Nightmare Anniversary: “PREDATOR 2” in Print and Pixel!Fearful Features,Movies/TV,News Ken W. Hanley
Welcome to Nightmare Anniversary, where FANGORIA looks back at film’s celebrating special anniversaries this year and toast to the times in which they were released. What skeletons remain in the closet of the fright films we love so dearly? That’s what Nightmare Anniversary aims to dig up.
As a longtime fan of the franchise, it’s always a little disheartening to see the amount of petty criticism thrown at PREDATOR 2. A solid flick in its own right, and an even scarier entry than the more action-oriented first film, PREDATOR 2 still has its fan after more than 25 years of derision and backhanded compliments from genre fans. And yet even the most steadfast PREDATOR 2 fan might be a little wary in remembering the sequel’s strange merchandising that stalked the marketplace in 1990…
Definitely aimed at the male demographic that had made the original success, PREDATOR 2’s tie-ins were so utterly weird in conception that they make their even weirder execution somewhat impressive. There’s a certain amount of commitment that went into bringing the film to video games consoles, comic books and a novelization that perhaps the marketing teams forgot PREDATOR 2 was about an alien that skins human beings, and nearly caught an NC-17 for its trouble. Nevertheless, the evidence of such expansions remains to this day; a memory of a time where even horror properties found their way to mainstream toy stores.
Firstly, there’s the case of the PREDATOR 2 on the printed page, as the film was adapted into both a comic book (likely due to the rise of ALIEN-themed comics at the time) as well as a universe-expanding novelization from Simon Hawke. Whereas the 2-part comic book offered a basic retelling of the film via illustrated panels, not to mention featuring collectible trading cards, the novelization was a whole different beast. Published by Jove Books, the PREDATOR 2 novelization was based on the original screenplay for the film, offering information that was eventually cut out of the film, including a bridge between both PREDATOR films, the eventual fate of Dutch and even telling parts of the story from the Predator’s point-of-view.
Then, there’s the case of the PREDATOR 2 video game, a SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis game by Acclaim where the player could take on the Predator himself whilst in the shoes of Danny Glover’s Lieutenant Harrigan. While the game was poorly received, the game has grown in its cult appeal; it’s notoriously difficult for its time, as you had to face off against gang members and the Predator while rescuing potential hostages, all the while racing against a time and hostage death limit. Yet the game is still quite an oddity, featuring a point system for taking drugs off of dead gangbangers and stills from the film to separate each level. To this day, the video game has still got it’s fanbase: gameplay for PREDATOR 2 can be seen under the gallery below, and NECA even commissioned a PREDATOR 2 game figure, which hits shelves this June.