THE SCI-FI PODCAST EP 23: The Predator Franchise Part 1 – Predator (1987)

tsfp-predator-franchise-review-part-1Welcome to The SciFi Podcasta wretched hive of scum and villainy a bi-weekly podcast focused on in-depth discussion of all things Science Fiction. The SciFi Podcast features three hosts—Mattroid, Solo, Brain, and Station!—and frequent guests. Each episode we look at a science fiction theme or franchise and take the discussion where no show has gone before.

This year it grows hot. But in 1987, it was hotter still. Dutch and his band of rough and tough commandos take on the galaxy’s greatest hunter, in the ultimate game of hide-and-seek. The Predator, a science fiction icon, a nemesis in rarified air, is among us. Discuss your thoughts on the ugly mother****** in the comments section.

Theme music courtesy of I Hear Sirens, featuring Matt on bass and Liz on keyboard. Hear more of I Hear Sirens ethereal, instrumental, post-rock at BandCamp. Podcast production by Mattroid. Artwork by SpaceWolf and Mattroid. This episode is sponsored by and Black Harbor guitar strings.
predatorRatings and Recommendations: PREDATOR (1987)
Mattroid – 10 (Own it!)
Station! – 9 (Own, rent, stream, watch!)
Solo – 9 (Own it!)
Brain – 7.5

19 thoughts on “THE SCI-FI PODCAST EP 23: The Predator Franchise Part 1 – Predator (1987)

  1. Ah, Dino. How you doing, my friend? How’s the boy? Probably lifting jugs of milk and checking out his biceps by now. At least, that’s what I’m picturing because it would be awesome.

    • My baby boy is a pain in the ass, but in good ways (I suppose). Super curious, naughty and bossy, and he eats like crazy. He’s like a little sumo wrestler… he’ll be lifting jugs of milk any day, now.

      Are any of you heading to the MPN meet-up in September? I know Juan and I will be there.

      • It gets worse; ha ha ha.

        We’d love to go, but I’ve taken a lot of time from work already this summer, including Disney World and NASA, and probably can’t make it easy again. But we’re talking about it…would I’ve to meet so many great people.

  2. I didn’t even bring up my favorite fun fact about the movie!!
    The Predator’s blood was a mixture of the stuff inside of glow sticks and KY jelly to make it viscous!
    I don’t know how I feel about that…

      • Yes, well, I know that when I want to feel safe and comfortable, she she only reaches for the best.
        (voice over) Predator Blood: When your invisible hunter’s glow stick needs to stay viscous while you “get to the chopper”, reach for the best, reach for Predator Blood.

        I should’ve gone into marketing.

  3. As you may know by now, seeing as how I’m late to the party, Kevin Peter Hall has not been very prolific because he died in 1991. As to the design of the Predator I saw an interview where Stan Winston credited James Cameron with the idea to incorporate mandibles into the monster’s re-design. See? Back in the day he was even making other people’s movies great. Anyway, Predator is an extremely well-made high-concept B-movie. John Mctiernan knew he wasn’t making art. He was making a hyper-masculine action movie whose only aspiration was to add Sci-Fi/Horror elements. So he revelled in that simplicity. Had the movie just been about commandos rescuing hostages It may have been shelved alongside Commando and Raw Deal as significant only to connoisseurs of ’80s action films and fans of Arnold Schwarzenegger in general. However, the inclusion of the Sci-Fi elements lent itself to create a villain that stood out among the terrorists, warlords and drug kingpins typical of the era. With Predator John Mctiernan and writers Jim and John Thompson created a hybrid movie that turned the action movie on its ear and in doing so also created a classic (of 3 different genres no less). Great podcast!
    P.S. Sorry, I’m such a silent listener (lurker, creeper, etc…). I listen at work on the weekends and don’t have much time to post.

    • Love your response! Well put.
      I agree that Predator sets itself apart among the 80’s Schwarzenegger films as being a unique outlier that made a fun contribution to sci-fi action crossover pics of the day.

    • Excellent post, Robert. I’d also heard the Cameron claim of recommending changes to the look, but I’ve never seen confirmation that it’s more than a myth. Still, wouldn’t surprise me, with all that man has done.

      Thanks for commenting, but mostly for listening!

  4. To be honest. Matt, I don’t remember now if I saw an interview or read it someplace. However, has some great information regarding Predator including Winston’s quote about Cameron. I’m on my phone but I’ll see if I can find a link tonight at work. It also has an interview with Steve Johnson Creature FX supervisor and a few photos and designs of what the original costume looked.

    • Here’s the link:

      Apparently the quote was taken from the book The Winston Effect: The Art & History of Stan Winston Studio published in 2006. On the website the quote is located a little less than half way down the page under “Inspiration.”

      “I started drawing and designing this alien character with quills that in silhouette would look like dreadlocks. During this same period of time, Aliens had come out, and Jim Cameron and I were flying to Japan to participate in a symposium about the movie. We were sitting next to each other on the plane, and I was sketching and drawing the Predator. Jim suddenly said, ‘You know, I’ve always wanted to see something with mandibles.’ And I said, ‘Hmmm, that’s an interesting idea.’ And I started drawing the now-famous mandibles of the Predator.”

      Stan Winston was a legend in his own time. With credits such as The Terminator, Aliens, Predator & Edward Scissorhands among many others he showed he didn’t just design and apply make-up effects he created iconic characters. R.I.P. 1946-2008

  5. With the talk of how much mud Dutch actually needed to keep his body heat from being detected by the predator, it made me wonder something. Since Brain made a point of getting the height and weight of the co-hosts, I’m wondering one matters more than the other?

    For example, if you had one morbidly obese midget (I’m not exactly sure what’s the proper term anymore) that weighs the same amount as a very skinny 7+ foot tall man, who would emit more heat?

    • So they both sort of mater the same. What’s actually needed for the calculation is the surface area of the individual. There is a popular equation called the Mosteller Formula that does this by inputting the height and weight of the individual in question. The derivation for the equation uses the avg mass density of human flesh to do this, but it drops out in the final equation. Once you know the surface area you can use the average human skin temperature along with the modified Stefan-Boltzmann equation to calculate the intensity and wavelength of the emitted radiation from the individual.
      Thanks for asking!
      (oh, the person who would emit the most heat would have the largest surface area, no matter how it was distributed, skinny/tall, short/fat.)

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