Nick Antosca says he wrote the modern satire “Predator Bait,” which follows the inglorious career of a young woman who plays a 15-year-old on the news series Predator at Large, after watching YouTube clips of Dateline NBC’s To Catch a Predator. “A few of the guys they caught were terrifying, but many just seemed like deeply depressed and lonely people who didn’t know how to interact appropriately and comfortably with other human beings.”
It was a big week for predators. As Antosca himself noted on HTML Giant, the movie Predators was also released on Friday. It is the fifth installment in the series that began gloriously in 1987 with Predator, which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura, and Kevin Peter Hall in the role of Predator–it’s possibly the only major Hollywood action film starring two future state governors–then proceeded with Predator 2 (1990), Alien vs. Predator (2004), and Alien vs. Predator: Requiem (2007), not to mention If It Bleeds We Can Kill It: The Making of Predator (2001).
In retrospect, we should have run Antosca’s story with a picture of dinosaurs and extraterrestrials eating each other. At the time, though, it seemed very difficult to find a suitable image. Online stills from To Catch a Predator are, as one might expect, extremely small and blurry and often feature celebrities’ heads pasted on top of predators’ bodies. And while there are many photos online of depressed-looking men ringing doorbells, for example, we were concerned that the men in the photos would then be mistaken for predators themselves. As a sort of compromise, we chose a photo of the Guggenheim (where one scene in the story takes place; also, see Marco Roth’s review of the recent Tino Seghal exhibit), in which all the people are so small as to be unrecognizable. No catching the predators in that crowd.