It doesn’t seem that long ago that James Cameron released his behemoth Titanic (1997) upon the unsuspecting public. I say unsuspecting not because he wasn’t well recognized—quite the contrary. At that time, Cameron was one of the world’s most popular genre directors, having a string of huge successes behind him. In gaining those successes, he reinvented the spectacle and bombast of the blockbuster. Films like Aliens (1986) and Terminator 2 (1991) set a new standard for special effects, and simultaneously set an expectation for achievement and personal competition within the mind of its creator.
Predator is one of the best action films ever made. It’s got Schwarzenegger in his prime, a young and ambitious John McTeirnan at the helm, Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura and a seven-foot invisible monster. Boy, they don’t make them like that anymore…
Firstly, you should know I wrote Predators when I was 13. Like every kid, after the first time I sat and was blown away by the original, I made it better (or, in the teenage parlance, “cooler”). Sure, one Predator is cool, but what about four? There should definitely be a fight between them, too, and honestly, the female character is so boring, it would be so much cooler if she was a sniper! The difference between my vision and that of the eventual makers of Predators was that I wasn’t given the keys to sci-fi horror royalty and millions of dollars to spend, and I still required a legal guardian. In this article, I’m going to look at the narrative structure of Predators and how it functions as a sequel. But before that, let’s look at what it’s actually about.
Every Saturday night The Tomb of Terror opens, unleashing reviews of the obscure and the classic in horror cinema.
Vampires have been a mainstay of horror ever since Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula popularized them in 1897. Every few years we see an influx of films centering on bloodsuckers. Certain things may change from film to film, such as the ridiculous lovesick sparkling vampire craze which we are currently in the midst of, but the basic rules always stay the same. Vampires have to drink blood. They can only be killed by sunlight or a stake to the heart. They hate garlic, crosses and holy water. Watch a vampire film and you’ll usually find at least three of these rules honored. And that’s how it should be. There’s nothing more annoying than a monster movie that changes all the rules of its monster. One exception to this rule is Kathryn Bigelow’s 1987 film Near Dark, which reinvents the vampire mythos by stripping it to its core.
1986; directed by James Cameron; screenplay by James Cameron from a story by Walter Hill, David Giler, and James Cameron
John: Glad to see others here thought of this as a horror film, I struggled the most over whether or not to include this on my list.
Aliens: Takes a suspenseful haunted house of a movie, turns it into a balls to the wall action fest and manages to be nearly as good. 9/10
Traditionally this time of year is the last chance for movie studios to release their films they think have the best shot at winning awards, but for me there are really only has four films coming out that hold much interest for me: Up In The Air, The Lovely Bones, Avatar and Sherlock Holmes.
Spencer and John Portanova, of Adler and Zenith, share the MacGuffin Podcast’s Top 25 Sequels. The list was inspired when Spencer and John discussed Empire magazine’s list of the top 50 sequels in Episode 13.
Here is the final List:
25. Gremlins 2, Kill Bill 2, Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan
24. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
23. Breakin 2
22. The Road Warrior
21. Bourne Supremacy
20. Rocky 3
19. Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter
18. Die Hard With A Vengence
17. Star Trek
16. Clerks 2
15. Lord of the Rings: Two Towers
14. Casino Royale
13. Toy Story 2
12. Spiderman 2
10. Back To The Future 2
9. Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade
8. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
7. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
6. Silence of the Lambs
5. Godfather 2
4. The Dark Knight
2. Terminator 2
1. The Empire Strikes Back