- "Want some candy?"
- ―The City Hunter (from Predator 2)
The "City Hunter", also known as Ghost, was a Yautja from the Los Angeles hunting party that conducted a Hunt in the city during the heatwave and gang war of 1997. He eventually came into conflict with both a government taskforce attempting to capture him and veteran LAPD Detective Lieutenant Mike Harrigan.
The City Hunter was killed in close-quarters combat with Harrigan aboard his Mother Ship hidden beneath the city. His body was collected by his brethren and taken off-planet.
Hunting the drug gangs
The City Hunter was motivated to travel to Earth and hunt man after viewing records of the Jungle Hunter's activities in Guatemala. Although there were multiple Predators that landed in Los Angeles in 1997, the City Hunter was the only one of the creatures to actively hunt in the city during this time. Taking advantage of a ferocious turf war and sweltering heatwave in the city, the Predator soon set to stalking and killing the multitude of armed citizens the city had to offer, starting with a large group of thugs from the Colombian Scorpions cartel while taking interest in a certain individual who skilfully fought multitudes of criminals, before bursting into their stronghold as they retreated from the LAPD and slaughtering them all single-handedly. Deeming his prey unworthy, the City Hunter left the bodies strewn across the room, although at least one victim was left hanging from the building's rafters and later collected as a trophy. On the building's roof, the City Hunter first encountered Detective Lieutenant Harrigan, but he did not attempt to attack him.
That night, the Predator later struck the Scorpions' rivals, the Jamaican Voodoo Posse, when several of the posse's members ritualistically murdered Colombian leader Ramon Vega in his luxurious downtown apartment. Again the Predator easily overcame the large group of opponents, massacring the Jamaicans using his Plasmacaster, Netgun, Speargun, Combistick and Wristblades, although he spared Vega's mistress, who was unarmed. When Harrigan and his team discovered the scene, now littered with skinned bodies hanging from the apartment's ceiling, Detective Danny Archuleta noticed a spear tip, which had been missed by the OWLF personnel, lodged in a vent in the ceiling; when he later returned to recover the item, the City Hunter was waiting for him. Upon killing him, he boned the corpse like a fish. The Predator's actions, apparent preference for criminal victims and mysterious nature led to him being christened the "psycho vigilante" by journalists such as Tony Pope.
The City Hunter developed a great respect for Harrigan, whom he considered to be a great "warrior", and decided to hunt the detective out. The Predator began following him, studying his behavior and customs. After Harrigan met with Jamaican Voodoo Posse leader King Willie to discuss the brutal killings in the city, the City Hunter struck again, decapitating Willie despite his attempts to fight the creature off with a rapier. The Predator took his skull back to the hunting party's ship to be a trophy on the wall, believing him to be a worthy opponent.
After stalking Harrigan to the cemetery where Archuleta had been buried and leaving Archuleta's necklace there for Harrigan to find, the creature decided that killing Harrigan's colleagues would infuriate the detective and make the final hunt more challenging and exciting. Consequently, he attacked Detectives Jerry Lambert and Leona Cantrell as they attempted to break up an armed confrontation on the city's subway. While Leona was spared when the Predator discovered she was pregnant, several armed civilians were killed, as was Jerry, who, considered as worthy as well, had his skull and spine torn from his body. Harrigan soon arrived at the scene and gave chase to the Predator, finally losing him when Keyes' goons intercepted him as he neared the city's slaughterhouse district. The City Hunter climbed the nearby Eastern Columbia Building and presented Jerry's skull as a trophy to the world, attracting a bolt of lightning with his Combistick.
The trap for the Predator
When the City Hunter subsequently returned to a slaughterhouse that he had been using as a source of food during his time in the city, he was ambushed by Peter Keyes and his OWLF team, who sought to capture the creature alive for study. Despite the advanced equipment being used by Keyes' team to shield their body heat from the Predator's sight, the City Hunter quickly adapted, using his alternative vision modes to expose the light coming from the team's ultraviolet torches. He quickly decimated the team with his Combistick, Plasmacaster, and Wristblades, before finally dueling a heavily armed Harrigan, who had also arrived on the scene. Despite its Plasmacaster being destroyed, taking several shotgun blasts to the abdomen, chest, and leg, and being temporarily incapacitated, the City Hunter destroyed Harrigan's shotgun, before slicing Keyes in two with his Smart Disc, and then continued the fight with the police officer on the building's roof.
When he found himself hanging perilously over the end of the building, the Predator attempted to activate his Self-Destruct Device, but Harrigan used the Predator's own Smart Disc to slice his wrist gauntlet in half, disabling the device and cutting his arm off below the elbow. The Predator fell into Ruth Albright's nearby apartment and administered emergency medical aid using his Medicomp to cauterize his wounds before the chase continued down into the underground tunnels.
Harrigan eventually followed the creature to his Mother Ship and confronted him in a final hand-to-hand showdown, ultimately slicing open his stomach with his own Smart Disc. The City Hunter's comrades collected the fallen Predator's body, and, knowing he had fallen in a fair match, honored Harrigan with an antique flintlock pistol before letting him go and leaving the planet.
List of Notable Victims
The City Hunter was well-armed, carrying a significant array of deadly weaponry and advanced technology. Notably, this individual seemed to rely less on his Plasmacaster and apparently preferred utilizing close-quarters weaponry against his prey.
- Smart Disc
- Wrist gauntlet
Behind the Scenes
To help differentiate the City Hunter from the creature in the previous movie, the Predator design was modified, with director Steven Hopkins requesting a "more urban and hip" look. According to special effects designer Stan Winston:
- "Broad concept's the same. The difference is, this is a different individual. A different individual of the same species. As is a snake is a snake is a snake, but different snakes are different. Their colorings are different, different parts of their characteristics, their facial structures, subtle differences."
- ―Stan Winston on the new Predator design
The changes were most noticeable on the creature's head — the forehead was made shallower and steeper, and now included a circular "horned brow ridge", while small thorn-like protrusions were added to the mandibles, the lower set of which were further embellished with visible gums. Stan Winston's effects team had more time to create the creature than they had had on the first movie, and as a result they were able to include far greater detail in the design. The City Hunter's skin tone was also darker, including dark brown tones.
As with Predator, two full-body suits were made for filming, along with an articulated "hero" head and a static stunt head. A special animatronic bust was also constructed, the head of which was capable of a greater range of fine movements, for use in closeups where the Predator is seen "talking". The City Hunter's bio-helmet was redesigned, being more angular and bronze in color, while the Predator's armor featured more ridged patterns, and was colored to match the new helmet. Notably, the City Hunter's armor pieces were manufactured separately and "worn" on the suit, unlike the armor in the first film which had largely been molded as a part of the suit itself due to time constraints. Numerous weapons that had been conceived for the first film but were ultimately cut were resurrected for the City Hunter, including the Speargun and Combistick. The new weapons were attached to the creature's armor when not in use — the Smart Disc was held on the right thigh, the Netgun affixed to the right calf and the Speargun was housed in the left wrist gauntlet.
- After having the lower portion of its left arm sliced off, the City Hunter was played in wide shots by one-armed stuntman R. David Smith, who went uncredited for his work.
- Originally, the Predators in the first and second movies were never given names and were simply known as "The Predator". However, in the video game Predator: Concrete Jungle, the two creatures appeared as alternate skins for the player character under the names "Jungle Hunter — Central America, 1987" and "City Hunter — Los Angeles, 1997". These names have subsequently been adopted by fans to denote the creatures.
- The City Hunter seems to be slightly taller than the Predator in the first film. In the film's commentary, it is stated that he stands 8 ft tall.
- The fact that the City Hunter returned Danny's necklace to Harrigan in the cemetery could be evidence that the creature held some respect towards the cop, although it could also have been a means to taunt or intimidate him. The novelization of the film states that it is a little of both.
- At one point when talking to the Predator, Harrigan begins to quote Dutch's line, "You're one ugly motherfucker," from Predator. However, the City Hunter grabs his throat before he can finish and completes the rest of the line for him. This would imply that the City Hunter had either overheard the word before and simply predicted what Harrigan was going to say, or had somehow gained knowledge of the Jungle Hunter's exploits in Guatemala. It is also possible that he learned it from his confrontation with Jerry, who called him a "motherfucker" before his death. The novelization of the film explains that the Jungle Hunter's bio-helmet recorded everything that happened in Guatemala and relayed it to his ship, which then returned home with this information after the creature's death. (While the Jungle Hunter was not actually wearing his helmet at the time Dutch says the line, it was lying on the ground nearby, and could still potentially have been recording.)
- It seems strange that the City Hunter does not even attempt to put his bio-helmet back on after Harrigan removes it in the slaughterhouse; the Predator didn't intentionally remove it out of some sense of honor, and the technological edge it provided would have aided the creature greatly. The creature also apparently has trouble breathing without it, using a hand-held mask to assist in this regard. The novel attempts to explain this oversight by saying that the helmet was lost down a drain when the Predator hurls Harrigan away.
- It also seems somewhat strange that the Predator needs any kind of handheld device to assist in his breathing, as other Predators have been seen without their helmets on Earth for comparable or longer periods of time without this requirement. One possible explanation is that the apparatus is not actually a respiratory aid, but rather administers some form of stimulant or medicinal aid to temporarily keep the Predator going, on account of the numerous gunshot wounds to the torso he had received. It is also possible that, while the atmosphere of Earth itself is not harmful to the Predator, the inherent airborne pollution of an urban area might be.
- Also in the novelization, it is Greyback who kills the City Hunter, not Harrigan — Harrigan merely severely wounds the City Hunter with the Smart Disc, at which point Greyback and the others arrive. The City Hunter then willingly allows Greyback to behead him.
- Predator 2/novel/comic
- Predator: Incursion (mentioned only)
- The Predator/novel (photo only)
- Predator: Stalking Shadows (mentioned only)
Behind the scenes
- Predator: Hunting Grounds OWLF Recording 15 - Agent Keyes - Anniversary (07/08/2007) - Died the same day as Peter Keyes
- Jim Thomas, John Thomas (writers), Stephen Hopkins (director). Predator 2 (1990), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- Predator 2 (comic) Issue 2
- Stephen Hopkins, John Rosengrant. The Hunters and the Hunted: The Making of Predator 2 (2005), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
- Predator: Concrete Jungle (2005), Eurocom, Sierra Entertainment, Vivendi Universal Games [PlayStation 2, Xbox].
- Simon Hawke. Predator 2, p. 35 (1990), Jove Books.
- Simon Hawke. Predator 2, p. 133 (1990), Jove Books.
- Simon Hawke. Predator 2, p. 151 (1990), Jove Books.
- "Monster Legacy - Predator Metamorphosis – Part II: Predator 2". Retrieved on 2014-01-16.
- Simon Hawke. Predator 2, p. 21 (1990), Jove Books.
- Simon Hawke. Predator 2, p. 201 (1990), Jove Books.
- Simon Hawke. Predator 2, p. 228 (1990), Jove Books.