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Predators: The Deadliest Jungles on Film


Feature by Jack Foley

IN Predators, available on Blu-ray and DVD from November 1, 2010, Adrien Brody leads his group of elite killers into a deadly jungle where they quickly discover is a game reserve for a group of merciless predators.

To celebrate Robert Rodriguez’s reboot of the classic film, we take a look back at other deadly jungles that have graced the big screen.

Jurassic Park – 1993

The first Jurassic Park (1993) introduces us to the concept of dinosaurs and humans living in harmony (if you consider harmony being chased by ferocious reptiles who have eaten all your friends). After a scientist clones dinosaurs from fossilized mosquito DNA, he contains the creatures on a tropical island.

However, a computer virus shuts down the compound, and with their newfound freedom, the dinosaurs begin to hunt the humans. The reveal of the Tyrannosaurus Rex is truly frightening; the children are stuck in the car, and they hear the ominous footsteps. Suddenly an eye appears in the window, and the T-Rex torments its prey maliciously, finally trying to tear the roof off with its jaws. You can run, but you can’t hide.

Rambo: First Blood Part II – 1985

John Rambo

Slyvester Stallone asserts domination over the Vietnamese jungle with an M60 machine gun and an 8-pack of abs. In the second installment of the Rambo series, John Rambo returns to the tropics of Vietnam to find American POWs, and instead learns that Soviets are aiding the Vietnamese.

Although the jungle is vicious, Rambo is an unstoppable maestro of bullets. When Vietnamese troops kill his love-interest, Rambo destroys everything in his path, avenging her death and killing every single soldier.

Raiders of the Lost Ark – 1981

Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones always manages to get himself in the stickiest situations while looking for archaeological finds deep in the heart of the jungle. The jungle always tries to slow him down, but Jones is a pro at maneuvering through booby traps. When he tries to steal a golden idol from an ancient South American temple, he uses a sand bag to displace the weight of the artifact on the pedestal.

Nevertheless, the traps are set off, and Jones is forced to race out of the temple, avoiding collapsing walls, shooting darts, and the infamous rolling boulder, which nearly crushes the hero.

King Kong – 2005

King Kong versus the T-Rex

Peter Jackson’s 2005 version of King Kong brings the gorgeous Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts) and a film crew to a mysterious island, where the natives worship their god, a giant ape called “Kong.” They capture Darrow and try to sacrifice her to Kong.

The beast takes Darrow into his lair but he is merely curious and gentle. Meanwhile, a team of rescuers, led by Jack Driscoll (Adrian Brody), scours the island in search of the heroine, losing members of the crew during encounters with bloodthirsty dinosaurs and deadly giant invertebrates.

Apocalypse Now – 1979

The most disturbing jungle in film is featured in Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now. American soldiers in the Vietnam War kill in the jungles of South Asia, surrounded by lush nature. An experienced soldier Captain Benjamin Willard, (Martin Sheen) is on a mission to assassinate a Green Beret Colonel named Kurtz, played by Marlon Brando, who has gone insane deep within the jungle.

Kurtz has become a god of the natives, leading them and his men into enemy territory on illegal guerilla missions. Once Willard and his troops enter Cambodia, they witness a nauseating scene of bodies littered across the coastline. Inside the village, bodies are strewn about and severed heads border Kurtz’s living quarters.

Tropic Thunder – 2008

Ben Stiller in Tropic Thunder

Shooting a movie on location is always tricky, especially when that location is the blistering hot jungles of South Asia. In 2008’s Tropic Thunder, a young director (Steve Coogan) decides to drop his actors in the jungle to shoot a Vietnam War film guerilla-style, the group stumbles upon a heroin production camp, and no one realizes the cameras have stopped rolling.

In one graphic scene, the poppy-growers decapitate the director. Despite this obvious threat, Ben Stiller’s character Tugg Speedman is unable to discern the difference between “movie magic” and reality, poking at the detached head and eating the dangling blood vessels from his neck. Delicious.

Predators is out on Blu-ray and DVD on November 1, 2010. Read our review