Remember when I mentioned that thing about “firsts?” Here’s another one. It’s a little more “abstract” for a “first,” but a type of “first” none-the-less.
So, the first Arnold Schwarzenegger movie I ever saw was “Commando,” Sunday Night Movie and edited for television. The second was “The Terminator,” also edited for television.
This next one was the first one I was allowed to watch, with my dad, completely unedited on VHS.
It starts like “The Magnificent Seven,” and ends up being “Silver Bullet.”
A special military team is sent into the jungle on what is believed to be a rescue mission. As we start our journey with them, they prove to be a formidable force.
Prior to reaching the enemy outpost, they discover a multitude of concerning circumstances that no one can explain. There was another team that went missing on the same mission. The group stumbles along their aircraft, and can find no explanation as to why it was brought down. They also find a large majority of the team members corpses, hanging from a tree with their hides removed. They know it is them because of their dog tags.
Bent on retribution now, they invade the enemy hideaway with stealth precision and eliminate all of them with no casualties on their team.
Dutch (Schwarzenegger) finds out that it was anything but a rescue mission all along and he has been duped by an old “friend.” They have also been cut off from their transport out, and have to take “the long way” around the South American Jungle.
Little did any of them know that this would be the least of their problems.
At the very, very start of this movie, there appears to be a “Mothership” alien vessel that launches a life pod down through earth’s atmosphere. I always felt that this would’ve been a slightly more interesting movie if they would’ve left that scene out of the beginning. Jim & John Thomas developed a great script with disturbing visuals and haunting scenes that created a lot of suspense as we watch our heroes trudge along in the forest, only to get picked off one by one. Being that we as the viewer are in on the “alien invasion,” we don’t get to be in the thick of it with the heroes as much, knowing that they are being hunted by a monster from another world.
Don’t get me wrong, “Predator” is still one bad ass action extravaganza that changed the way I’d play with my G. I. Joe action figures moving forward. I remember looking at all of the action figures I had, and compiling a team much like the one in the movie. I would get all of the similar weapons that they had in the movie and match them up with the character’s and pick them off one by one. The problem was, I did not have a predator action figure, so that was all make-believe (i.e. me). I still pretty much reenacted this movie when I played with my G. I. Joe’s, predator available or not.
I remember being so thankful that my mom allowed me to watch that movie with my dad. I could finally share in some of the conversations my friends had at school about the movie. It also loosened my parents up a little on future “R” rated movies.
Pretty good “first” …
…even if it is a little abstract.
8 thoughts on ““Stick around.””
I totally agree with you about “Predator”
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I love it, just cut that one scene.
I remember when I first saw Predator, and I’ve watched it dozens of times since. I think that without the opening scene, the movie would lose something. I mean, you’d eventually figure out that it’s an alien and he’s hunting people, but why? Did he crash land and has to defend himself from the warring humans? Hell no, he came here on purpose specifically to kill humans, and that’s pretty freaking scary.
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Fair enough. I just enjoy taking the same journey with the characters. I think there could have been another layer of suspense added there. It’s still an amazing action movie that entertains throughout the picture.
It’s always a difficult thing to know when to start a story (talking like a writer here). Perhaps they ran some of those early screenings and asked, although I’m not sure if they were so popular at the time… I prefer the less is more approach too, but it might work anyway…
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It did work, and since this post, it has been fifty-fifty from my readers who say keep it in or cut it…I can see both sides; I prefer the cut. It’d give it the Jaws treatment.