Predators—those sport-hunting aliens that return to the big screen this week in Predators
—have enjoyed a screen career longer than most actors. The Rastafarian-resembling reptiles have faces only moviegoers could love, and we keep going back for more. Before you see how Adrien Brody handles the big guys in the kick-ass new sequel, refresh your memory by checking out the Predators’ previous movies, all of which are available on both DVD and Blu-ray.
Predator: Arnold Schwarzenegger and a team of commandos drop into a Central American jungle to investigate humans that are being skinned alive and come face to face with cinema’s original Predator—a brutal extraterrestrial hunter with sophisticated weapons and a handy cloaking device. This exciting and gloriously violent 1987 film remains the Predator’s finest outing and showcased late creature designer Stan Winston’s terrifying monster for the first time. The movie has been released on DVD and Blu-ray several times, but serious fans will want the recently released Ultimate Hunter Edition BD that contains a jungle’s worth of bonus features.
Predator 2: This fun 1990 sequel features Los Angeles police lieutenant Mike Harrigan (Danny Glover) fighting the war against drugs only to find that a Predator is loose and killing citizens for sport. The Predator collects skulls as trophies, and in one scene on the Predator’s ship in this movie you can see a skull of the Alien first featured in Ridley Scott’s Alien. Fanboys have been mixing the mythologies of the two movies ever since and the long journey to a cinematic monster match began here.
AVP: Alien vs. Predator: Some 14 years after Predator 2, fans finally got their wish as the Predators and Aliens face off in Antarctica and we learn that the rivalry between the two alien species goes back thousands of years. Years of anticipation helped the film gross more money ($80 million) than any other Predator flick to date, but fans of both R-rated series complained about AVP’s PG-13 approach to the material. The good news is that a slightly better unrated version is available on both DVD and Blu-ray.
AVPR: Aliens vs. Predator—Requiem: This inevitable sequel is the weakest Predator romp, which is why Blu-ray Bob is happy to see that filmmakers have gotten back to basics with Predators. In AVPR the Aliens and Predators face off in a small Colorado town while the locals try to stay the hell out of their way. The movie is so dark and muddy that, even on Blu-ray, it’s sometimes difficult to see who’s clobbering whom, but it’s still worth a look for Predator completists.