’s an enjoyable one to watch now as a grown-up and even though the 1990 sequel took the action to the city and the 2010 follow-up Predators improved on the special effects, nothing beats the original in its most primal form.

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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