Hollywood Survival: 'Predator' (1987)

A critical look at ten of the silver screen's oddest, most entertaining, and occasionally even accurate techniques for dealing with disaster

SCENARIO: In an attempt to escape from a mysterious, armed assailant which turns out to be a human-hunting alien, Alan “Dutch” Schaefer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) covers himself in mud to avoid detection. If you’re being stalked by a predator—extraterrestrial or otherwise—is mud an acceptable camouflage?

THE EXPERT SAYS: “I’ve done that myself,” says Nester—though as the predator, not the prey. “When I was younger, we used to cover ourselves with mud and lay on the trail and try to sneak up on deer.” As an added bonus, mud can repel bugs if you apply it thickly enough. Though Predator is obviously fiction, Dutch’s various improvised techniques and makeshift weapons are consistent with his background as a Green Beret; using improvisation to overcome an unknown situation “is certainly something those guys know how to do.”

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