- ―The Jungle Hunter (from Predator)
The Jungle Hunter, nicknamed "El Diablo que hace trofeos de los hombres" ("The demon who makes trophies of men"), was a Yautja from the Jungle Hunter Clan that conducted a Hunt in Val Verde during the insurgency there in 1987. He is widely known as the Predator that stalked and killed several American military personnel in the region, including members of an elite mercenary unit led by Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer.
Dutch eventually faced the Jungle Hunter in close quarters combat, mortally wounding it and leading the creature to commit honorable suicide with its Self-Destruct Device.
At some point prior to 1987, the Jungle Hunter began hunting humans he considered worthy prey in the jungles of Val Verde, typically only during the hottest summers. He became something of a local legend among the people, and his gruesome butchery of his victims earned him the title "El Diablo que hace trofeos de los hombres", literally "The demon who makes trophies of men".
Hunting Jim Hopper's team
In 1987, the Jungle Hunter returned to Val Verde, now host to an ongoing guerrilla war between the American-backed government and a communist insurgency. When a helicopter carrying several CIA agents under the command of Al Dillon was shot down and the operatives captured by the guerrillas, Dillon dispatched a team of Special Forces led by Jim Hopper to rescue the agents and eliminate the rebels responsible. En route to the guerrillas' camp, Hopper's team was ambushed by the Jungle Hunter and wiped out, with Hopper and two of his men being skinned and hung from the treetops as trophies.
Hunting Dutch's squad
- "Over here..."
- ―The Jungle Hunter (from Predator)
Dillon later recruited his old friend Alan "Dutch" Schaefer to complete the mission, and after Dutch and his team had wiped out the rebel force they too became targets for the Jungle Hunter. While the Predator initially observed the team from afar, Billy sensed its presence almost immediately and became uneasy at the unseen force stalking them. As the team moved out, Anna, a rebel they had captured, attempted to escape. When Hawkins set off in pursuit and caught the prisoner, isolating himself from the rest of the squad, the Jungle Hunter struck, killing him with his Wristblades, gutting him and hanging his corpse from a tree.
The other men immediately instigated a search for the body. Finding Blain alone, the Jungle Hunter attempted to slay him with its Speargun but succeeded only in grazing his shoulder. Before he could retaliate, the Predator attacked with his Plasmacaster, blasting a hole clean through his chest. As it moved in to retrieve the body, the Jungle Hunter was spotted by Mac and was wounded in its left leg when the soldier opened up with his M60 machine gun; when this stopped firing, he then raised Blain's M134 Minigun and sprayed the flora with suppressive firepower, causing the rest of the team to attack with their own weapons. After escaping, the Predator retreated to the treetops to tend to his wounds with its Medicomp. At night, the Predator stealthily infiltrated the squad's well-prepared and heavily defended camp and successfully recovered Blain's body while a wild boar rampaged through the camp.
The next day, the Predator fell into an elaborate net trap set by the survivors but again managed to escape, critically and unintentionally wounding Poncho in the process. Mac and Dillon set off in pursuit of the fleeing creature only to find it waiting for them; after using its Plasmacaster to shoot Mac in the head and then blow off Dillon's right arm, it moved in and finished the latter with its Wristblades. Shortly afterwards, the Jungle Hunter encountered Billy making a suicidal last stand armed only with a machete and quickly slaughtered him as well. After killing the injured Poncho with its Plasmacaster, the Jungle Hunter lost Dutch following a desperate chase when the latter unintentionally covered himself in wet mud, rendering him invisible to the Predator's thermal vision. The creature returned to Billy's corpse and took it up into the trees to remove his skull as a trophy.
The Predator was later alerted to Dutch's survival when it heard him screaming through the night, challenging it to one final confrontation, seeking to avenge his squad. Seeking out the large fire Dutch had lit as a beacon, the Jungle Hunter found Dutch well prepared, again rendered invisible by the cold mud he had smeared over his body and now armed with spears, bows and explosive arrows he had built from what little equipment he had left, as well as the jungle itself. Although the Predator's Cloak was disabled and the creature itself was lightly wounded, it eventually turned the tables on Dutch and dropped him into a pool of water, thereby removing his camouflage and making him visible once more.
Impressed by Dutch's strength and ingenuity, the Jungle Hunter discarded its Plasmacaster and Bio-Mask before engaging Dutch in hand-to-hand combat. Even in a fair duel, Dutch was still no match for the Predator and took a savage beating from it. The creature, although Dutch taunted it to finishing him, wisely saw through the trap he had prepared. Before it could close in from another side, Dutch triggered one of his remaining traps himself and dropped the counterweight directly on top of the creature, crushing it. When Dutch demanded to know what it was, the dying Predator mockingly repeated Dutch's question in garbled English, then activated its Self-Destruct Device and, mimicking Billy, laughed manically at the human standing over him in a last-ditch effort to kill him. Dutch ran for cover as the creature's Wrist Gauntlet detonated, killing it and igniting the jungle in a massive explosion.
Following the Jungle Hunter's demise, its ship automatically returned to Yautja Prime, taking with it a record of everything that had happened in Val Verde in the form of recordings automatically relayed through the creature's Bio-Mask and stored aboard the vessel. These records were thoroughly studied by the Yautja and led to increased respect for humanity's capabilities. Notably, the City Hunter was motivated to travel to Earth and hunt man himself as a direct result of these recordings. Knowledge of this event also found its way to other countries on Earth — for example, Isabelle, an IDF sniper captured by the Super Predators and dropped on the Game Preserve Planet in 2010, recognized the Yautja and their technology from classified reports she had read about the hunt in Val Verde.
List of Notable Victims
The Jungle Hunter was fairly lightly equipped by Yautja standards, carrying only a few weapons and basic equipment on its hunt.
- Wrist Gauntlet
Behind the Scenes
As the Jungle Hunter costume was created as a replacement for a previous creature that did not work, it had to be designed and built in only six weeks. Two suits were made for the production, cast in foam latex. Owing to the tight schedule, the armor pieces (with the exception of the Bio-Mask, the Plasmacaster and the Wrist Gauntlet) were sculpted directly onto the body and molded with it. The teeth were cast separately, from acrylic, while the dreadlocks were also molded from foam and applied as a single piece. The creature's skin coloration was based on a desert locust species, Schistocerca gregaria. A simple red one-piece suit was also built for use in scenes where the creature would appear cloaked, acting as a base on which the special effects were later applied.
The Predator's head was built as a separate piece, and a total of three were created for the film — a "hero" head that was capable of facial articulation, a static stunt head and a head that was completely open at the front, for use in scenes where the Predator is wearing its mask. The animatronic face on the hero head was controlled by a set of 9 servomotors that enabled motion of the brow area and mandibles, as well as "a cheek squint"; an additional external servomotor was added later, hidden in the creature's backpack, to move the lower mandibles, which previously did not open as widely as intended. Hall was able to puppeteer the creature's mouth with his own jaw, and wore contact lenses to finish the effect.
Originally, the Jungle Hunter had a very different, much more elaborate Bio-Mask, designed to mimic the creature's tribal aesthetic. However, producer Joel Silver reportedly "hated it instantly", complaining that the complex design would lessen the effect when the Predator finally removes the mask to reveal its face. As a result, it was redesigned to be far more simple and plain. The original rejected mask prop was later reused for Guardian in Predator 2, and would go on to inspire the masks worn by Celtic in Alien vs. Predator and Scarface in the video game Predator: Concrete Jungle. Several other pieces of the Jungle Hunter outfit were similarly reused for the ending of Predator 2; the body suit was recycled for Predator Elder Greyback, while the Bio-Mask actually used in the first film was given to Scout.
Several weapons were proposed for the Predator but cut from the finished film, including a spear gun (a projectile from which is glimpsed very briefly, wounding Blain before he is killed) and a spear — these later resurfaced as the Speargun and the Combistick in Predator 2. Another weapon designed for the creature, but not recycled in the second movie, was a sword. Two swords were built from fiberglass and the weapon was actually incorporated into the first test suit, sheathed inside the Predator's backpack. However, it was removed when it was found the creature's head caught on the handle when Hall turned to look around.
- Originally, the Predators in the first and second movies were never given names and were simply known as "The Predator". However, in the video game Predator: Concrete Jungle, the two creatures appeared as alternate skins for the player character under the names "Jungle Hunter — Central America, 1987" and "City Hunter — Los Angeles, 1997". These names have subsequently been adopted by fans to denote the creatures.
- In the novelization of the film, the Predator is very different from the creature that appeared in the movie. In the book it is a shapeshifter, able to mimic any form it chooses from just the slightest physical contact, and even capable of dissipating entirely, vanishing and becoming part of the blowing breeze. In its basic form, it is a tall, humamoid creature with crimson, scaly skin and three-fingered hands. It's only weapons are a telescoping spear that it throws (incidentally similar to the Combistick from Predator 2) and a static, spider web-like trap capable of shredding anything caught in it (similar to the net fired by the Netgun, again introduced in Predator 2). Instead of a Cloak, the creature uses its shapeshifting ability and chameleon-like skin to hide. The Predator is also able to possess any animal it chooses (but not humans, one of the reasons it is so interested in them). It's blood is translucent and amber in color instead of green, although it still glows at night. The Predator does not kill men for sport, but rather out of curiosity; the way it horrifically mutilates its prey is merely an attempt to study and better understand human beings. It does, however, keep trophies taken from those it kills on board its ship.
- The design of the Crucified Predator in Predators was based on the Jungle Hunter.
- Dark, the playable Yautja from the 2010 video game Aliens vs. Predator, was also based on the Jungle Hunter design.
- The Jungle Hunter is currently the only movie Predator to have successfully used its Self-Destruct Device to commit honorable suicide (not counting the unnamed Predator seen during a flashback sequence in Alien vs. Predator). The City Hunter attempted to do the same but was stopped by Mike Harrigan. No other Predators have been depicted making the attempt in the films (although Scar used his Self-Destruct Device to destroy a nest of Xenomorph Eggs from afar).
- According to the original toy released soon after the movie, the Predator's name (not mentioned) translates as "Savage".
- In the original script for Predator there were three Predators, instead of just the one.
- The playable Predator character in the Devastation DLC for Call of Duty: Ghosts is based on the Jungle Hunter, although it also includes elements of Scout from Predator 2 in its design.
- Predator: Concrete Jungle/novel (mentioned only)
- Predator 2/novel/comic (mentioned only)
- Predators (mentioned only)
- Predators: Beating the Bullet (appears in flashback)
- Predator: Concrete Jungle (video game)
Behind the scenes
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Jim Thomas, John Thomas (writers), John McTiernan (director). Predator (1987), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- ↑ Predator: Concrete Jungle (2005), Eurocom, Sierra Entertainment, Vivendi Universal Games [PlayStation 2, Xbox].
- ↑ Simon Hawke. Predator 2, p. 21 (1990), Jove Books.
- ↑ Simon Hawke. Predator 2, p. 35 (1990), Jove Books.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 "Monster Legacy - Predator Metamorphosis – Part I: Predator". Retrieved on 2014-01-16.
- ↑ Stephen Hopkins, Kevin Peter Hall, Gary Busey, Stan Winston, John Rosengrant. The Hunters and the Hunted: The Making of 'Predator 2' (2005), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- ↑ Paul Monette. Predator, p. 140 (1987), Jove Books.
- ↑ Paul Monette. Predator, p. 156 (1987), Jove Books.
- ↑ Paul Monette. Predator, p. 85 (1987), Jove Books.
- ↑ Paul Monette. Predator, p. 103 (1987), Jove Books.
- ↑ Paul Monette. Predator, p. 127 (1987), Jove Books.
- ↑ Paul Monette. Predator, p. 43 (1987), Jove Books.
- ↑ Paul Monette. Predator, p. 133 (1987), Jove Books.