Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sci-Fi Classics: The Terminator

Okay, I've never seen this shit and this disc has been sitting here for over a month, so it's time I guess: The Terminator (1984).  Hadn't gotten to it in the past three decades, I guess.

Cheesy dark post-apocalyptic landscape. A model tank rolls over skulls on the ground. Robot things shoot lasers. Ships in the sky shooting lasers. "The machines rose from the ashes of the nuclear fire" says the screen text. The machines are going to come back to our time to destroy humanity once and for all or something. Pretty sweet '80s special effects.

Okay, post-credits I believe we're in the present day. Los Angeles 1984 1:52 a.m. A guy driving a dump truck is picking up garbage. Apparently he missed a bunch on the ground, too. Now the trash is blowing and his truck is being struck by lightning or something. On the ground nearby we see NAKED SCHWARZENEGGAR! He does not have the body of a real person. Remember when he was governor of California? How does a guy have muscles like that? More ass shot as he walks to the edge of the building and observes the city lights. Drunk punks fight over an observatory thingy. Is that one guy the alien bounty hunter? Blue hair might be Bill Paxton. [I checked, it was.] Naked Dude demands their clothes. There's resistance and then stabbing.

Like L.A.'s homeless population doesn't have enough problems as it is.
In a trash-filled alley, a drunk bum tries to avoid more lightning. Another naked dude appears on the pavement. HOT. Apparently time travel gives this guy a five o-clock shadow and back scars. Very brief ass shot. He gets pants from the bum and cops start to chase him because he's a naked guy in an alley, I guess. He is too fast for L.A.'s finest. He jumps out on the cop and demands the date from him at gunpoint. May somethingth, but he doesn't get the year before the squad car pulls up. He runs into some kind of giant department (thrift?) store or something. I hope he finds a nice ladies' jacket to transfer his soul into. Conveniently this place is full of clothes and some sweet Nike shoes for him. Our blond no-longer naked guy climbs off the fire escape like he's in fucking Cirque du Soleil and steals a shotgun from the cop car. How does he know how to use all this antique weaponry? Did they make you take that class before you're allowed to time travel? He just looks like a really ripped bum with no shirt under his trench coat now. He also apparently knows how to use a phone book. WHAT IS THIS, THE '80S? Oh yeah, it is.

In the most '80s scene possible, our heroine pulls up to work at the burger place on her scooter with AMAZING high-waisted, pleated, black acid washed Guess jeans. She's our Sarah Connor. Schwarz shows up somewhere with a giant chain/studded leather jacket that somehow fits him, breaks the window on a car, and is able to basically hot-wire it. Sarah Connor is bad at waitressing/the customers are all assholes. So much feathered hair. A small child puts ice cream in her apron pocket. Awesome. Fellow waitress: "Look at it this way, in 100 years, who's gonna care?" Schwarz goes into a gun store to buy some guns, included an Uzi. He's very familiar with these guns. The store owner tells him there's a 15 day wait on handguns, but rifles can be bought right now. OBVIOUSLY, GUN LAWS YOU MAKE SENSE/KEEP ERRYBODY SAFE. Meanwhile, Schwarz loads the Uzi and blows the clerk away. In an alley, the blond guy saws off his rifle. Schwarz throws a guy who I'm pretty sure is Hagrid out of a phone booth and looks up Sarah Connor in the phone book, too. He pulls up to a house and a small dog barks, like, a bunch. A lady opens the door but doesn't take the chain off. He breaks in anyway as she identifies herself as Sarah Connor. He shoots her in the head.

First I have to travel through time and battle a cyborg, THEN I have to be a sexy space marine and fight slimy aliens. Ugh.
At the burger place, Sarah's friend is like, "The murder news is about you!" Her friend is a dick. Blondie hot wires a car by a sketchy construction site. The interior is so delightfully maroon. He is intrigued by the big crane that the humans can still manage to control. He imagines many, many skulls being crushed in the future by the robots. He's back there now, fighting in the man-machine war. I don't understand how so many people could have been standing in the same place and got their heads blown off largely intact but also in a pile. Blondie and some lady soldier are fighting and hunker down in the ruins with some other grizzled looking dudes. They throw some kind of explosive cartridges at the big robot. The lady gets caught and lasered, but then the cartridges explode and the robot thing blows up. Somebody picks up Blondie in a trashed old car with a laser gun attached to it. A laser plane shoots and chases them. Blondie crashes. He wakes up from his flashback holding his sawn-off shotgun in an '80s car.

Sarah and her friend are getting ready to go out. Sarah wears a sweet Jetsons nightshirt. A creep says gross sexy things on the phone. It's her roommate's boyfriend. GROSS. Ask first with land lines. An amazingly grizzled looking cop stirs coffee while crazies crazy in the police station. The good android from Aliens is his assistant or something. OMG, back at the girls' apartment, their hair is so fucking tall. Sarah has a lizard named Pugsley. Uh-oh, they listen to answering machine messages and Sarah's date's cancelled. She dresses down to go to a movie by herself as the sleazy boyfriend shows up to pick up Ginger. Sarah's scooter is parked in a very sketchy parking garage. Her silk violet Members Only-type windbreaker is the '80sest thing to ever happen. Blondie is watching and follows her out. I believe he's here to protect her from Schwarz because of how I've managed to soak up some of this plot over the last 30 years without ever actually seeing the movie.

The cops are trying to get hold of all Sarah Connors, I think. Nobody answers at our girl's place because Ginger's got her headphones on while her boyfriend fucks her and the phone rings in the other room. Another Sarah Connor's been killed according to the news at the pizza place where our girl is eating alone. FUCK. She goes to the phone book to see that she's the next Sarah Connor listed, I think. Blondie's watching and following. Of course he freaks her out because of his trench coat and sketchy looks. She ducks into a club called "TechNoir" and has to pay a cover charge to come in and use the phone. The '80s are happening all over this place. She tries to call the police, but all their lines are busy, apparently. Schwarz shows up at her apartment building. In her little purple silk short robe and listening to her walkman still (with a shoulder strap), Ginger dances out of the bedroom where her boyfriend's crashed. Pugsley scares her in the kitchen. Schwarz comes in the open sliding glass door. The boyfriend, in sweet striped briefs, attempts to fight him off, but he's not going to win. Ginger can't hear, I guess. Her boyfriend gets thrown out, all bloody, and she attempts to run away as Schwarz shoots her. Phone books: both too much and not enough information. He shoots her a shit-ton of times. Sarah calls and leaves a message on the answering machine and Schwarz hears it and figures out he didn't actually get Sarah.

Pretty much just like this.
Sarah finally gets through to a detective on the phone and he's going to send a car for her. I'd get drunk now. Why not? She's about to die. Any bar that has a chain link fence wall is amazing. Schwarz smashes the fist of the bouncer after not paying the cover. Sarah drinks Canada Dry. She knocks it over at a perfect moment and Schwarz misses seeing her as she's leaned over. She sees Blondie though and is scared. Schwarz spots her, in slow motion, Blondie gets him first. Gunshots. Schwarz isn't dead. Sarah runs. Schwarz just kind of shoots indiscriminately as the club empties out. Blondie is apparently trained for guerrilla warfare. He pumps some into Schwarz . BULLETS HAVE NO EFFECT, TAKE A DRINK. He tells Sarah to come with him if she wants to live, and they run out the back. Her jeans are amazingly terrible. Schwarz's vision is infrared or some shit. Blondie ignites some gasoline with his gun, but Schwarz jumps on their car and punches through the windshield at her. The cops show up as they manage to throw him off. The cop who thinks this was a hit and run gets thrown out of his car by our cyborg friend. Schwarz is now in auto pursuit.

In the Connor car, Sarah starts to freak out and Blondie tells her to do exactly as he says. He's driving on the sidewalk without his lights on. SAFE. He says he's Reese, here to protect her from a termination order. He explains that Schwarz is a Terminator, a machine, not a man. She has to live. Actually, Term's not a robot, but a cyborg. The cops catch up with them since they think they were involved in a hit and run. Chase through sketchy alley. Reese does some sweet driving to get away. I'm glad we went 40 minutes without knowing his name. The outside of the Terminator is flesh, the inner part is just machine. These new machines look human, unlike the earlier versions. Sarah says they can't make those things yet. He tells her it's from 40 years in the future. She tries to run. Reese grabs her and calms her down. He's not sure if he can stop the Terminator with their old-timey weapons, but I believe they'll figure something out.

Reese and Sarah sneak around the parking garage looking for another vehicle to get away in. When did he get a shirt? Sarah: "Why me?" Reese explains there's a nuclear war in a few years and almost everything is destroyed. Defense network computers turned on humanity. Reese says he grew up after the war, starving, hiding from robotic killers, etc. He's got a barcode on his arm. Some humans were kept alive for slave labor. "There's some subtle Holocaust parallels here," Isaac says. Somebody taught them to fight back: Sarah's unborn son John Connor. Uh-oh, Terminator's rolled into the parking garage and starts shooting at their car. Reese accidentally hits the cop car and it follows him out, but Terminator's following them both, just shooting and driving. No other cars on the road in L.A. at like 11 p.m. or whatever, I guess. Oh, there's one. Reese yells for Sarah to drive as he stands out the window and shoots. The cop car hits a wall. More cops show up. Reese wants to fight, but Sarah convinces him they'll kill him if he tries. The police approach the crashed cop car and find nothing and no one.

Grizzled black detective guy comes to comfort Sarah. He's smoking hard. She's just found out her roommate and her sleazy boyfriend are dead and she cries like a human BABY. Dr. Silverman, a criminal psychologist, is apparently evaluating Reese's case now. Schwarz climbs into an empty apartment. His left eye's all bloody and he has some other injuries, but I feel like the robot parts can fix that shit pretty easily. He cuts through his own arm wound with an Xacto knife, takes some scissors, and fucks with his arm movement metal thingies. Under interrogation, Reese tells us he fought 2021-27 before coming here. The detectives are like, whatever okay sure. Do not like. Dr. Silverman is trying to follow Reese's story. Connor sent Reese back into the past to protect his mother. The time travel facilities were destroyed, though, so they're stuck there and nobody else can come back.

Terminator does surgery on his own eyeball. Yucccccccccccccccckkkkkkkkkk. We see a laser eye behind his clearly fake face. He puts on terrible sunglasses to cover it. He's got some guns stashed under the mattress here somehow. Reese says he couldn't bring weapons because only living flesh can go through time. Reese is frustrated because the Terminator will get Sarah. Sarah is freaked out watching the video of Reese's interrogation. She's going to fuck him and create John Connor, right? Sarah's mom is going to come and comfort her. The detective claims she'll be safe sleeping on the couch in the lounge at the police station. NO, SHE WON'T.

Doc Silverman gets a page as Terminator walks in wearing a new sweet leather jacket. He claims he's Sarah's friend and wants to see her. The cop at the desk says he has to wait, but Terminator says, "I'll be back" and stalks out. A few minutes later, desk guy fills out forms as Terminator crashes into the front office with a car. Sarah awakens, terrified, of course. Termy just walks down halls shooting everybody. Det. tells Sarah to "stay here" in a back room. Termy breaks a main electrical line and the lights go out. Reese manages to overpower his interrogators and break out. Hot good Aliens android guy is hot. In a hot creepy way. Termy just shoots and shoots. Bullets have no effect, officer. Detective gets killed trying to shoot him. Skinny hot android dude, too. Sarah hides under a desk. A punch through the glass. It's Reese. Sweet, sweet synthesizer as they escape through a burning and destroyed police station. They drive off in an awesome brown Gremlin. Terminator follows on foot, walking. Real villains don't have to run, DUH.

Sarah and Reese have run out of gas in the woods. They push the Gremlin off the road and head into some kind of sketchy tunnel with a flashlight from the car. She shivers and he comes over to warm her up. His first name is Kyle. He says going through time, there's a white light and pain. She finds he's bleeding. She wants to treat his wound, if you know what I mean. He claims it's not a big deal. She's grossed out as she cleans his wound and wants him to talk to distract her. She asks about her son. He's got her eyes. Kyle would die for him. They don't know who the father is because it's KYYYYYYYLE, obvs. He volunteered to come back to protect her because she's such a legend. She says she can't be the "mother of the future" because she can't even balance her checkbook. She doesn't want this "honor." Her son's message is basically like, "Good luck." Kyle compliments her field dressing. Is she not wearing a bra? Impractical. She wants to know where he's from. He describes how they hide during the day.

FLASH FORWARD. These shitty scale models are MAZIN. The survivors are up to something. They have military dogs, apparently. We see some shabby looking kids hiding underground in their headquarters. Looks pretty grim. A little girl watches as a fire burns inside a TV set. Crying. A kid stabs a rat to eat. Reese sits down and finds a picture of Sarah in his pocket to stare at. Interesting. A Terminator has broken into their place and just shoots errybody. Reese shoots back. His picture of Sarah falls in the fire. Her face melts away. Back to the past, she wakes up in his arms. HOT. She was dreaming about dogs. Canines can sense the Terminators--OBVIOUSLY. Do they really need help with that? Because, like, Schwarzeneggar does NOT look like a real person. Anyway, Sarah and Kyle emerge from whatever abandoned building they were sleeping in. They should both shower and then fuck.

Back in his sketchy apartment (How did he get an apartment? Did he kill a guy? He probably just killed the guy who lived here, right?), an even-worse-looking Termy leafs through Sarah's day planner. RUDE. I think his face might be rotting. He selects an address to go find her. Sarah and Reese check into the Tiki Motel with sweet wood paneling. It's got a kitchen, which is apparently necessary. He's going out for supplies, but leaves her a handgun. He's so '80s hot. She's on the phone with her mom, and doesn't want to tell her where she is. Finally she gives in, but it's Termy mimicking her mom's voice to get the phone number. BAD DECISION. Reese brings home supplies for plastique, which I'm assuming is an explosive. Termy heads their way on a motorcycle. Fun bomb-building. Best first date ever, amirite?

Later, she knows they'll be found and "it will never be over." He's shirtless and she says he must be disappointed because she's scared and shaking, not a real badass. She asks about his girlfriend in the future. He claims there wasn't anyone special. Ever. She feels really bad for him. "Pain can be controlled," he says. He tells her about the picture. "I came across time for you, Sarah. I love you. I always have." He regrets saying it, but she's like, "Whoa," basically and starts kissing him. He kisses her back SO HARD because that's how they do it in the future. He holds onto those sheets so hard as they fuck. Ladyboobs. They clench each other's hands. HOT. Isaac thinks Termy's outside jerking off. NOPE, he's still motorcycling towards them. They're getting ready to leave. They hear a dog bark and know he's near now, because dogs have no other reasons to bark. Termy busts in to shoot, but they've already run out. They steal a guy's truck and ram Termy with it and then drive away.

This musicccccc. He chases them on the motorcycle and shoots at them. Reese switches with Sarah so she's driving as he lights one of their bombs and somehow neither of them has been shot. He says to drive faster and he throws back an explosive, then another. Terminator keeps missing them. Kyle gets shot. Sarah tries to knock Terminator off his bike with the truck, but then flips the truck. Terminator gets hit by a semi-truck, but he holds onto a pipe and is apparently okay. Sarah watches from the crashed pickup. Termy scares the passenger in the semi with his fucked up face. Sarah starts dragging Kyle's body out as Termy turns the oil tanker around to hit them. They get out just in time. Kyle is awake again and throws a pipe bomb in the truck's exhaust pipe. Sarah continues to run and Kyle jumps in a dumpster. EXPLOSION. Termy burns something serious, but continues to roll around a bit. Sarah breathes hard. She and Kyle find each other in the smoke. He collapses. She thinks they've won. WRONG.

A super-gigantic metal robot skeleton emerges jerkily from the flames because '80s animation and they run. The metal Termy limps a bit. Terrible special effects, take a drink. Sarah and Kyle hide in some kind of underground factory or something. He turns on the equipment to interfere with Termy's tracking capabilities. Kyle collapses as Termy punches through the door. She yells, "Move it, Reese. On your feet, soldier!" HOT. I'm a little bit concerned right now. I have anxiety. I want Sarah and Kyle to be able to bang more than once, you guys. FUCKING FUTURE STOP FUCKING WITH OUR LOVE LIVES UNLESS IT INVOLVES SENDING HOT DUDES BACK WHO ARE ALREADY IN LOVE WITH US THEN OKAY BUT NO ROBOT WARRIORS. Isaac: "Hey, remember when there was actually industrial production in the U.S.?" NOT REALLY, I was less than a year old when this movie came out. Also, too soon.

This really just reinforces my "no touching" policy here.
The Termy's on them, Kyle tells Sarah to run as he starts to beat him with a pipe. He's losing, but he finds his last pipe bomb and puts it in the robot's side. SPLODEY. Nice. Sarah's okay, but her leg is hurt. She pulls a piece of metal out. That's not smart if you don't have immediate first aid. She pulls herself over to Kyle. Who is probs dead. Yep. Terminator is NOT DEAD, however. His upper body army crawls after the injured Sarah. He approaches her quickly on a conveyor belt. She climbs into a duct or something, maybe as his metal hand grasps at her foot. I think the hands are the coolest part of the Terminator. She comes out the other side and slams some bars in front of him. She reaches for a button and says "You're terminated, fucker." Lightning as he is smooshed by the machine. His eye lights go out. She's all "traumatized" or whatever. Sirens outside. She cries on a stretcher as Kyle is zipped up in a body bag.

Desert, mountain nature scene. Pregnant Sarah records tapes for her as-yet unborn sun. She's got a sweet jeep, a dog, and a gun on hand. Her jeep says "RENEGADE" on the side. She attempts to to speak Spanish to the gas station guy. She goes ahead and tells John on the tapes that Kyle is his dad. A little Mexican kid with a Polaroid takes "the" picture. THERE'S A STORM COMING. You said it, niño. Sunglasses, drives away. Dark clouds over these Mexican mountains that are clearly painted.

I couldn't help myself.

Hey! Better than I expected.

1 comment:

  1. Nice! Looking forward to your take on Terminator 2...