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“I ain’t got time to bleed.” While many were showing up to watch Arnold Schwarzenegger battle against an alien warrior in John McTiernan’s 1987 action/sci-fi flick Predator, admittedly this writer begged her mom to take her to see it at the drive-in that summer because…
…of none other than Jesse “The Body” Ventura, and ever since very few cinematic creatures have fascinated me the way that the Predator did.
There was something about its technological advances as well as its stature that loomed large over such action movie heavyweights like Schwarzenegger, Ventura or even Carl Weathers that made the Predator a serious badass villain that made me an instantaneous fan. Hell, I was even willing to even sit through AVPR on Christmas night, which says a lot right there.
So when Dread Central recently partnered with the Stan Winston School of Character Arts to present Seven Days of Stan Winston’s Famous Monsters for Halloween, we just knew we had to include Winston’s stunning special make-up effects work from Predator in our celebration.
What’s really interesting is that the Predator itself went through some major transformations throughout production- initially the design was different than the final version we saw in the film, and the creature was originally to be played by none other than Jean-Claude Van Damme (man, would I love to get my hands on those stills!).
Thankfully that plan was scrapped due to Van Damme’s diminutive stature compared to the flick’s much larger co-stars so when Kevin Peter Hall was brought on to replace Van Damme, Stan Winston also redesigned the look of the Predator, taking away the ‘dog-like’ look of the original alien, creating something more otherworldly that featured its now trademark mandibles.
And while special effects master Winston may have been garnering most of the attention that year for the ground-breaking visual effects from Predator (Winston was nominated for an Oscar), there’s no denying the influence of his work on the now iconic character that has become a pop cultural phenomenon in its own right.
Check out our exclusive gallery of behind-the-scenes stills from the set of Predator as well as inside Winston’s shop, and look for more of Stan Winston’s Famous Monsters through Halloween!
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Celebrate Stan’s legacy in the comments section below.