At Beyond Fest...
“If it bleeds…we can kill it.”
Mr. Olympia-turned-actor Arnold Schwarzenegger had already made cinematic splashes with John Milius’ “Conan the Barbarian” and James Cameron’s “The Terminator.” but 1987’s “Predator” would solidify The Austrian Oak’s leading man status.
As Special Forces commando Dutch Schaeffer, Arnold leads one of cinema’s all time most macho casts (Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura, Bill Duke, Sonny Landham along with comic relief Shane Black) into the jungles of Val Verde on a rescue mission that turns into a battle for survival as they’re picked off one at a time by a mysterious, otherworldly hunter.
Allegedly the brainchild of a joke about Sylvester Stallone fighting everyone but E.T. in the Rocky films, screenwriting brothers Jim and John Thomas crafted a half-throwback 50’s alien invasion film meets full-on 80’s testosterone fest with glistening muscles, guns, explosions and primal battle all under the classy eye of director John McTiernan.
Filming in the jungles of Mexico proved difficult for cast and crew as they braced heat, bugs, mud, food poisoning and a creature (played by an unknown Jean-Claude Van Damme) that was as uncooperative as it was visually underwhelming. Creature f/x wizard Stan Winston and team jumped in last minute to create the iconic space warrior with mandibles featured in the finished film and multiple sequels, spinoffs, comic-books and video games.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary, “Predator” remains a true classic with its practical and exciting action, tense pacing, Alan Silvestri’s classic score, top notch cast, one liners and a handful of NSFW jokes. Archival print courtesy of 20th Century Fox Archive. (Duvien Ho)
Special Thanks to 20th Century Fox Archive
Director: John McTiernan
Country: United States
Runtime: 107 minutes
Arnold Schwarzenegger in Person
Double Feature with THE RUNNING MAN
THE RUNNING MAN
“I’m not into politics, I’m into survival.”
Hot off the summer smash success of “Predator,” Arnold Schwarzenegger ended 1987 with “The Running Man,” a futuristic thriller based on Stephen King’s novel.
Set in a future of martial law and a government that dictates what to watch and read, the hottest thing going is The Running Man, a game show where convicts are hunted down by well-armed, modern day gladiators.
Arnie is Ben Richards, a former police officer framed for mass murder during a food riot. Working with the underground resistance, he escapes and tries to go back to normal life, but is soon captured along with spunky civilian Amber Mendez (Maria Conchita Alonso) and they’re both thrown into the barbaric reality show.
Working loosely off of King’s novel, “48 Hours” and “Commando” screenwriter Steven E. de Souza ups the black humor to match the outlandish action of the 2017-set tale.
TV’s Paul Michael Glaser replaced Andrew Davis early in production after budget and schedule concerns but managed to create an entertaining and funny film ahead of its time.
Turning 30, “The Running Man” has experienced a bit of a resurgence in recent years due to phenomenon “The Hunger Games” bearing many similarities, along with our current political state and rise of media influenced narratives, for better or worse. (Duvien Ho)
Director: Paul Michael Glaser
Country: United States
Runtime: 101 minutes