action movie freak    


"If it bleeds, we can kill it."

(1987)  Director:  John McTiernan (also directed Die Hard!)

The adventure of a macho military rescue team dropped into an unknown jungle scenario is the experience video games were invented to emulate, and this is the greatest of them all.

"Simple set up. One-day operation. We pick up their trail at the chopper, run 'em down, grab those hostages, and bounce back across the border before anybody knows we were there."

(BAM! Setup.) It's never that simple though.
This is a turnaround: The hunters become the hunted. In Predator, the creature is also a character in the 'game'. Just the word "predator" induces fear (like "parasite"). Once you know you're being hunted, it doesn't matter which character you play, you're playing for your life. This movie delivered the kind of excitement so common now in video games, but back then, we hadn't had that experience yet, and it made us want more of it!

Each character was cool, different, and the sum total of their skills and weaponry1 made the team seem unbeatable. The biggest part of that was that they cast some larger-than-life Bad AssesThe most essential feature of the awesome '80s age of Action Movies, and what is too-often missing today:  BIG MANLY MEN!  What puts this movie over the top is even the monster is BAD ASS: bigger, stronger, skilled, and armed to the teeth. 

    DUTCH, his Rescue Team, and a former CIA operative

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Sonny Landham

Bill Duke

Jesse Ventura

Richard Chaves

Shane Black

Carl Weathers 

    The General, a Hostage, and the Unknown Element

Predator movie helicopter approach over ocean

R. G. Armstrong 

Elpidia Carrillo 

Kevin Peter Hall

Predator movie showing camouflage effect and Predator's eyes light up


Enemy Territory
The movie opens in space but takes place on Earth, and yet keeps that scary, alien-in-space feel thanks in large part to our
fear of the wild. A pod being discharged by a spacecraft sets up the idea of an insertion into the unknown, like the men will be later when they get dropped into the jungle. Suddenly, we see Earth as a vulnerable target; we really don't know what's out there—Could be anything. I love the first fade to black, which leaves you wondering what was ejected, and how it will tie in with the story.

Heightening the suspense is the music (one of the best-ever Action Movie soundtracks). From the very first note, it stabs you with a shot of alarm, mystery, and anticipation, then becomes a take-charge military march as a helicopter approaches low over the ocean at sunset. This Predator movie Dutch lights his cigarapproach over water to join other military helicopters on a beach gives us a remote, secret location feel. With another helicopter's rotors spinning as they land, it makes it seem like there is some coming and going, like a base of operations. We see a man wearing a tie but with sleeves rolled up waiting with a two-star General in a dimly lit, crudely built shack, suggesting covert ops.

As Arnold's men dismount from the chopper there are poor villagers watching and an armed patrol. Arnold's men are in varying degrees of formal and informal civilian clothing, which makes us think they are former, not current, military. As the last man off the chopper, Arnold makes the Action-Hero BIG DOG Entrance  lighting up a cigar. We know who's in charge.

They all get into Jeeps (Arnold, the leader, protected in the middle Jeep of three), and drive down the beach at surf's edge (haven't you always wanted to do that?).  The Jeeps carrying Arnold's men veer away, presumably to unseen barracks, and Arnold is delivered to meet with the General. We're hooked already. Action Movie FREAKS can't get enough of all this paramilitary shit!

 Simple Setup
Predator movie Dutch and Dillon shake handsAs the General explains the situation, Arnold asks why his team, and Dillon (Carl Weathers), the waiting man in the tie, replies "Because some damn fool accused you of being the best!"2

What happens next is Action Movie legend. Arnold recognizes his old buddy and the two 'shake hands' Action-Figure style. The competition for dominance begins. Arnold, as Dutch, is already demonstrating the characteristic wariness that will, ultimately, keep him alive. He got off the chopper last, he doesn't acknowledge Dillon until Dillon comes forward, he doesn't want the job if his team can't work alone, and when he finds out later there's no backup, says sarcastically "This is getting better by the minute."  Of course Dutch wins the arm wrestling contest, and by now you've forgotten all about the space pod. He agrees to do the job, and is forced to let Dillon come along, and, supposedly, take charge.

The next morning as the team heads into the jungle in helicopters, armed to the teeth, we look forward to the inevitable gunplay and the success of the "one-day operation". This is a team of men at the top of their game, and all that muscle power makes you feel sure of their chance for success. It's going to be easy—they're big enough and bad enough to take on anything, which makes it all the scarier later when things start to unravel.

One-Day Operation
There's a last light-hearted bit of fun: the camaraderie of the men while they're still in the chopper reveals their personalities, until the mood turns serious as they approach the targeted drop zone. When you realize the second helicopter is there just to cover them as they repel into the unknown, fear crawls up your spine—It's on!

Once the helicopters leave them in the jungle, the sound of the engines fading away is replaced by the soundtrack mixed with jungle noises of insects, wild animals, and native drums (genius!). We already feel out of place and in danger.  Not to worry, we're with Dutch.

Poncho the scout, was the first to repel out and takes the lead.  Dutch uses only hand signals to direct the men as they make their way through the jungle until they discover helicopter wreckage hanging from the trees! (This was pretty amazing looking for the time; talk about big trees and thick, strong vines!) We hold our breath a little as Poncho uses a grappling hook and rope to climb up and get inside.  When he reaches the top, his exertion and the uncomfortable I-could-fall-any-minute look on his face really sells the risk in what he is doing. His examination reveals the chopper was shot down and stripped, the pilots executed. Poncho reports his assessment to Dutch, and it gives us an inkling that the job is not what they were told it would be.

Billy, the Indian, is the team's tracker. His tracking reveals a second team of men. "There were 12 guerrillas. They took the 2 men from the helicopter, but there's something else: Six men wearing US-issued Army boots. They came in from the north, and then they followed the guerrillas." The plot thickens. Dutch asks Dillon about this other team, but Dillon gives him a pat answer. I love how Dutch scoffs at Dillon's reply, then, as he passes Dillon, stares him down as if to say "bullshit".

Billy goes on ahead. Poncho seems a little creeped out and asks Dutch "Do you remember Afghanistan?"  Dutch answers "I'm trying to forget it", acts casual, and smiles, but once Poncho passes by him, Dutch seems afraid. This goes a long way in putting the audience on edge too.

Predator movie the face of one of the bloody corpses handing upside down from the treesUp ahead, birds making sounds in the the jungle are not just birds making sounds, Billy hears them feeding, but on what? What he finds takes the breath out of him and us: Three bloody, gutted, and skinned bodies hang upside down from the trees. It's expected that the audience hasn't seen anything like this, but if the soldiers haven't either . . . The bodies look so anatomically correct, bounce with the right weight, the blood looks fresh, sticky, and real, plus the sound the bodies make hitting the ground when they cut them down—It's really gross. You begin to be afraid, like the men, that this might happen to them. As Poncho puts it, crossing himself, "Holy Mother of God!"

It gets kicked up another notch. Billy tosses Dutch some dog tags from a pile of guts. Looking at the tags Dutch says "Jim Hopper. Mac, cut 'em down." He calls Dillon aside. "I knew these men: Green Berets out of Ft. Bragg. Now, what the hell were they doing here?"  We realize Dutch doesn't know the whole story. If Green Berets failed, what were they up against? When asked again, Dillon lies again. Now everyone is on edge.


The guerrillas skinned them? Why did they skin them?


Ain't no way for no soldier to die.

You begin to wonder what way will they die? 

DUTCH What happened here, Billy?
BILLY Strange, Major, there was a firefight. They were shooting in all directions.
DUTCH I can't believe that Jim Hopper walked into an ambush.
BILLY I don't believe he did.  I can't find a single track.  It just doesn't make sense.
DUTCH What about the rest of Hopper's men?
BILLY There's no signs.
They never left here.
Hell, it's like they just disappeared.

Dutch doesn't doubt Billy's observations at all. He just doesn't know what to make of them at the time. That the helicopter was on surveillance, got taken out with a heat seeker, and the Green Berets skinned alive, throws the "simple set-up" idea out the window, and now it's more an element of what have we gotten ourselves into, with a little bit of too late now. There's no going back.  For all the action in this movie, the dialogue is even better. It's conversations like the one above (and, of course, the acting) that help to keep you jumpy, and illustrate Dutch's faith in the skills of his team (as contrasted with Dillon's blind skepticism and repeated boisterous fits of denial).

Payback Time
Predator movie Blaine's gun-a modified M134 Minigun nicknamed Ole Painless
So the men stop to rest but are ready for a fight against whatever they assume killed Hopper and his men. Blain uncovers "Ole Painless" a modified M134 Minigun (OH YEAH!). Getting them back on the trail, Arnold is in command, and they obey:

"We move, five-meter spread, no sound."

[God, I love that line. I love the whole military-speak: So economical. Reminds me of a game we used to play when I was a kid called "Hit the dirt!"3]

We heard the first sound of the Predator when Billy discovered the bodies hanging from the trees (without knowing what the sound was), but now we get "Predator vision". The infrared (thermal imaging) was a really cool idea and so creepy, making them seem even more like prey. Dutch and Billy sense they are being watched.

Dutch's leadership is unquestioned as the team works like a well-oiled machine, moving fast, except for Dillon who appears to be a little rusty, and slips in the leaves, giving away their position. He looks like he expects to be killed at any second, and we are treated to another of an Action Movie Freak's favorite Predator moments courtesy of so-cool bad-ass Bill Duke as Mac:



You're ghosting us, motherfucker. I don't care who you are back in the world,
you give up our position one more time, I'll bleed ya, real quiet, leave ya here.
Got that?!

Stupidly, Dillon looks like he's about to reply or explain (which would be making more noise), but then thinks better of it.

Billy finds the guerrilla camp and when the team catches up, Dutch gives hand signals for the team to fan out left and right. Then, without having to say a word, without having to look back or turn around, Dutch holds his gun out to the side and Poncho is there to take it and place in Dutch's empty waiting hand a pair of binoculars. Again, so cool (well-oiled machine)! Plus, you know Dutch would only hand over his weapon once he's covered.

The team is perched on a ridge above a military camp. Dutch slides/crawls on his stomach down to a big fallen tree trunk where he can observe the guerrillas down below unseen. He assesses their strength, and is witness to the execution of a hostage. His face does not flinch when the man is shot, but as he turns around and accepts what the team must now do, you see the sadness and resignation in his expression. The execution, and his reaction to it, helps us to not feel sorry for the guerrillas later when Dutch's team shoots the shit out of them (and then some). (Without the execution scene, his team would have seemed like what Dutch said they weren't "We're a rescue team, not assassins".)

Predator movie Dutch places a satchel charge in the back of a truck and switches it onWith another simple hand signal of making a circle with his index finger, his men know to slide down the ridge to where he is. As they all crawl on their bellies through the leaves,  you can't help but feel like a kid again playing soldier with your friends. [And if that wasn't your idea of fun when you were a kid, you're probably not an Action Movie Freak today.]

Again, with few words, Dutch gives them their instructions and they hit the guerrilla camp/munitions dump and make it look easy. This is what they are used to and what they are good at. They find a trip wire on a booby trap near the sentry tower and cut it. Then they take out the guards with knives. No alarm will be sounded. Dutch gets the brilliant idea to use an old truck the guerrillas have rigged up for power (to pump water from a  well) as a delivery device for his satchel charge (it looks like a canvas-covered lunchbox with an "on" switch). He gets to show off by deadlifting the back end of the truck and sending it on its way to roll right into some shacks and blow up.

The all-out attack begins as he starts throwing grenades, and then comes the team's full range of firepower in action: All kinds of shit gets blown up; men catch on fire; there are multiple falls; they blow up a helicopter; Arnold does his Commando 'walk-and-shoot'' to great effect; and the stunt men wriggle and die awesomely. The team decimates the guerrillas in very little time. Even the guerrillas' guns seem puny by comparison. We get to see Jesse The Body as Blain use "Ole Painless". (Ole Painless back then seemed as much overkill as the AA-12 in The Expendables), and Blain delivers maybe the most macho Action Movie line ever:



You're hit!  You're bleeding, man.


I ain't got time to bleed.

Duhrty Wherk
After they take over the camp and have a look around, Mac's intel reveals to Dutch that they were lied to. Dillon lied so they could go in and stop a Soviet-supplied invasion. Now Dutch is pissed!

DUTCH You set us up! It's all bullshit. All of it: the Cabinet Minister, the whole business.
You got us in here to do your duhrty wherk.
DILLONN Look, we just stopped a major invasion. In three days they'd have been across the border with this stuff.
DUTCH Why us?
DILLON Because nobody else could have pulled it off. You pissed about the cover story?
I knew I couldn't get you in here without it.
DUTCH So what story did you hand to Hopper?   [I love it, so snide]
DILLON Look, we've been looking for this place for months. My men were in that chopper when it got hit. Hopper's orders were to go in and get my men, and he disappeared.
DUTCH He didn't disappear.  He was skinned alive!
DILLON And my orders were to get somebody in here who could crack these bastards.
DUTCH So you cooked up a story and dropped the six of us in a meat grinder.
What happened to you Dillon? You used to be somebody I could trust.

Say whatever you want to about Arnold, his acting here is really good. He's not just pissed, he looks disappointed and a little hurt. And Dillon looks cornered and a little afraid of him. If Dutch thinks they're in a meat grinder, I'm scared. You should be too.]

Predator movie screenwriters brothers John Thomas and Jim Thomas
I love every word of this movie.4  Does it show? I have to keep from transcribing the whole damn thing. (I failed, right? You know you love it!)

Arnold fans will love the accent when he says:

"Billeee gimme a way outta dis haule."

Dutch's team did accomplish their mission, even though it was not what they were sent in to do. So Dillon used them; CIA, Russians, guerrillas, doesn't matter anymore except that more guerrillas are about half an hour away and closing on them, and the team is refused extraction from that point. They have to high tail it out of there to meet up with the chopper someplace farther away, and safer.

Predator movie Mac shows Dillon the dead scorpion he took off his back with his knife pointThe one surviving guerrilla is a 'native' (Central American) woman named Anna, whom Dutch spared. Dillon wants take her along, but Dutch says she will give up their position every chance she gets, and the audience thinks so too. The movie was filmed in Mexico, but they use a fictional name.  Where the movie takes place is relevant only to the fact that it has to have a remote jungle (a hunting ground for the Predator) inhabited by Spanish-speaking natives like Anna, for later when we hear her explanation of the legend of "el diablo casador de hombres".

As they leave the camp, Mac calls Dillon back to take a scorpion (he didn't know was crawling on him) off his shoulder, and then crushes it underfoot5 (nice little reminder that a tropical jungle is deadly). 

From this, the Predator learns the words "Dillon", "turn around", "anytime", and "over here", and, how to laugh from Billy (Hawkins, their communications expert, makes a joke). The Predator is translating what the men say by recording them and playing it back on some kind of voice analyzer.  It shows that he is advanced, and we hear his weird mechanical alien voice. We know now that he is stalking them and what he sounds like, even though the men don't, yet.
Predator movie Predator looks at his own hand with the dying scorpion colors fading out in his thermal vision

Bouncing Back
Predator movie voice scanning track with Predator thermal visionWith the team's victory, the retreat begins. Once they leave, the Predator comes in and scans the camp. We see his hand pick up the crushed scorpion and the scorpion's color fade to black as it dies. This looks cool as hell and also shows the size of the creature and that it has claws. Until now, the Predator has kept his distance, watching the men, following (tracking) them, and learning. We wonder what he will do with the language interpretation skills, and why he skinned the bodies they found.

Sure enough, it isn't long before Anna tries, unsuccessfully, to escape. This shows Dillon really is rusty (he lost the arm wrestling contest, he let Blain spit on his shoe, his first team failed, and he gave away the real purpose of the mission). With all the attention they must have attracted by blowing up everything, they seem to be moving more cautiously than quickly. When Dutch said "Double time it" to Poncho, I thought that meant get way out ahead, but luckily, Poncho is right there to stop Anna in her tracks with another of my favorite Predator lines: "Ni lo intentes!" (translation: "Don't even think about it!")

Yea, Though I Walk . . .
Predator movie Dutch walking cautiously with the butt of his gun against his enormous bicepTheir only way out is through a valley (which is never good, defensively). They are all on edge, but all is going well until Billy stops and seems afraid to go on. As Dutch approaches him, we see Arnold's bicep from the side. That's another of our "Holy Mother of God!" moments.  Any older Action Movie Freak will tell you how impressive this moment was when they saw it on the big screen, and the biggest reason why we love Arnold—SIZE! [Something we now mostly have to watch wrestling or MMA to get.] When Predator movie Billy and Dutch stare into the jungle seeing nothing as Billy the Indian Tracker rubs his medicine pouchDutch reaches Billy, Billy is almost in a trance, rubbing the medicine pouch he wears around his neck (for protection).  Dutch has to physically distract Billy from whatever he's staring at to get Billy to answer him. We are shown through the heat vision that Billy is right to stare, because the Predator is staring back from above, but of course, they can't see him. Everyone who loves this movie also loves the character of Billy. The expression "Billy Bad Ass" comes to mind because it is so cool that he's an Indian—With all their weapons and machines, they still rely on his tracking skills and his sixth sense, or "nose". 

Dillon, impatient as usual, gets Poncho to watch Anna so he can go see what's going on up ahead with Dutch and Billy.  Anna uses this opportunity to try to escape again, and whacks Poncho with a tree branch. She makes a run for it, and they are forced to give chase, dividing the unit. Arnold signals and whistles for the men to follow her. Hawkins is the closest. We see through the Predator Predator the jungle came alive and took himvision how fast whatever it is watching them can move—like it was just waiting for its chance—as it swoops in to take advantage that two of them are away from the group. Hawkins tackles Anna and grabs her by the shirt and asks her to stop squirming. At that instant she stops, not because he asked, but because the Predator is right behind him. She sees and hears it, and now so do we, as we are introduced to its prism / camouflage effect.

When the Predator kills Hawkins, the blood sprays Anna in the face. One second Hawkins had ahold of Anna, and the next, the Predator kills him and drags his body away.   We now see that it's Man-like, and how strong it is. Anna begins to crawl away. Poncho arrives and grabs her, pulling her up and turning her over. She's trembling, bloody, and "scared out of her mind". Realizing she's not going to go anywhere, Poncho follows a blood trail looking for Hawkins. The other men arrive. Dutch examines Anna's face, finding that the blood is not hers, as Poncho calls out . . .  (what happens next always gives me goosebumps)


Major, you'd better take a look at this.


Did you find Hawkins?


I can't tell.   [ ! ]

The look on Dutch's face is worth the whole movie.

We're thinking 'Arnold' doesn't know what to make of it. ARNOLD! If he wasn't worried, none of it would have mattered. We'd have stood behind him, figuratively, and taken our cue from what he does. He's Mr. Universe and he's not afraid of anything. Until now.

So where is Hawkins' body? They find only another pile of guts like with Hopper. Dutch tells Poncho to ask Anna what happened. Poncho fires questions at Anna. Anna tries to explain. "Selva se lo llevo." Poncho translates: "She says the jungle, it just came alive and took him." Dillon argues, but the funny thing is, you're thinking: that's accurate!

They start arguing about what happened and why Anna didn't try to escape until Dutch asks why Hawkins' radio and weapon are still there. Dillon makes the connection. "They did the same thing to Jim Hopper." Now they know it's not guerrillas. That changes the game. Guerrillas would have rescued Anna. There's a sense of inevitability and doom when Dutch says "I want Hawkins' body found. Sweep pattern. Double back. Fifty meters. Let's go." You just know they're not going to find it. They spread out.

We follow Dutch to a spot close to where blood is dripping from above onto some leaves but he doesn't notice it. The camera follows the trail of blood up some vines to Hawkins' gutted naked body hanging upside down very high up in a tree. We now know the Predator is what killed the first group of men, and that he is using the trees to move, but Dutch and his team still don't.

Predator movie Blain unleashes Ole Painless on the guerilla camp with a massive explosion behind him Predator movie Blain shoots Ole Painless and things burst into flames Predator movie the startled and pained look on Blain's face after the first hit to his neck as a second laser comes from behind as is about to hit him in the back

Not in Kansas Anymore
In the hunt for Hawkins' body, Blain is walking around with Ole Painless. You're so sure he's going to get to unload on the Predator—you've been waiting for it ever since you saw him use that gun in the guerrilla camp. So, how easily and quickly he's picked off next takes you completely by surprise. He is distracted by a small animal. It sounds like the animal was dropped near him on purpose as a diversion. As he relaxes and turns away from the false alarm, all you see is a flash and blood on his neck and shoulder. Next a 'shot' through his back and out the chest, which kills him and cauterizes the wound as he keels over. As disappointing as it is, it serves to ramp up the fear factor that "the big man" is picked off so easily. You know the Predator wants to take Blain's body and is collecting them. You still don't know what for.

Predator movie epic moment when all the men are firing at once into the jungle
Everyone hears when Blain is attacked. Whatever the Predator fires is not as loud as a gunshot, but they all hear it and run in his direction. Mac gets to Blain first and sees the Predator standing there over the body. The Predator's eyes light up and he runs off. Mac reacts and screams for Dutch. "Serrgeaaaaaant!" and begins to fire (but Mac's a Sergeant—I think he meant to scream "Major"), The Predator is hit in the leg and bleeds (
green blood—what else?), and some splashes onto a leaf.

Firing until his gun runs of out ammunition, Mac throws it down and picks up Ole Painless. About this time the other men arrive and also start shooting. 


Big Men with Big Guns
The firepower was jaw dropping for the time. This is the scene we love the most about this movie and never get tired of watching. The smoke alone from all that shooting is incredible. Poncho launches some grenades,6 and they level every living thing for probably half an acre. They even reload and all keep firing until Ole Painless runs out of ammunition. Scared out of his wits, Mac still has his finger on the trigger, and all we hear is the sound of the barrel just spinning.  (How intense is that?!)  Finally, he stops.

Mac tells Dutch "I saw it". Expecting to find they killed someone, Dutch sends the men ahead to look around. Dutch and Dillon examine Blain's wound.


No powder burns, no shrapnel.


The wound's all fused and cauterized.
What the hell could've done this to a man?

Predator movie Dutch and Dillon examine Blain's body and the cauterized woundDutch now asks Mac "Who did this?" The fact that Mac is so speechless that he doesn't answer, twice in a row, when Dutch says his name is pretty intense. Mac's shook up; all he can say is he saw something. The men return to report in. [Poncho is standing there and you can see Billy in the bush behind him. I have to say I love how in so many shots they show more than one team member. It gives a sense of space, relationally, and makes the unit seem cohesive, like they are aware all the time of where everyone else is.]


Not a thing. Not a fucking trace.
No blood. No bodies. We hit nothing.

Again, Dutch's reaction makes the audience afraid. He seems incredulous and stands slowly. The music changes as he looks out into the jungle as if it's a new game, and they don't know what they are up against.

It's unbelievable that that much firepower killed nothing but trees. They don't know yet, as the audience and Anna does, that the Predator was wounded and is bleeding. Dutch asks Dillon to radio in (I was thinking to tell them there will be a delay, but Dillon is asking to be picked up early), and has the men set up a defensive position for them to spend the night.  He also says to put Blain's body in his poncho and take him with them. The whole retreat has changed. They might have kept moving, but now they need to create a defense. They break out the Claymores, trip wires, flares, etc., and make booby traps, and we, and they, feel safe . . . for a while. 

Don't Ask, Don't Tell—But Everyone Knows
Predator movie Mac looks afraidWhen Dutch told the men to bring Blain's body with them, Mac spoke up that he wanted to be the one to do it, like no one else should touch Blain, or that this is his job/privilege.

They cut to Anna as she touched the green blood left behind on a leaf. Dillon, oblivious as ever, barks at her. Wiping it off on her pants leg, she says nothing to him about the blood. 

They all, Mac included, get busy creating the defensive hold Dutch asked for. Mac reports in to Dutch when the work is done. The ever-vigilant leader on watch, Dutch acknowledges the closeness between Mac and Blain. "Mac, he was a good soldier." Mac replies "He was . . . uh, my friend." At this point, Dutch (up in a tree) turns to look down at Mac. Mac may have just been saying Blain was his friend, but it seemed to me a little like a admission, and a lot like love,7 and I imagine that it would never have 'come out ' except in death. Now, Mac has a score to settle.

Showing at least some of the defensive preparations the men make is necessary, so that when the Predator evades these traps, you are impressed. Also, it's important that they take care of their defense first. The scene where Mac says goodbye to Blain is poignant, brief, and understated, but doesn't take place until his work is finished. They show Blain already in his poncho.
The music, "Goodbye", by Alan Silvestri is very much like "Taps". Mac pulls out his flask and raises it in a salute (just barely) before he takes a sip, then he puts his flask on Blain's chest as if he wants something precious, something personal, to stay with Blain. (There is a crest on the flask and you assume it's from their platoon, and when Mac tells their story later, you find out they were the only two from their unit who survived). He lays his hand on it for a split second, and then snaps the poncho closed.

Extraction Necessary
Predator movie the Predator extracts a bullet from its legThey cut to Anna resting on the ground, noticing the alien blood she earlier wiped off on her pants. Then they cut to more green blood dripping on stone as they show the Predator stopping to dress his wound.  He de-cloaks his mirror-effect camouflage, and despite a lizard-like appearance, has an impressive field kit for self surgery, with a array of metal instruments stored in pneumatic compartments. With clumsy and hurried movements at numbing/dressing the wound, when he does whatever it is he does to presumably extract the bullet, he screams like a banshee. Nothing like a really loud animal sound you've never heard before to make you feel defenseless.

They cut back to Anna looking terrified. Everyone seems to have heard it but Dillon, who is barking orders into the radio. "Blazer One, I repeat: Extraction Necessary!"  The men, however, are denied extraction and have to make it through the night. Dillon asks Mac what he saw.  Mac really can't say more than it was camouflaged, the eyes he saw disappeared, and that he drew down and fired point blank at it emptying a full pack on the mini gun (200 rounds) and hit nothing. "Nothing on this earth could have lived; not at that range."  (on this earth)  Doesn't give them much to go on, so they turn to Anna.  Dillon presses for more and demands Poncho question her. Poncho does not obey Dillon but looks at Dutch to give him permission (love that). After Poncho questions Anna  in Spanish, he replies in English to Dutch, not Dillon.


She says the same fuckin' thing:  The jungle it came alive and took him.
[frightened, he turns to Billy]
Billy, you know something. What is it?


I'm scared, Poncho.


Bullshit, you ain't afraid of no man.


There's something out there waiting for us, and it ain't no man.
[The pause lets that fact sink in!]
We're all gonna die.

Billy Bad Ass thinks they're all gonna die!!  Let that sink in too!  True to their characters, Dillon is afraid and he retreats into denial, but Dutch is more accepting, more aware.  "You still don't understand, Dillon, do you? Whatever it is out there, it killed Hopper, and now it wants us."

Comic Relief
During the night watch, Mac is looking at the moon and talking to Blain, recounting a story of their survival that illustrates the random insanity of death in war, and making promises to avenge Blain's death. "I'm gonna cut your name right into him." At this point, it seems as if he might get the chance to do that. The Predator probably again uses the drop-an-animal-nearby-from-above trick (although they don't show this) as something sets off a trip wire, becoming a distraction/diversion. Stressed out and exhausted, poor Mac manages to kill  the crap out of what turns out to be a wild boar.  The men gather to investigate and there's a little comic relief when they all realize it's not the Predator. Poncho  quips "Do you think you could you have found something bigger?" (Only Billy laughs. l love Billy's laugh—so does the Predator).  We laugh too, but everyone is scared.  Suddenly, they remember Anna (Dillon left her unguarded), and run back to check on her.  She's terrified and hasn't budged.  Billy discovers Blain's body is gone, which means the Predator got into the camp through all their defenses "It came in through the trip wires. Took it right out from under our noses". . . Bet nobody slept after that.

Hunting Season's Open
At daylight, Billy reasons that the boar must have set off the trip wire because there are no other tracks. No one understands how the Predator managed it, or why it came in to take the body and didn't try to kill them.  Dutch is working it out, logically . . .


He came in to get the body. He's killing us one at a time.


Like a hunter.


[realization dawning, he looks up]  He's using the trees.

This realization is a game changer. Now is Anna's moment.  Until now, maybe she was Dillon's "baggage", but Dutch, a great leader, knows he needs all the information he can get.  He grabs Anna. When he demands answers, suddenly she speaks English and explains what she saw.  


Yesterday, what did you see?


You're wasting your time.


No more games.


I don't know what it was.  It . . .


Go on!


It changed colors like the chameleon. It uses the jungle.

Dillon is still in denial, still naysaying.  Asking her name, Dutch cuts Anna free with a warning that whatever it is, is hunting them all. This empowers her to save herself, and his trust makes her part of the group.  It also terminates any semblance of Dillon's leadership.  Dillon's only been playing at being in charge.  Dutch is the real leader ("I need everyone").


What the hell do you think you're doing?


I need everyone.


I'm taking her back. We're out of here in five minutes.

DUTCH We're not going yet.
DILLON Look the rendezvous is 10 to 12 miles away from here. You think the chopper is going to wait?

Dillon, we make a stand now, or there will be nobody left to go to the chopper.


There is something else. 
When the big man was killed, you must have wounded it; its blood was on the leaves.


If it bleeds, we can kill it.

A Better Mousetrap
Dutch reasons that whatever 'it' is saw their trip wires, and they switch to setting traps using all natural materials like vines, "Boy Scout bullshit" as Dillon calls it. The difference between Dutch and Dillon is obvious again as Dutch replies "Instead of complaining, maybe you should help."  As they settle in to wait for the next attack, Anna tells a story from her village that is so camp-fire ghost story, we all get goosebumps. (We're also wondering in the back of our minds, what the creature is doing with Blain's body.)

Predator movie Ana tells the story of el diablo cazador de hombres

When I was little, we found a man.  He looked like . . . like butchered.
The old women in the village crossed themselves, and whispered crazy things, strange things: "El diablo cazador de hombres."
Only in the hottest years this happens. And this year it grows hot.

We begin [sic] finding our men. We found them sometimes without their skin, and sometimes much, much worst [sic]. "El que se trofeo de los hombres" means: the demon who makes trophies of Men.

Bigger Cheese
Dutch, listening, seems to take it all very seriously.  The tension is so thick you could cut it with a knife.  As she finishes telling her story, the camera focus moves from Ana's face to Dutch. He look serious but Dillon is skeptical. Then the camera is back on Dutch and a shadow crosses his face.  It seems to be just a bird, cutting the tension.

When Dillon wisecracks, "So, what are you gonna try next, cheese?",  Dutch gets the idea to step into the 'mousetrap.'  Dillon is so afraid, he doesn't even want Dutch to be brave.  Again, the difference; Dillon would probably have sent one of the men, but Dutch steps up and goes himself. (Of course, as he creeps along they have to show him almost tripping on a wire so you realize he is inside the trap.) He is there barely seconds, and nothing happens, so everyone, including us relaxes, and you wonder for a split second, where do they go from here? But then, just as Dutch lowers his gun and turns around (of course) the thing was sneaking up right behind him. The trap is sprung and the Predator is hoisted up in a net so close to Dutch, he flinches. We all look to see what's in the net but it appears to be empty.  The only thing we see besides falling leaves is flashes of light when the Predator starts firing his weapon. He gets free and turns the tree branch they used for support on the net trap into a weapon against them as the tree trunk is cut loose it swings free and slams poor Poncho. The Predator takes to the trees with incredible speed and ease, like gravity has been deactivated for him.  (Talk about a game changer!)

Another Trap is Set
Now everyone has seen the Predator's camouflage effect.  Mac knew what to look for before, but Dillon sees it for the first time. Mac's the first to fire at it. As the Predator swings around the trunk of a tree to look back at Dillon, his camouflage briefly turns off and they exchanges a look.  He's baiting Dillon: making himself the cheese in a new trap. 

We see the Predator's full shape for the first time: a huge, muscular lizard with a helmet on and some kind of reptilian dreadlocks. He re-camouflages himself and gets away.  Hell bent on revenge, Mac takes off after him. 

Scores To Settle
Predator movie Dillon with two guns at the readyDutch orders Billy to take care of Poncho and starts to go after Mac. Dillon finally steps up and tells Dutch he will find Mac. At least he's not letting Dutch do his dirty work anymore—maybe he's trying to make it up to him and be a real part of a team again. Now Dillon's out to settle the score of his lost team.  This noble effort, believing in your own invincibility, yet knowing, deep down, it could cost you your life, is compelling, as we contemplate what Men are brave enough to attempt, and willing to give their lives for:  Mac to get revenge for Blain; Dillon to redeem his character and for his team. With two of them, you hope it might be enough. 

Thankfully, there is some comic relief in a classic Whiner moment as Billy tells Dutch that Poncho is "busted up pretty bad" and Poncho pipes up "I can make it. I can make it." Oh yeah, they're not leaving him behind if he can help it!

Mac picks a spot to stop and set up.  Dillon is not far behind, he is coming through the bush with guns up and ready in both hands.  When he stops with his back against a tree trunk to take a rest and look around he keeps both guns up and ready to shoot.  This is probably the last moment his full-on fear is keeping him alive.

It's interesting how we hear the Predator's clicking 'voice' and Mac's 'voice' say "Turn around".  This is a trick no doubt. What if Dillon had turned around? The Predator was probably right behind him at that moment, but then we hear Mac's real voice say "Over here" twice and Dillon ignores the command to turn around and moves toward the "over here"

Predator movie Mac with the three-red-dots Predator target on his foreheadWhere Mac is holed up is fairly well concealed/protected. He reaches out and covers Dillon's mouth and pulls him back into his hiding spot. Mac has spotted the Predator. It's perched on a tree branch out in the open, rocking back and forth like "Here I am, come and get me". So, was it there the whole time, can it throw its voice? Was that Mac saying "turn around"? Could it have left the branch and gotten back that fast?  These questions add to the what-are-they-up-against fear that has been building since the first skinned bodies were found.

Why Mac didn't try to shoot it right away when he first spotted it, I don't know, but when Dillon catches up to Mac, they decide to try to flush it out and sneak up on it. Of course, the Predator knew they could see him.

When Mac and Dillon split up to execute their plan, the Predator moves in so quickly, Mac's barely in position before the Predator takes him out with a headshot and almost no sound. There is an awesome blood-covered camera shot, and up angle on the Predator as Mac's leg twitches. 

With Mac's death we are introduced to the Predator's three-dot red laser targeting light. Laser pointers came out in the early 1980s (this movie was 1987) but none of Dutch's team's weapons had laser sights.  This fascinating article explains the video below and gives us a behind-the-scenes look at 1984's The Terminator's laser gun and a glimpse into the state of laser-sight technology at the time.

How the Terminator's .45 Longslide with laser sighting came to be
By Tim Stevens posted March 10th 2010 10:03AM

“While Arnie's one-handed reloads on his Winchester 1887 may make that shotgun the most iconic weapon of Terminator 2, his laser-sighted .45 Longslide was definitely king in the first. Laser sights are something you can buy in any gun shop today, but back in 1984 they were extremely rare -- and expensive. The one for the movie was custom made by SureFire, a company that specializes in tactical flashlights. Lasers at the time were helium neon, requiring a whopping 10,000 volts to power on and a constant 1,000 volts to stay bright. To manage this on a shoestring budget in the '80s the weapon had a wire running up Arnie's sleeve to a battery inside his jacket and a switch he had to activate with his other hand. (A non-functional prop was used for close-ups.) Crude, but effective, and, most importantly, cheap -- SureFire representatives received only a T-shirt and some other assorted movie swag.  

A little ways away, Dillon hears something but  has no idea what, and keeps moving. 

They cut to the remainder of the team, hightailing it through the underbrush. When Anna tries to help by taking Poncho's weapon, Dutch advises her to leave it because the Predator has not killed her until now because she was unarmed "No Sport".  Another game changer.  We thought the Predator might be killing for food, but if it's just a hunter killing for sport . . . that means it won't rest when it's full. It's not about being fed, it's just playing.

Predator movie wrist blade Predator knivesDillon gets into position but sees nothing and nothing happens so he goes back to where Mac was and calls his name.  Then he sees Mac's lifeless body as the Predator whispers, in Mac's voice "any time". Like I can take you at any time.  He even flashes his eyes to show Dillon where he is. Alas, Dillon has made yet another mistake (this time it's fatal). His weapon was lowered. In the time it takes him to raise it and start firing, the Predator shoots off his arm.  The severed arm keeps firing8 as Dillon screams.  Predator movie Dillon screamsThe second weapon Dutch gave him had been shouldered and with his remaining arm there isn't time to get it over his head and into firing position (he must be in incredible pain). The Predator is now upon him and he stabs Dillon with two wicked-looking, spring-loaded wrist blades.   The blade pop out clearly visible but the rest of the Predator stays cloaked. That makes it extra scary.  Dillon gets off a single shot as he pathetically stabs at the Predator with the gun then lets out a all-out blood curdling scream and fires up into the air.

They cut to the distant sound of Dillon's death scream as the retreating group hears.  Dutch is so sadly resigned it's heartbreaking.

A Sporting Chance
With the death of these two, you feel how completely out of their element the team is. Dutch, Poncho, Anna, and Billy have managed to put some distance behind them and the Predator in their race to the pick-up zone.  You hope it will be enough.  You are wrong.

The Predator is incredibly fast and utterly ruthless. There is no hope. What we thought started out as a romp-'em-and-stomp-'em epic has become a who-dies-next.  Only four are left. 

Predator movie Billy showing two guns together and SPI attached to a Moss 500 shotgunBilly Bad Ass
In case you didn't notice before, look closely at Billy's weapon. That's two guns. His finger is on the trigger of an AR-15/SP1 (M16 rifle), and in front of the clip is the trigger for an attached Mossberg 500 shotgun (the 'home defense' model is nicknamed "The Persuader"). Now you see!

Although (you and) Mac and Dillon thought they had a fighting chance when they went off to kill the Predator, before it even gets to Billy, he already knows there's no chance. When the group hears Dillon's scream, Billy is bringing up the rear halfway across a fallen tree forming a bridge over a river. Billy discards his backpack, his gun, and his vest.  Barechested, he wraps the neck-cord protection pouch around his right hand and pulls out his knife. (It's considered a machete although it has a oversized knife shape.)  The music here is a real funeral march.

In doing this, Billy gives his life to buy time for the others. Maybe he hopes he will live, but he kicks the bravery up a notch by going hand to hand, no doubt thinking if he can get the creature that close to him he might do some damage.  He dies like a warrior (or so we assume—they don't show it).   You have to image what pain it takes for someone as brave as Billy to scream like that. 

When the remaining three hear it, Dutch and Anna exchange a moment of disbelief (us too) and fear (Poncho's gun shakes as he points it back down the trail). You have to give them credit. They spun around guns up and ready.  With the death of Dillon and Billy, you feel how completely out of their element the team is and expect everyone, even Dutch, to be killed.

Scream Queens
This movie is as awesome for screams as a horror movie.  If you don't count the shrill bird noises that set you on edge as effectively as a scream, the first is when Mac screams to everyone for help: "Ssssaaaaarrrrggeeeaannnt!".  They really contrast the quiet kills with the noisy ones.  Mac and Blain die quietly, but Dillon and Billy test their lung capacity. Even the Predator screamed in pain when he dressed his wound. Here, there be tygers!  (Just a proud note:  Anna, the seemingly-scared-out-of-her-wits female, never screams until it is to shout "Nooo" in response to Dutch when he tries to stop her from shooting (at the Predator) to protect him.)

You marvel at how quickly the Predator closed the gap from Dillon to Billy. Then, faster than you imagine is possible, the Predator is already right next to the remaining three in a tree.  Anna sees it first. It shoots Poncho in the neck, knocking him out and effectively taking him out of Dutch's grip. Anna tries to shoot back using Poncho's gun.  Dutch stops her and knocks the weapon away spraying gunfire where the Predator used to be.  You know that her arming herself is a natural reaction, but Dutch saves her by disarming her.  "No sport." Remember?  The Predator fires a shot to Dutch's shoulder, knocking him down and knocking the gun out of his hands.  The Predator at any time could easily have killed Anna and Poncho, and Dutch, but he doesn't.  Then Dutch's leadership skills take over and he screams to  Anna delivering the most often-quoted screamed line from this movie:

"Run! Go! Get to the chopper!"; (in Arnold-speak:  "Runnnnn Gooooohh. Get tooda chappppaaaaaa!")

His survival instinct is in hyperdrive, but he expects to die at any second. Leaving the weapon behind, at first he crawls but then he gets up and makes a run for it. 

There is a deleted scene that would have been at this point, which I am really glad they left out.  The biggest reason is because in it the Predator has Dutch dead to rights and that makes us lose faith in our hero.  He even had a line "Son of a bitch is playing with me." I think it makes a better movie if you feel they are more even matched (until the scene where they fist fight).  Until then you don't know how out'manned' Dutch truly is, and the fact that the Predator looks his skull over then dumps him like so much trash and walks away doesn't have as much impact if you know he could have killed Dutch at any time before that moment.  Plus, if you show Dutch is outwitted too early then him outwitting the Predator later seems empty.  The way it stands, it is a more even 'sport'.   [There is also a moment when Anna wakes from being knocked out and they show her playing with a chameleon. This parallels the Predator playing with Arnold.]

The Hunter becomes The Hunted
Dutch gets lucky and slides out of reach just as the Predator closes in. Slipping in the mud and careening out of control, Dutch falls down a steep mud trail, off a cliff, and into a rushing river headed for a pretty-high waterfall. Surviving the rapids and the waterfall, he swims to safety. You think he's gotten so far ahead, he might have a few moments to rest. No such luck.  He gets 3 seconds at most.  It was intensely bad ass when the Predator (invisible) splashes into the water behind Dutch, who is face down and exhausted, resting on the muddy river bank.

The hunting may have seemed easy for the Predator up to this point, but for the creature to go to such lengths to follow Dutch, you know he is relentless.  The mud saves Dutch because it camouflages his body heat.  Now who's got cloaking!  (I don't think the audience needed the dialogue "He couldn't see me." We got that message after the Predator moved on when Dutch wiped some mud off and stared at it.)  The Predator wanders off.

We got our first good long look at the Predator after his camouflage got turned off as he got out of the water, and in realizing he has a weakness, we know he is not invincible.  Dutch has a chance.  Now begins another mini movie within the movie: Dutch versus the Predator. The chase is over and now it's a battle.  Dutch uses his "Boy Scout bullshit" to set up traps and make weapons.  I can't say enough about how cool it is that after all was said and done with all the other BIG MEN and their BIG WEAPONS, it boils down to the primitive!

Boy Scout Bullshit
The fight for survival that Dutch undertakes is impressive. All that he's already done seems like nothing compared to what he has to do to get out of this alive. He lost all his weapons except for a knife (a machete like Billy's), yet he uses that plus ingenuity to rig a trap, braid a cord to make a bow and arrows, and then bait the Predator into coming to the spot where he needs him to be.  Meanwhile, the Predator was butchering Billy and playing with his skull trophies.  (It's a sad moment when he slaps Billy's body face down on a log and rips out his spine and skull.)  Now there is no doubt it's just 'sport' to him.  I love the cut from the Predator stroking the brow of a skull to Dutch putting mud on his face.  I wish it had been his brow as well, still, it works.

Now Dutch uses a scream and lit torch to call the Predator out.  You're not really sure how Dutch's trap is supposed to work exactly but you assume it's straightforward.  He lights a bonfire, climbs a tree for a vantage point, lies down on a branch, and waits.  The Predator takes the bait but Dutch has to change his plan because the Predator (oblivious) climbs the very same branch Dutch is hiding on practically on top of him.  Dutch has a back-up plan here too and uses a vine to swing to safety in a nearby tree.  The Predator knows he was there but can't see where he went. This gives Dutch time to get his arrows out (including one incendiary one he made with gunpowder from a shotgun shell).  When the Predator starts to walk across the fallen tree over the bonfire Dutch made, Dutch shoots a fire strike right in front of him. Maybe he needs him to go in the other direction, maybe he missed intentionally, but the Predator retaliates by shooting off his shoulder cannon (aka "the blowdryer") like crazy.  Dutch is forced to fall to the ground to get out of the way and hurts himself (there is blood in his mouth). 

Now the Predator is attuned to movement and looks for clues to Dutch's whereabouts.  There is a little chase.  By now we have seen how easily and quickly the Predator can leap from object to object without worrying about weight or balance and he is there on top of Dutch in an instant.  Dutch hides under a log and gets away.  His next move is to throw a rock to bait the Predator so he gives away his position.  Dutch throws some a spear he made and we hear the Predator cry out. 

It appears that the Predator was wounded because a green blood trail appears. Dutch is baited into following the trail but the Predator has used his blood as bait. Dutch gets out of this bad position by setting off a homemade flare as a distraction so he can get away, but his movement still gives him away and the Predator's shot breaks the branch Dutch is swinging on and, whoops, Dutch falls into a creek and no more cloaking.

The second Dutch crawls onto dry land the Predator uses the wristblades to pin his head down.  He picks Dutch up like he weighs nothing, slams him against a tree, and we see the height difference as he examines Arnold's skull features then drops him.  The Predator was wounded. We see blood bleeding from his ankle as he walks away.  We don't know why he didn't kill Dutch but we soon find out.  He removes his weapons and his helmet and we see his face.

One Ugly Mutha Fucka
Now we get to see everything about the creature [bowing to Stan Winston (RIP)].  He unfastens his pressurized helmet (how cool was that), removes the shoulder cannon, and throws his helmet to the ground. The dreadlocks look was inspired, but the expanding vagina-with-fangs face is crazy scary. (Sorry, but you know you were thinking it.) 

The Predator does his version of "bring it" and Dutch's response is "You're one ugly mother fucker." Dutch tries to hit it across the face with a log.  What follows is kind of funny as Dutch tries different moves on the creature and it copies them in retaliation.  When Dutch punches  the creature, learning fast, it punches him back.  The acting here is great through all that makeup.  Now we see the fight alternately from outside and from the creature's vision.  He toys with Dutch and beats the crap out of him. There is still some fight in Dutch though as he crawls toward his homemade trap.  He gets into position and baits the creature but the creature catches on, and you think Arnold's trap is not going to work.  Now we see that the log weight is supposed to spring the thing he set up with sharpened stakes.  The Predator is not that dumb. He circles around to the side and Dutch, looking up, sees that the trap will still work in this position without the stakes and kicks loose the stick that was holding up an enormous log so it falls and squashes the Predator . . . but he's not dead yet.   Arnold is about the smash his head with a rock but it looks so pathetic he drops the rock (mistake!), and asks "What the hell are you?"  The Predator's reply is one for the definition of racism:  "What the hell are you?" 

The Predator still has one trick up his sleeve, a self-destruct mechanism.  The countdown display reminded me of The Police's "Ghost In The Machine" album cover from 1981. 

When he activates it, it takes Dutch a second to catch on, but then he runs for his life as the Predator laughs with Billy's laugh—how creepy is that?  Dutch makes it far enough away and the chopper nearby sees the explosion.  How they managed to find Dutch they never say.  How much time elapsed between when Anna and Poncho got picked up and now . . . (just overnight?).  The one and only bad thing about this movie is how bad the bomb explosion looks, but nothing is perfect (except this movie in EVERY other way).  I would like to see another movie this good someday, but until then, I will watch it over and over and over.  The soundtrack cannot be overpraised in adding to the feel of this movie (toward the end soundtrack reminded me of Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf").  I love the look of appreciation in the faces of the General and Anna when they see Dutch standing at the rendezvous point.  You can only imagine that they were leaving but saw the explosion and went back to check for him.

The Players
As the closing credits begin they introduce the players, and it feels like it has all been a play. The experience was so intense, it's great to see them all again, smiling and alive.  The closing montage of the characters helped to create that desire to be one that spawned avatars for games. 

I love this movie.  It's got to be #1 or #2 on my TOP 5 with Aliens, Rambo III, The Rock, and The Chronicles of Riddick :D.  [And yes, I know JCVD was supposed to be the Predator, but he wasn't blah blah blah.]  Kevin Peter Hall (7 feet 2 1/2 inches) did an excellent job (RIP), I think they should have included his real appearance in the credits . . . So here he is.  He passed away in 1991 at the age of 36 (he got AIDS from a blood transfusion administered during surgery on critical wounds sustained in a major car crash) leaving a wife and two children.

Kevin Peter Hall as The Predator

Kevin Peter Hall as The Predator

Kevin Peter Hall and Arnold Schwarzenegger


1 You have to recognize the ability to switch between a number of weapons in video games was influenced this movie. Check out how many weapons there were. This list is from the impossibly cool site IMFDB (Internet Movie Firearms Database). (If you love this movie, this site is like concentrated awesomeness and will give you a new appreciation for what goes into weaponry making/modifying for movies.)

  1. AR-15/SP1
  2. Fake 39mm M203 Launcher
  3. Mossberg 500
  4. M60E3 Machine Gun
  5. GE M134 Minigun Handheld
  6. GE M134 Minigun
  7. Heckler & Koch HK94 (chopped and converted)))
  8. Custom 37mm Launcher
  9. M18A1 Claymore
10. Walther PP
11. IMI Desert Eagle
12. M1911A1
13. AKM
14. Valmet M78/83 Light Machine Gun
15. M67 hand grenadee
16. Satchel Chargege
17. Custom Torque Boww
18. "Blow Dryer" Gun
19. Harpoon Gun
Another site Predator: The Hunted covers the Predator's weapons (from all the Predator movies).

2 I love that just before Dutch says that line you can hear cadence in the background. What's more military than that? 

3 All that was involved was tossing whatever (rotten) fruit was in season like a grenade just so we could yell "Hit the dirt!" and then hitting the dirt. 

4 All the dialogue except for "felafel" . . . or whatever it is Dillon says: "The target is the center of the felafel!"   ??Huh? ;

5 Somehow the dead scorpion gets turned around 180 degrees while under his shoe. 

6 Poncho's grenade launcher was custom (this information is also from IMFDB): "Custom 37mm Launcher . . .  built specifically . . . from Heckler & Koch HK94 parts (mainly the stock and pistol grips) and uses parts ftom an AN-M5 aircraft pyrotechnic discharger (a 37mm flare launcher). It's possible the same launcher was used in Braddock: Missing In Action 3. "

7 It was no coincidence that they used the song "Long Tall Sally".  When you hear it in the helicopter, you don't think anything of it until later.  In the helicopter when Blain offers his chaw around and gets refused, he counters that "This stuff will make you a God-damned sexual tyrannosaurus" and Poncho jokes back "Strap this on your sore ass, Blain". That was my first inkling that there might be some man-on-man love going on.  Later, when Mac starts singing the song while prepping for revenge on The Predator for killing Blain, the words hit home. "Gonna tell Aunt Mary about Uncle John . . . " (It's hard to understand the next words and there are many versions of the lyrics out there but I hear:) "She claims she doesn't use him but she has a lot of fun."  I think Aunt Mary is Little Richard's gay alter ego and Uncle John is any gay man he's having sex with. When he says "Long, tall Sally, she's real sweet, she's got everything that Uncle John needs." I heard penis is real sweet and has everything the man Richard wants to have sex with needs (a promise to satisfy). "Well, I saw Uncle John with bald head Sally. He saw Aunt Mary comin' and he ducked back in the 'alley'.  Do I really need to explain that?  Anyway, no big surprise that this much manliness is going to bring in some homosexual subtext.  If you think I'm reaching, check out this article that takes it waaaaay further.

8 The finger is actually not on the trigger, the triggered is wired—pointed out on the IMFDB site.