Terminator 6 is the new Terminator 3!

When I kicked off my new series of Good Idea/Bad Idea with Terminator 6, I mentioned that the film was going to be a direct sequel to Terminator 2.  I was also questioning how they were going to address the last 3 movies in the series.  Well…I have my answer.  They aren’t.  Terminator 6 WILL be ignoring the events of 3,4 AND 5 entirely.  I’m not entirely surprised, especially with James Cameron writing and producing the film.  To be honest, I think that’s the only direction that they could have gone in.  I really enjoyed the last three installments, but you could tell that the franchise had gone completely off the rails since the departure of James Cameron.  Deadpool director Tim Miller and James Cameron are shooting for a summer of 2019 release, so that gives them almost two years to flesh out the story and the characters.  As I said in my previous post about the film, Cameron’s bringing back Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor.  Arnold Schwarzenegger is obviously returning since he confirmed that the film was being made.  Arnold Schwarzenegger is reprising his role of the Terminator, but they are going to be addressing his age in the film.  The story at this point is completely under-wraps, which is a good thing.

Terminator 2s ending was the perfect closure for the first two movies, while being ambiguous enough to question whether or not they actually succeeded.  That was the point of the ending, to have some kind of hope for the future, and it was as perfect an ending as you could have for a movie like that.  So, I’m curious as to how they’re going to address that.  They’re also looking for some younger actors, I presume, to carry the torch from here on out.  It’s also been confirmed that the new Terminator film will be the first in a new trilogy.  While I personally think it’s premature to announce something like that at this point, considering how movies like The Mummy turned out.  With the level of talent that is behind the new film, I’m honestly hopeful that it will be very, very good.  Will it be as good as the first two movies?  Not likely.  Terminator 1 and 2 set the bar so high for the series, that I don’t think there’s any possible way of topping them.  I will be satisfied if the new movie comes close, even if it isn’t entirely successful.  So…those are some new and interesting developments, and I’m going to be keeping my eye on the film until its release.  I’m a huge fan of the series, even the last 3 movies, but I’m not entirely sure where I should set my expectations.  On the one hand, I really want this to work.  On the other hand, if it doesn’t work, it’s going to kill franchise completely.  However, James Cameron hasn’t had a box-office flop since Piranha 2: The Spawning, so I don’t really see Terminator 6 suffering the same fate.  At this stage, it’s probably best to be cautious, but optimistic.  Not necessarily a big post, but a bit of an update.

The Fly(1986)


Released: August 1986

Director: David Cronenberg

Rated R

Run Time: 96 Minutes

Distributor: 20th Century Fox

Genre: Science Fiction/Horror

Jeff Goldblum: Seth Brundle
Geena Davis: Veronica Quaife
John Getz: Stathis Borans

The horror film genre came into a new golden age during the 70s and 80s with films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Alien, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Friday The 13th.  The use of special effects in horror movies really came to a head some of these films.  Visual effects in movies is nothing new, it’s been done since the beginning of cinema.  However, there was a very special time during the 80s in which visual effects were not only second-to-none but helped really drive some of these movies.  John Carpenter’s The Thing is widely regarded as one of the greatest sci-fi/horror movies ever made.  The success of which was not only due to the stellar cast and writing, but also the gruesome visual effects by Rob Bottin which still hold even over 30 years later.  The Thing was one of three re-makes that would be released during the 80s which featured gut-wrenching special effects.  The other two were the re-make of The Blob in 1988 and David Cronenberg’s version of The Fly in 1986.  Of those three films, I consider The Fly to be the best of them.  Why?  Let’s take a gander.

Opening at a science fair, scientist Seth Brundle catches the attention of science journalist Veronica Quaife.  Initially discussing the potential future of transportation, Seth takes Veronica back to his warehouse apartment, where it is revealed that he is working on a method of teleportation:  A form of transportation that could change the world.  After successfully teleporting one of Veronica’s stockings, they escalate the experiments to living animals, one of which dies in a gruesome failure.  After an epiphany and some re-calculations, Seth decides to try teleporting himself.  After successfully teleporting himself, Seth begins to exhibit some drastic changes, particularly super-strength and high energy.  Later, Seth literally begins to fall apart as he realizes that when he teleported himself, a housefly got stuck in the pod with him and fused with him on a genetic level.  Unable to do anything, Veronica is forced to watch as Seth continues to deteriorate and change into something horrible.  The story here is not what I would call unique in terms of the whole “science gone amok” deal, which has been happening in horror movies since the original Frankenstein.  What makes the story here compelling is in how it focuses on the characters, specifically Seth and Veronica and what these experiments do to their relationship.  The best horror movies, at their core, are tragedies, because the main characters, even through good intentions, end up creating or doing something awful that has far-reaching consequences.  The Fly really takes that to a gruesome extreme.

Before I get into the effects, I want to explore the acting in the film.  The acting in The Fly is simply put:  Beyond exceptional.  Jeff Goldblum’s performance here is one for the record books and should have netted him an Oscar for Best Actor.  He starts off as this nerdy scientist(in the only way that Jeff Goldblum can, of course), but over the course of the film, he begins to develop a relationship with Geena Davis’ Veronica(seems very genuine, considering the two were dating at the time).  He then gains more confidence as his experiments become more successful, but when he starts to fall apart, we feel his fear and dread as he continues to deteriorate.  Like-wise, Geena Davis’ performance is equally compelling as someone who genuinely falls in love with Seth, but is faced with helplessness and terror as she witnesses her boyfriend mutate into something terrible.  The on-screen relationship between the two feels real.  It feels real, because the writing is sharp and on point.  That is also what makes this film as much of a tragedy as a full-on horror film.  Not only does Seth deteriorate, so does his relationship with Veronica.  It’s really heartbreaking because these are characters that you truly care about.  In my opinion, THAT’S what helps make this movie one of the greatest horror movies of all time.

Only David Cronenberg could have handled a movie like this, because the visual effects in The Fly are gut-wrenchingly awesome and disturbing at the same time.  This is body-horror at its finest.  Initially the effects aren’t necessarily as gruesome, except for the incident when one of the monkeys is literally turned inside-out.  However, as Seth decays, the details really become more pronounced and very, VERY gory.  When he starts pulling his nails out and loses his teeth, it’s uncomfortable to sit through.  As Seth de-volves into a fly-human hybrid, his physical appearance becomes even more haunting and disturbing.  It’s towards the end of the film that the visual effects really begin to shine in a goopy and gory fashion.  Seth’s final form is hideous and what he does to John Getz’s character is really freaking gross.  The best thing about all these visual effects?  They’re all done practically.  The scene in which Seth crawls on the ceiling is wild, because they built a room that rotates, not unlike the room that was used in Nightmare on Elm Street.  It’s far more convincing than if they had used wires.  The Fly, along with The Thing, changed the game when it came to special effects.

If I really have any nitpicks, it’s really with John Getz’s character, Stathis.  He’s a real douchebag of a third-wheel in a triangle that doesn’t quite need to happen.  As a result, you don’t feel any sympathy for what happens to him at the end of the film.  Ultimately, that’s my only real beef with The Fly, and it’s not really that big of one.  David Cronenberg, who helmed body-horror movies like Videodrome and Scanners would go on to direct films like Naked Lunch, ExisTenz, A History of Violence, and Eastern Promises.  However, it’s The Fly that many people, myself included, consider to be his greatest achievement.  Along with a wicked-awesome musical score by Howard Shore, The Fly earns its place among the greatest horror movies of all time and proves that a movie like this can have a solid story and great characters to get behind.  The less said about the tepid sequel, the better, however.  That being said, this is a film that belongs in the collections of true horror buffs.

My Final Recommendation:  Teleportation is far too risky.  Cars and walking are safer.  9.5/10.


Released: February 1931

Director: Tod Browning

Not Rated

Run Time: 85 Minutes

Genre: Horror/Fantasy

Distributor: Universal Pictures

Bela Lugosi: Count Dracula
Helen Chandler: Mina
David Manners: Johnathan Harker
Dwight Frye: Renfield
Edward Van Sloan: Van Helsing
Herbert Bunston: Dr. Seward
Frances Dade: Lucy

When I talk about people being inspired to be film-makers by films like Star Wars, you have to consider that the people who made movies like that were inspired by films and serials that date back all the way to the early 1930s, or even earlier.  When it comes to the genre of horror, a lot of folks who make movies in that particular genre will often talk about the early monster movies of the 30s and 40s as their muse and inspiration.  It’s not hard to see why.  The horror films of the early 20th century are some of the most iconic and memorable movies in cinema history.  With Halloween coming up in a little over a month, I thought it would be a really good time to start talking about scary movies.  For that, I would like to actually to start where they almost began, with films like Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, The Mummy, Creature From the Black Lagoon, and the granddaddy of horror movies:  Dracula.

Inspired by the Bram Stoker novel of the same name, Dracula follows the mysterious Transylvanian Count Dracula as he purchases a piece of property in England called Carfax Abby.  Using the realtor, Renfield as his servant, Dracula makes his way to London and begins to cause all sorts of havoc by seducing and attempting to turn young Lucy and Mina into vampires.  It’s a very simple set-up, but it works wonderfully for this film.  Having read Bram Stoker’s book, I noticed a few changes here and there to the story, but considering when the film was made, these nitpicks are of the extremely minor variety.  Overall, the story is paced quite well for a film that runs 85 minutes, and it gives us enough character development to care.  It’s a classic story, always has been, so I really can’t say anything negative about it.

These days, when you go to see a horror movie or a creature feature, film-makers try to shoehorn in some kind of backstory or tragedy for the human characters.  You know what?  That’s not what we go to monster movies for.  We go for the freaking MONSTER!!  Back in the 30s, 40s AND 50s, the human characters were secondary, because people came to see the monster.  People want to see Frankenstein’s monster wreak havoc, not Dr. Frankenstein having tea with a local girl.  While the human characters had their place, the focus was on the actual monster.  That’s what I love about those older monster flicks.  They didn’t waste time with overly complicated character development, they got right into it.  For the character of Dracula, who was loosely based on Vlad the Impaler during the 15th Century, there have been many people who played the character.  From Frank Langella and Christopher Lee to Gary Oldman and Luke Evans, not one of them did a terrible job.  I enjoyed them all.  But the actor that really made the character was Bela Lugosi.  When people talk about Dracula as a movie character, they think of Bela Lugosi or Christopher Lee, no other actors have embodied the character the way these two did, but it was Lugosi who made it iconic.  Look at how Lugosi portrays Dracula.  Look at his mannerisms and listen to the way he speaks.  Nobody has done it quite the way Lugosi did.  Every actor that has come after, has modeled their performance on Bela Lugosi’s to varying degrees.

While the film’s  focus is on Bela’s performance, I have to give credit to the other actors for giving everything they’ve got with the material.  Dwight Frye, who plays Renfield, gives the character a very manic and disturbed performance unlike anything I’ve seen before.  It’s absolutely wild.  Edward Van Sloan gives his character of Van Helsing a very distinguished and gentlemanly performance as someone who has experience with the supernatural.  The ladies are your basic damsels in distress, nothing terribly special here.  Not terrible, but not terribly memorable, either.  Overall, the acting is phenomenal.  Obviously, Bela Lugosi steals the show in every scene that he’s in.  When he gives his famous stare, it’s genuinely creepy and unsettling.  For a film that’s almost 90 years old and it still manages to creep you out, that’s AWESOME!!

There is a massive difference between horror movies of today and the horror films of the past.  Horror flicks today rely on shock value and gore to make their audiences uncomfortable.  During the 30s and 40s there was no gore.  It wasn’t allowed.  So, the film-makers had to rely on genuine tension to scare people.  I’m not talking about jump scares, either.  How they managed to creep people out was through the use of atmosphere.  Now, the movies released during the 30s and 40s were mostly black and white, so that helped a great deal.  They also relied on big sets and matte paintings to get across how scary these things were.  Dracula’s use of these sets and paintings was phenomenal.  The journey to Dracula’s castle was not as elaborate as it would become in later films, but it was still hair-raising.  The castle designs were extraordinary.  Dracula’s castle was epic.  Cobwebs and rotting wood helped sell the setting.  The other thing that sells the atmosphere is the sound design.  For these old movies, the sound was fairly minimalistic, but the howling wolves was a very nice touch.

Honestly, I don’t think there’s much more that I can say that hasn’t already been said by other people.  Dracula is a classic in every sense of the word.  Of all the monster movies that would follow, Dracula is the one that stands out as the most iconic.  Bela Lugosi’s performance is otherworldly and creepy.  The visuals and the costumes are second-to-none and the whole thing is just extraordinary.  I hadn’t seen this film in over 20 years and it’s just as good as the first time I saw it.  If you are a fan of vampire movies or Dracula in general, this is a must-own.  If you like classic cinema, this is a must-own.  This is a movie that needs to be shown in film classes around the world.  This is absolutely recommended.  No score will be provided, because no score is necessary for a film like this.


Good Idea/Bad Idea: Terminator 6

I want to do something different when it comes to discussing movies that have been announced or are on their way to being released.  Usually, I just post a preview with a trailer and some information about the film, but they just seem kind of bare-bones.  This is a different kind of preview format as it were.  This format, though, will only be used for certain kinds of movies like sequels, reboots or stuff like that.  Otherwise, I’ll just use my previous format.  So, in the first section, Good Idea, I’m going to talk about the potential good stuff that is being brought to the film in terms of casting, director, or story line.  The second section I will use to give my opposing thoughts to said movie or project.  The first topic of discussion for Good Idea/Bad Idea(which is no way, whatsoever, in any form related to the skit on the Animaniacs cartoon) will be for Terminator 6, which was announced some time ago.  So…let’s get into it.


When Terminator Genisys hit theaters, it was met with mostly mixed and negative reviews.  While the film picked up ticket sales in China, the American release of the film was a complete disaster.  As a result, Paramount Pictures decided to put the franchise on hold for a time while decisions were being made about the future of Terminator.  As it turns out, Arnold Schwarzenegger had expressed interest in returning for another film.  Over the past few months, things started coming together, and Arnold is indeed slated to return in the franchise that made him a super-star.  That’s a good thing for sure, as Arnold has been one of the main reasons why people go to these movies in the first place.  Next up, the director of 2016’s Deadpool, is slated to direct Terminator 6, or whatever it will be called later on.  Deadpool was freaking awesome and one of the best comic-book movies ever made.  I think Tim is going to be a perfect fit as the director.  Now, HERE’S where it starts getting interesting:  James Cameron, who wrote and directed the original two films is coming back to the franchise that kick-started his career.  Obviously not as a director, as he’s busy directing the next 4 Avatar movies.  Bringing Cameron in as a producer allows him to have more direct control over things are done.  While Miller will direct, Cameron is going to be making sure it’s done right.  This is a HUGE win for the franchise right now, as the rights are slated to return to Cameron in 2019.  For some recent news, Linda Hamilton, who played Sarah Connor in the original two films, is being brought back to reprise the role.  This is important for a number of reasons:  One, Terminator 6 is said to be a direct sequel to Terminator 2, which means the film in some fashion will ignore the events of Terminators 3,4 and 5.  Two: There is a possibility that the new film could be based on the T2 sequel novel trilogy which were released in 2001, 2003, and 2004 respectively and were written by S.M. Stirling.  As far as I’m concerned, those books were a proper Terminator 3.  I don’t know if the new film will go that way, but it will be interesting to see if it does.  Overall, I’m genuinely interested in seeing what happens here.


With the announcement of a new Terminator film comes a number of problems.  One, people are getting tired of sequels, reboots and stuff like that.  The box-office performance of 2017’s summer is proof of that.  Also, having only one stellar sequel that was followed up by three weak-ass entries, Terminator 6 is going to have some serious issues getting people to put their butts into seats, especially if you consider that the last two films were rated PG-13.  6 movies in a franchise that didn’t need to go past two is going to be a hard pill to swallow for a lot of people.  I didn’t hate the other movies, but everyone pretty much agrees that Terminator 2 is the best sequel in the series, bar none.  Trying for a direct sequel to one of the greatest films ever made is going to be a major challenge and not a lot of people are going to go for it.  This is not like Star Wars where the universe is extremely vast.  There are very few directions that this could go.  It was also announced that T6 would be the first in a new trilogy.  Here’s the problem:  Terminator Genisys tried to be the first in a new trilogy, but everybody knows how that one turned out.  It’s a gamble, but they really need to nail this one if they ever want the franchise to continue.  It also needs to be rated R from here on out.


I’m being cautiously optimistic about this for a number of reasons.  One: James Cameron is going to be directly involved.  Two: Linda Hamilton is coming back and that’s possibly going to add some more emotional heft to the story.  Three: It’s going to potentially side-step the third, fourth and fifth movies entirely as a direct sequel to the second film.  Terminator 6 is going to have some major hurdles to get over, but I’m starting to get excited about an honest-to-God good sequel to Terminator 2.  Time is going to tell whether this one gets knocked out of the park or is locked in the dog house…..with the T-1000 coming to put it out of its misery.  Please be good.  Please be good.  Please be good.