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The Terminator

USA 1984
produced by
Gale Anne Hurd, John Daly (executive), Derek Gibson (executive) for Hemdale, Pacific Western, Cinema '84/Orion
directed by James Cameron
starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton, Paul Winfield, Lance Henriksen, Rick Rossovich, Bess Motta, Earl Boen, Dick Miller, Shawn Schepps, Bruce M. Kerner, Franco Columbu, Bill Paxton, Brad Rearden, Brian Thompson, William Wisher, Ken Fritz, Tom Oberhaus, Ed Dogans, Joe Farago, Hettie Lynne Hurtes, Tony Mirelez, Philip Gordon, Anthony Trujillo, Stan Yale, Al Kahn, Leslie Morris, Hugh Farrington, Harriet Medin, Loree Frazier, James Ralston, Norman Friedman, Barbara Powers, Wayne Stone, David Michels, John E. Bristol, Webster Williams, Patrick Pinney, Bill W. Richmond, Chino 'Fats' Williams, Greg Robbins, Marianne Muellerleile, John Durban
written by James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd, music by Brad Fiedel, makeup effects by Stan Winston


review by
Mike Haberfelner

On TV, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) learns that two women sharing her name have been killed that very night, and since she's got the feeling she's followed by a stranger (Michael Biehn), she dives into a club and phones to police - where two policemen (Paul Winfield, Lance Henriksen) are already on her case and have been trying to track her down. They promise to send over pick-up - but before they can, a big man, the Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger), shows up at the club with the express intention of killing her, and if he has to kill everyone else in the process, no matter. But it's the stranger whom she tried to escape, one Kyle Reese, who saves her. On their escape, he explains to her he's for the future where humankind fights machine, with the humans winning the upper hand thanks to her yet unconceived son John. So the machines have sent a cyborg back in time to kill John's mother - Sarah - to alter the timeline. And thus the humans have sent back Kyle to destroy the Terminator before he can destroy humankind's only hope. But now they're on the run from both the police and the Terminator - with the police getting their hands on Kyle and Sarah first, only for the Terminator to destroy the precinct, and Sarah and Kyle only narrowly escaping again. But no matter how hard they're trying to run and hide, the Terminator seems unstoppable, even by the biggest esplosions, so eventually they just have to face the fight ...


Now given, The Terminator is not an intellectual masterpiece, its timetravel backstory is just a plot device that poses more questions than it answers, and the main storyline follows more that of a slasher movie, told less as a horror piece and more as an action flick though.

And that all said, damn is The Terminator a good film, it's pretty much the perfect B picture, a film that doesn't try to overwhelm its audience with special effects but uses what it's got to maximum effect, that moves along its plot rather rapidly to keep the audience on the edges of their seats, that pretty much presents the viewer with action setpiece after action setpiece, all well-conceived, and that even gets the most out of its unmistakably 1980s aesthetics. And James Cameron, who truth to be told showed little promise in Piranha 2: Flying Killers only three years prior, proves himself to be at the top of his game here.

So if you're at all inclined to see perfectly crafted action cinema, you just need to see this one.


With this film becoming a raging (and somewhat unexpected) success and cementing Arnold Schwarzenegger's status as an action superstar even more so than Conan the Barbarian, a string of sequels was inevitable, but even though these films were elevated to mega-budget status, none of them matched the narrative stringency and suspense-creating simplicity of the first film, most of them suffering from overloading the basic plot with more and more subplots pretty much standing in each other's way. And the idea to turn Schwarzenegger into a good guy was at best questionable.




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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.


There's No Such Thing as Zombies
Luana Ribeira, Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi
special appearances by
Debra Lamb and Lynn Lowry


directed by
Eddie Bammeke

written by
Michael Haberfelner

produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke


now streaming at


Amazon UK





Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from