[BD Review] ‘Predator’ Special Edition DVD

To think it’s been almost 20 years and all we have is two Predator movies- well three now if you count Alien vs Predator. The initial idea behind the first film is probably the reason why we haven’t seen sequel after sequel like the Alien movies. How can you recreate such an original plot?

Arnold Schwarzenegger plays Dutch and his crew of misfit soldiers, Dillon (Carl Weaters), Mac (Bill Duke), Blain (Jesse Ventura), Billy (Sonny Landham and Poncho Ramirez (Richard Chaves) all head into the jungle to save some soldiers, only it turns out there’s more to the story than they’d like to believe. The jungle keep “coming alive” and killing the soldiers one by one. Turns out there’s an alien hunter in the jungle and it wants to fight- anyone who has weapons. It’s a game to this creature, but his deadliness becomes oh to serious. The movie takes a unique twist when the hunted (Arnold) becomes the hunter and heads on to take revenge for the loss of his crew and the hundreds of other innocent deaths. Seeing one of the best of the best skinned and hung from a tree can put the fright into you for sure!

Sure the visual effects are on the same lengths as Clive Barkers Hellraiser, but that was top notch at the time, and it’s still quite effective. The environment turns this seemingly ‘thriller’genre film into a horror gem, which spawned a terrible sequel. Between an amazing Predator design by Stan Winston and his crew, the excellent performance by Kevin Peter Hall (inside the Predator) and a fun and colorful crew made Predator a timeless classic with a replay value of infinity. Watching this DVD adds so much more to the film, it’s something that should not be missed.

A DVD just about as explosive as the freaking movie?! You’ve got to be kidding me? Not only that- but when you pick up this bad boy on DVD August 10th, you get a FREE ticket to Fox’s upcoming Alien vs Predator! No I’m not lying to you, the Predator: Collector’s Edition DVD is jam-packed with goodness and has so many reasons to buy it, there’s no reason not to. Besides getting the single greatest jungle combat movie ever assembled you get two disc’s with tons of featurette’s, a commentary track, cool easter eggs and tons more.

Disc #1 is the basic disc, which includes the movie, along with a commentary track by director John Mctiernan- there is also a unique ‘text commentary’ track for your entertainment; now you can do both things at once… don’t you wish you could do that in other areas of your life? Also included on the first disc is a feature called “Inside Look”, which features the trailer and a (already online) featurette for Alien vs Predator and a featurette on I, Robot. I only found one easter egg on the first disc, which was a three minute interview with the director about “learning film”.

Sure it doesn’t sound like much, but when I stuck in disc two, I was finally given the treat. I haven’t seen this many goodies since New Line’s Texas Chainsaw and Freddy vs Jason discs. It was astonishing how much behind-the-scenes footage they still had from the movie made back in 1987.

The table of contest was cool as hell and the interactive menu had writing like the Predators that turned into English when highlighted. The first feature was called “If it bleeds, we can kill it: Making of the Predator”, which ran in at a mind-blowing 30 minutes. This featurette included tons of footage from the set, including cast and crew interviews from then and now. They talked about how Predator was an extremely touch shoot. One of the cast members said, “They don’t teach this in acting class, and if I had know…” There was a small segment about how the script got sold and how everything got off the ground. A lot of the cast and crew commented on how amazing the producer and director’s were- how they really got their hands wet. One of my favorite parts was when Carl Weathers told the story about how he was asked to play the part. He was told, “We’ve got this great boxing movie for you, youre perfect for it, but first, there’s this other movie, we’re gonna make you a star!” Hysterical stuff… Another great story was about how the cast would fight to look better than each other, theyd sneak out to the gym, run for like two hours, lift, eat and then hit the set. Then after they’d film, they’d hit the gym again- but always pretending like they never work out to trick the other giant in the film. They also covered Stan Winston and his SFX designs and Kevin Peter Hall, the 7 foot tall giant who played the Predator.

then I found a great easter egg, one of my favorites ever. It tells the story of a prank played on Stan Winston and his efforts to return the favor- there is a great twist to the story- make sure
to find this one!

The next featurette called “Inside Predator” was actually broken up into seven other featurettes, which ran an average of four minutes each. The first section was “Classified Action”, which took us inside the fun action sequences. There was also “The Unseen Arnold”, which talked about his leadership on the set and pretty much why Arnie rules! One of the coolest little featurettes was “Old Painless”, which was the story of the giant gun used by Jesse Ventura and Bill Duke in the movie. Jesse claims he’s the only man who ever truly carried the gun in action. Then there was “Camouflage”, which talked about how the make-up must match on every scene, and how each character has a different look. “Welcome to the Jungle” followed the crew into this ‘dry’ area, which needed to be covered in rain, to achieve the look they wanted. They talked about how Predator is pretty much a horror film. The last featurette was “Character Design” talked about how each character had their own “bit” and design; they also showed one FX sequence that was improvised on the set- very interesting stuff. It was mind blowing how much footage they have!

I expected the one deleted scene to be a freaking joke, but was surprised to see it would have had a major impact on the film. It shows the Predator toying with good ol’ Arnie. This scene would have totally changed the feeling of the film. There are also three outtakes included. Another feature is called “Predator SFX”, which showed the Predator using his ‘red suit’, which was a man in a red suit so they could to the FX over him. This feature also contained some cool camouflage tests.

A Predator Profile, Trailer and Gallery rounded out this incredible disc, which is totally going to be worth every penny you spend. You can pick up this beast for only $22 over at Amazon. Remember you get a freaking FREE ticket to Alien vs Predator when you buy it. A prefect DVD for a perfect movie.

Official Score