The 1987s was the era when movie stars like Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger ruled the box office, and filmmakers were eager to exalt their macho personae for fun and profit. Muscles, guns, violence, and hero-worship were commonplace.
And as far as macho 80’s action cinema goes, Predator from 1987 is a masterpiece in its own right, bolstered by expertly staged combat sequences, awesome creature effects, and a commanding performance by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Predator was released in 1987, directed by John McTiernan and written by brothers Jim and John Thomas. It follows Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and his team of tough-guy mercenaries hired by the CIA, represented by Dutch’s old friend Dillon (Carl Weathers), to rescue hostages from a Central American country. They rush in, guns ablazing, and kill every terrorist, blow up every blow-uppable thing, and save the day in the first half-hour, making jokes as they go along.
The team is the definition of masculinity, but in the face of the alien predator, they are nothing. The seemingly invincible masculine demigods like Cooper (Jesse Ventura), Max (Bill Duke) and Billy (Sonny Landham) are killed off one after another, in a process of natural selection and survivor of the fittest, among the fittest, with only one man standing in the end; Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“You are one ugly motherfucker!”
– Maj. Alan “Dutch” Schaefer
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s catchphrase generation is turned to the maximum in The Predator, but the moment when we finally see the alien’s disgusting visage — and Dutch’s perfect delivery of the audience’s own thoughts—makes this scene one of sci-fi’s most memorable.