Cult Classics: The Terminator
Reviewed By: James Borsa
July 22 2012
Even though this film is certainly showing it's age (particularly with special effects) it's still worthy of a tremendous amount of respect!
This is a perfect screenplay. This manages to incorporate so many genres into a film, that does not slow down for a second! It's an action film, a horror film, a science-fiction film, a love story and as it turns out, incredibly influential on all of these genres!
Shot for about 7 million dollars and mostly at night, the film incorporates the best of James Cameron's imagination! He was really trying here and you can see it! This film remains his calling card to hollywood and you can certainly see how he became (arguably) the most commercially successful director/producer of all time!
Arnold Schwarzenegger has given many performances, some of them really good. But I still hold this as one of his best! His body-building training is perfect for him to appear completely machine-like, with no wasted energy or movements.
Not burdened by the anti-violence message or PG-13 rating of the sequel T2, "The Terminator" is an ice-cold, very violent, R-rated film that is particularly appropriate for it's bleak look at a possible post-apocalyptic future. It's particularly impressive to see a film that has such a tremendous ambition and scope on such an incredibly low-budget. Some of the effects may be cheesy, but this film is so much more to me than that.
Other highlights include Brad Fiedel's terrific and endlessly imitated music score, top-notch editing, the late Stan Winston's designs, also endlessly copied for both the sequels and in other films. And a not-so-subtle message that machines are out to take us over (perhaps ahead of it's time?) Also energetic and game performances from the entire cast, see if you can spot Bill Paxton and veteran character actor Dick Miller has a great bit in the gun shop.
This is one of my favorite films of all time, and well worth discovering, or re-discovering if you have not seen it in awhile!
Ultrasonic Film is the longest running film talk show in Winnipeg, and one of the longest running on UMFM. For 13 years host James Borsa has interviewed guests, reviewed movies, played clips and given away many prizes to callers and listeners. This year he is joined by three dynamic and exciting co-hosts, from right across Canada! Jenn who has a masters in cinema studies and currently resides in Toronto, Eric who has worked many years in a video store and currently resides in Edmonton, and Jessica who is currently taking Film Studies at our own University of Manitoba. Conveniently airing Thursday night at 10pm, why not tune in to see what to catch this coming weekend?