Six Degrees of Schwarzenegger Podcast – Predator Ep. 7

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Highlights from this section of PREDATOR

  • Dutch uses himself as bait
  • Predator gets punked
  • Mac goes off the deep end
  • Dillon comes face-to-face with the Predator

The Code of the Predator

A lot of time in this week’s podcast is dedicated to discussing the Predator’s ethics.  Much fan research and theorizing has been done on the subject, and the subsequent PREDATOR releases (films, books, video games, etc) have done a lot to flesh out this aspect of Yautja (that’s the name of the Predators’ species – if ya don’t know, now ya know) code of combat.

In the original film, we get a clear sense that the Predator is following some sort of rules of engagement as our human characters begin to piece together a theory that the alien is hunting them for sport.  The group realizes that the Predator is picking them off one by one “like  a hunter,” that the unarmed and captive Anna doesn’t seem to be a target because she offers “no sport,” and that the Predator is keeping trophies from his kills and is known by the locals as “the demon who makes trophies of men.”

After PREDATOR’s release in 1987, much more thought was put into the Yautja code as the franchise became a sci-fi fan favorite.  Over at Xenopedia, a fan wiki focusing on the PREDATOR and ALIEN franchises, a comprehensive list of rules has been compiled detailing the Yautja Honor Code.  We’ll not focus in on every rule, but here are some that seem the most universal:

  • Must hunt only “worthy prey” which is armed, a threat to other life, and able to defend itself
  • Never hunt the innocent, unarmed, young, elderly, or infirm
  • Must hunt prey on even terms (ranged weapon on ranged weapon, blade on blade, hand to hand)
  • If defeated in a hunt, a Predator must take its own life to preserve its honor

If you’re curious and want to learn A LOT MORE about Yautja code, check out this video:

And if you’re like Mike and you’re feeling a little skeptical of all this honor code business, here’s a spirited debate about whether the Predator code of honor is legit or not.

 

Filming in the Mexican jungle was as intense as it seemed in the movie.

From the critters to the climate to the landscape, filming on location in the jungles of Mexico was a daunting experience for all involved.  Carl Weathers (who played Dillon) likened shooting in the jungle to shooting in hell. He said there was never a comfortable place to sit or stand in the rugged terrain.  Richard Chavez (who played Poncho) tells a story of sitting down for a breather and laying down on an ant hill. He was bitten by dozens of red ants, stripped out of his gear and ran “butt naked” through the jungle seeking medical attention.

Bill Duke (who played Mac) remembers the horrors of working in ungodly hot conditions while wearing heavy gear and lugging heavy guns and “crawling through the jungle on your stomach and there are coral snakes and spiders and scorpions…”  Moving filming equipment around in the inhospitable jungle setting was equally problematic.  Cinematographer Don McAlpine said trying to light scenes though leaves was so impractical that they just used fast film shot 99% of the daytime scenes with natural light.

All these problems were compounded by the fact that filming took place in the middle of summer.  The prevailing wisdom might have been that shooting in summer would provide the lushest, greenest jungle setting, but in reality the summer heat was so intense that the jungle is actually sparser and browner in the summer than other times of the year.  The jungle was so brown in fact, the the production team brought in outside plants to make the jungle look greener on camera.

Read more from Maxim here.

Further reading: How a Hollywood joke spawned an action classic

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