Robert Rodriguez's Predators is stuffed with tributes to past Predator installments, from the music to Predator comic book characters. We rounded up all the nods we caught so you can catch them in the theater. Minor spoilers ahead...
Alan Silvestri's music is absolutely in the new Predators film, it might be a bit faster and only in certain segments, but keep your ears peeled and you'll hear some familiar sounds.
Character Nikolai is trotting around the alien planet with version of a mini gatling gun, the exact same type of weapon Jesse "The Body" Ventura carried with him in Predator. Let's just say Nikolai is VERY lucky that his gun doesn't land on top of him when he falls out of the sky at the start of the film.
Before stumbling into the Predators camp, the rag-tag crew of convicts, killers, and assassins come across a blasted body. If you read the Predator comics you might be familiar with this mysterious special-ops corpse. Apparently, it's Drake. This character ended his life in a massive stand off between him and a group of Predators, and clearly it didn't go very well. And as you can see, it's pretty much exactly where the team finds him in the comic. Except I don't remember anyone offering to bury his body. They have other things to do, like fall into his traps.
And speaking of Drake's traps, many of them were VERY similar to Dutch's Predator traps from the original film. Then again, I don't know whether there's a wide variety of readily constructable forest booby traps. Still it makes you say, "Aw, remember when Arnold built all that cool crap to kill the Predator then yelled Do IT, Kill Me, Kill ME," over and over?" Good times.
Character Hanzo has a bad ass fight scene with one of the "upgraded" Predators. It was literally a recreation of Predator's "Billy's last stand" moment, minus the self cutting and screaming — so slightly less cool. BUT the new film makes up for it with the actual fighting, something you only hear in the original on screen.
When the location and Predator are finally revealed, it's not a surprise to Isabelle. Why? Because she read secret documents about Dutch's Central American alien adventure. In four sentences, Isabelle basically establishes all of what the original took about an hour to explain. They are aliens, they read heat signatures, cover yourself with mud and they can't see you, yada yada. It's interesting to see a film literally stand on the shoulders of it's predecessor in order to move forward.
And because Isabelle tells the team that mud works in disguising yourself... the team waits until the last possible moment to use this particular tactic.
Probably one of the coolest references in the entire film is during the end credits. As soon as the film cuts to black, "Long Tall Sally" is blasted over the speakers. And if you remember this particularly brutal scene from the first film, it's hilarious.
I may be projecting, especially since Robert Rodriguez stated over and over that he wouldn't be acknowledging the existence of Predator 2 in this feature, which makes sense. But the final show-down between the Berzerker Predator and Royce, Adrien Brody, the disc weapon is whipped out. Royce then proceeds to brutally cut off the Predator's arm, which is really similar to Danny Glover's ace move in Predator 2.
UPDATE: Some folks claim that the disc was more of an axe, but it looked like the disc to me. Just FYI.
All the old Predator tech makes an appearance. They even mess around with the creepy whisper voice manipulation. But this time around it's Royce who barks out "Come here!" Not the Predators.
Speaking of dialog nods to the original films this movie it littered with so many past Predator quotes, we lost count. But a favorite reference we remember was definitely Isabelle screaming "You set us up!" Dutch style to Royce, when he... well... set them up.
As we've pointed out before there's plenty of traditional Predator face grabbing and blade-through-the-gullet lifting.
In a few interviews Robert Rodriguez mentioned that he was going to throw in an Aliens reference as well. While we're not 100% sure what he meant, we think we've spotted it. When Laurence Fishburne's character pops up, he takes the crew of misfit killers back to his "home," which he describes as some sort of abandoned alien drilling device. It was the most random statement ever, and we're assuming this is in direct reference to the terraforming/mining colony in Alien. Right? Maybe? If not then why mention it at all? Why not, "Oh, this was an old dressmaking spaceship for female Predators before it fell out of fashion"?
UPDATE: Many people think that the mining ship was also extremely similar to the Space Jockey's ship in Alien. Which would kind of make sense paired with the mining quote. While others think they saw an Alien trophy skull at the base of the predator camp. And finally When Topher and Isabelle are trapped, Isabelle says to him, "I'll do us both" eluding to the idea that she'll kill both of them before she let the Predator kill them. This quote is very similar, if not the same, to what Hicks said to Ripley in Aliens.