Predator John McTiernan

When John McTiernan made Predator 17 years ago, it was doubtful he ever imagined that three of his cast would run for governor (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse "the Body" Ventura and Sonny Landham), two even successfully (Ahnold and the Body). In fact, given the awful Predator creature the team started filming with (kind of a disadvantaged preying mantis thing) before turning to Stan Winston for demonic dreadlocked salvation, it was unlikely he imagined anyone would remember his film at all. As McTiernan recalls in his commentary and in the "making of" featurette, the filming of the story of an American Special Forces group who run across an Alien hunter deep in the jungles of Central American, the entire ordeal was incredibly difficult and a disaster out of the gates. Throughout it all, McTiernan tells tales of the problems with the Predator initially, the heat vision effect, the Mexican teamsters and even the problems shooting in dense, uneven vegetation. But, despite the ordeals faced, Predator remains a strong action/sci-fi movie, and almost unnoticed are the serious acting chops displayed by the likes of Bill Duke. Sure it's big and dumb (just like the mini-gun wielded by Ventura's Blain), but it's done seriously, without irony, and it shows. Despite featuring a second disc for its extras, the most substantial are the "If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It" "making of" featurette (featuring past and present interviews with the cast and crew) and the commentary by McTiernan, but a nice touch is the tribute to Kevin Hall, the man inside the Predator costume, who passed away in '91, and who's credited with giving the Predator its mannerisms. With a mediocre Alien Versus Predator team-up currently dominating the box-office, the original Predator reminds us how good the concept really is and how effective the creature can be, despite being "one ugly motherfucker." Plus: featurettes, trailer, more. (Fox)
(Tribunal)