The Predator | 50 B Movies To See Before You Die

This week on the B movie docket is The Predator  

B movies are the glue stuck in between all the other genres, oftentimes refusing to conform to any particular genre presets. Some but not all of the hallmarks of a B movie include scripts that read like they were written by a room full of eighth-graders, poor visual effects, cringe-inducing dialogue, low budget production design, and zany plot contrivances. You’re aware of the hallmarks, right? B-movies often reek of amateur flair. Thought you were about to watch a great white shark hunted in dramatic fashion like only Steven Spielberg can deliver? Nope, this is Sharknado.

Why do we love B movies? I think B movies are comforting. You know what you’re about to watch is bad. If you’re fortunate it may be so bad that it’s good. You’ll often scratch your head trying to work out the plot. Out of the many good films you’ve seen, I bet you can talk with more vigor about the worst ones you’ve seen. They’re unforgettable. There’s something comforting about that I think. Besides they’ve been around just as long as the movie industry.

Believe it or not, chances are there’s a B movie for you. So I compiled a list of 50 B movies you must see before you die. No decade is off-limits. No rating is too taboo. For the next 49 weeks, I will introduce and recommend a B movie for your viewing pleasure. Yes, these are exciting times indeed my fanatical friends.

WEEK 43 – The Predator  

The Predator

2018’s The Predator is this week’s B movie. Though it was a disappointing entry to the Predator series. It makes good B movie entertainment. So, if you found yourself disappointed watching this supposed spiritual sequel to the original 1987 John McTiernan actioner. Then it’s time you re-watched this as a B movie. Following up a movie as awesome as Predator is a mighty task. The macho shoes are difficult to fill. Admittedly there are not a lot of actors around able to channel that raw 1980’s machismo. So, the movie tries its darnedest to deliver a gang of protagonists with equal amounts macho venom. What they deliver instead is a group of loonies. For fans of B movies, that ain’t a bad thing. 

Bigger

The Predator serves up a plot hoping to capture that old ethos that bigger is better. Did you think the Super Predator’s introduced in 2010’s Predators were big and nasty? I did. Well, The Predator ups the ante introducing an even larger Predator. The fantastic Stanley Sterling K. Brown comments that it’s f***** tall. And indeed, it is.

The Predator also had the biggest budget out of the franchise. The numbers are as follows. Predator had a budget of around fifteen million dollars. Predator 2’s budget was thirty-five million dollars. Predators budget was forty million. The Predator cost a whopping eighty-eight million dollars to make. It was a case of bigger should equal better. I am not counting the crossover AVP films.

Funnier

Whereas the original Predator delicately paced the comedic jabs. Here the jokes fly like it’s SNL. The jokes are fast and crass, it’s a B movie. We get several jokes about Baxley’s mom. Baxley played by The Punisher’s Thomas Jane. We never meet Baxley’s mom.

There are also the many blatant call outs to the original Predator. Whereas Predator 2 only used one well timed call back to the original Predator. In the pivotal scene in which Danny Glovers character Harrigan removes the creatures mask and eloquently comments on it’s appearance. A straight call back to the original Predator’s scene with Dutch. But here that plays best as a B movie. We get that line delivered by Olvia Munn’s character Casey. Right before that we get the humorous delivery on just how the creature achieved his namesake. It’s explained twice in a comical tone why it should be aptly labeled a sports hunter and not a Predator.

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And that’s not the only callback. Broyce Holebrooks character Quin McKenna gets his chance to reenact more than one classic scene from the original. If you’ve seen Predator you may recall Schwarzenegger’s character Dutch deliver the classic line “what are you?”. To which a helmetless Predator surprisingly spurts the response “what are you?”

Well right after McKenna defeats the mega giant assassin with the aid of his little kid and Olivia Munn’s scientist channeling Laura Croft. He asks the defeated Predator the same thing. But this time, the victor McKenna shoots the creature before it can respond. At face value, a Predator fan may find that scene a disservice to the franchise. I mean since when was Predator funny? I’ll tell you when. Since the franchise dug its heels deep in B movie territory.

The Black cut

You’ve heard the story by now. Several scenes were removed from the final cut of the movie. If included I believe they would have made this movie an even better B movie experience. Included in the axed bits were Predators that worked for the clandestine Predator monitoring government unit Stargazer. They wore military uniforms. The action figure company Neca made a figure of it. Sadly, they didn’t make it to the big screen. How awesome would that have been?

And then there was the whole menagerie of cross breeds that didn’t make it to screen. B movie fans missed out on seeing the famous mandible face applied to a veritable Noah’s arc of alien creatures. Why? Because there’s an entire plot about Predators needing body fluids from the strongest of every species. On their own world they decided hybridization was a good idea, but the original script took this idea further.

Dumber

Admittedly Predator has B movie roots. The strength of the action and cast of the original, paired with a solid story helped to elevate it to a solid genre defining action movie. The Predator tosses that work out the window. With a plot that involves dreadlocked Predator pooches, a mega Predator, and a bunch of loony protagonists. Rest assured, this is a certified B movie.

 

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Stephon White

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