Our best ideas come from the strangest places and sometimes are fears are the things right in front of our face the entire time. James Cameron’s Terminator is a prime example. Cameron had once had a fever dream about a metal skeleton crawling out of a hellish fire almost like a phoenix and the rest became history brought to horrific life by legendary special fx master the late and great Stan Winston. Terminator is the story of a war in the future where Skynet has brought man to the brink of extinction with their horde of advanced machines, the worst of which are the T-800 Terminators, flesh covered androids made for inflitration and damn near unstoppable. The resistance against Skynet is lead by John Conner. To stop John Conner, Skynet sends a Terminator back through time to 1984 to assassinate Conner’s mother before he is even conceived. So in response, Conner manages to send back his soldier Kyle Reese to protect Sarah Conner from the machine that doesn’t feel pain or remorse or fear and will not stop until Sarah is dead. Schwarzenegger is suburb as the Terminator, cold and emotionless as he hunts down Sarah Conner by killing his way through to find her. He tracked her to a tech club where Reese intervenes by blasting him down with a shotgun, only for him to get back up again. They loose the machine in a car chase, causing him to crash in a accident that would have certainly killed a normal man. Reese and Sarah are taken by the police who realistic start explaining away the events of the night, convincing her it was a normal man on drugs in a Kevlar vest and Reese is crazy. We cut away to the Terminator alone in his shitty apartment, face mutilated by a ruptured eyeball he cuts out of his own head, revealing part of a steel skeleton and a cold red camera. He arms himself and goes to slaughter the whole police station to get his target. While on the run, Sarah and Reese get intimate and begin falling in love. The movie pushes to a thrilling climax where we see the Cameron’s nightmare realized in the form of the red eyed robot skeleton revealing itself, and at the end it’s up to only Sarah to defeat it and protect the future.
So I won’t lie, I consider Terminator 1 and 2 almost perfect, timeless classics without a doubt. The plot is still solid full of great performances by our main cast and effects that hold up fairly strong today with downright bleak glimpses of the future that I feel are especially relevant today in our technology obsessed society. Pick it up and I will be back