Published September 12, 2008
In retrospect it might seem obvious, but at the time no one really suspected that two of the stars of mid-eighties action flick Predator would become US governors. Back then, most people thought of it as a lightweight shoot ‘em up about big men with big guns running through the jungle looking for a monster to blow up rather than an introduction to politics.
But this was during the Reagan era, when B-movie actors ruled the world. Perhaps the subliminal message here was that Arnie was representing Ollie North, and the monster a Central American socialist. In any case, two of the pumped up muscle men would go on to greater things. Jesse Ventura, formerly a wrestler, would become Governor of Minnesota. And Arnie, of course, is currently Governor of California. It seems that the only major character in Predator not to get his own state was poor Carl Weathers. A black guy just can’t catch a break. Not only did he lose a hand in the movie itself, after having recently been beaten to death by another socialist monster in Rocky IV, but his post-Predator career highlight is spoofing himself as a failed actor in the series Arrested Development. Admittedly, Arrested is probably better than anything Arnie ever did. Still, you can‘t help but feel the poor guy was shafted. They could have at least given him Wisconsin or something.
Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Aron Pálmi
It seems that the only guy to do worse out of Predator than Carl Weathers was the monster itself. True, Predator returned in a sequel, Predator 2, but this was typecasting of the worst kind. And it got worse. While there is a certain dignity to being beaten up by Arnold Schwarzenegger, in the second film he is bested by senior citizen Danny Glover, with Mel Gibson nowhere in sight. And while Arnie went on to do the obligatory family friendly comedy, poor Pred only returned to acting by repeating his signature role in Predator vs. Aliens 1 and 2. This time, he doesn‘t even get to headline any more, but has to share credits with the monster from another franchise. His old foe Arnie was never reduced to the obvious battle of the 80‘s buffs, something in the vein of Schwarzenegger vs. Stallone, but Preds seems destined to forever duke it out with the other 80‘s monster (yes, I know Alien first came out in 1979). Speaking of Stallone, Sly may have been prophetic when he went to the future in Demolition Man and found that Arnie had become president. However, it is highly unlikely that in the future anyone will recognise Wesley Snipes. Except, of course, for Aron Pálmi.
No nukes for Austrians
So, it seems that with his acting career in a rut, the only sensible option open to Predator would be to follow his colleagues into politics. Who knows, he might even beat Arnie to the punch, for a change. While 2008 was the year people got to choose between the possibility of the first female and the first black president, 2012 might give us the choice between the first Austrian and the first alien President. And while some people might understandably be wary of putting Predator in charge of nuclear weapons, one would do well to remember that putting Austrians in charge of Superpowers rarely bodes well. It was, in fact, Austrians that started both World Wars 1 and 2, by invading Serbia and Poland respectively. That‘s one franchise we don‘t want Arnie to return to.
The Predator and gun control
But which party would Predator run for? Arnie is firmly entrenched in the Republican Party and Jesse Ventura ran as an independent for Ross Perot’s Reform Party. Predator would want to appeal to his fanbase, and the people who rooted for him back in 1986 would want him to be opposed to Arnie. One possibility would be for him to join the Greens, as he seems to be more at home in the jungle than other habitats. However, the Democratic Party is the more obvious choice to get back at the Guvernator. The Democrats have often been accused of being soft on terrorism, but it wouldn‘t take more than their candidate presenting a few Taliban skulls with their backbones still attached to silence such doubts. However, he might soon have problems with his own party. It would be hard for the Predator to come out in favour of gun control without the press having a field day with images from his gun toting youth. Also, the Predator seems to be in favour of private initiative, as he always hunts alone. This might lead him to lower taxes. Attempts to reform Medicare might also be seen to be hypocritical by relatives of the people he has hospitalised.
Predator vs. Aliens 2020
It seems all in all that the Predator is a true Republican, and this would be the natural party for him. At best, he could perhaps be VP to Arnie’s Prez. The poor guy seems destined to be forever in Arnie’s shadow. Until, of course, his turn came up in 2020. But knowing Predator’s luck, by that time Alien would be the Democratic nominee. Alien is, after all, a natural candidate for the left. He always thinks about the interests of the group rather than the individual. Also, he would be firmly opposed to guns, as this would give him a natural advantage. And he would want a good social system to take care of the young until they are old enough to leave the nest and attach themselves to other people. Predator’s only response to such a strong candidate would be to declare all Aliens illegal. But this might bring about uncomfortable scrutiny into his own past. Only a firmly patriotic, all American VP might deflect this. Perhaps Carl Weathers could be convinced to bring out the old Stars and Stripes boxer shorts, and go one more round with socialist monsters after all.