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  • Writer's pictureShannon Heibler

Predator (1987)

This was a Forbidden Movie as I was growing up. Too violent. Too gory (my mother's favorite condemnation - though I'm not saying she was wrong about this one). And the large number of those movies that I now own but don't have a lot of excitement or passion for is telling. I went through a huge action kick in my 20s and I'm convinced it was almost entirely an act of rebellion. That and a well directed action movie is a thing of joy forever.


And on that note, this is a John McTiernan film and while it's no Die Hard, it's pretty tight. I don't think I've watched it since college and gosh I'd forgotten a lot of it. My memory was solely, "Commandos in jungle face otherworldly predator. Many one liners." But there's the whole establishing drama/tension in the beginning with retrieving the ambassador, the past friendship/break between Dutch and Dillon that's hinted at, the Russian encampment?, the CIA agent! It all kind of falls apart - the script is mediocre at best, saved only by quips - but McTiernan's direction makes it oh-so-watchable.


I don't give Arnold enough credit as an actor. He lights up that screen, he knows his angles, his timing is terrific, and he sells the hell out of tight shots. Not too shabby for a modern day strong man act.


"Sexual Tyrannosaurus" is my favorite phrase maybe ever and when I come out with my wellness brand, that is what I'll be calling it. Coming soon: Sexual Tyrannosaurus.


The whole trope of "different ethnicities come together to form the perfect team! ....that dies one by one until only the white guy survives" is of course problematic as hell but I'm shocked at how invested I was in the commandos. They each got maybe a dozen lines but I was disappointed with each death. Poncho was my favorite if only because of the interaction he had with Jesse Ventura.

Poncho: You're bleeding. JV: I ain't got time to bleed. Poncho: Oh....okay... Perfection.

(This credit sequence, though.)

Also, Hawkins wrote a bunch of my favorite movies that are going to show up during this project? ALSO between "Jim Hopper" the dead commando and "Hawkins" I didn't realize that Stranger Things was nodding to Predator so much until now! Or is it? Who knows!! Lino cut print on paper. 5x7"


Takeaways:

-I had a feeling I was going to do lino going into this one. I've been itching to push myself more with layering, opacity, detail, and ink fixing. And I feel like I learned a lot and I like what I made!

-I started with traditional lino and was really struggling with cutting it (even though it treated me well on Nightmare Before Christmas ) so I switched to the "speedy cut" or whatever and I just need to use that right away going forward. -I'm excited to get better at consistency in prints. I was trying to create a sense of invisibility by doing an ombre to black on the Predator plate but the prints where I used the least ink ended up being the best. Learning!

-I originally planned on 4 layers but turns out the more layers you do, the more chances you have to mess up. Fun! But considering how green I am with this medium, I think it turned out pretty well. I made a dozen prints to varying degrees of success but I only needed one so hooray!

I can't believe this was my 19th entry in this blog already! Next week, number 20(!!!) will be a film I love more every year: The Addams Family.

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