Everybody loves 1987's Predator and a lot of people enjoy the Nintendo game CONTRA. So, why not put the two of them together? That's exactly what the RetroSFX YouTube channel wondered and so they actually did it and it's exactly what we need in our lives right now. Mashups are nothing new, but sometimes they work together just perfectly. We've seen the Muppets singing Beastie Boys songs all the way to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles mixed with Reservoir Dogs to amazing results, but somehow Predator and CONTRA are just meant to be together in way that you just have to see to believe.
The crew over at RetroSFX specialize in doing mashups with beloved movies and typically Nintendo Entertainment System games with varying results, but CONTRA and Predator work together way better than they should. The video starts with some of the theme to CONTRA while Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer and his team of elite mercenaries are battling with the Predator. All of the sound effects and music from the video are replaced with the sounds and music from CONTRA for everything from the gun shots and ricochet noises to waterfalls and the dreaded scream of the Predator, which comes off pretty funny in the video are represented here with faithful CONTRA sound effects.
Another thing that the Predator/CONTRA mashup highlights is just how great the music was in CONTRA and most of the 8-bit NES games of its time. The soundtrack actually works quite well with the movie where the basic theme plays and then the boss battle music is used for more intense parts. Some parts of the music seem like they are influenced straight from horror iconic director and composer John Carpenter with the 8-bit chiptune aping the sounds of a plodding synthesizer line to build tension, just like Carpenter pioneered.
This isn't where the similarities end for Predator and CONTRA. Famous video game cover artist Bob Wakelin explains that his artwork for CONTRA is based off of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Dutch character in Predator. Though the characters don't share the same name as anybody in the Predator movie, they point to yet another connection. CONTRAS's heroes, named Bill Rizer and Lance Bean, have been taken from actors' names in Aliens. Bill Rizer is a combination of Bill Paxton and Paul Reiser, while Lance Bean crosses Lance Henriksen with Michael Biehn.
Wakelin says that when he was creating the art for the CONTRA video game box and cartridge, he just thought of the game as a big Predator and Aliens rip-off, which in hindsight isn't too far off at all. It is unclear if the creative team over at RetroSFX were privy to this information before making the Predator/CONTRA mashup, but it sure seems like they were because everything works together so well in the video. Enough words. You can watch the awesome nostalgic mixture of two beloved franchises below and marvel at just how well they fit together.