Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Phased-Plasma Rifle In the Forty Watt Range
We’ve been enjoying the Sarah Conner Chronicles here at Casa de Swinebread, but my SO was having some trouble with the context of the show. She couldn’t really remember the movies and to make matters worse, FX had been showing Terminator 3 over and over again, which is totally ignored by the TV show, so she was confused even more. It’s been a while for me too for that matter.
Freddy’s was having a DVD sale so I picked up the first Terminator movie for seven bucks and we watched it this last weekend. I gotta’ say, Man, what a great piece of Sci-fi fun! I’m really getting CG’ed and kungfu-ed out, so it was nice to watch something made on a smaller budget with straightforward action. In fact, by today’s standards the look of movie seems almost grindhouse, but that's part of the appeal IMO. After all these years, I still enjoy the performances and I also realized I prefer Arnie as a robotic killing machine rather then a sympathetic hero (or Governor?). My SO really enjoyed the film too and the whole Sarah Conner and Son thing was finally cleared up for her.
Since we’ve gotten some chorological distance from ‘80s, I’ve noticed another aspect of the film I don’t think I could have recognized when I was younger. The Terminator is also a horror film of sorts. Think about it. A mindless killer, that can’t die, keeps coming back over and over. Sounds like any number of slasher flicks from the 80s and 70s to me. But this film works much better than any Slasher flick because it actually has a plot and an inventive use (for the time) of sci-fi tropes. Who, isn’t bored by the dumb ingénue that’s alone in the dark, but with Terminator, it could be night or day with lots of people around and the killer is still there chasing you. I feel the film also taps into fears of gun violence, which is much more of a real concern than a guy cutting you up in your dreams.
So, after all this time and all the special effects that have come down the pike, I like the first one the best. The Terminator is an excellent science fiction film and maybe that’s because the one-liners are actually delivered by a “robot.” This picture is also different too, because motherhood is seen as a strength and the brief romance between Sarah and Kyle is must if humanity is to survive. In fact, the only thing I don’t like about this film is Sarah Conner’s hairstyle… that’s one part of the eighties that didn’t age every well.
On a side note, Dynamite Entertainment is currently doing a 4-issue crossover between their Painkiller Jane and Terminator 2 Infinity comics and it's surprisingly entertaining. We get a strike team invading Skynet, John Conner in command, and another Terminator randomly sent into the past. The first two issues are out now with last two next month.