The Terminator (1984)

Film Title

The Terminator (1984)

Synopsis

A terrifying cybernetic unit from the future will stop at nothing until all the Sarah Conners’ are dead

Director

James Cameron

Cast

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Michael Biehn
Linda Hamilton
Bill Paxton
Paul Winfield
Lance Henriksen
Rich Rossovich
Bess Motta
Earl Boen
Dick Miller
Shawn Schepps

In 1982 James Cameron had a dream while lying in a sick-bed. His vision turned into what would become one of the most magnificent sci-fi action movies ever created. The Terminator (1984) is the movie that launched Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career as the greatest bad-ass ever to hit the screen. This masterpiece was as unique as it was powerful and spawned several sequels. Only Terminator 2 approached the magnificence (some think it was even better) of this original classic. Terminator 3, Terminator Salvation and Terminator Genisys all sucked.

Tagline:

The Thing that won’t die…The nightmare that won’t end.

Entire Story In Fewer Words Than Are In This Sentence:

The Terminator will be back and will stop at nothing

Homoeroticism:

Drop your socks and grab your cocks. In the very first scene in the movie we have a totally naked Arnold nonchalantly strolling down the street with his penis visible and swinging! Who does he encounter but a trio of punks led by the late and great Bill Paxton! This scene alone elevated the homoeroticism in this film to a 10/10 on the 80’s Action Movie’s scale. There is no more of this in the movie, but the opening scene launched Arnold into the homoerotic superstar of the genre.

Corpse Count:

Totally over the top. I’m not even going to count any of the deaths that occurred in the future, including the billions that must have died in the nuclear war. These are just the deaths that occurred in the time period of the movie. The Terminator immediately murders at least two of the punks, probably the other one too. He kills the two other Sarah Conners’, Sarah’s roommate and boyfriend, probably a half-dozen or more in the nightclub shootout. and all 32 cops in the Police Station. The Terminator also obviously killed Sarah’s mother, too. Unfortunately, The Terminator killed Kyle Reese, so he was part of the body count, zipped into a body bag as well. Counting the ultimate death of The Terminator, I would estimate at least 48 deaths in the movie.

The Terminator (1984)

Novelty Deaths:

The Terminator disemboweling the punks in the opening scene was great, but the death of The Terminator itself, at the hands of the machines was the very best. Finally, the lights go out on the most ruthless assassin ever.

How Bad Was It Really?

Most of Arnold’s early movies were lucky to get any notice from the critics, much less a good score. Critics ignored the legendary Commando and even the amazing Predator ( Only 40 from Metacritic!). They relegated these movies to a B movie status. Even Total Recall,which was magnificent, got a mediocre professional critics rating, so you see what this type of movie is up against.

The Terminator was a blast, it was fun, it was frightening and it was packed to the brim with action. The story line was riveting from beginning to end and the actors executed their roles perfectly. Arnold Schwarzenegger was simply terrifying as the relentless, stalking cyborg, sent from a dystopian future. The script was lean and mean, and the one-liners were just devastating. My favorite was “Get Out”, uttered by a nightmare of a damaged but still highly functioning cyborg. The kid in the truck needed no coaxing to get away from that thing. I cannot praise this movie enough as the very template for an action sci-fi thriller.

Other great performances included Michael Biehn, who also played the ultra-tough Corporal Hick in Aliens and of course, Linda Hamilton as the terrified Sarah Conner. It was of course Arnold that stole the show. He perfectly played a machine with totally focused intensity and no conscience or remorse. One scene was particularly effective as he rolled up to Sarah Conner’s house (victim #5). The Terminator’s carelessly crushing the child’s toy showed his total focus and lack of humanity. He was on a mission to kill, and nothing else mattered. Nothing.

Was there a Stupid Chief?

The chief (Paul Winfield) wasn’t stupid, but he made one of the most unfulfilled claims ever. ” There are 32 cops in this building, so you will be perfectly safe.” A few moments later The Terminator made a mockery of those words as he killed every cop in the Police Station. The Police psychiatrist was pretty annoying, but he was lucky enough to have left the building as The Terminator entered, so he narrowly avoided a certain death.

Post-Mortem One Liners:

  • “You’re terminated, Fucker!” -Sarah Conner
  • “You can’t do that!” -Clerk (watching Terminator load up) (pre-mortem)
  • “Wrong” -The Terminator (blasting away)

More Quotes and one-liners:

Oh, Boy-Howdy. More than you can possibly imagine.

  • “I’ll be back.” -The Terminator
  • “Get out!” -The Terminator (to passenger in semi truck)
  • “Fuck you, asshole. -The Terminator
  • “Cyborgs don’t feel pain…I do. Don’t do that again” -Kyle Reese
  • “You’re terminated, Fucker!” -Sarah Conner
  • “You still don’t get it, do you? He’ll find her! That’s what he does! That’s ALL he does! You can’t stop him! He’ll wade through you, reach down her throat and pull her fuckin’ heart out! ” -Kyle Reese
  • “Yo Momma” -Lieutenant Ed Traxler
  • ” Hey! What’s wrong with this picture?” -Punk (seeing a totally naked Arnold walking towards him)
  • “Hey, I think this guy is a couple of cans short of a six-pack” -Punk Leader
  • “Wash day tomorrow. Nothing clean, right?” -Punk
  • “Machines need love too” -Ginger Ventura
  • “I’m here to help you. I’m Reese. Sergeant Tech-Com, DN38416. Assigned to protect you. You’ve been targeted for termination. ” -Kyle Reese
  • “Come with me if you want to live.” -Kyle Reese

Stupid Political Content:

Not much, just the impending doom for the upcoming nuclear war.

Was there an Atomic Blast at the end?

Yes. We didn’t get to see it until the T2 movie, but a nuclear war destroyed most of civilization.

Special Ruthless Ratings -or- What I learned from The Terminator:

  • If a 6’3″ naked man who is built like Adonis asks for your clothes, give them to him.
  • Pawn Shops keep shotguns, assault rifles and ammo on the counter, within easy reach of the customer
  • Don’t call your mother if a cyborg from the future is stalking you and are in a motel room.
  • The only thing that can possibly distract The Terminator is other machines.
  • DVD/Extras- On the opposite side of the movie disc there is a great interview with Cameron and Schwarzenegger.
  • Goat’s Rating?: 10/10
About Goat

Goat is Retired. He does come out occasionally to help Erich and to write Christmas Reviews.