And so it ends. 46 years after I began my series “The Five Movie Characters Men Wish They Were” (quality writing takes time. And, apparently, predates the Internet), our journey’s conclusion is upon us. We’ve had Ferris Bueller, Tony Montana, David Wooderson and Travis Bickle. All represent facets of the man we’d ideally like to be. In the history of moviedom, though, there has only been one king who embodied the most primal ambition that men aspire to. His name? Major Alan “Dutch” Schaefer.
Why does every guy want to be Dutch? Because, as cool as running a drug cartel or pounding so much vag that cats follow you tuna-drenched scrotum down the street like the Pied Piper, there’s nothing that bolsters confidence like knowing you are the greatest physical specimen to ever walked the Earth. That, if angered, you could pull a man’s arms out of their sockets with your bare hands, then club him to death with them like a Mortal Kombat Fatality. Still not convinced that being Dutch Schaefer is the coolest gig in history? Let me submit a few facts regarding the making of Predator that might make you think otherwise:
FACT 1: Scores of extras were needed to carry Dutch’s flaccid penis behind him like a bridal train because its combined length and weight were gouging massive trenches in the pristine Mexican jungle, disturbing the local ecology.
FACT 2: Here’s a picture of the cast of Predator.
What utter badassery. The amount of testosterone in that picture could trigger puberty in a eunuch. There hasn’t been a collection of such vicious, lethal musculature on the silver screen before or since. And yet…every pack has its alpha. Who was it in this group? Maybe listing the cast’s on-set nicknames will offer some insight. Going from left to right, they were as follows: Liberace, Elton John, Zeus McRadStrong, Black Liberace, Black Elton John, Harvey Fierstein and John Travolta (I’ve always had my suspicions). Ponder that.
FACT 3: Remember the half-hand shake half-arm wrestle that Dutch Schaefer and George Dillon greet each other with at the start of the film? Here’s a photo in case you forgot:
Were you aware that digital cameras were invented to capture that scene? It’s true. Standard film stock buckled and became tattered like a ghost ship’s sail when the power of Dutch’s bicep was placed upon it. We owe all of our current digital projection technology to Predator. Isn’t that amazing?
Dutch Schaefer was so manly that John McTiernan, Predator‘s director, had to cast Kevin Peter Hall, a 7’2? titan who had just finished playing Harry the Sasquatch in Harry and the Hendersons, as the Predator to make it remotely believable that the alien could stand a chance against him in the ring. Did Dutch still manage to get the job done? Of course. His fists were poet laureates in the intergalactic language of pain. But at least the Predator, a hulking alien armed with weaponry so high-tech that it shits on the lightsaber, was at least able to make things interesting.
There’s nothing more that needs to be said about why all men wish they were Dutch Schaefer. He’s the most physically dominant presence that’s existed in a movie and a role model to all who want to succeed at being a man. If I ever have a son, I’m going to show him Predator once a day from the time he comes home from the hospital. And when he’s old enough to talk, points to Dutch on the screen and says the words “real daddy,” I’ll know my work as a father is done.