Predator (1987)

Predator (1987), directed by John McTiernan.


When I was little, we found a man. He looked like -- like, butchered. The old woman in the village crossed themselves and whispered crazy things, strange things. El Diablo cazador trofeo de los hombres. Only in the hottest years this happens. And this year, it grows hot. We begin finding our men. We found them sometimes without their skins... and sometimes much, much worse. El cazador trofeo de los hombres means "the demon who makes trophies of men".

-- Anna

Human hunters go on safari and take trophies. Why shouldn't aliens do the same, taking the whole planet as their preserve? Paying special attention to the top predators they find there.

Critical reviews were mixed on this one but it soon found an audience and has since been loved as one of the best science fiction action films, powered by sweat and testosterone. After a troubled history on home video the UHD corrects the previous image quality errors.

With a rewatch the writing and editing are impressive. Elements that please fans:

Other, more pedantic notes:

Big score by Alan Silvestri. Photographed by Donald McAlpine (Breaker Morant (1980), Tempest (1982), Patriot Games (1992), Clear and Present Danger (1994)).

Creature effects by Stan Winston, who was brought in when they couldn't make the original effects work.

The director's commentary track rambles a bit but also gives good information on the production. He says casting Carl Weathers was essential, giving Schwarzenegger an experienced actor to play against and learn from. McTiernan rewrote the character to redeem him from being a simple "evil CIA man".

Available on Blu-ray and UHD. My thumbnails are from the UHD and the color saturation of the images is not right, a limitation of the software used to get the screenshots.