It’s hard to believe, but Predator was released close to 30 years ago. I don’t know that it’s my favorite movie, but for a long time it was, and I still consider it to be a perfect blend of action and sci-fi. Along with Die Hard – also directed by John McTiernan – Predator impacted me more than any other movie from the 1980s. Predator still holds up well today: the straightforward yet clever story, the mystery of the alien itself (which has since been butchered), the special effects (powered by the legendary Stan Winston), Alan Silvestri’s ominous score, and last but certainly not least, the cast.
One of the things that I love about Predator is that the alien isn’t killing a bunch of average Joes. Instead, he’s ripping the spines out of some of the baddest, biggest, meanest dudes on Earth, all equipped with top-of-the-line military firepower. Many of the movie’s cast members went on to have some pretty remarkable careers, some of which were completely outside the realm of film. I decided to see what the cast of Predator has been up to over the past 20+ years.
Arnold Schwarzenegger as Dutch
Arnie starred in Predator during the beginning of his “prime” years and of course went on to star in gigantic action flicks. His film career had been on hiatus since around 2003 when he entered politics and eventually became Governor of California. Now Arnold is back but he’s 68 years old and just isn’t the same action hero he used to be (nor should he be).
Carl Weathers as Dillon
After a really crappy action movie – looking directly at you, Action Jackson-and some forgettable roles, Weathers tried and succeeded at comedy, playing Chubbs in Happy Gilmore. He doesn’t act much anymore, save for a few television appearances and some web ads for Credit Union. It should be noted that his did appear on Arrested Development, showing that his comedy chops in Happy Gilmore were no fluke. I am dedicating this post to Chubbs.
Bill Duke as Mac
Bill Duke was one of the coolest dudes alive before Predator, and is still a cool dude today. Duke continued to act, as well as get behind the camera to direct. He directed Deep Cover in 1992, which gives him more street cred than just about anyone considering Dre and Snoop did a song for the soundtrack about slangin’ dope and killing cops. And yeah, I know he directed Sister Act 2, but the man was getting paid. He’s come a long way from breaking a disposable razor over his face in the jungle. Duke has more recently appeared on Lost and Battlestar Galactica.
Jesse Ventura as Blain
Just like Arnie, Ventura went into politics following his acting career (and time as a radio call-in show host). First he became mayor of Brooklyn Park; later, Governor of Minnesota. Ventura has been very busy since then, hosting television shows, appearing at WWE events, becoming the spokesperson for an online betting service, and writing books. He’s taken a very strong anti-torture stance over the past several years and has been one of Dick Cheney’s more vocal critics. I’d love to see them in a steel cage match.
Sonny Landham as Billy
Sonny Landham is out of his mind. Like, Ultimate Warrior, late James Brown crazy. Sonny had a real bad child custody battle with his ex-wife and was convicted of making threatening phone calls. On appeal, his conviction was overturned. I’m not down with threatening phone calls. Heavy breathing at 4:00 a.m. I’m all over, but no threats. Gotta keep it classy. Anyway, Sonny later decided to get into politics (a common theme amongst Predator castmates). He ran for Governor of Kentucky and failed, and later ran for U.S. Senate. His party withdrew their nomination when he took out a knife and ran it across his own torso following a campaign speech. Or maybe because he made some rather hateful comments about Arabs; I can’t remember for sure.
Richard Chaves as Poncho
Chaves did a lot of television after Predator, including a recurring role on “War of the Worlds.” According to wikipedia, Chaves was stalked in the late 1990s. Look, I like Richard Chaves and all, but really? Of all the guys in Predator, wouldn’t you say he’s the least likely to be stalked. I’ve stalked many a person, and Chaves just doesn’t fit the profile. Anyhow, he recently played the role of a detective in Dark House.
Shane Black as Hawkins
Black isn’t really much on an actor – did you know he’s a successful screenwriter and has also directed a movie? He wrote Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout, and The Last Action Hero, all very good scripts. He wrote and directed Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, an incredibly clever and underrated movie. I’m impressed. It hasn’t been all roses for Black since Predator, though: he and an ex-girlfriend sued each other for battery.
Kevin Peter Hall as The Predator (and Helicopter Pilot)
After Predator Hall played a different alien Predator in the movie’s sequel, and later, the bigfoot Harry in the Harry and the Hendersons TV show. Sadly, Hall contracted HIV, which developed into AIDS, and died in 1991. Hall helped create, to me, one of the most memorable movie villains of all time, alien or otherwise. I love Predator so much in no small part because of the creature itself, and Hall deserves all the credit in the world for dominating the screen even amongst the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura.