With the looming release of the new Predator movie, I thought it’d be nice to go back where it all began. My parents rented it from the corner shop (remember when lots of corner shops rented VHS out?). I had no interest in it initially, as I thought it was just a ‘dumb ass war movie’. Boy oh, boy was I wrong. In the next 1 hour and 47 minutes I’d find probably my favourite Shwarzenegger movie and one of the best Sci Fi/Horror/Action films ever made.
- The Predator design was initially radically different. In a bid to save money, the production decided to use a budget special effects company. The resulting Predator looked, according to Arnold Schwarzenegger, like someone in a lizard suit with the head of a duck. Stan Winston and his team of wizards then joined the project and created that classic predator look. See what you think below.
2. The blood, now known for being neon green, was actually supposed to be orange
3. Speaking of the Predator blood, it apparently got the iconic look by the creative team mixing KY Jelly and Glow Sticks on set.
4. Jean-Claude Van Damme was the first person to play the Predator. He was recast soon after production started as it was felt that the Predator needed to be a dominating force over the muscle men. Due to the factVan Damme is 5’9” and all the ‘sport’ he was hunting were 6’2” and above, it just didn’t work. The part was recast, and 7’2” tall Kevin Peter Hall took over.
5. While on a flight during the production of Aliens, James Cameron mentioned to Winston (who was sketching ideas for the new Predator) that he’d always wanted to see a monster with mandibles. Winston added the oral appendages to the final drawing of the updated Predator. God bless you James Cameron.
6. The Predator suit weighed in at over 200 pounds, and despite being a rather big fella, Kevin Peter Hall struggled and had to be connected to a bungie rig. He also had very little vision and due to this he accidentally struck Arnold Schwarzenegger during their fight scenes. Arnie is big enough to shrug it off right?
7. Predator is Jesse Ventura’s first movie. Previously he’d been a professional wrestler.
8. He went on to share the screen with Schwarzenegger again in The Running Man (1987). He then later served as the Governor of Minnesota from 1999 to 2003.
9. The original idea was to have a number of Predators stalking the woods. The premise was shelved in favour of one antagonist eradicate a bang of warriors. The original idea obviously came back around for Predators (2010)
10. Filming Predator in the tropical jungles of southern Mexico was a notoriously arduous challenge, with almost all of the cast and crew falling ill. As well as contending with swarms of venomous insects, the actors were often struck with high fevers, severe stomach ailments and flu-like illnesses during filming. Even the director John McTiernan didn’t survive unscathed: he broke his wrist during the shoot by falling from a tree, but chose to conceal the injury from his crew.
15. The film grossed around $98 million and was lauded as a massive success. When asked why he thought it performed so well, Schwarzenegger said it was because all the heroes were ‘impressively muscular and big.’ Ha! take that Los Angeles Times!
Bonus fact: Shane Black starred as Hawkins in the movie, who gets dispatched by the Predator quite early in the movie. Black is more renown for being a Writer/Director. All his spare time on set was taken up writing the script for the Bruce Willis film The Last Boy Scout. He has also co-written and directed this years new entry The Predator. I think we all hope it’ll be awesome!