‘Predator’ | The Rewatchables with Bill Simmons, Chris Ryan, Shea Serrano, and Kyle Brandt 

Key Takeaways

  • The simplest movies are the most rewatchable because you don’t have to reset your brain to understand everything that’s happening
  • The best part about the ‘Predator’ is its simplicity 
    • Easy to follow actions scenes
    • Simple and strong characterization
  • For a movie that is roughly 35 years old, the special effects hold up really well
  • The way they handle the predator in this movie is similar to the Jaws format
    • They don’t show it, they let people’s imagination do the work
  • “Dillon! You Son of a Bitch!” – Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger)
    • Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers’ hypermasculine handshake
    • Could be one of the “most 80s” movie scenes
  • Filming in the Mexican jungle was not fun
    • Lots of bugs, and ants stories (Richard Chaves got covered in fire ants and went into shock)
    • They were crawling through the jungle with snakes, spiders, and scorpions (wearing heavy gear, and holding guns)
  • It was a brilliant move to grab Jesse Ventura from the WWE Universe to play a part in the movie
    • This is something that has become a staple nowadays (e.g. UFC fighters in action movies)
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme was originally set to play the Predator but was fired because he passed out twice from dehydration
  • The final suit used in the movie was designed by the legendary film special make-up effects creator Stan Winston

Intro

  • The Rewatchables is a film podcast dedicated to rewatching and breaking down movies we can’t (and won’t) stop watching. @ringer podcast
    • Bill, Chris, Shea, and Kyle revisit the 1987 action classic Predator, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, and Bill Duke
    • In this episode, you will find out what makes the 1987 film “Predator” one of the best action movies of all time, why John Claude Van Damme got fired, and why filming in the Mexican jungle is not all fun and games
  • Host: Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons)

What Makes the Predator Rewatchable?

  • The best part about the Predator is its simplicity 
    • Easy to follow actions scenes
    • Simple and strong characterization
    • The simplest movies are the most rewatchable because you don’t have to reset your brain to understand everything that’s happening
  • ’80s kids didn’t get a superhero movie every 20 minutes
    • The Predator is sorta like the Avengers; you have Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Duke and Jesse Ventura using machine-guns
    • Everyone is in great shape, and they are fighting a villain that’s too strong for them (e.g. Thanos from MCU)
  • For a movie that is roughly 35 years old, the special effects hold up really well
    • When the predator takes off its mask for the first time, he’s just perfect
    • This movie was nominated for an Oscar for best special effects, and it got three stars from Roger Ebert who praised the photography
  • The way they handle the predator in this movie is similar to the Jaws format
    • They don’t show it, they let people’s imagination do the work

The Most Rewatchable Scenes

  • “Dillon! You Son of a Bitch!” – Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger)
    • Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers’ hypermasculine handshake
    • Could be one of the “most 80s” movie scenes
    • The most epic handshake meme
  • The Predator hanging victims upside-down
    • The fact that the bodies are flayed and hanging from the trees makes it much more terrifying than just seeing them dead on the ground
  • Hostage rescue scene
    • Arnold lifts the truck all by himself
    • There’s just shooting all around
  • “What’s got Billy so spooked?”Dutch
    • Dutch can’t quite figure it out staring at the trees
    • Billy gives off some major worried vibes; he felt the creature is not human
    • He was considered to be fearless by everyone on the team
    • He was able to “sense” the Predator
  • “Get To The Choppa!” – Dutch
    • Arnold Schwarzenegger is shot by the Predator and yells out one of the most iconic quotes from the movie
  • Shooting into the jungle
    • Mac (Bill Duke) opened fire, using Blain’s a handheld M134 Minigun to kill the Predator
    • The rest of the team joins and nobody asks any questions; they are just shooting
    • There is a great shot of what the jungle looks like before they start and after

Filming in the Mexican Jungle Was a Nightmare

  • Hot and humid weather (90-something degrees)
  • Lots of bugs, and ants stories (Richard Chaves got covered in fire ants and went into shock)
    • They were crawling through the jungle with snakes, spiders, and scorpions (wearing heavy gear, and holding guns)
  • All crew had diarrhea
  • There are 5 AM weight lifting sessions; the cast gets up in the middle of the night to start “pumping”
    • Schwarzenegger shipped gym equipment to Mexico and trained intensively every day before shooting began, usually with his co-stars
    • He had to swim in very cold water and spent three weeks covered in mud for the climactic battle with the Predator

Jesse Ventura’s Performance in the Predator

  • “I ain’t got time to bleed.” Blain (Jesse Ventura)
    • Ventura’s most iconic line
    • Very no-nonsense, easy to mess up or make it lame
    • A perfect little bit of screen time
    • The line became the title of Ventura’s autobiography 
  • He was the first great wrestling commentator and the Predator was his first movie
    • He became close friends with Schwarzenegger during the production 
    • Every second he’s on-screen, you can’t look away
  • It’s a brilliant move to grab somebody from the WWE Universe, which is something that has become a staple nowadays (e.g. UFC fighters in action movies)

The Original Predator Suit With Jean-Claude Van Damme

  • Jean-Claude Van Damme was originally set to play the Predator but was fired because he passed out twice from dehydration
    • The original predator suit was a different type of suit; it covered his whole body and was too bulky and difficult to manage in the jungle 
    • The final suit used in the movie was designed by the legendary film special make-up effects creator Stan Winston
    • Van Damme also hoped he could highlight his kickboxing skills in the film, but Joel Silver (the producer) refused
  • Van Damme was replaced by the 7’2″ Kevin Peter Hall, who had just finished work as a sasquatch in Harry and the Hendersons
    • Kevin Peter Hall said that it was very hard to see anything while in the new suit 
    • He had to rehearse the scenes without the suit to memorize where everything was 
    • The outfit was difficult to wear because it was heavy and affected his balance
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Notes By Dario

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