The latent erotic tension in the film Predator

Illustration for article titled The latent erotic tension in the film Predator

Predator is probably the most unflinchingly macho film in existence, but does the blockbuster's chain guns and shoulder cannons and cigar smoking hide a much more nuanced tale of sexual awakening? Here's a cheeky psychoanalysis of everyone's favorite Yautja thriller.

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The writer of this piece was inspired in part by J.G. Ballard's 1968 psychosexual assessment of the then-governor of California, Why I Want To Fuck Ronald Reagan. Here's the introduction to An Exegesis of the Sexual Subtext in Predator:

An excerpt from Sir J. Thurgood Snorpington-Pittwickett's classic "Sexual Tyrannosaurus: ‘Predator' and the masculine struggle with homosexual self-identity," first published in the 1988 Journal of Psychosexuality and Cinematical Hermeneutics 6, p. 122-254.*

"Using post-freudian dialectical analysis, it becomes clear that the 1987 action film ‘Predator' is an allegory for the gay male struggle to accept a differing sexual identity than is appropriate in a dominant hetero-normative cultural system. As we see the character Dutch, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger struggle to understand and accept the existence of the Predator, we are actually witnessing the struggle for dominance in the psyche of a gay man who has not yet understood or accepted his own identity. The jungle of Dutch's mind is the setting for the fight between his Super-Ego, manifested in the team of hyper-masculine marines, and the Id of the Predator, who represents a pure homosexual archetype.

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And that's just the beginning. Put on some Little Richard (no wait, here's a better soundtrack) and head on over to Hippo Versus Whale for the rest. You ain't got time to bleed, but you must make time to read (this).

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DISCUSSION

Dr Emilio Lizardo

Pretty much all of the 1980's actioners have been labeled as homo-erotic, especially Schwaerzenegger's and especially "Commando."

It is kind of odd. It's just a movie about a bunch of big guys getting by on their muscles. Brains are secondary. Nobody ever sees teen sex comedies as secret lesbian fetish movies even though there are lots of brainless girls running around topless.

I kind of feel like this sort of essay is an unnecessary way to "mainstream" the gay population becasue they feel marginalized. It's a way of saying "See, you are gay too and you don't even know it. So don't hate me, I'm as normal as you." It smacks of trying a little too hard. How about if you go be gay and I'll be straight and it won't really matter either way? You can watch for Arnold's sweaty muscles and I'll watch for the explosions and blood but we can still see it together because we both enjoy it and our sexual orientation is not really important to anyone unless we want to have sex with them.

I was a very straight teenager at that time and I just liked to watch Arnold blow some dudes away but I guess you can see whatever you want in it. Maybe it just means that gay guys are attracted to handsome men with good bodies the same way straight guys are attracted to pretty girls with nice bodies?

Sometimes a gun is just a gun.