Festival of Fiendishness: THE TERMINATOR

Howwwwdeeyyy Ho everybody!

Welcome back to a brand new installment of the Festival of Fiendishness, the place where we take a look and your favorite villains and mine and break down why they’re awesome. Today’s super-awesome super-villain is Mister Can’t-Stop-Won’t-Stop himself: the Terminator.

And that introduction is longer than the intro we got in the first movie. You remember this cat (seriously, how can you forget, right?) Arnold Schwarzeneggar shows up butt-ass naked (yes, I know that was redundant—shut up) in a blaze of lightning, finds a group of miscreants, takes their clothes (by PUNCHING THEIR HEARTS OUT!), steals a car and gets about the business of killing one Sarah Connor. But he’s not smooth with it, he ain’t concerned about the boys in blue or being stealthy or anything: this dude finds a payphone, snatches the page out the phonebook and proceeds to drive across LA shooting all the Sarah Connors in the face. A lot. And this is all so she doesn’t survive long enough to give borth to the dude who leads the resistance against the machines in the future. Not too shabby a plot.

Now I realize there are a couple Millennials who frequent my blog—before you even start: they didn’t have cellphones or GPS in 1984. Everybody’s phone number and address was listed in the phone book and that book was connected to the payphone. What’s a payhone? I’m not the History Channel, man; that’s what Wikipedia is for. Look it up.

Now that that’s out the way—the Terminator chases the only surviving (and coincidentally, the correct) Sarah Connor to a club where he tries to shoot her ass IN PUBLIC! People are running and ducking and this man ain’t Puffy or Plaxico—he’s just some dude in an army jacket bucking for one girl. And then we meet the hero, Kyle Reese, who manages to get bit by Sarah Connor while saving her, arrested and given the “This muthafucka’s NUTS” treatment, and his ass whopped by the Terminator. I can’t even call him incompetent because my man is doing the best he can. I know you’re a fan of “I’ll be back,” but when it comes to villains, Reese gives THE most compelling line about a villain ever: “That terminator is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.”

And to prove his point, Arnold drives a TRUCK into the police station! A semi! Into the police station! And then capped like 30 cops for one girl! That is commitment.

Now, I would be remiss if I focused on Arnold Schwarzeneggar’s stellar portrayal of the T-101 and ignored Robert Patrick as the T-1000—the liquid metal man. Now, I have a couple issues with Terminator 2: first, how do you have a Terminator movie and the Terminator can’t kill anybody? (Watch it, Arnold doesn’t kill a soul). And second, this was the first movie ruined by the trailer.( Hey dummy, that Arnold was the good guy and the cop was the bad guy was supposed to be a SURPRISE!) Those items aside, the T-1000 was RAW!!  This cat picked a police officer to jack (since everything goes back in time naked) so he instantly had a uniform, a weapon, a squad car and access to the DMV database. In like 4 minutes. But that’s not what made him incredible. It’s not when he ran down a car going 60—on foot. It wasn’t when he impersonated John’s foster mom—which was pretty messed up (he even killed the dog!) It was that one scene where he comes up from the floor, mimics the man standing there, gave him the Michael Myers head cock, and sticks his finger in dude’s eye. T-1000 don’t play.

I’m kinda “Meh” about the 3rd one. Ol girl was cool as the Terminator and I was happy they put a woman in the role. And she did everything all straight-faced and cold. That Terminator didn’t add much and I was over the whole “Arnold is the good guy” shit. However, Terminator: Salvation, that was pretty good.

The Terminator is awesome because he is unstoppable. He’s what Michael Myers would be if he wasn’t flammable. He’s what Megatron is without the whole galactic domination thing. He’s who the agents in the Matrix would be if they just shot the shit outta Keanu Reeves and skipped the special effect, Bullet-time bullshit. He’s awesome because, despite his/her appearance, in spite of the time/space continuum, regardless of whether it’s fresh and clean or a legless, half-melted quivering heap, the Terminator will not stop. Ever.  EVER. And that’s some scary shit.

What’s next? The second bloodsucker to grace this blog: the Vampire Lestat joins the Festival!

Advertisements

Festival of Fiendishness: THE PREDATOR

Sing along everybody!

If you’re seven feet tall and like killing humans, clap your hands!

Clap, clap.

If you like pulling spines and your face is kinda jacked, clap your hands!

Clap, clap.

If you have a cloaking device that isn’t waterproof and you come to planet that’s 80% water, you wouldn’t be the wisest hunter in the galaxy…but you would be today’s Independence Day villain: the Predator.

Yeah I know the song fell apart but it does help you get the gist of this character. And in the event you were born after 1990, you might not know that the Predators have NOTHING to do with the Aliens—that’s more of a comic book driven marketing ploy than anything else…but we’ll talk about that too.

A long time ago, before Arnold Schwarzenegger was the governor of California, he starred in a series of low-brow action movies with plenty of explosions, bullets and one-liners. In one of these movies, Schwarzeneggar led an elite squad of mercenaries—including Apollo Creed and Jesse “The Body” Ventura (before he was the governor of Minnesota)—in a South American jungle to do some bullshit (I just saw the movie and don’t freaking remember what the hell they were doing). Anyway, they get systematically hunted down and slaughtered by a killer they cannot see. One that sees only their thermal image and likes to snatch people’s spinal columns out and hang them on trees. There’s lots of blood and yelling, yada yada yada and the Governator pulls some MacGyver shit and manages to take out an extraterrestrial hunter—a predator, if you will—packing advanced weaponry using some mud, a spear and two sticks of dynamite. But the Predator’s a little bit of a bitch: when his cloaking device is working and can’t nobody figure out what he is, the Predator is all leaping through the trees, laughing at people, screwing with them. But when the water fucks his stuff up and everybody can see him, when he’s all beat up and Arnold takes off his mask and calls him ugly, the Predator doesn’t take his L like a man: he suicide bombs the entire jungle.

Punk.

Fast forward a couple years and a new Predator decides he doesn’t like Arnold’s politics and starts chasing Danny Glover in the streets of LA. Here, though, we get the see what the Predator is actually capable of. This cat has more gadgets than Batman: he has a net that tightens once it gets on you so you look like sausage when it’s done; a spear that he can hurl with frightening accuracy; a shoulder cannon that’ll make your head explode if he gets those 3 dots on you; and a Krull-style disc/boomerang thing that will cut through anything or anyone and return to sender. We learn that the Predator is like a big game hunter and is simply looking for the biggest challenge, win or lose. We learn they have a little bit of honor to their hunt, they’ve been hunting us for a long time (they give Danny an old musket from the Revolutionary War), and they’ve been hunting plenty of shit besides us, like T-Rexes and the Aliens (that’s where it started, folks). Watching Gary Busey die is one of the best scenes in the movie.

Any other time we see the Predator after this, they’re hunting Aliens on our world, either as some ridiculous rite of passage, killing Adrien Brody and Topher Grace as a group, or cleaning up the effects of when shit goes wrong. Like, you couldn’t see that coming? Seriously? You earn the gun for killing the Aliens with your bare hands? An animal that has acid for blood? And there’s no containment plan for when they get out? I continually second guess the intelligence of this advanced race.

So even though I’ve tearing them up, I still have some respect for the Predator and still think they have their awesome moment. Because, even though they screw up and get their asses handed to them, we encounter them because they kill us for fun. It is a sport. And our skulls are the trophies. That is what makes them awesome.

Up next, the most persistent and consistently unsuccessful hunter of all time: Wile E. Coyote. Th-th-that’s all folks!