the pitches

Title: Predator: Invasion
Directed by: Ilya Naishuller 
Starring: Kristofer Hivju as Holt, Jurnee Smollett as Dekker

Sonny Holt is with his family in the Appalachia-Blue Ridge forests, driving into town for bait and beer. He’s ready to begin retirement from a long military career when the news on the bait shop’s TV reports that the International Space Station has mysteriously exploded.

Everyone gathers outside to view the fiery show in the sky as pieces of the station burn in the atmosphere. Then another object emerges from above. An alien ship is descending on planet Earth, and it’s close. A brief exchange with his wife, and she scoops the kids into the jeep and heads back to the cabin.

Holt borrows the shop owner’s car and trails the ship as it nears the ground. Massive and menacing aliens emerge from the craft. They’re beetle-like with black eyes and shiny exoskeletons. These are the Huai Dan. They’re snarling and yelling as if they’ve already conquered this new domain when their leader’s head suddenly explodes.

Holt reloads his rifle, but the beasts are already after him. He leads them into the forest where he kills two of the beetle men with a knife, then doubles back to the alien ship. He takes out the pilot and an engineer, and hijacks the ship, using its weapons to kill the rest of the squad on the ground.

In just a few minutes, he’s saved the planet. Well, not quite. Holt looks on the horizon, spotting millions more of the same alien ship coming down from the sky. He’s not happy. Holt pulls a gas can from the car trunk, tosses it in the ship, and sets it alight. It explodes and the title card slams onto the screen.

Predator: Invasion.

Holt emerges from the smoke, looking ragged and scarred. We follow him into a camouflaged bunker entrance where dozens of similarly battered people are gathered. We discover it has been a year since the invasion, and humans are losing the war.

The feeling is somber, but the rebel group has a visitor, an old military friend of Holt’s. Colonel Black says the government has had knowledge of another alien species, one that has been visiting Earth for a long time. Holt questions if they have technology that could help in the battle, and Black says, yes, but that’s not what they’re after.

A scientist companion of Black’s explains that this predatory species has sent young warriors to Earth as a proving grounds, and that they may have guided early human civilizations to be worshiped as gods, but recently she thinks it may have been more than that. The scientist, Ashley Dekker, explains that for the past few years they’ve been deciphering the alien language to read text captured from one of the fallen alien’s personal computer.

It reads of multiple alien species that spread across the universe, conquering planets and killing or enslaving its natural inhabitants. She thinks a similar invasion happened to the Yautja long ago, which forced them to become brutal warriors, predators of the invading species. Holt is unimpressed. He says he doesn’t get how any of this is relevant. “So there’s even more hostile aliens out in space,” Holt says. “We need to deal with the current invaders.”

“That’s what we want to do,” says the scientist Dekker. “According to this figure captured from the Yautja’s computer (she holds up a drawing of a familiar beetle alien invader), the same Huai Dan that invaded Earth had invaded the Yautja planet long ago.”

“You think the Predators can be allies?” asks Holt.

“Yes,” she says. “What we’re hoping is that’s the real reason they’ve sent warriors here over the years. As a test, to see if we could help them if the time came, maybe to create some kind of space UN.”

“Or they think we’re easy pickins,” says Holt. “Do you have a way to send them a message?”

“No,” Dekker says, “but we have the coordinates to their planet and a ship that can get you there. From what we’ve heard, you already know how to pilot one.”

Over a few scenes, Holt understands and agrees to the plan, taking a few great fighters and Dekker along for the ride, along with a mysterious and smelly package inside Holt’s bag. They reach the Predator planet and land, but no one is there to greet them. Holt snaps to a realization and shouts for everyone to take cover. As he ducks, a shot fires where he was standing, killing the man behind him. The group get into a fire fight, and when it seems they’re overrun, Holt pulls the smelly thing from his bag.

He rushes out to open ground holding aloft the head of a beetle invader. Holt drops his weapon and several of the Predators step forward, talking amongst themselves. Holt’s companions are led from hiding and all shot with stun blasts.

They wake in a prison cell. They hear shouts and rumbling above them. After a brief discussion of how screwed they are and getting to know the supporting characters some more, the cell door opens and they’re all taken down a long corridor where the shouts and rumbles get louder and louder. Along the way another prisoner joins them. He is one of the Yautja and he is severely scarred. His left arm is severed at the elbow in what looks to be a very recent injury.

The group ends up in an armory surrounded by blood-stained chest pieces and an array of weaponry. The one-armed Yautja grabs an axe from the wall, and Holt understands the situation. They’re meant to prove themselves in combat. What that means if they live is unclear, but living is their more immediate concern. Even Dekker has no choice but to suit up, and she’s terrified.

The doors to the coliseum open and Holt’s team is forced into the arena. Surrounded by skulls of the fallen and hundreds of shouting Yautja, the gang holds their weapons aloft, waiting for the enemy to be unleashed upon them. They expect more Predators, but when the doors open again, out come three Xenomorphs.

The creatures rush and a great battle ensues. Holt loses two of his crew, and when the Yautja is pinned by one of the Xenomorphs, Holt manages to save him. The humans are victorious, allowing them an audience with the Yautja council. Their one-armed friend is taken away. Dekker is able to communicate with them through writing, explaining the situation on Earth.

The council appears to be compiled from two factions of the same species, one smaller than the other, and though the humans can’t understand their spoken language, it is clear the factions are arguing. A member of the low faction tears loose his royal-looking garb and rushes one of the high-faction members, scuffling and tearing at each other. The lead councilperson (one from the high faction) finally raises his hand and silences the group. The fight stops. He nods to a guard who brings the group earpieces. When the councilperson speaks again, it’s in English. He says their people cannot help. They will let the humans live, however. They can leave in the morning.

Holt shouts at him. “You may as well kill us now. If you send us back to Earth without help, we’re all dead anyway!”

The humans are put back in prison where they discuss what they’ve seen. They wonder what could cause these warriors to argue. Weren’t the Huai Dan the enemy of the Yautja too? What would cause them to hesitate going to war with a species that brought war to them so long ago? Before they can get answers, there are explosions outside and the cell door blows open. It’s their one-armed friend, ‘Lefty’. He says he’s escaping and they should come with him.

“Damn,” says Holt, seeing the dead guards outside. “They’ll think we did this.”

“Then we just stay here?” asks Dekker.

“Hell no,” says Holt. “If they’re going to blame us for murder, then we may as well do a little murdering.”

They follow Lefty to the armory and suit up again. Then they head back down the tunnels to see dozens of guards blocking the path. Holt hears a growl nearby and spots the Xenomorph cages. He busts the locks and opens the cages. While his group ducks for cover, the Xenomorphs pounce on the guards and shred them to pieces, running off into the night.

Holt, Lefty, Dekker, and a couple more of Holt’s crew battle their way to the airfield where Lefty is searching for a very particular ship. It’s fancy, more ornate than the others. He gets it fired up and they all get aboard, taking off only to be chased by more ships.

They quickly discover this ship wasn’t made for combat. Holt is yelling at Lefty for stealing a dumb ship while Lefty is searching through the ship’s computer for something. Holt is trying evasive maneuvers to outrun their pursuers, but the ship is blasted, forcing them to find a nearby moon. They crash land on the moon where the chase continues in low gravity.

As the humans and Lefty hide and fend off local hostile creatures, they discuss what Lefty was after on that ship. He says his father was the former head of the council and was murdered without being properly challenged in arena combat, and somehow he was blamed. The council sentenced Lefty to fight as a gladiator until his death.

The reason his father was killed was because his people (the low-faction Yautja) were in dispute with the high-faction group over the Huai Dan. While the high-factions had spent years negotiating peace, the low-factions felt peace was a betrayal to the generations of their people before. They wanted to fight. His father wanted to fight, and for speaking out again and again he was finally silenced.

Furthermore, Lefty believed that the high-factions weren’t just negotiating peace. He thinks they were planning a full extermination of the low-factions with the help of the Huai Dan, along with their pets.

“You mean us?” Holt asked.

“Yes,” says Lefty. “The humans and several other species were being groomed to battle alongside the Yautja when war with the Huai Dan returned, but the High-Faction group felt this idea was foolish and didn’t see how any other species could work together with them. The ship contained messages between the high-factions and the Huai Dan about their plans. The ship they stole belonged to the new head of council.

“And you think that information will do what?” asks Holt.

“Hopefully bring awareness to all the Yautja citizens who might not agree with the corrupted high faction leaders. Hopefully it can unite their people and make the extermination of the Huai Dan a common cause.”

“Or it starts a civil war, and we’re all screwed, but it’s the best plan we’ve got to get help back to Earth. Let’s get you back to your people.”

They defeat their attackers, losing the other humans in the skirmishes. It’s only Dekker, Holt, and Lefty who reach one of the fighter ships, but before they can board one a host of Huai Dan ships enter the moon’s atmosphere. “The head of council must have called in his friends,” says Holt.

It’s a virtual blanket of ships with no way through. Dekker says they can use the ship’s cloaking feature, but Lefty says it won’t work. The Huai Dan tech sees through it. Lefty hands Dekker a small device and says it has everything she’ll need to convince his people of the high-faction’s treachery. Lefty boards one of the other ships and takes off toward the wall of Huai Dan ships. He arms his self-detonator and explodes as he reaches them, creating a hole of escape for the others.

Holt and Dekker fly through it, heading back to the Yautja home world. They are in various dogfights on the way and Dekker discovers the device Lefty gave her is destroyed. Holt says it was a loose plan anyway, unlikely to work. What their people really need is a reminder of their past, to remember their former enemy’s genocide of the Yautja. Dekker says she wants to use the cloaking feature, and Holt reminds her that the Huai Dan will see through it.

She says it’s not to hide from them. There’s another trick the cloaking feature does. We cut to them entering the Yautja planet’s atmosphere, but the Yautja ship looks like a Huai Dan fighter. Behind them are several more Huai Dan fighters still chasing them down. It looks like an invasion. Holt opens fire on any and everyone he sees, low and high-faction alike.

Soon the Yautja have assembled and are shooting back at all the ships, who have begun to return fire. War is underway. Holt and Dekker escape and return to Earth where he is reunited with his family and they tell the others what happened. Someone asks “Well, will it work?” and a noise comes from above. They go outside to see hundreds of Yautja spacecraft coming down to earth. “I’d say it worked. It’s practically a:”

The title card slams onto the screen once again ‘Predator: Invasion’

Chris Sully

Chris Sully

Title: Predator retaliation
Directed by: robert rodriguez
Starring: adam baldwin as garber, Arnold Schwarzenegger as Dutch, Danny Glover as Harrigan, Adrien Brody as Royce, Boyd Holbrook as McKenna, Olivia Munn as Brackett

Setting:  6 months after the events of The Predator (2018)

We open on a Predator mothership somewhere in deep space. Transmissions from the events of ‘The Predator’ have made their way back to the ship and several of the Predators are reviewing the footage and are clearly pissed off. Without any kind of translation, we see them communicating with their homeworld, where a King Predator of sorts begins barking orders at his underlings and they are feverishly punching keys on devices around them, causing screens to light up like crazy.

Clearly, their Super Predator was not the unstoppable killing machine that they had hoped for. The Predators, who had watched and tested the human race for hundreds of years, picking off the best of their best and integrating what they had learned and taken from them, were pissed. The approach of sending a few Predators here and there was over and it was time for an army of Predators to destroy the planet, before the people of earth could do it to themselves.

Back on Earth, we return to a base deep in the mountains. Several men in uniform are standing at attention in a large office, facing the only desk in the room. The chair at the desk is facing the opposite direction and a plume of smoke rises above. Angrily, the voice from the other side of the chair yells “we do not have time for mistakes. This mission is underway, whether you like it or not and we will NOT lose this war!! If we take an L on this we all die.” With that the chair spins around to reveal Garber (Adam Baldwin’s character from Predator 2) “I don’t want to die. Do you hear me?”

Garber excuses the men and immediately turns to his computer & begins a secure video transmission. “It’s time – I don’t care what it takes. You get me the team I asked for or we’re simply not going to be able to make it. They’ve been down this road before. They know what can happen if they don’t step up. Get me my team damnit!!”

Begin the montage of military units visiting remote locations around the world. One-by-one we revisit old faces as these units convince Brackett (Olivia Munn), McKenna (Holbrook) and Royce (Brody). At each location, the stars of the previous Predator films are shown photos and video from the events of The Predator. That’s all it takes. They all sign up immediately.

The last two however, are a little harder to track down. Harrigan (Glover) has long since retired from the force and has seemingly disappeared from the face of the earth. With the help of the newly formed team, they finally find him deep underground. He’s built his own base and has clearly been researching the Predator race for years. He has his own collection of souvenirs, including the pistol given to him by a Predator at the end of 2 on display in his war room. It takes some convincing from the team & he of course proclaims that he is “WAY too old for this shit” but eventually signs up.

Searching for the final team member sadly ends in a bust. Dutch (Schwarzenegger) proved even harder to find. He clearly did not want to be found and had long since vanished. The team eventually returns to the base to begin prepping for the next wave. They know something is coming and they have to pool their knowledge together to defend the planet.

They return to the base and as their vehicle approaches the gate, they come upon a man walking towards the base. Soldiers are already pointing weapons in his direction and shouting for him to turn around and leave. The truck pulls up alongside the man as he takes down his hood to reveal – Dutch. He turns to the drive and says “I told you I’d be back. I understand you’re building me a team.”

Fast forward: The team is introduced to the new tech that the military has been cooking up and the new suit that had been provided by the Predator traitor. It had only been a few months since the military had discovered the suit, but with the help of Rory McKenna, who had managed to translate the alien language and OS, they had managed to build another Predator mech suit and a ton of new weapons based on the alien tech.

The team has about five minutes together and Garber tells them that they’ll have whatever they need to defend the planet from the next attack. As he’s making the offer and the team is making jokes about how the planet is screwed, a series of alarms and flashing screens goes off. The Predator ships have already been spotted in deep space and they are headed in at a blistering pace. It’s only a matter of a few days before they reach Earth.

The data on the incoming ships shows that there are dozens, maybe hundreds of ships like the ones seen in previous Predator movies and one Mega-Mothership behind the fleet. The team quickly realizes that there is NO WAY a rag-tag bunch of survivors (a couple of which are in their mid-70s) could possibly defeat an army of this size. Even IF every country and every military branch in the world were warned of the incoming attack and armed with the knowledge of this team, they wouldn’t stand a chance. That’s when Royce offers up a crazy plan – attack the mothership itself.

After the initial response of “there’s no way” from the team, they break down the logistics. Using the ship he returned to earth on (from the planet he was on in Predators) and the tech provided by the traitor Predator, they could possibly sneak into the mothership and disable it or better-yet, destroy it to stop the attack on earth.

As crazy as it seems to the team, they’ve all been through some next-level craziness already and know they’re all doomed if they don’t try, so off to space our team goes.

Using the Alien tech, the team is able to sneak on board the mother ship, but once on board they have a HELL of time navigating the areas of the ship and finding the control room or engine room to take down the Predators. Along the way, they see room after room of collections from other alien races, maps of worlds all over the galaxy that the Predators are using for different projects, NEW alien tech and more. They collect and use what they can along the way, including some alien blood from the xenomorphs, a handheld sword thing that looks like a light-saber & several blasters.

Eventually, the team makes it to an engine room and is able to plant explosives all around the room. They’re just about to head back to their ship and return to earth when the Predators detect their presence and initiate some sort of anti-cloaking tech that gives up the team’s whereabouts and makes them visible to the Predators. The fighting begins and Dutch & Harrigan suit up in the Predator Killer suits to lead the team. They fight through a dozen or so Predators, taking each of them down quickly, but those were the Predators that were NOT suited up for battle.

As they make their way to the ship, they come upon some guard Predators that make things a little more interesting, but thanks to the weapons and Xenomorph blood, they are able to fight them off too. Eventually the team escapes on the ship they arrived in and heads back to earth. They see the mothership explode from space and begin to celebrate. The smaller Predator ships are adrift in space without power and it seems the team has won, until they notice a few ships being pulled toward Earth by gravity.

By that time, everyone on earth was aware that this was happening and everyone is on the hunt for the Predators. At each landing site, military personnel begin battling the Predators and, with those numbers, are able to quickly take them out.

The team returns to Earth to celebrate the win properly, but the movie ends with Garber reporting that at least 6 of the ships that were caught in Earth’s gravity were never located and it looks like there is still some work left for the team.

Who’s ready for the Predator Hunter series?


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