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Predator (1987)

If it bleeds, we can kill it

Rating: 8/10

Running Time: 107 minutes

UK Certificate: 18


'Predator', much like 'The Terminator' before it, is vintage Arnie. At one fairly early stage in this monstrous piece of sci-fi, the stubble-jawed Austrian stabs someone against a wooden post with a great big knife and says 'shtick around', before kicking down the door of a hut, quipping 'knock knock', and shooting everyone in sight. Already, you suspect, the 1987 cinema audience must have gotten what they paid for. To be honest, that opening half-hour or so now seems more than a tad laborious. With more than a hint of the 'Rambo'-esque, it follows Arnie as Dutch, the leader of a crack Army rescue team sent deep into the South American jungle with the apparent intention of rescuing a Cabinet Minister from some terrorists. But, as Dutch and his team wander around making macho chit-chat, something is watching. Something terrifying. Something with heat-sensitive vision and a natty set of dreadlocks. Like all the best monsters (most notably 'Jaws'), chances to get a decent look at the Predator are few and far between. We do know, however, that he's arrived from outer-space, he can camouflage himself against his jungle backdrop, and he collects human skulls – which, let's face it, is a bit creepy. God knows what his bedroom at home must look like. He's also played by Kevin Peter Hall, who we can assume is wearing a costume and isn't really that badly in need of both a dentist and a manicure. So Predders picks off Dutch's team in convenient order of importance, until we reach what is one of the finest climactic 20 minutes in Hollywood history. John McTiernan's direction is spot-on, whilst Alan Silvestri's score builds the tension perfectly as we inevitably reach the man-to-man battle between a mud-caked Arnie and his alien foe. There's also some impressive FX for the time, particularly as the barely-visible beast leaps around the tree-tops scaring the living snot out of the US soldiers.

It's Got: Fantastic action scenes and a cracking ending.

It Needs: To answer certain questions, such as what the monsters doing on Earth in the first place.

DVD Extras Commentary with John McTiernan, If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It documentary, 7 Inside the Predator featurettes, out-takes and deleted scenes, special effects segments, predator camouflage tests, photo gallery and Predator profile. DVD Extras Rating: 9/10


One of the most memorable movies of the 80s, worthy of any DVD collection.