Movies of 1987 Bracket Game: Predator Vs. Robobcop


1987 was a good year for action movies.  Already in this bracket game we have seen the genre-defining buddy cop movie, Lethal Weapon.  But the year also included The Living Daylights, Beverly Hills Cop II, Stakeout, and The Running Man among others.  Today’s contestants blended action with science-fiction to become two of the more enduring movies of the year.  It’s Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator vs. Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop.

But first, let’s take a look at the results of yesterday’s Michael Douglas showdown:


This one was close.  Wall Street and Fatal Attraction swapped positions all day long.  Frequently, the results were even.  But overnight, Wall Street emerged as the winner thus keeping hope alive for a Daryl Hannah-themed final round.  That means that either the Predator or Robocop will face Gordon Gecko in round two.

It’s easy to forget that Schwarzenegger wasn’t an especially big star when he made Predator.  The Austrian body builder spent the decade of the 80’s slowly overtaking his rival, Rambo star Sylvester Stallone.  Predator was another step in Schwarzenegger’s ascent, but with a gross of just under $60 million dollars it wasn’t a blockbuster hit.

Predator benefited from low expectations.  It blended action and sci-fi in a way that was unusual at the time.  Some critics who usually didn’t like these kinds of movies gave Predator a pass.  The movie was successful enough at the box office to spawn sequels although the Predator franchise has yet to duplicate the box office performance of the original.

Writer-director Shane Black played Hawkins in the original movie.  He is working on a sequel/reboot which is due in theaters in 2018.

Robocop was an even smaller movie.  If audiences knew Peter Weller at all, it was from the cult movie, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.  Director Paul Verhoeven’s only previous American movie was the low-budget Middle Ages movie Flesh and Blood.  No one expected much from a movie about a cybernetic cop.  But the movie surprised critics and audiences alike with over-the-top violence and biting social satire.

Like Predator, Robocop spawned a franchise that hasn’t been very successful.  In addition to two theatrical sequels and a 2014 reboot, Robocop has been featured in two live-action TV series, two cartoons, in addition to video games, toys and comic books.  But only Verhoeven’s original movie has endured.

At the box office, Robocop came in right below Predator.  They were the eighth and ninth highest-grossing movies of the year sandwiched between The Witches of Eastwick and Outrageous Fortune.

Which sci-fi/action hybrid do you prefer?


Posted on January 5, 2017, in bracket game, Movies and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I love both movies. I think Predator is probably Schwarzenegger’s best movie outside the first two Terminator films. However I went with Robocop.

    Predator is very entertaining but what you see is what you get for the most part. It looks the same when I saw it as a kid as it does today. Robocop however is a very different movie when watched as an adult. I didn’t understand most of the satire when I was young, outside of some of the most obvious examples. I just thought it was a cool, and extremely bloody action movie. Only later did I understand the entire movie was loaded from start to finish with criticism and satire of 80s America (that is as relevant today as ever). The remake a few years ago wasn’t horrible, but wasn’t that good either largely because it tried to play it straight with only a smattering of satire.


  2. jeffthewildman

    Gotta go with Robocop. That’s one 80s blockbuster that still holds up even today. The action is done well and it has what every action movie needs to really work well: appropriately evil villains. But it’s the satire that helps it rise above and makes it stand out even today. The lack of that satire made the remake not horrible but forgettable.


  3. I like “Predator”, but I like “Robocop” more, plus my first viewing of it was from a 4th grade classmate who’s father recorded it off a camcorder from the theater (naughty naughty), so that’s a memory there.


  4. Tough choice I enjoy them both could not vote


  5. I like the first Robocop because it doesn’t take it too seriously, unlike the 2014 reboot. Robocop II is also good, even though, worse than the first one. Robocop III is, sorry for my french, merde.
    Predator is also a good movie.

    I like them both equally. It’s a shame that one of them will not go to the next round.


    • Out of all the recent poll results, this was the one I was a little disappointed about, as I thought “Robocop” would’ve gone further. The Predator character in general really never captured my fancy anyway (didn’t want to kill the Predator or be the Predator in games, no Predator trading cards, no Predator role playing), but I was on board with the Robocop character just from commercials (“Thank you for your cooperation, goodnight”.). Then I viewed the film and I felt bad for Murphy, being tortured like that and losing his family.


  6. Both are great. I voted for Predator.


  7. Both are great. I voted for Predator.


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