Six Degrees of Schwarzenegger Podcast – Predator Ep. 9


Highlights from this section of PREDATOR

  • Dutch and Predator prepare for battle
  • Dutch gets primal
  • The game of cat-and-mouse begins
  • The two warriors each draw blood
  • Dutch loses his camouflage

Predator creature design and special effects

The Predator is one of Hollywood’s most iconic movie monsters.  Designed by the legendary Stan Winston, Predator now sits right alongside Freddy Krueger, Xenomorphs, or Jaws on the list of all-time movie monsters; the real stuff of nightmares.  But it wasn’t always such a foregone conclusion that PREDATOR’s titular character would earn a such a revered place in film history.  In fact the original creature design for the movie nearly derailed the entire project.

The original Predator design was an insectoid creature that more closely resembled an oversized praying mantis than a monstrous killing machine.  It featured backwards bending legs that made moving around smoothly on the uneven jungle terrain all but impossible for the man inside the suit.  When the first footage featuring the original design was shot and shown to the studio, it quickly became apparent to all involved that a redesign was needed to salvage the film.

At the recommendation of Arnold Schwarzenegger himself, the filmmakers reached out to Stan Winston, who had worked with Schwarzenegger on THE TERMINATOR.  Winston has already established himself as a preeminent creature designer in Hollywood by creating the T-800 and the Xenomorph Queen from ALIENS, and for his work on John Carpenter’s THE THING.

Stan Winston and his crew only had 6 weeks to design a new creature from the ground up.  Winston took inspiration from a painting of a Rastafarian warrior in producer Joel Silver’s office and a chance suggestion from James Cameron.  Winston was working on Predator designs as he and Cameron flew to Japan to do publicity for ALIENS, when Cameron saw Winston’s sketches and commented that he’d always wanted to see a creature with mandibles on its face.

But necessity is the mother of invention, and with limited time and resources, Stan Winston and his team delivered one of the most memorable monsters in film history.  The Predator alien will be making its sixth appearance on the big screen later this year in THE PREDATOR, Shane Black’s (that’s the guy who played Hawkins in the original, in case you didn’t know) continuation of the franchise.  Check out the video below for more on the creation of the Predator design from the filmmaker’s themselves.


Fishnets in film: who wore it best?

There is a long and storied – and sexy – LEG-acy (see what we did there?) of fishnets portrayed on film.  From CHICAGO to SIN CITY, from MOULIN ROUGE to BLADERUNNER and SUICIDE SQUAD, fishnet stockings are a frequent movie trope to convey simultaneous sexiness and seediness.  Here we’re going to take a closer look at three of the most memorable uses of fishnets on film. 

One of the most iconic use of fishnets in film history undoubtedly belongs to 1975’s THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, a movie as impossible to genrify as PREDATOR.  The mental image of Tim Curry as Dr. Frank N. Furter in full drag is permanently burned into the brain of anyone who has seen that film.  The movie’s over the top costumes are truly as memorable as any of the film’s musical numbers.

Another legendary appearance of fishnets (or more accurately fishnet – singular) on film comes from 1983’s A CHRISTMAS STORY in the form of an inanimate object – the leg lamp!!!  There may never be a movie prop that is more singularly linked to its parent film than A CHRISTMAS STORY’s fishnet-clad leg lamp.  The very sight of a fishnet stocking on a single plastic leg sparks young Ralphie Parker’s sexual awakening and drives his mother mad with jealousy.  Behold the power of fishnet! 

And last but certainly not least is our personal favorite, 1987’s PREDATOR.  PREDATOR goes against the norm, where fishnets are typically used to convey sex appeal.  Here it’s our movie’s terrifying antagonist that is decked out in some sort of head-to-toe fishnet body suit.  It’s never really made clear how or why Predator finds fishnets so appealing (maybe he just likes the way they make him feel?), but for action movie junkies, no movie character has ever made fishnets look better.


Further reading: The birth of a legendary movie monster