What's this? I finally cave in and review the original Predator film? That's right, i finally got around to re watching the original science fiction horror film starring the governor of California. I can safely say that the 1980's even with the limited CG effects, were far better in a lot of regards than today's stupidity of remakes. I'm not a film maker, and I don't have any money, but I do have is a brain and four eyes (cause I wear glasses, get it), and after years and years of picking my nose and sitting on the couch, I can at least say that I know a quality flick when I see one, and this one is in fact a better than average film, and was surprised how well this movie holds up, even in today's standards.
The story seems self explanatory, at least from the back of the vhs box that you're looking at in the museum of a video store you have in your town. But for those without that, the story goes as follows: A group of mercenaries are hired to go deep into the jungles on a mission to rescue some trapped allies. However, what they aren't told is that there is something in the jungles, and it might not necessarily be human, and it will cost most of the men, their lives.
The start of this film is actually similar to Rambo 2, or more recently, Tropic Thunder. We have the setting of a real Jungle, and we have a group of guys that are so tough, they probably eat nails. You get some awesome throwaway characters all buff and all strong. The standouts are Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, and Jesse "The Body" Ventura, and they are the focal point of some carnage, and of course, death and mayhem. Despite the geeks with video editing software, Arnold's one liners aren't too out of place and don't hit as funny as they are when Austrian Death Machine plays them over metallic guitar riffs. Yes, his lines are somewhat cheese filled, but maybe I love cheese.
The gore is well in place here. Gore is used in some great shots, including a head exploding and spilling blood on the camera. Arms getting severed, shots exploding through body cavities, and so much more. They are not all supernatural either, there are great pieces of gore throughout the kills from both Predator and the mercs. Obviously, this rated R film is far more than just a standard science fiction film, as it showers the viewer with blood and guts, more so than is necessary for this type of film.
As the movie progresses, you lose all dialogue and the hunter becomes the hunted and it's awesome. The film goes through some changes in tone, as our heroes are killed off one by one in devastating fashion. The movie ends in a satisfying way, even though the latter portions of this film have little to no dialogue, and just use visual cues to entertain the audience.
Predator is fascinating, it's good, it's horrific at times. It's not a "scary" film today, as I've seen it one hundred times by now. However, when this movie was released (when I was a kid) up to when I was a teenager, I only saw this film in two ways. I either rented it from the Korean video store near my house, in the ghetto, or I would watch it on one of the network television channels. The movie was heavily edited for tv, but it still had a great deal of great moments. Now with DVD it's available to watch all the time, unedited, extended, and a great deal of features that were never found on the original vhs version of Predator. We are so spoiled, this digital generation of ours, but that's ok, because you can watch this anytime.
I liked this movie a lot, and despite the "GET TO THE CHOPPA" line, I was ok with the rest of the film, more so than a great deal of movies this year. It holds up very well. It's rare to see a movie hold its weight, especially when there are remakes all over the place. The series was tied into the Alien series, and well, it was remade earlier this year in one of the worst reboots in the history of film making.
Click HERE TO BUY PREDATOR
If that wasn't enough for you, you might want to check out the NES Game adaptation for Predator. The game was made for the NES 8-Bit by Activision. The game is a side scroller, similar to Contra, with lots of similar backgrounds and jungle sequences. You start the game with only punching, yep. You don't get a gun, you just run and punch, proving that you're the most bad ass dude! This is 8 bit, remember! Not everything needs to make sense here.
This is a challenging game, with a learning curve that is far higher than your average game. This is another example of how it was to be a kid growing up in the 80's and 90's. You either bought this game or you rented it, and you HAD to put time into it. If it sucked, it sucked, but you still went forward and tried to beat the game, because that's all you had to do, play video games. For the sake of this review, I revisited the game, and it's fun, but only if you like 8-bit challenges. This game is NOT for everyone,and it's not a complete adaptation from the movie, it's another adventure altogether. I liked it. There are 30 levels, and there are a variety of cool spots with the sprites nearly hitting 16 bits.
You can pick up the Predator for NES Here. I recommend it, but only if you like NES and hard games, otherwise, you're better off just watching the movie.
Oh, and if that isn't enough, there is a Predator 2 video game, on the Sega Genesis. But we won't dive into that one for this review, I'll save that for the movie review of that, later...well much later.