“Only in the hottest years this happens. And this year, it grows hot.”
Is your power still out or maybe you’re just looking to beat the hit this weekend? Perhaps you should ‘escape’ into a cinematic rainforest of testosterone for one of the best action films of the 1980s. This week as part of the Gateway Film Center’s Nightmare from the Crypt Film Series they will be presenting the Arnold Schwarzenegger classic Predator.
Dutch (Schwarzenegger) and his elite commando team arrive in Central America to rescue a valuable Presidential Cabinet Minister. Accompanying the team on their mission is Dillon (Carl Weathers), Dutch’s former teammate that now works for the CIA and recruited them for the operation. Their mission goes as planned and they begin moving towards their extraction point but they are being watched. An extraterrestrial force has turns the tables on them; the hunters have become the hunted and only the greatest predator will survive.
The film co-stars former governor and pro-wrestler Jesse Ventura, Lethal Weapon writer Shane Black, actor/director Bill Duke, and former 70’s porn star and Kentucky governor candidate Sonny Landham. Predator helped launched the career of director John McTiernan whose later films would include Die Hard, The Hunt for Red October, Schwarzenegger’s Last Action Hero, and the universally despised Rollerball remake starring Chris Klein. The film proved popular enough to spawn two direct sequels, 1990’s Predator 2 & 2010’s Predators plus two crossover films, Alien vs. Predator and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. Even though Predator was met with critical disdain from most critics upon its release it has since been added to several “best of” lists from the likes of AFI, Entertainment Weekly, Empire Magazine and is a personal favorite of this writer as well.
Predator is not being shown on 35MM film or from a Blu-ray; instead 20th Century Fox has made a digital print available. A true digital presentation should allow for the most accurate recreation of the original theatrical experience since. It’s harder to find quality 35MM prints and Blu-ray discs have their own theatrical limitations so hopefully this is the start of a positive trend towards more studio support for theatrical catalog presentations.
Predator stalks its way into the Gateway Film Center for a total of four showings; Friday and Saturday night at midnight, Sunday afternoon at 4:30 pm, and Thursday, July 12th at 7:00 pm. Upcoming titles from The Nightmare from the Crypt Series include 1980’s Friday the 13th and Steven Spielburg’s Jurassic Park. Visit the Gateway Film Center’s website for more information and to purchase tickets.