Channel Awesome
The Terminator

The terminator nc.jpg

Release Date
March 3, 2021
Running Time
Previous Review
Next Review

(The Channel Awesome logo is shown. Then, to dramatic music, we see a huge flame, behind which emerges a two-faced figure. One side is the T-1000 and the other is NC. Then two sliding doors slam closed with the words "TERMONTHNATOR MONTH" written on it. Then we cut to NC.)

NC: Hello, and welcome to "Terminator Month"! ..."nator".

(After an awkward pause, we cut to the title again, but with "-NATOR" scratched out, with the word "MONTHNER" written above it, and the word "-NATOR" added to "MONTH" below.)

NC (vo): Its working title.

NC: Like a lot of you, I had a fascination with these movies.

(Icons for the first two movies in the series are shown)

NC (vo): From the first two entertaining and groundbreaking films...

(Icons of the rest of the films in the franchise are shown: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator Salvation, Terminator Genisys and Terminator: Dark Fate)

NC (vo): the other ones.

NC: (holds up two fingers) But those first two films left such an impact, it's hard not to still be invested.

NC (vo): Arguably Arnold [Schwarzenegger]'s most famous role, the story of a killer machine arriving from the future may not be the most mind-blowing, but the characters, stunts, action and performances make it one of the most iconic. Often quoted, satirized, and paid homage to, the Terminator movies have inspired a lot in terms of effects, style and overall attitude.

T-800: I'll be back.

(A montage of pop culture films and TV is shown, depicting various characters saying the classic three-word phrase: "I'll be back.")

NC (vo): You know how after Star Wars, every film was doing something similar, or after the Marvel movies, everybody was copying the same thing? The early Terminator films were the same. Suddenly, a lot of sci-fi was about stopping an evil future. Everybody had black coats and shades. Killer robots were suddenly all over the place. Most of them had that metallic blue tint. And by God, liquid metal...

(A clip of the CapriSun "Liquid Cool" commercials is shown, showing kids formed from liquid (no doubt inspired by the liquid metal from the Terminator series))

NC (vo): ...practically ruled the '90s.

(The kids in the commercial, having drunk the advertised product, suddenly turn back into liquid and fall into puddles. A black man freaks out, screaming, at this sight)

NC: But all this began with the little movie that killed, with James Cameron's original, The Terminator.

(The title for The Terminator is shown, followed by footage of the movie)

NC (vo): Released in 1984 on a budget of only 6-1/2 million, Terminator was a surprise hit that surprised nobody more than its main villain, Schwarzenegger. He was originally called in to play Michael Bien's role as others were considered for the deadly machine, including (Shots of the following are superimposed...) Mel Gibson, Sylvester Stallone, and even O.J. Simpson, who was turned down because Cameron didn't believe he could be a convincing killer.

(NC smiles and bats his eyes)

NC (vo): When Cameron met Arnold, though, he instantly saw him in the role. Arnold was hesitant, though, because he didn't want to play an emotionless robot. He (Cut to photos of Arnold in Conan the Destroyer being superimposed) arguably had been playing that enough already! But he agreed, saying the film was underground enough that if it failed, it wouldn't hurt his rising stardom too much. Not only was it a hit, though, it was a hit that led to sequels, spin-offs, countless merchandise, and cemented Arnold as one of the most iconic movie stars of all time. But with so many years having gone by, does the film still hold up? Or is it a case of the right audience at the right time?

NC: Well, let's take a look and see if this is still a sci-fi classic. This is The Terminator!

NC (vo): We open in the very modally-looking future of 2029. Man, Biden's stimulus was too much.

NC: And if you think that joke is instantly dated, take a listen to the opening music!

(Said music is dark ambient)

NC (vo): So...

NC: of the interesting things about the Terminator films is that they're mostly timeless.

NC (vo): There's little hints of the time period it was made in, of course, but for the most part, you can put on any of them and not guess right away when they were made.

NC: Except for this one! (points to camera)

NC (vo): The '80s is dripping off this like a Reaganomics episode of He-Man!

NC: But it's surprisingly not a bad thing here.

NC (vo): The part of the '80s being focused on is not as much the bright colors and upbeat songs, it's more the dark, gritty, rebelliously unshaven side you don't usually see as much in the (An image of 80s wear is superimposed) '80s section of Halloween stores. It fittingly adds to the film's atmosphere rather than distracts.

(Cut to a clip of the 2017 version of It)

NC (vo): The opposite of flicks like...

Beverly Marsh: What are you listening to? (puts on Ben's headphones) New Kids on the Block.

(A text in cyan, magenta, and yellow appears on the screen and shakes around as it does, with NC reading it in a deep voice...)


NC: (exasperated) Okay, God!

(Back to The Terminator, where electrical impulses are zapping a garbage truck, driven by a black man. He looks out to see what's causing the zapping and gets out and runs off)

NC (vo; as the black man): Whoa, I'm a black guy in a film about a killer. I know what happens to me.

(The T-100, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger himself, appears, totally naked, though we don't see his lower half (not yet anyway))

NC (vo): Weather calls for 60 percent chance, naked Austrians.

(The camera then shows him walking along, completely naked, but with a head covering his anatomy while we hear Beavis of Beavis and Butt-Head fame saying, "Boi-yoi-yoi-yoing!")

NC (vo): Oh! I guess it's a 100 percent chance.

NC: (nods) Dude, he really was Mr. Universe.

(A group of street punks spot the T-100 coming toward them)

Punk: Nice night for a walk, eh?

NC (vo): He approaches a street gang, led by Cameron favorite Bill Paxton, who I think is challenging him to a gap-off.

Punk: (pulling a switchblade on the T-100) Fuck you, asshole!


NC (vo): Naturally, the Terminator finds her first and invites himself in.

(the man tries to fight him but the Terminator knuckled the man's hand down)

NC (vo, as Sarah): Don't worry, Lou, I'll get him by climbing up his ass. (normal) Seriously, where did she go?

(The Terminator aims Sarah's head with his gun)

NC (vo): He spots her NOT exactly having the fastest reflexes.

(Reese bursts them when the citizens scatter away)

NC (vo): But Reese stops and tries to get her to safety.

(Reese grabs Sarah's wrist)

Reese: (to Sarah) Come with me if you want to live.

NC: (sighs) Stealing from Casper, low.

(A shot of the 1995 film, Casper, he saying "Come with me if you want to live!" at Kat is shown in the corner. As we go to commercial break.)


NC: I believe the official term is cuckoo for Coco Puffs.

Ed: Sarah, this is what they call body armor. Our tac guys wear these.

NC (vo, as Ed): It stops bullets. do you know what bullets are, Sarah.

NC (vo): While the definition of mansplaining is explored the Terminator fixes his eye at a nearby hotel.

(The Terminator wiped this blood from his small towel, showing the enormous robotic eye at the screen)

NC: These effects are a little dated now but given the time and budget they had. They're pretty mind-blowing.

NC (vo): Creating a robotic head that's supposed to look human both close up and in medium shots was pretty damn ambitious and let's face it it still looks better than a CGI Rock. (a shot of The Mummy Returns, showing The Rock as The Scorpion King is shown in the center)

The Terminator: I'm a friend of Sarah Connor.

NC (vo): This is followed by him entering the station requesting to see Connor.

The Terminator: I'll be back.

NC: (sighs) Now, they're stealing from Last Action Hero is nothing sacred. (a shot of Jack Slater from Last Action Hero is shown in the top left at the corner)


NC (vo): It's a moot point because you have to see it in the sequels anyway. But I always wondered if it would be scary or if the future was never seen. Then again it does distract from odd lines like this.

Sarah: I was dreaming about dogs.

Reese: We use them to spot Terminators.

NC (vo, as Reese): And we occasionally watched them instead of TV though sometimes the fire really was on fire.


(The Terminator hits the door from the far side.)

NC (vo, as Arnold Schwarzenegger): Have you heard the good news? Skynet saves.

(Reese rolls with the last of his strength, raising the pipe bomb he has been cradling. Reese jams it between two hydraulic cylinders just beneath the Terminator's armored rib-cage)

NC (vo, as Arnold Schwarzenegger): Oh, you replaced my penis. How kind.

(Terminator has an instant to react, reaching for the bomb, it explodes!)

NC (vo, as Arnold Schwarzenegger): Mine didn't do that. Usually...


NC: And that was The Terminator. It's very 80s, but it's very awesome!


NC: I'm the Nostalgia Critic, and Termonthnator Month day has just begun! (he gets up and leaves)

Channel Awesome taglineSarah: I was dreaming about dogs.

(The credits roll)

This transcript is incomplete. Please finish.