Oh, Terminator, the DJ spent about five seconds talking about you, but it was enough for my mind to be blown. You need to understand, Terminator, when I was a kid, especially a kid growing up in the middle of nowhere, sequels to popular sci-fi movies weren’t a given. Hell, Terminator, popular sci-fi movies weren’t a given. These days, it’s expected that you sit through the credits of a movie to see what the next movie in the series is going to be about. Not so back in my day. Hell, the idea of a “movie franchise” was fairly quaint. Sure, there were the slasher and other assorted horror movies (of which I was too young and too chickenshit to watch), but outside of those, we had “Lethal Weapon”, “Die Hard” and “The Mighty Ducks”. Now I’m not knocking those films, Terminator. The originals are great (including “Mighty Ducks”, mostly because it’s the first movie I went to see with my girlfriend the summer before my senior year of high school. You know, the one who I was afraid to kiss. . .), but some and/or all of their sequels are hit and miss. So to find out they were making a sequel to one of the greatest movies ever made, well, that was almost too much for my developing mind to comprehend.
You need to understand, Terminator, that the original movie was my real introduction to geek culture. And Linda Hamilton’s boobs. When I was a freshman in high school, a couple upperclassmen took me under their wings and started teaching me everything that I’d been missing. Like the sci-fi epics of James Cameron. Like “Aliens”. And “The Terminator”. I remember watching “The Terminator” with my friend one day after school, and I was already in thrall as soon as I read that first bit of text on the screen about the rise of the machines. I’m pretty sure I made him pause it just because I needed time to catch my breath just from the opening sequence. Plus there were Linda Hamilton’s boobs.
Those same friends also introduced me to comic books made by companies other than Marvel and DC. Wha?!?! Yeah, there were comic books made by this cool little company called Dark Horse. And you know what some of those comics were about, Terminator? They were about you!!! And they were about Aliens! They were like extended sequels to the original movies!!! Again, that’s old hat these days (although I was very excited when a couple days ago I told a co-worker about comic books about X-Files, Firefly, and Buffy and she had no idea. It was a nice moment spreading the geek.), but not so for young little me.
So yeah, Terminator, when I heard there was going to be a sequel to the original, another chance to see your angry visage, another chance to see Linda Hamilton’s. . .you get the idea. . .well, I was ec-friggin’-static. And my friends who introduced me to you took me with them to the premiere of “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” at the Quarry Twin Theatres in Pipestone, and it’s still one of the most satisfying cinematic experiences I’ve ever had in my life. And I think I know why, Terminator. Because this radio clip is literally all I knew about the movie before I went to see it. I probably saw a few ads on TV, but otherwise, absolutely nothing. And while younger me would be unbelievably jealous that I’m living in a world where hoverboards are indeed real and that there’s a sequel to “Return Of The Jedi” coming just in time for Christmas, I think I’d tell him that older me has determined that there really is too much of a good thing. For one thing, it seems like maybe there are really only so many Terminator movies this world needs, as hard as that is to believe. And as excited as I am about the new Star Wars flick, and pretty much anything coming out from Marvel, these days there’s so much leaking, both the intentional and illegal varieties, so much micro-dissection of every frame of every trailer, so much breathless reporting over every single piece of entertainment gossip, that the actual movie or book or TV show becomes secondary, if not wholly unnecessary.
I love you, Terminator. Not just because you’re a soulless killing machine who learned to love, but because you represent those increasingly rare pure entertainment moments in my life. And now, I think it’s time to head on over to Netflix and see if I can’t get reacquainted with you and Linda Hamilton’s. . .guns.