The studio's insurance company would not agree to insure the production unless a bodyguard was hired for Sonny Landham (Billy) - for the sole purpose of protecting people from Sonny. The bodyguard followed Sonny everywhere to ensure he didn't get into a fight, since he was well known to be violent and short tempered.
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The film provided a variety of hardships for the actors, such as leeches, snakes, stifling humidity, heat, and rough terrain. All of the night scenes were filmed during freezing cold temperatures, which was especially hard on Arnold Schwarzenegger during the latter half of the film, when the mud he had to wear (actually pottery clay) became cold and wet. He was warned it would take his body temperature down a few degrees, and he shivered non-stop, even when they tried to heat him with lamps (it just made the clay dry out). He tried drinking jagertee, a schnapps mixture, to warm him, but that just got him drunk.
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Jesse Ventura was delighted to find out from the wardrobe department that his arms were one inch bigger than Arnold Schwarzenegger's. He suggested to Schwarzenegger that they measure arms, with the winner getting a bottle of champagne. Ventura lost, because Schwarzenegger had told the wardrobe department to tell Ventura that his arms were bigger.
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The invisibility cloaking effect was achieved with a bright red suit (because it was the farthest opposite of the green of the jungle and the blue of the sky) the size of the Predator. The red was removed with chroma key techniques, leaving an empty area. The take was then repeated without the actors using a 30% wider lens on the camera. When the two takes were combined optically, the jungle from the second take filled in the empty area. Because the second take was filmed with a wider lens, a vague outline of the alien could be seen with the background scenery bending around its shape.
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Dutch's line "Get to the chopper!" is Arnold Schwarzenegger's personal favorite catchphrase of all of his films that he appears in.
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After Dutch impales a bad guy against a wooden post with his machete, he utters the immortal one-liner "Stick around!" This was apparently improvised by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
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Jesse Ventura pulled a prank on Arnold Schwarzenegger by pouring water over himself while at the gym before Arnold arrived. Thinking that Ventura was drenched in sweat, Arnold believed that Ventura was working out longer than he usually did. He resolved to begin his workouts sooner. He and Ventura both started arriving earlier to one up each other until they both started to arrive at 4 am.
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Jean-Claude Van Damme was originally cast to play the Predator, the idea being that the physical action star would use his martial arts to make the Predator an agile, ninja-like hunter. However, the original design for the Predator was too cumbersome and difficult to manage in the jungle, and Van Damme couldn't make the required movements in it. Additionally, it was reported that Van Damme constantly complained about the monster suit being too hot (causing him to pass out), while also voicing his reservations on numerous occasions about the fact that he would not be appearing on camera without the suit. Van Damme was finally removed from the film, officially for being too short at 5'9" (Arnold Schwarzenegger and his team were bodybuilders between 6'2" and 6'5"). He was replaced by Kevin Peter Hall (who was 7'2"), and the suit was redesigned because even with a more imposing actor, it was felt to not provoke enough fear.
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The Predator's blood - a goopy substance with the color of Mountain Dew - was made on-set using a mixture of the liquid from inside glow sticks and KY Jelly.
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Arnold Schwarzenegger lost over twenty-five pounds before filming began, in order to better fit the role of a special warfare operative, who would be lean, as well as muscular.
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The distinctive clicking and gurgling sound the Predator makes throughout the movie was thought up by Peter Cullen. After the producers approached him to give the Predator "a voice", he was taken aback because he had no idea what such a creature was supposed to sound like, not to mention that the producers were reluctant to show what the character was finally going to look like. They relented and showed him the design, and Cullen, who thought the Predator resembled a "dying horseshoe crab", remembered as a kid how if he turned one over it would "gurgle", and that became the Predator's sound. the character of Predator was never meant to make the distinctive clicking sound. Peter Cullen had finished 11 reels of King Kong and was coughing up blood. He chose this vocalization because it was easy on his voice.
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The Predator costume weighed over two hundred pounds, and even though 7'2" Kevin Peter Hall was a large and powerful man, he had to be connected to a "bungie" rig, to enable him to move more believably.
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Billy first senses the Predator after the attack on the guerrilla camp. However, this is not the result of a "sixth sense" or heightened state of awareness, which Billy demonstrates in a later segment. Rather, Billy hears the Predator mimic his own laugh that he had shared with Hawkins a few seconds before. If you listen closely, you will hear the Predator attempt to mimic the laugh somewhat quietly, which unnerves Billy immediately, causing him to look up toward the trees.
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Arnold Schwarzenegger recommended Jesse Ventura for Blain after interviewing him for the role. He thought he looked like the part, was big enough, had a deep voice, and was manly.
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Peter Cullen was reluctant to take the job of voicing the Predator, as he injured his throat playing the title character of King Kong (1976), but eventually accepted, after seeing a picture of the unmasked creature.
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Part of the shoot was forty-eight hours before Arnold Schwarzenegger's wedding rehearsal dinner. Jesse Ventura teased him about his nuptials, often ruining takes; John McTiernan was not amused. Schwarzenegger missed the final preparation, and Maria Shriver was not happy about that, because his mind was more on the film, instead of their wedding.
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The stuntman who doubled for Arnold Schwarzenegger, for the fall into the river, blew out his knee performing this particular stunt.
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In an interview, Carl Weathers said the actors would secretly wake up as early as 3:00 a.m. to work out before the day's shooting. Weathers also stated that he would act as if his physique was naturally given to him, and would work out only after the other actors were nowhere to be seen.
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Kevin Peter Hall stated in an interview that his experience on the film "wasn't a movie; it was a survival story for all of us." For example, in the scene where the Predator chases Dutch, the water was foul, stagnant and full of leeches.
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Shane Black hated the glasses he was given to wear as Hawkins. He wanted to wear authentic military-issue ballistic glasses, worn by actual troops in the field, but John McTiernan wanted him to look as geeky as possible.
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The original plot had Dutch Schaefer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) pitted against the Predator alone. Schwarzenegger thought this was a bad idea. The script was re-written to include a team of crack commandos.
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The Predator's head was built as a separate piece, and a total of three were created for the film: a "hero" head that was capable of facial articulation, a static stunt head and a head that was completely open at the front for use in scenes where the Predator is wearing its mask. The animatronic face on the hero head was controlled by a set of nine servomotors that enabled motion of the brow area and mandibles, as well as "a cheek squint", an additional external servomotor added later, hidden in the creature's backpack, to move the lower mandibles, which previously did not open as widely as intended. Kevin Peter Hall was able to puppeteer the creature's mouth with his own jaw, and wore contact lenses to finish the effect.
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Although they were never mentioned in the final film, the full names of the main characters in the original script were Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer, Staff Sergeant George Dillon, Sergeant Mac Eliot, Sergeant Blain Cooper, Sergeant Billy Sole, Corporal Poncho Ramirez, and Corporal Rick Hawkins.
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Real venomonous snakes and scorpions invaded the set during filming.
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The original concept for this film originated as a joke. Someone said that the only person Rocky Balboa had yet to fight was E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982).
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Bill Duke improvised the shaving. The crew scrambled on-set to make a razor that squirts blood.
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According to an interview with director John McTiernan, the "hole in the jungle" appearance of the Predator was played by Jean-Claude Van Damme in a "bluescreen" (actually red) suit. Van Damme quit after two days, unhappy with being cast as an uncredited special effect, but can be seen as the Predator in If It Bleeds We Can Kill It: The Making of 'Predator' (2001). The alien was scrapped, redesigned, and was eventually played by Kevin Peter Hall who was 7'2" tall.
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Carl Weathers joked in an interview that Arnold Schwarzenegger got him addicted to cigar smoking during filming. Arnold, famous for smoking cigars, offered one to Weathers, who initially declined because he was a non-smoker from his pro-football player days, but eventually gave in. Once Weathers had tried it, Arnold gave him an entire box of cigars. Weathers ended this part of the interview by looking to the camera and cheerfully declaring "Shame on you Arnold! Shame on you!"
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The Predator has eight minutes of screentime.
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The sound editors called the Predator's shoulder gun the "Parrot Gun", because when it moved independently of the Predator while aiming, it reminded them of "Peter Sellers with a rubber parrot on his shoulder."
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Stan Winston was inspired by a painting of a Rastafarian warrior in the producer's office. "I saw that and I thought it was a great starting concept for the Predator," Stan Winston said. "I started drawing and redesigning this alien character with quills that in silhouette would look like dreadlocks. During this same period of time, Aliens had come out, and Jim Cameron and I were flying to Japan to participate in a symposium about the movie. We were sitting next to each other on the plane, and I was sketching and drawing the Predator."
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Jesse Ventura said that firing the Minigun is "like shooting a chainsaw."
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The machete-like weapon Dutch throws at the bad guy was made special for the film by a knife maker trying to sell the production his wares. John McTiernan wasn't thrilled with any of his existing blades but asked if the could manufacture a machete instead. It ended up being far bigger and heavier than they expected so the "Stick around" quip was added as a way for Dutch to get rid of it. Schwarzenegger gave it to the director at the end of shooting, and he still has it.
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The screenwriters' intent was to "strip away elements of the modern, organized world. Here's a guy with the most technological weaponry, and he's reduced to making bows and arrows."
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The studio picked Boss Studio for the first design of the Predator to save money. Their Predator was more arthropod/insect-like in appearance, and according to Arnold Schwarzenegger it looked like someone in a lizard suit with the head of a duck. However, the suit was not felt to be scary enough, and initial performer Jean-Claude Van Damme couldn't properly move in it. On Schwarzenegger's suggestion, Stan Winston was brought in to redesign the creature for 1.5 million dollars (twice what Boss Studio had charged). This meant that the final fight scene had to be re-shot. The new Predator was 8-1/2 feet tall, but the re-cast Kevin Peter Hall was 7'2". The costume was heavy and off-balance, and Hall couldn't see with the mask on. Because of that, during the fight scene with Dutch, he actually did hit Schwarzenegger once.
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Hawkins was originally supposed to wear a distinctive red beret, most likely inspired by the U.S. Army's maroon airborne berets, worn by American paratroopers. Shane Black refused to wear it, as he thought it would look ridiculous in the jungle. He later regretted the decision, as he felt it would have made his character stand out.
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Shane Black came up with the coarse jokes that he tells in the film.
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The real life Goblin spider species Predatoroonops blain is named after Blain Cooper; every member of the Predatoroonops genus has a name that references Predator, due to the perceived similarity between the spiders mouthparts and the Predators mandibles.
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Kevin Peter Hall, the Predator, is also visible without his "Predator Suit" and make-up towards the end, as one of the helicopter rescue crew.
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Most of the cast and crew suffered from traveller's diarrhea, since the Mexican hotel in which they were living was having problems with water purification. The only ones who didn't get sick were Arnold Schwarzenegger and John McTiernan.
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The "rebel camp" location has become a tourist attraction in Mexico.
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Some of the early Predator shots were accomplished with a stuntman in a red suit that would later be layered with the visual effect "but what I really wanted was a monkey." John McTiernan got his monkey, "but once we got the red suit on him the monkey was so embarrassed by the red suit that he hid! He'd go up in a tree and cower, and he wouldn't do what monkeys do."
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The "B" camera was given a reel of incorrect film stock, which is why some shots look a lot grainier than others.
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Due to health and safety regulations, Arnold Schwarzenegger was not allowed to light his cigar inside the helicopter near the beginning of the film. As a result the glow was added optically in post-production.
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The mandibles of the Predator were the idea of James Cameron who stated, 'You know, I've always wanted to see something with mandibles.' And Stan Winston said, 'Hmm, that's an interesting idea.' And he started drawing the now-famous mandibles of the Predator. So, between the Rastafarian painting in Joel Silver's office and the mandible idea from James Cameron, Winston came up with 'Stan Winston's Predator'. And James Cameron takes complete credit for it, even though I had nothing to do with it, obviously!"
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A crew spent two weeks wiring the jungle with explosives, to create the destruction in the military assault scene.
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John McTiernan didn't like Puerto Vallarta, because the brown leaves made it look less like a jungle.
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Because this was the first Predator movie, only the thermal vision and infrared vision was shown from the Predator's point of view (Predator 2 (1990) introduced many other vision modes for the Predator), but with good attention to details, you can get hints that the Predator has different vision modes, even in this movie. The Predator can obviously see and avoid the trip wires that are hidden everywhere in the forest (which would actually not be visible if the Predator only used thermal vision). The Predator can also see whether the soldiers are armed, indicating the Predator has a different vision mode to detect solid metal.
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The weapon that Blain (Jesse Ventura) is using is a minigun. This is a weapon most commonly mounted on the side of a helicopter and many, many modifications had to be made to make it usable in the film. It was powered via an electrical cable hidden down the front of Blain's trousers. The firing rate was slowed down to approximately one-third the normal rate of fire, both to reduce consumption of blanks, and to make the spinning of the barrels visible on film. It is rumored that Ventura had to wear a bulletproof vest, because of the forceful ejection of spent cartridges, but this is false. Unmodified miniguns eject out of the bottom, with the cases essentially falling out, due to gravity. Close examination of the film, especially the scene in which Mac fires the minigun at the fleeing predator, along with the other commandos, show that the ejection of the minigun was not changed.
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John McTiernan was keen to make the comrade banter between the soldiers as real as possible. To help this along, the cast trained together on location with weapons, fitness and a military training regimen that started at 6 a.m. every day, including training in the silent hand signals seen in the movie. He stated that "even though many of the cast had military backgrounds," he "wanted them all to get a chance to know each other, develop as a group, and endure something rough, and conquer it together."
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Shane Black spent his free time on the set writing the screenplay for The Last Boy Scout (1991).
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Shane Black, who plays commando Hawkins, is actually a screenwriter. Producer Joel Silver wanted Black, who was writing Lethal Weapon (1987), close to him, to review the script.
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This film had the second biggest opening weekend of 1987; Beverly Hills Cop II (1987) had the first.
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When they started shooting in the jungle, three hundred Mexican crew members showed up. It was two hundred more than they needed.
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The film originally featured a Native American soldier as the lead. This character eventually evolved into Billy.
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The tree the Predator stands on was made of concrete, in order to support the weight of the actor and his costume.
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One of the elements in the sound of the "snap" to Predator-vision is a whip crack.
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Richard Chaves (Poncho) fought in the Vietnam War before becoming an actor.
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The original "Hunter" model was a large creature with a long neck, a head shaped like a dog, and one big eye in the middle. This can be seen on the camouflage demos on the DVD. It was only when Stan Winston moved in that the complete design of the "Predator" changed, along with the title.
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The studio would not allow John McTiernan to shoot this film in anamorphic widescreen, due to the complexities of the optical effects. As a sly sort of retaliation, he added an anamorphic version of the film's opening 20th Century Fox logo, which looks noticeably stretched on-screen.
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John McTiernan and Arnold Schwarzenegger lost twenty-five pounds during filming. Schwarzenegger's weight loss was a professional choice; McTiernan lost the weight because he avoided the food in Mexico, due to health concerns. Unlike McTiernan, most of the cast and crew suffered from traveler's diarrhea since the Mexican hotel in which they were living was having problems with water purification.
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The crew didn't burn any jungle. The explosion location had already been burned to the ground two years prior. They did spray-paint a lot of stumps black, though.
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The hardships of the location were many. Gunfire from Guatemalan rebels could be heard at night, and poisonous snakes often invaded the production camp. Working extremely long and hard days and nights in these conditions, Stan Winston's crew found release in practical jokes. "The hotel where we were staying in Mexico was right at the edge of a forest," Richard Landon recalled, "and on the lawn were hundreds of frogs hopping out of that forest. So some of us went down and gathered up a bunch of these frogs - which were huge, half a loaf of bread in size - and filled the shower stall in Stan's room with them. Then we hid and stood back to hear what would happen. When Stan got back to his room, after a couple of minutes we could hear him yelling: 'Frogs! Frogs! There're frogs in my room! Who put frogs in my room?' And we stuck our heads in, all innocently, asking, 'Stan, what happened?' He said: 'Somebody put frogs in my room - and I know who did it! Arnold!'" "Arnold Schwarzenegger and Stan were always playing practical jokes on each other," continued Landon. "So, of course, Stan assumed Arnold had put the frogs in his room. He told us to help him gather up the frogs, and we put them in Arnold's room. What we didn't realize was that Arnold's wife, Maria Shriver, was visiting that weekend. And Arnold didn't find the frogs - Maria did. And she wasn't happy." For years, Winston continued to believe Schwarzenegger had initiated the 'frog incident' - and that was how he told the story when he appeared on the Arsenio Hall late-night talk show one night. It wasn't until the following night when, appearing on the same show, Schwarzenegger swore his innocence before a television audience of millions, that Shane Mahan finally confessed, and Winston learned that his own crewmembers had been the culprits. "I never knew it wasn't Arnold," Winston said, "because, from the day it happened, we never spoke of it! I kept waiting for him to bring it up, and he kept waiting for me to bring it up - and neither of us ever did. And that's why the truth didn't come out until years later."
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Most of film was shot under the original title "Hunter" (as can be seen on clapperboards in the outtakes on the Special Edition DVD). It was only later when the creature design was changed that the movie became "Predator". 'Predator' also became the default name for the creature's species used by fans, despite never being mentioned on-screen until Predator 2 (1990). In several extended universe comic book series, the creatures are referred to as the 'Yautja', which has since become a widely accepted semi-official name.
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It is alleged that in the early '90s, the Department of Defense tested a form of camouflage that used millions of fibre-optic cables to "mirror" the opposite side of the object to be hidden. They got the idea from this movie and Predator 2 (1990). The idea behind the camouflage was not to appear invisible, but to replicate what is on the opposite side. In the Department of Defense's test footage, looking at the person wearing the camo (fiber-optic sheet), he or she simply appeared like a heat wave.
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Two of the actors portraying commandos besieged by the Predator have been elected to state governorships: Jesse Ventura (Independent) was elected Governor of Minnesota in 1998 in a major political upset, and Arnold Schwarzenegger (Republican) was elected Governor of California in a hotly-contested recall election in 2003. In addition, Sonny Landham (Republican) ran an unsuccessful campaign for Governor of Kentucky in 2003. Landham and Ventura also sought to enter the Senate in 2008 in their states as, respectively, a Libertarian and an Independent. Both dropped out.
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The film was dedicated to the memories of Agustin Ytuarte and Federico Ysunza, who were both killed on March 31, 1986, in the crash of Mexicana Flight 940.
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The Predator's scaly flesh is based on koi (carp) and locusts.
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Joel Hynek, a special effects supervisor, who directed the design of the Predator's camouflage effect, is the son of J. Allen Hynek Ph.D., who originated the "Close Encounter" hierarchy for categorizing interactions with aliens. Dr. Hynek was a Professor of Astronomy at Northwestern University.
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The crew covered Arnold Schwarzenegger in mud by shooting it through a hose like they were "stuccoing a house."
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Poncho's grenade launcher is an entirely fictional design. It was custom built out of parts from a Heckler & Koch HK94 (mainly the stock and pistol grip) and a six shot AN-M5 aircraft pyrotechnic discharger (a 37mm flare launcher).
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This was a speculative script that accidentally found its way to 20th Century Fox.
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John McTiernan admitted that R.G. Armstrong was too old for his part, but kept him, simply because he liked him. Added to this, the actor wore "too much" tanning make-up, to hide his age somewhat.
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MythBusters (2003) proved that covering yourself entirely in mud doesn't, in fact, conceal your body heat, because after only a short time, the mud on your skin becomes warmer.
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Editor Mark Helfrich says he may have let the helicopter scene run too long..."I had a lot of cool helicopter shots... I wanted to use them. I guess I was influenced by Apocalypse Now (1979)."
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The Predator/Prey Pack DLC for the video game Mortal Kombat X (2015) adds an alternate costume for the character Jax named "Carl Weathers" which has him gain Al Dillon's attire from Predator. The alternate skin also replaces Jax's default dialogue with new dialogue recorded by Carl Weathers. Additionally selecting the "Carl Weathers" skin for Jax and playing against Johnny Cage in the "Commando" skin will unlock a special loading screen in which Johnny Cage exclaims "You son of a bitch" before he and Jax recreate the famous handshake between Weathers and Schwarzenegger from the beginning of Predator.
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Third film in which Arnold Schwarzenegger wears a Seiko model H558-5009 diver's watch. Since nicknamed "The Arnold", it is highly sought-after by collectors, and regularly trades for values in excess of its original retail cost. Its distinctive black collar and stainless steel fittings suitably complement Schwarzenegger's exaggerated arm muscles in his early films.
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When it came time to recognize Predator with an Academy Award nomination, the combination of techniques used had the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences officials scratching their heads, unsure as to which category the Predator belonged. The mechanical features of the character's head suggested the makeup effects category; but, due to the camouflage effect, there was a visual effects aspect to the character, as well. Ultimately, Winston was nominated for an Oscar for Predator in the visual effects category - just as he had been for Aliens - but he and his co-nominees lost to the effects team from Innerspace(1987). Illustrating just how confused the Academy was over this new blending of special effects, makeup and visual effects technologies, the same year that it categorized the Predator creature as a visual effect, it honored Rick Baker with an Oscar in the makeup category for his work on Harry and the Hendersons - despite the fact that Harry had been achieved in exactly the same way that the Predator had, with a performer wearing a suit and a mechanical head. In fact, the same actor, Kevin Peter Hall, had performed in both suits!
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All the actors are wearing Vietnam-era surplus canvas load-bearing gear, not the more modern (post-1967) nylon gear.
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During the closing credits, Shane Black is seen prominently displaying a copy of Sgt. Rock #408 (Feb. 1986). In the DVD commentary, John McTiernan notes that at the time, Arnold Schwarzenegger had an adaptation of Sgt. Rock in production, and that's why the comics were on-set, so he could read them. He described the scene where Dutch (Schwarzenegger) walks up to Billy (Sonny Landham), who senses the Predator's presence out in the bush, as a "Sgt. Rock moment".
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Arnold Schwarzenegger "wanted to do a film like The Magnificent Seven (1960), where a team of guys work together."
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Film debut of Jesse Ventura.
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Aliens (1986) was cited as one of Jim and John Thomas's influences behind the film because it was about space marines battling against and being picked off one-by-one by deadly extra terrestrial creatures. In Predator 2 (1990) Harrigan (Danny Glover) discovers the skull of a Xenomorph in the Predator spaceship. The scene spawned crossover comic books, action figures and video games of Alien Vs. Predator and two feature films, Alien vs. Predator (2004) and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007).
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Sven-Ole Thorsen, who is a personal friend and bodybuilding partner of Arnold Schwarzenegger makes a cameo appearance in the film as the Russian Military Adviser at the guerrilla camp. Thorsen appeared in most of Schwarzenegger's films throughout the 1980s in either cameo or small supporting roles.
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Carl Weathers was always the first choice to play Dillon.
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In the scene where the Special Forces team attack the village, the guerrilla, who gets blown up in the van, is played by Henry Kingi. Kingi would play Colombian Scorpions member "El Scorpio" in Predator 2 (1990).
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When the Jungle Hunter is cleaning his trophy skulls, the one on the right belongs to Mac, due to the hole and the scorch marks on it caused by the Jungle Hunters plasma caster when the Jungle Hunter killed him.
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The filmmakers used an inframetrics thermal video scanner for the Predator's thermal vision as it gave good heat images of objects and people.
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Maria Shriver discussed decoration plans concerning her and Arnold Schwarzenegger's new house with him over the phone, during filming. She later spent a couple of days on the set in Mexico. The stunt crew played a practical joke on the newly married couple, by putting frogs in their shower.
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Originally, Joel Silver wanted Michael Kamen to do the music for this film after collaborating with him on Lethal Weapon (1987), but Kamen was unavailable due to him working on Adventures in Babysitting (1987). However, director John McTiernan recommended hiring Alan Silvestri after hearing his work on Back to the Future (1985). Silvestri's score became so iconic that he was brought back for Predator 2 (1990), and the score for Predators (2010) reused many of his original musical themes.
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The screenwriters did a lot of research into U.S. Special Forces operations in South America, to make sure how they would really sneak into the jungle.
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The first week of shooting was a nightmare at times due mostly to the crowded jungle conditions caused by the presence of 300 Mexican crewmen with little to nothing to do. The local union had overstocked the production with unnecessary workers, so John McTiernan eventually sent half of them packing with pay.
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Blain's gun Old Painless could only fire blanks for five seconds at a time.
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Contrary to popular belief, Jesse Ventura (Blain) was not a Navy SEAL before becoming an actor. He was a UDT (Underwater Demolition Team) sailor, AKA a Frogman. While Frogmen served as the predecessors to the modern SEAL teams, they were in fact a separate designation, with different training than modern SEALs.
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Arnold Schwarzenegger believed this movie was such a hit because the heroes were impressively muscular and big.
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The crew had to improvise and use the resources of the jungle to their advantage, too. Stuntmen dug giant holes, and locals made massive nets out of vines.
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The Predator's blood was originally supposed to be orange, but it was difficult to accomplish. An effects guy instead suggested they cut open glow sticks and simply pour the liquid wherever needed.
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John McTiernan was impressed with Elpidia Carrillo, "She knows more about the character than I do."
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In keeping with this being a black ops endeavor the helicopters have no registration numbers nor other identification.
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Two waterfalls are used in the climax of the movie, both near Palenque, Mexico. The first is Misol Ha, just outside the village (beginning and end of the sequence), and the other is Agua Azul about an hour's drive away (the middle part of the sequence).
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Vietnam vet Richard Chaves said that being in the jungle "was an instant déjà vu."
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When the failure of the first Predator suit halted production, Arnold Schwarzenegger recommended his old pal from The Terminator (1984), Stan Winston, to design and build an all-new Predator. "I met with John McTiernan and Joel Silver and we talked about the Predator," Stan Winston recalled. "My feeling from reading the script was that the Predator had to be a real character, rather than a generic creature. He needed to be a very specific character - and that's what we came up with." Time was excruciatingly short for the Stan Winston crew to deliver its new Predator. "There was a lot of pressure to get this done, because production was waiting for the new character so they could start shooting again," Stan said. "And there was additional pressure because somebody else had already failed. We didn't want to be their 'strike two'. Not only that, we'd been recommended by Arnold, who was a dear friend, and we didn't want to let him down."
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The Predator's infrared vision is the same as how snakes detect their own prey.
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John McTiernan got the idea for the nuclear bomb countdown from a dream he had in high school.
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First screenplay written by brothers Jim Thomas and John Thomas.
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When the script was pitched around Hollywood, the shorthand description used for it was "'Alien (1979) in the jungle."
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Each character has different camouflage make-up. Dutch wears "strong lines", to show that he's a leader.
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Arnold Schwarzenegger never worked again with Joel Silver after this film.
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According to John McTiernan's DVD commentary, some minor cuts were done for an R-rating. Predator 2 (1990), on the other hand, had to be cut twenty times for an R-rating.
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The map General Phillips uses to brief Dutch is a map of Brazil. The area that the map shows is a region known as "cerrado biome", in core areas with small and medium trees, wooded savanna, and gramineous-woody savanna. Given that, the big tropical forests with deep ravines and huge trees are geographically incorrect, once that featured region on the map is called Chapada das Mangabeiras, in the plateaus in the center of Brazil. This point is rendered moot, however, by the fact that the countries in which the film takes place are never identified in the course of the movie.
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The screenwriters based the film on classic mythological stories: "There have always been creatures like Predator. The Cyclops, the Minotaur. They represent darkness."
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The M-203 grenade launcher mounted on Dutch's rifle was a custom made prop, not an actual grenade launcher. It was made by prop master John Zemansky for Scarface (1983) for the famous "Little Friend" scene. It was designed to fire blank 12 gauge shotgun shells to produce the muzzle flash. After Scarface wrapped, Zemansky sold the prop to Stembridge gun rentals, where it was rented for use in Predator. So the prop launcher has the distinction of being used on screen by both Al Pacino and Arnold Schwarzenegger, albeit mounted on different rifles.
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Dillon points out that both he and Dutch have lighters of some personal significance. While it's never clarified in the film, the novel states they obtained the lighters while part of a commando unit operating in Thailand.
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Was originally titled 'The Predator' until they changed it to just 'Predator'. The Predator (2018) became the name of the sequel directed by Shane Black, who was also in the original film.
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In the novelization of the film, the Predator is very different from the creature that appeared in the movie. In the book it is a shape-shifter, able to mimic any form it chooses from just the slightest physical contact, and even capable of dissipating entirely, vanishing and becoming part of the blowing breeze. Its basic form is a tall humanoid creature with crimson scaly skin and three-fingered hands. Its only weapons are a telescoping spear that it throws (incidentally similar to the combistick from Predator 2 (1990)) and a static spider web-like trap capable of shredding anything caught in it (similar to the net fired by the Netgun in Predator 2). Instead of a cloak, the predator uses its shape-shifting ability and chameleon-like skin to hide. The Predator is also able to possess any animal it chooses (but not humans, one of the reasons it is so interested in them). Its blood is translucent and amber in color instead of green, although it still glows at night. The Predator does not kill men for sport, but rather out of curiosity; the way it horrifically mutilates its prey is merely an attempt to study and better understand humans. It does however keep trophies taken from those that it kills on board its ship.
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Film debut of Shane Black.
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The film changed its title from "Hunter" to Predator (1987) to avoid confusion with Hunter (1984), which starred Fred Dryer who played on the same football team at San Diego State University (SDSU) as Carl Weathers.
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To make the fireballs, the crew would just dump gasoline around and light it up.
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One of the movie's animators actually "cut" his own name into Predator's costume.
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Billy seems to have a sixth sense regarding the Predator, in the novelization however his powers go even further and he is said to be actively psychic, able to access the memories of his ancestors and the ancient Mayans who used to live in the jungle and can actively sense the Predators presence.
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Adding to the problems, the suit had been built specifically for Jean-Claude Van Damme, a world karate champion. "They wanted to just tell the guy to hop around like a frog," remembers Johnson. "And it was Jean-Claude Van Damme who had no idea what he was getting into. He was just off the boat from Brussels. He thought he was going to show his martial arts abilities to the world. So Jean-Claude comes in for his fittings. Remember the cloaking device? Beautiful effect in its day we made a red version [of the suit] because red is the opposite of green on the color wheel. It had been shot against green in the jungle." "He didn't realize that he was just kind of a stuntman, right?" said Steve. "We get him out there for the first shot and he's just seething. We got him back in at lunch and you could see his eyes through the rubber muscles of the neck and he's like, 'I hate this head. I hate it. I hate it. Hate it.'"
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The actors learned how to be a real military unit, by performing maneuvers and marches in the jungle.
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Originally the Jungle Hunter Predator had a very different much more elaborate Bio-Mask designed to mimic the creatures tribal aesthetic however Producer Joel Silver reportedly "hated it instantly" complaining that the complex design would lessen the effect when the Predator finally removes the mask to reveal its face. As a result, it was redesigned to be far more simple and plain. The original rejected mask prop was later reused for a hunter in Predator 2 (1990) and would go on to inspire the masks worn by Celtic in Alien vs. Predator (2004) and Scarface in the video game Predator: Concrete Jungle (2005). Several other pieces of the Jungle hunter outfit where similarly reuse for the ending of Predator 2 the body suit was recycled for Predator Elder Greyback while the Bio-Mask actually used in the first film was given to a Scout Predator.
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Additional visual effects, mainly for the opening title sequence of the Predator arriving on Earth, were supplied by Dream-Quest Images (Later Oscar winners for their work on The Abyss (1989) and Total Recall (1990).
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John McTiernan broke his wrist while on-location, but kept working.
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Kevin Peter Hall had previously portrayed an alien on safari for human quarry, in the low-budgeted Without Warning (1980).
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Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) and Aliens (1986) have been cited as influences behind the film.
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Not everyone at the shop shared Stan Winston's high opinion of the Predator project. "There were just a few of us working on Predator," recalled SWS Predator team member and co-founder of KNB EFX, Howard Berger, "while everyone else was working on The Monster Squad. The attitude at the shop was that those of us on Predator were on the 'bastard' show, and that The Monster Squad was the really cool show to be on. We were the redheaded stepchildren of the studio at that time. But, hey, heard of The Monster Squad lately? Seen any 'The Monster Squad versus Alien' sequels? It's understandable why everybody was excited about The Monster Squad; but even though the movie did attract a cult following it wasn't a massive hit, while Predator turned out to be phenomenal."
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Jesse Ventura (Blain) became the first actor ever to fire the M134 Minigun handheld. Several actors have since joined this statistic, including fellow Predator star Arnold Schwarzenegger (Dutch) in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) and Oleg Taktarov in Predators (2010).
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One of only four movies featuring two United States Governors with roles as actors (not "self" credits).
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Several weeks of greenscreen shooting on a stage in Los Angeles followed the three-month shoot in Mexico, enabling the filmmakers to pick up some of the more difficult Predator action shots in the controlled environment of a stage, then composite those elements into location plates. Howard Berger was assigned the job of taking the Predator suits and heads home after each day of greenscreen filming to dry them out. "We'd peel the suit off Kevin Peter Hall every night," said Berger, "and I'd throw it into the back of my truck and drive home. And every once in a while, I'd think: 'I'm driving around with the Predator! Hey, anybody want to see what I have in the back of my car?' I remember hanging the suits up in the bathroom of my tiny apartment, with a little dehumidifier in there to dry out these disgusting, smelly, sweaty suits every night."
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Filming began in 1985 and the film was released on the big screen in 1987.
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Award-winning Makeup FX artist Steve Johnson, who led the original Predator suit build for Boss, confirmed Mahan's take on things: "We have this meeting and we're sitting around a board table and it's the usual suspects. It's all of the executives. It's Joel Silver, the producer; it's John McTiernan, the director. With great pomp and ceremony, McTiernan comes in and slams down a bunch of designs that have already been done by a production designer, and they were awful." "It was ahead of its time, let's put it that way," said Johnson. "But the head did suck. They said, 'Here's what we want you to make.' What they needed was a character with backward bent reptilian legs, extended arms and a head that was out here and they wanted to shoot on the muddy slopes of Mexico in the real jungles. It was virtually physically impossible to do. I told them it wouldn't work."
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Carl Weathers came onboard because John McTiernan wanted an actual actor to work against Schwarzenegger. The director had to fight to get a quality actor in the role.
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The sidearms carried by the troopers are Desert Eagle handguns.
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Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, and Sven-Ole Thorsen appeared in The Running Man (1987).
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When the Predator is ambushed by a mud covered Dutch, it panics and starts firing "in all directions" at random uncertain of where he is, just like Billy said The Predator did to Jimmy Hopper's men before he killed them and skinned them alive.
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John McTiernan had been in the middle of his location shoot in Mexico when production had come to a halt, due to problems with the alien creature suit that had been built by Boss Film Studios. Although Boss had objected to the creature design signed off on by John McTiernan and Joel Silver - recognizing that its execution would be problematic - the company had delivered it, as contracted. As Boss had predicted, the design, which looked spectacular in maquette form, was nearly impossible to realize as a full-size suit worn by a performer. Leg extensions and a third leg joint indicated in the maquette prevented the performer from walking on his own two legs. Instead, he had to be put inside a harness and hung from wires mounted to an overhead boom arm, with puppet legs extending below him. The time-consuming setup was particularly impractical in the dense Mexican jungle. "The basic problem," said SWS Predator team member & co-founder of Legacy Effects, Shane Mahan, "was that they were on location in a jungle, with no controlled soundstages and sets, and they needed a creature that could climb and fight and walk through water and everything else you see in the film. The original suit just didn't fit the action requirements."
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Commitments by Arnold Schwarzenegger delayed the start of filming by several months. The delay gave David Webb Peoples enough time to secure a minor re-write from screenwriter David Peoples.
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The final design featured an insectoid head and tusks extending from the mandibles, but was otherwise basically humanoid in physiology, enabling it to be portrayed by a performer in a suit, who could walk unassisted by wires or harnesses. It was a low-tech approach, but, in this instance, the best solution to a specific set of problems. "Often you'll hear filmmakers say, 'Let's do something that doesn't look like a man in a suit,'" Stan Winston commented. "I've said it myself, in fact. 'Let's do something more high-tech, not a man in a suit.' But a man in a suit works just fine as long as you connect the character's mythology as humanoid, as an alien man. Added Stan Winston, "'Man in a suit' only denotes the technology that got you there. As long as it doesn't look like a man in a suit, it doesn't matter if that's the technology you use to get there."
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When Billy is finding the skinned bodies and you hear jungle animal sounds, you can briefly hear the clicky Predator noise.
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John McTiernan feels there's a fascination among audiences about seeing guns being fired, so he added the scene of the remaining team members firing blindly into the jungle for a couple minutes. "What I was really doing was to quietly ridicule the desire to see pictures of guns firing. All of this is sort of a moral separate peace here, and in order to do it I set up the circumstance where there were no human beings in front of the guns. In fact the point of all the firing was, as the man says as soon as they stop shooting, 'We hit nothing.' The whole point was the impotence of all the guns. Which was the exact opposite of what believe I was being hired to sell." He points out that he did the same thing in Die Hard (1988).
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Although it's not mentioned what the pouch is that Billy clutches when afraid, it's something filled with certain sacred objects that is worn by Indigenous peoples, used for protection.
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Arnold Schwarzenegger stated in an interview that he decided to the movie because he had always wanted to do a movie like The Magnificent Seven (1960).
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James Olson who worked with Schwarzenegger in Commando (1985) was offered the part of Gen. Phillips, but turned it down for fear of being typecast. He did however recommend his friend R.G. Armstrong for the part, and after got the role he called him and thanked him for the recommendation.
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John McTiernan hand-picked the M134 minigun (aka "Painless") that Blain (Ventura) uses. They had to slow the barrel down for the film because in reality it spins so fast that it doesn't photograph well. A person could really only manage to carry roughly six seconds worth of ammo. "It's ludicrous, what the f*ck would he carry a thing like that for? It's nonsense, but, it's a movie, so who knows." he stated. There's also a 100lb battery behind the person firing it.
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Scenes with Jesse Ventura were shown to viewers on "WWF Superstars of Wrestling" to promote the movie. On the show, an in-character Ventura bragged to Vince McMahon that he was the leading role in the movie and not Arnold.
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"The production designer hadn't done any research and had no idea that the trees lost their leaves on the west coast of Central America." Two weeks into production the leaves all started dropping. Apparently the New York Times review commented on how the woods resemble the New Hampshire woods in November.
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The characters of Mac and Blain were originally written to be white supremacists who did not like the idea of Dillon, a black character, joining their team. This concept was dropped when Bill Duke was cast as Mac, but many of their hazing efforts are kept in the final film, such as Blain spitting tobacco on Dillon's shoes, and Mac threatening Blain in the jungle, though they do not contain the racial angles that the script had.
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The only scene where anyone was actually hurt on the film is the bit where Dutch slides down the hillside and falls into the river. The stuntman apparently threw his knee out while falling. Well, there was a second injury. "It turned out after the fact, and I found out after I got back to the States, that I had broken my wrist and had just worked through it. I fell out of a tree. I was too embarrassed to admit I was hurt." McTiernan stated.
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In the novelization of Predator, Mac is caucasian and both he and Blain are quite racist towards Dillon and the Hispanic locals.
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The Walther PP pistol used by Anna is likely intended to stand in for the Makarov PM pistol, which looks somewhat similar and would be appropriate for a guerrilla force being supplied by the Soviet Union.
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The shot of Dutch (Schwarzenegger) and his team crawling with the binoculars was accomplished with a crane and a remote control camera, and it pissed off the studio because it took "three hours to get the damn shot."
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Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill Duke previously appeared together in another 20th Century Fox action film, Commando (1985). In that film John Matrix (Schwarzenegger) is a retired elite commando and Cook (Duke) is a renegade ex-Green Beret. Duke went on record in an interview that he got along with Arnold Schwarzenegger when they worked together on that film.
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Stunt director Craig R. Baxley made his directorial debut with the film Action Jackson (1988), which was produced by Joel Silver who also produced this film. Three of the actors from this film appeared in that film; Carl Weathers as the title character, Bill Duke as Captain Armbruster, and Sonny Landham as Mr. Quick.
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The big tree used in the end confrontation is made out of concrete.
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"Wow, I haven't seen this movie in a long time," John McTiernan says on the commentary, noting that he had forgotten all about the space-set opening sequence, in part because it was all post-production. "It was always in the script, but it never showed up until about an hour before the movie opened."
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When Dutch's right shoulder is wounded when the Predator shoots him with the shoulder cannon, the Predator doesn't shoot Dutch in his right shoulder but shoots at Dutch's M16 with an underslung M203 grenade launcher. If the Predator had shot Dutch in the right shoulder, Dutch would have lost his right arm.
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The crew would chop down leaves, and re-plant them in front of the camera, for some shots.
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The "Predator-vision" was created using visual effects, and a heat-vision camera.
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In an effort not to get sick while filming in Mexico John McTiernan instead went without much eating. "I lost 25lbs, the line producer lost almost forty." Schwarzenegger did get sick due to eating street food in Puerta Vallarta. "He ended up playing a scene with an IV bottle in his arm once." The actor grows visibly thinner throughout the movie as he began not eating as well in order to avoid illness.
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The wild boar that Mac killed was fake. "That pig was so unreal are you kidding me." John McTiernan stated.
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Dutch's main weapon is an AR-15/SP1 slab-side M16 fitted with an M16A1 birdcage muzzle flash with an M203 launcher and a perforated forend for the M203. Dillon and other members of the squad carry a Heckler and Koch HK94A3 (chopped and converted). Blain's minigun "OI' Painless" is a handheld M134 which was modified for handheld use with an M60 handguard assembly installed beneath the barrels and a rear pistol grip. Mac's weapon is an M60E3. Poncho carries a AN/M5 pyrotechnic discharger built from a Heckler and Koch HK94. Billy's weapon is a AR/SP1 fitted with an underbarrel Mossberg 500.
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It was announced in April 2021 that the original Predator writers were suing Disney's 20th Century Studios. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jim and John Thomas, who wrote 1987's Predator, have filed a lawsuit against 20th Century Studios over the copyrights to the sci-fi action classic. The Thomas brothers allegedly filed the suit to exploit a copyright termination provision in order to recover the copyright to their literary material. Disney's 20th Century Studios filed a countersuit against them to keep the franchise under its ever-expanding film roster. The lawsuit put plans for a new fifth Predator solo movie to be directed by Dan Trachtenberg on hold.
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In an interview with Steve Austin on his podcast, Jesse Ventura recalled that he mentally "went back" to his days in Vietnam as a Navy Seal because of this movie filming in the jungles of Mexico. He explained that, "...the smell, the weapons, the shooting. At one point, my wife came down [to the set in Mexico], and while we were asleep she said that I bolted straight up in the middle of the night and exclaimed, "Don't worry, the area's secure." I then went back to sleep, and she was startled because I had never done that before in our life together." Jesse would go on to say that filming the movie was actually pretty easy for him because he just did what the Seals had trained him to do from back when he was on active duty.
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In the Alien vs Predator universe, the film takes place 17 years before Alien vs. Predator (2004) and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007).
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Dutch was born on January 13th 1948 and is 39 in the film and Dillon was born on February 15th 1948 and is also 39 and is a month younger than Dutch.
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The arcade game Alien vs. Predator (1994) features a character named Dutch Schaefer as an homage to the character in the film. Additionally, Dutch Schaefer in the game has a mechanical arm and is said to be a cyborg, likely a reference to Schwarzenegger's starring role in the Terminator series, particularly the second film which features a famous scene where Schwarzenegger strips the skin from his left arm, revealing the robotic structure beneath.
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In February 1987, with the new Stan Winston Studio Predator suit completed, the production company assembled in Palenque, a Mexican archeological site located just north of the Guatemalan border, to shoot the one-on-one battle between Dutch and the Predator. Shane Mahan accompanied the production, as did SWS mechanical designer Richard Landon. "It was all very exciting," Mahan recalled, "but also a bit scary, because we were thrust into a film that had been going on for months beforehand. We got down there, and what was meant to be two and a half weeks of reshoots ended up being nearly three months of reshoots! It went on and on."
Despite its inauspicious beginning as a 911 call and a favor to a friend, Predator remains one of the shows and characters of which Stan Winston is most proud. "The Predator is an iconic character," Stan said, "as well known and loved a character in science fiction film history as any character out there. And he's basically a man in a suit. I think one of the reasons that the characters that have come out of this studio are so memorable is because they are not about the technology." "We use higher technologies where they need to be used, but we don't use them for their own sake," said Winston. "Predator was a perfect example of that philosophy. We could do it with a low-tech tool, so we used a low-tech tool. That doesn't mean there wasn't a great deal of technology that went into the Predator, as well. But we combined all of the tricks - high-tech and low-tech - to create this organic Predator character." Those 'tricks' referred to by Winston included optical techniques to create the Predator's camouflage effect, executed by visual effects supervisor Joel Hynek and an effects team from R/Greenberg Associates, working with images of a performer wearing a special red version of the suit Stan Winston Studio had built for that specific purpose.
They initially attempted to use real heat vision cameras to capture the Predator's vision, but not only was it a large piece of equipment with an umbilical that would only stretch four feet from the van, but there was also an even bigger problem. "The ambient temperature in Mexico was in the 90s. Consequently, people were the same temperature as the background, and they were perfectly camouflaged." The effects folks tried to fix this by spraying down the trees with ice water and having the actors stand beside a fire before their scenes, but it was a huge waste of time and money. John McTiernan had to go behind the studio's and producers' backs to try some tests at a video production house. They created the effects digitally and were accepted once he proved their value.
The film's iconic score was used in numerous movie trailers including Ghost in the Machine (1993) and Blind Vision (1992).
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Predator is an American-Mexican co-production film.
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Supposedly, Jerry Goldsmith was originally approached to score the film, but was unavailable.
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Looking back, Alec Gillis recalls a turning point in crew morale when Stan said: 'Listen, guys. I will never strap a production with a one-year build schedule. That's not fair to them. These people are trying to make movies, and they are trying to do it in a timely fashion. I'm always going to be as flexible and accommodating of that as I can be.' And we said: 'Okay, but why this? Why Predator?' And he said, 'Because this is going to be a great movie.' He was doing it as a favor to Arnold, partly. But his instincts also told him that Predator was going to be great, which shows his good judgment of material."
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Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Shane Black and Bill Duke got terribly sick from bad water because the filtration system at the hotel were they were staying in Mexico during filming had broken down and the hotel staff failed to tell them several days after it broke down and the water in the hotel was bad. When they filmed the sequence which Billy tells Dutch that something is in the tree, Arnold Schwarzenegger and the cast raced to the bathroom when John McTiernan called "Cut!".
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The original plan for the movie was to have several Predators as adversaries. This didn't occur until Alien vs. Predator (2004), and later in Predators (2010) (the presence of multiple Predators in Predator 2 (1990) being a mere cameo).
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The theatrical trailer for Predator featured music from James Horner's compositions for Aliens (1986). The specific music used can be found on the Aliens soundtrack as Track 01 - Main Titles. The trailer also features unfinished, basic visual effects depicting magenta-colored heat signatures on some of the characters.
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Apart from this film, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sonny Landham have something else in common: they both co-starred with Sylvester Stallone in prison movies. Schwarzenegger in Escape Plan (2013) and Landham in Lock Up (1989).
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Throughout the film Richard Chaves' character is referred to as "Pancho"; yet the English subtitles on the video disc and the credits spell his name "Poncho". "Pancho" is a given name in Spanish; "Poncho" is a waterproof outer garment worn to repel rain.
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The song that Blain plays on the stereo is "Long Tall Sally" by Little Richard and runs almost a minute longer than the 02:10 long edit from 1956.
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Shane Black was cast because John McTiernan and producer Joel Silver wanted a writer on the set. "And he has a great wise-ass manner." the director stated.
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At 44:01 Pancho says to Anna "Qué pasó mujer? Qué viste?" which is Spanish for "What happened woman? What did you see?"
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Regarding Jesse Ventura, John McTiernan was surprised to discover he was "a lot brighter than he pretended to be" and "truly astonished" when he heard Ventura was elected governor of Minnesota years later.
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3 years after the film's release, Jesse Ventura and Sven-Ole Thorsen starred in the sci-fi film Abraxas: Guardian of the Universe (1990). Arnold Schwarzenegger was offered the title role but turned it down to do Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) and Jesse Ventura took the role.
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The attack on the compound was shot by a 2nd unit director, but John McTiernan wasn't fond of its "stuntman" style consisting of "static shot after static shot" punctuated by explosions.
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The greeting between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers early on in the film has since become a meme, often made to look like a painting, uniting two things of different kinds together (although some suggest it could be a Venn diagram as well).
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In the scene where Mac crushes the dead scorpion under his boot, when the Predator picks up the scorpion in his palm. His bio-mask thermals makes the scorpion look similar to a xenomorph facehugger.
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John McTiernan and cinematographer Donald McAlpine had to plead the studio to let them film somewhere with actual jungle foliage, and they were granted permission. "There was somebody involved in the production, that turned out later for corrupt reasons, insisted that we do it in Puerta Vallarta." He says he didn't have enough cache yet to have a say in it, but "I have never let somebody choose the location for me since."
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Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Richard Chaves and Sonny Landham in real life have served in the military; Schwarzenegger served in the Austrian Army, Ventura in the United States Navy and Chaves and Landham served in the United States Army, the former being a Vietnam veteran. Schwarzenegger, Ventura and Landham would later become politicians, the first two making successful bids for governor of California and Minnesota while Landham ran for governor of Kentucky.
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Jesse Ventura once quipped, "Gary Goldman was a former Green Beret and technical advisor on this film. He and I went down to the set a week early before shooting began, and the two of us started teaching [the cast and crew] how to properly patrol. Gary set me as the rear security so I could watch and critique everyone when we were done at the end." Jesse would go on to say that he feels proud for what they did because many military fans of the movie would come up to him and acknowledge just how authentic the patrolling was due to the actor's spacing. But Jesse also noted that he had to constantly fight the director ( John McTiernan ) over it, and that he had to learn that proper military spacing wasn't good for filming. He would further explain, "I had to learn that we were filming a Hollywood movie and not a documentary - this wasn't a Navy Seal training video." So, a compromise was made where even though each patrol member couldn't properly be separated by 10 meters from one another that they also wouldn't be so huddled together in broad daylight where a single enemy could take out half of the platoon with one bullet.
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Some sources give Dillon's first name as George. While his first name is never mentioned in the film, the novel states that his first name is Al.
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"I remember when Stan came in and told us what he was planning for Predator," said SWS veteran and co-founder of Amalgamated Dynamics, Alec Gillis. "He said, 'And the bad news is, we've only got six weeks to do it.' We were all stunned, and we got a little confrontational with him. 'Why are we doing this, Stan? This is going to kill us!' We'd just heard that another shop had been given a year to build a similar type of thing, and we mentioned that to Stan. 'Why can't we get jobs like that?'"
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During a confrontation scene with Dillon, Dutch mentioned that his crew were "not expendables". As of 2020, none of the actors who played Dutch's crew appeared in any of the three Expendables film unlike Arnold Schwarzenegger who appeared in all of them.
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In the comics/literary world, the sequel to Predator is Predator: Concrete Jungle, and it centers on Dutch's brother John Schaefer, who was a New York City cop (and like Dutch an Army veteran) in the midst of a deadly gang war during a very hot summer. Some years after the encounter with the alien in Central America, Dutch tells his brother his story about aliens and government cover-ups, then disappears. Later on, John encounters one such creature that sets him on his own investigation.
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Producer John Davis developed the script with the idea that it was "Rocky meets Alien, I guess," but John McTiernan liked the idea of it feeling closer to King Kong. "Bunch of guys go to an island, and go deeper and deeper in, and shazam the thing they're chasing turns out to be a lot bigger than they thought, and they have to turn around and run away!" he stated.
John McTiernan originally wanted the team to arrive on scene via a halo jump and describes the entire sequence as written a C130 plane, an attacking Mig, and Dutch putting his gun to the pilot's head to force him over the landing zone at which point he would run for the back ramp, grab a parachute off the wall and jump but he sacrificed it in exchange for not including an interior shot in the Predator's spaceship. Schwarzenegger later used it in Eraser (1996). .
The "curtain call" at the end was due to McTiernan's desire to show the team together again after the downer ending. "You know where I stole this? From Robert Altman, a movie called Brewster McCloud."
Each members role of Dutch's rescue team: Billy (Sonny Landham), scout and tracker; Mac (Bill Duke), Sergeant, 2nd in command/Assault; Poncho (Richard Chaves), Demolitions Engineer/translator (possibly medic); Hawkins (Shane Black), Radio Operator (possibly medic); Blain (Jesse Ventura), Heavy Weapon Support.
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At 1:12, Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) reveals that he knows they are being hunted by saying, "Don't! Leave it... He didn't kill you because you weren't armed...No sport."
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In the movie, Dutch and his team's full names are never said in the movie. Dutch's real name is Alan Schaefer. Dillon's first name is Al. Poncho's real name is Jorge Ramirez. Mac's surname is Eliot. Billy's surname is Sole. Blain's surname is Cooper and Hawkin's first name is Rick.
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The original creature design was by all accounts terrible, but when they brought on Stan Winston the effects wizard went away for a week and returned with the design seen in the final film. When it came time to shoot Winston also brought a team of young guys operating individual controls to make the creature's face move.
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Initially, the mask design was a mechanical interpretation of the creature's face. To avoid giving away the look of the creature too early in the film, Stan Winston Studio changed the mask design to a simpler, more 'tribal' look. The mask on the left was later used in Predator 2 (1990) "The concepts were identical," Winston said, "and yet, Rick was nominated in makeup and I was nominated in visual effects. What that points out, I think, is that there is really no way to categorize what we do. No one form of technology defines the characters that we've developed over the years. What is it? Is it makeup? Is it special effects? Is it visual effects? Sometimes it is all of the above. Whatever best serves that character, that's what we use. Our starting point has always been to ask ourselves, 'Who is this character?' And, once we figure that out, we decide the best way to create the character, whether it is through makeup or animatronics or, now, even computer technology - or a combination of those."
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Included among the American Film Institute's 2001 list of 400 movies nominated for the top 100 Most Heart-Pounding American Movies.
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The opening credits sequence was filmed in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico.
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At 38:38 Dillon says to Anna "Callate" which is Spanish for "Shut up".
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When Dutch says that the Predator is a hunter there is a long pause when he says it as 'Hunter' was the original title of the film.
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This is the second movie in 10 years in which Carl Weathers plays a soldier, after Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) which was also about extraterrestrials.
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Arnold Schwarzenegger posed for photos with the snake around his shoulders.
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They had to ship three Huey helicopters to Mexico for the shoot. The montage of the choppers flying while the mercenaries chatted within was originally shot with the doors open against a blue screen, but it was far too much of a pain.
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The movie did not get a cinema release in the United Kingdom until New Year's Day 1988.
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John McTiernan points out how much Schwarzenegger resembles Sgt. Rock and mentions that the actor was discussing the possibility of making that movie even then.
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John McTiernan doesn't read subtitles when watching foreign films. "I really didn't care what people say. I don't pay attention to what they say. I pay attention to what they look like when they say it and how it sounds."
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At 37:23 Anna says to Dillon "Mierda" which is Spanish for "sh*t".
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John McTiernan wants to be clear that the Predator's dreadlocks are in no way a signifier of racial ethnicity.
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Arnold Schwarzenegger's cigar wouldn't light for the credits sequence, so they used optical effects to make it appear lit.
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Richard Chaves was bitten by ants.
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Arnold Schwarzenegger's Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer was the inspiration and model for the video game, Konami's Contra (1987)'s character, Sergeant Bill Rizer, with Sylvester Stallone's John Rambo being the model for Corporal Lance Bean (Rizer's partner).
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This is the first of 2 movies Arnold was in in 1987. The other one was The Running Man. Jesse Ventura was also in both movies.
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Geoff Murphy was first attached to direct.
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The film served as an inspiration for the Filipino film Bangis (1996).
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John McTiernan points out that this was his first studio film, and it's actually only his second feature period after the moody horror thriller, Nomads. "Terrifying in a lot of ways, and a learning experience in a lot of other ways."
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At 50:50 Dillon says to Anna "Vámonos" which is Spanish for "Let's go".
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Dillon tells Anna to "vamos"; it means "move on" in Spanish and Portuguese.
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In the final season of the BBC science fiction series Doctor Who (1963) (TV Series) The series title protagonist The Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) and his companion Ace (Sophie Aldred) find themselves on a hostile wilderness planet inhabited by a race of extra terrestrial hunters called The Cheeta People. Sylvester McCoy's first appeared as The 7th version of The Doctor the same year Predator (1987) was released. The Predator happens to be an extra terrestrial hunter.
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John McTiernan points out a scene with a 180-degree camera dolly pan in it. "You couldn't at the time get an American cameraman to do it," he says, but McAlpine is Australian and had a much looser style. Is this true? Would McTiernan lie?
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Bill Duke and actor/stunt man Henry Kingi (in an uncredited role as the rebel in the truck) appeared together in a film 11 years prior, 1976's Car Wash.
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After the movie ends and prior to the ending credits, the main cast (in order of apparition: Richard Chaves, Shane Black, Sonny Landham, Jesse Ventura, Bill Duke, Elpidia Carrillo and Carl Weathers), make a brief appear with their names and characters onscreen, saluting to camera. The last to appear is Arnold Schwarzenegger, but he not salutes to camera after his appear is taken from a movie scene.
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Sven-Ole Thorsen: Arnold Schwarzenegger's friend and frequent collaborator, appears as the Russian Officer.
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The black helicopter pilot seen at the end of the movie is Kevin Peter Hall, the actor who plays the Predator. John McTiernan gave him the brief on-screen role, because his "work as Predator was so exhausting."
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Body count: sixty-nine humans (most of them at the hands of Dutch Schaefer), one scorpion, one boar, and one Predator.
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Before Blain gets killed by the predator with its plasmacaster, blood appears on his neck and shoulder. It is revealed on the commentary that the Predator initially tried to kill him with its speargun, but only grazing his shoulder, resulting in the Predator using his plasmacaster.
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According to the Xenopedia, the Alien vs Predator wiki website: following his last stand against the Predator, Dutch was suffering from radiation sickness due to the Predator setting off his self-destruct device. At the hospital where he was hospitalized, Peter Keyes of the OWLF interviewed Dutch about his encounter with the Predator. But Dutch escaped from the hospital and vanished.
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The animal that startles Blain just before he's killed by the Predator is a Mexican tree porcupine.
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Rumors persist that Billy's death was originally filmed but cut from the movie because it was too violent. This is completely false, as Billy's demise was always intended to occur off-screen, with his scream being the only indication of what happened to him. The sequence is similar to King Willie's death in Predator 2 (1990) where viewers see the build-up to the fight and its aftermath, yet the battle itself occurs off-screen.
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Fans sometimes refer to the self-destruct device as a "wrist nuke". This nickname probably refers to the size and nature of the explosion itself, since it has never been clarified whether the device is actually nuclear in nature. However, in the original script for Predator 2 (1990), it is specified that Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) had to be treated in a hospital for radiation sickness following his final showdown with the creature, and nuclear explosions typically cause toxic amounts of radiation.
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Several weapons were proposed for the Predator but cut from the finished film, including a speargun (a projectile from which is glimpsed very briefly wounding Blain before he is killed) and a spear. These later resurfaced as the speargun and the combistick in Predator 2 (1990). Another weapon designed for the creature, but not recycled in the second movie, was a sword. Two swords were built from fiberglass and the weapon was actually incorporated into the first test suit, sheathed inside the Predator's backpack. However, it was removed when it was found the creature's head caught on the handle when Kevin Peter Hall turned to look around.
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The facial appearance of the Predator was inspired by the wrinkle-faced bat (Centurio Senex).
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Bill Duke's character Mac's famous quote "I'm gonna have me some fun tonight" is in reference to the song "Long tall Sally" by Little Richard released in 1956 which is played earlier in the movie during the chopper scene.
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When the film was broadcast on ITV in the UK in 1991, some violent scenes in the film, and bad language, were cut for censorship, and for time: Mac warning Dillon that he'll bleed him, if he gives up his position again. The severing of Dillon's right arm, and his demise. The Predator ripping out Billy's skull and spine, and Dutch calling the Predator "One Ugly Motherfucker" when The Predator removes his mask.
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The Predator does not kill those who are unarmed.
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Sonny Landham, who played Billy, previously played a character named Billy Bear in 48 Hrs. (1982) which was also produced by Lawrence Gordon and Joel Silver. In both movies, his character dies shirtless while brandishing a knife.
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According to actor Gary Busey when he was interviewed of the set of Predator 2 (1990). Dillon was working for Peter Keyes and that Peter Keyes commissioned the C.I.A. operation in the Central American Jungle and that he used Dillon to send Dutch and his team into the Central American Jungle to draw out the Predator and sending Dutch and the team to the Central American Jungle to eliminate the guerrillas was a ploy and Dillon wasn't aware Keyes was actually using him, Dutch and his team to capture the Predator.
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When Dillon asks Dutch why he declined to do Libya at the beginning of the movie, Dutch responds that his team is a rescue team and that they are not assassins. This foreshadows Dutch finding out that the mission is a lie and that it's not a rescue mission, but an assassination mission and Dillon used Dutch and his team to eliminate the rebels.
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A dummy of Sonny Landham was used for the graphic sequence which the Predator rips out Billy's skull and spine.
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The members of Dutch's team are killed by The Predator are in order as followed: Hawkins. Blain. Mac. Dillon. Billy and Poncho.
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Hawkins was slashed in the carotid artery by the Predator.
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Mac's death was ranked #2 by Io9 of the 10 best Predator kills.
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When the soldiers are setting the "boy scout" traps for the Predator the Dillon character doesn't initially assist. Dutch suggests that he should and Dillon who is fully clothed agrees. If you watch closely slightly prior to this Dillon is already stripped to the waist helping pull down a tree. This is obviously filmed after him talking to Dutch.
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When the movie aired on ITV in the UK in 1992, Dillon's death was cut for censorship which Dillon losing his arm and getting killed when he gets stabbed in the gut with the Predator's blade gauntlet was removed. The editing of the scene makes it look as if Dillon got killed instantly when the Predator shoots him with it's shoulder cannon. It cuts from Dillon getting shot in the arm by the Predator's shoulder cannon to Dillon being heard screaming in the next scene.
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Dillon's death is Dillon's comeuppance for lying to Dutch about the mission and for using Dutch and his team to eliminate the rebels.
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