Six Degrees of Schwarzenegger Podcast – Predator Ep. 1


Highlights from this section of PREDATOR

  • Predator shoots down to earth from a passing spacecraft.
  • The squad arrives by helicopter at the beachfront base
  • Dutch and Dillon arm wrestling reunion.
  • Dillon convinces Dutch to take the mission to rescue some diplomats.
  • The squad helicopters into the jungle.

What genre is PREDATOR?

Wikipedia calls PREDATOR a science-fiction action horror movie.  Is this more mileage than any one movie can hope to cover?  Take a closer look at how Wikipedia describes each genre and decide for yourself.

Science fiction film is a genre that uses speculative, fictional science-based depictions of phenomena that are not fully accepted by mainstream science, such as extraterrestrial lifeforms, alien worlds, extrasensory perception and time travel, along with futuristic elements such as spacecraft, robots, cyborgs, interstellar travel or other technologies.

Action film is a genre in which the protagonist or protagonists end up in a series of challenges that typically include violence, extended fighting, physical feats, and frantic chases. Action films tend to feature a resourceful hero struggling against incredible odds – including life-threatening situations, a villain, or a pursuit – and generally, conclude in victory for the hero.

Horror film is a genre that seeks to elicit a physiological reaction, such as an elevated heartbeat, through the use of fear and shocking one’s audiences. Horror films often deal with viewers’ nightmares, fears, revulsions and terror of the unknown. Plots within the horror genre often involve the intrusion of an evil force, event, or personage into the everyday world.

All these genres cover a lot of ground, but PREDATOR definitely contains aspects of each of them.  PREDATOR is first and foremost an action movie, as it contains every quality of the action genre as described above.  PREDATOR also features the sci-fi elements of interstellar travel and alien life form and it contains the horror elements of the terror of the unknown and an evil character intruding the everyday world.  (Although, is the Predator really evil?  That’s one of many topics we’ll discuss over the course of this podcast.)


Arm wrestling: over-utilized or UNDER-utilized in film?

Is there a more ludicrous, juvenile display of machismo than arm wrestling?  Well, if there is, I don’t want to know about it.  While Sylvester Stallone’s “OVER THE TOP” stands as the quintessential (and possibly/hopefully only) film in the arm wrestling sub-genre, PREDATOR features perhaps the most iconic image of two big, muscular, sweaty arms locked in mortal combat.  It is so epic it has inspired memes, art, and fan videos.

The folks at TV Over Mind have put together a pretty good list of major arm wrestling moments in film.  No surprise PREDATOR ranks high on their list.


How did the ROCKY franchise inspire PREDATOR?

The story goes that after ROCKY IV, in which Rocky was victorious over Russian superman Ivan Drago (played by Dolph Lundgren), it was a popular Hollywood joke that Rocky had run out of earthly opponents and would have to fight an alien in the next movie.  PREDATOR screenwriters Jim and John Thomas took that punchline, and ran with it to create this action classic.  While the finished product turned out more like RAMBO versus ALIEN, it’s amazing to consider that such an iconic film and franchise as PREDATOR was launched off a joke of a premise.

Further reading: An oral history of PREDATOR