Wednesday 11 November 2009

Phased Plasma Rifle In The 40-Watt Range

I was about seven or eight years old when I first saw The Terminator, and about nine or ten (maybe eleven, come to think of it) when Terminator II: Judgment Day arrived in this country. Whilst there are few who would deny that that was (and possibly still is) the greatest action movie ever released, I was at an age that experienced it a little differently from most. Whilst for the adults, Terminator II: Judgment Day was just a good sci-fi action movie – wowing at the special effects, and putting their names down at the video shop to pre-book the rental copy...for a kid, it was something else entirely. I remember the comics, action figures, video games and the whole excitement of it. That’s why I’d like to present to you, The Good, Bad and the Ugly of the Terminator spin-off material.

The Good

Robocop Vs Terminator

It’s not just the title, idea or setting that made this game so awesome – it was the execution, too.

Set years after RoboCop's invention, the story involves Cyberdyne Systems building Skynet, for which Cyberdyne uses RoboCop's technology. When activated, Skynet goes self-aware and launches a war against the humans. In the future, Skynet sends some Terminators back to the past to cripple the Resistance.

After destroying one of the Terminators, RoboCop proceeds to Delta City, where he confronts Cain (Robocop II). After Cain is destroyed, RoboCop battles his way to the OCP building, where he defeats all the Terminators. After defeating an ED-209 unit reprogrammed by Terminators, RoboCop plugs himself into a console. Unknown to him, RoboCop gave Skynet information it can use. This ends up with RoboCop falling into a trap. In the future, RoboCop assembles himself, where he battles in the Terminator infested future and destroyed Skynet.

Sure, that’s all bollocks, but at least it’s fun sounding bollocks, and that’s the kind of bollocks we like here at E14. The game was noted at the time for its level of violence, gore, and the detail of the explosions. Not to mention having Robocop and Terminators in it. In fact, after I finish writing this article, I’m going over to Blake’s to play it, as he still has our copy.

Seriously, if this game was released today, it would still be “Rated E14”.

The Sarah Connor Chronicles

After the worldwide D: face caused by Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, it was almost five years, before anyone could look at anything Terminator related without shuddering. A bit like the gap between Alien: Resurrection, shit.

Now, the next instalment of the Terminator franchise was going to be a TV series, with no real canonical connection to the movies, and none of the original cast making an appearance? Were they trying to piss in James Cameron’s breakfast cereal or something?

And then the shock came – it was really good. Well, sure it didn’t live up to the original or Judgment Day, but it was at least as good as most of the Dark Horse comics had been, and was a hundred times better than Rise of the Machines. The casting was great, the time-travel angle was as believable as it ever can be...and it had plenty of eye candy in it in the form of Thomas Dekker, Summer Glau, Brian Austin Green and Lena Headey.

Tragically cancelled before its time, it was a great concept, full of great stories and great characters. We can but hope for either a return, or another series of this quality.

T2: The Arcade

Where did most of my money go in 1991? If you said “Right Said Fred singles”, then you’re correct. The rest of it, however, was thrown into this arcade machine.

Summer Glau and Lena Headey

The Bad

Aliens Vs Predator Vs Terminator

In the late 90s/early 00s, crossovers were all the rage. This one was a perfect example of what happens when stupid lunchtime conversations are allowed to breed and multiply. In it, Clone Ripley and Call arrive back on Earth to find it overrun by Xenomorphs. Whilst there, they also find the Predators hunting them...and then some Terminators turned up shooting everything and...I decided to stop reading before Johnny 5 turned up as well.

The Majority of the Action Figures

No line of action figures makes it to the second series without jumping the shark. Usually with some kind of spring-driven “shark jumping action”. And the line of action figures produced to accompany the release of Judgment Day was no exception. And, yes, I still bought most of them. Ones that have stayed with me were the Helicopter Pilot T-1000, who shot missiles from the backs of his knees, and the shoulder pad launching Arnie look-alike in this video clip.

The Ugly

The Bio-Flesh Regenerator

Then, to complement the T2 action figures, there was this...blacmange based monstrosity. Check out this video, and imagine how excited I was to get it one Christmas:

Fuck yes, it was a Terminator factory! What eleven year-old boy wouldn’t want that? Inside, the contents looked awesome. There was a PVC floor plan of a Skynet factory, the hulking plastic regenerator itself, two endoskeletons and a pot of pink powder, that when mixed with water would create the amazing Bio-Flesh!

The trouble was, firstly, that the endoskeletons had no moving parts. Satisfactory, perhaps, but barely. The main problem, however, lay with the plunger on the regenerator, which pushed the liquid bio-flesh into the mold. It didn’t actually go all the way in, so what used to happen was that the hair never really formed, or there was an epic bubble on the end of its nose.

We all remember that famous line from the original Terminator movie:

The 600 series had rubber skin. We spotted them easy. Oh, no, wait! There were some before them. The 500 series. They had blancmange skin, and had no moveable joints. You think rubber skin is easy to spot? Wait until you see a neon pink dude sliding towards you on roller-skates striking a bodybuilding pose. Where are you going?

The second series of Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles will be available to buy on DVD and Blu-ray disc from November 16th.

The heart-racing action and technological weaponry is set to wow fans of the blockbuster Terminator franchise. The intense second season sees Sarah and her teenage son, John, relentlessly battling to save themselves and the world time and time again. Fugitives from the law, they must evade pursuers from the future - and the present - in today's Los Angeles.

Picking up where Season One left off, Sarah Connor continues on her mission to bring down the Skynet Artificial Intelligence Network. her son John is mankind’s only hope in the war against our own creations but at sixteen, he is rebelling against the reality of his destiny – Sarah must protect him by taking out Terminators and federal officers every step of the way.

Thanks to our friends at Warner Bros Entertainment, we've got two copies of the complete second season of The Sarah Connor Chronicles to give away! For your chance of winning one, send us an e-mail to with your name and postal address before midday on Wednesday 18th November (UK time). The first two names drawn out of the electronic hat will win a free copy of this awesome series!



  1. I'm a huge fan of 'The Terminator', since way back when I first saw a pirate video copy in 1985 (at nine years old, I was a little too young to get in to see it at the cinema in 1984... I hadn't had my growth spurt yet).
    By the time 'T2' came along in 1991, I was sixteen and had no problem getting in to see it at the cinema. I went in in a buzz of excitement and was crushed by how disappointed I was. To my 16-year-old self, the concept of Arnie as a 'good' Terminator was the stupidest thing I'd ever seen... well, the stupidest thing I've ever seen until he gave the thumbs up as he was being lowered into the molten metal at the end. THAT was REALLY stupid. I came out of the cinema vowing never to watch it again and to shed a small tear every time I watched the first one.
    Ten years later, I was bored one night and watched it again. Imagine my surprise when I found that, on second viewing, I actually enjoyed it a great deal. Perhaps it was lower expectations, perhaps it was because I was no longer in that 'tragic-16-year-old' phase, perhaps it was sleep deprivation... whatever it was, I enjoyed my second viewing enough to buy my own copy of 'T2' on DVD when I saw it in one of those '3 for a tenner' offers.
    I've watched it a few times since and, while I do enjoy it, I can't help but scream and throw things at the screen when he gives that final thumbs up. Even at the age of 34, THAT is still the dumbest thing I've ever seen.

  2. The Terminator is a frakkin' masterpiece and my liberal attitude to personal taste in the sphere of culture simply breaks down in the face of anyone who disagrees: they are just so obviously WRONG! Terminator 2 was surprisingly good considering it had an annoying kid in it and a 'zero-body-count' policy for the appropriate rating in the US (PDS is right about that thumb at the end though; and I can no more forgive than can he!).

    Let's just move on to the TV series. I've seen season 1. I liked it a lot and would happily buy it to watch it all over again.

    And all I can say about Salvation is that it wasn't as bad as, y'know... ;)

  3. Terminator Rocks but if you really want to see something cool check out the Pirate cats