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15 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About The Terminator

15 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About The Terminator

15 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About The Terminator

Just reading back the headline to this story. Perhaps it needs a little explanation. This is 15 things about the movie 'The Terminator' that you probably didn't know, not 15 things about the T-800 that you probably didn't know. It's not going to be like:

1. The T-800 liked to holiday in Mauritius.

2. He was a sagittarius

3. He played rugby to county level, as a schoolboy.

Are we all clear? Good. Let's get cracking.

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(Images: Rex, Google Maps, All Star, YouTube)


IMDb states that there are 28 deaths in total. Their logic: "Lt. Traxler tells Sarah that there are 30 cops in the police station, but the sequel states that the Terminator only killed 17. Also killed were Kyle Reese, one of the three punks (the second (Brian Thompson) who was punched through the stomach - the punk leader (Bill Paxton) got knocked out and of course the third (Brad Rearden) lost his clothes), the first two Sarah Connors, a man and a woman in Tech Noir, the gun store clerk, Sarah's mother, Sarah's friend Ginger and her boyfriend Matt, and of course, the Terminator himself."

We've counted the number of deaths in the police station at 16 (we'll go with Traxler on this one as he knows best), but they haven't included any of the deaths in the future (6 definites by our maths), like the poor chap on top of the truck that flipped (pictured). But this could be a dream sequence or a flashback.

Both the YouTube body count (which totals 46) and IMDb seem to have the T-800 down as a body, which of course he's not.

Our count? 36.

So there you go. Three different figures. Fat lot of good that is to you.

James Cameron's voice cameo

IMDb also states that near the beginning of the movie, when Sarah receives a message on her answering machine breaking her date, the voice on the machine is James Cameron's.

If they're right, that's not his only voice cameo. He also plays the kiosk guy at the Tiki Motel in the first of this brilliant montage that shows all the voice cameos the director has done in all his movies.

Wolfie the dog

Wolfie, James Cameron's German Shepherd, can be seen when Sarah and Reese check in at the Tiki Motel. The name Wolfie was also used for John Conner's dog in T2.

Spartan Burgers: Open

When the T-800 speeds away from the Tiki Motel on a bike, you can see a Spartan Burgers across the road. It's at 7222 Santa Fe Ave, Huntingdon Park, CA 90255, it can be found on on Google maps, right here. Go buy one.

The Electronic Murderer

In the late 80s, years after standard release, the movie was released in Poland under the name "The Electronic Murderer". The title was changed because there is, oddly, a Polish word 'terminator', meaning roughly 'apprentice'. Had they left it as was, they feared utter confusion.

By the time T2 was released, the original movie was widely available on pirate copies under its original title, so they gave up with the name changes altogether.

The 'also rans'

It's well kn0wn that Mel Gibson turned down the role of the T-800 and that OJ Simpson was considered. Less well known is that Tom Selleck was rumoured to be cast, but was forced to turn the role down due to his commitment to Magnum, P.I. Kevin Kline, Michael Douglas and Jürgen Prochnow (Maxwell Dent in Beverly Hills Cop II) were also considered.

Lance Henriksen was originally considered for the role. Cameron even made early sketches showing The Terminator looking like Henriksen. In the end Henriksen make do with the role of Det. Vukovich. Curiously, Henriksen later got to play the part of humanoid cyborg Bishop in Aliens (pictured), also directed by Cameron.

40 big names linked to 'Sarah' role

The role of Sarah Connor was originally written by James Cameron for Bridget Fonda, who declined. He suggested Kate Capshaw, but Capshaw was filming Temple of Doom. He later suggested Kathleen Turner for the part, but Turner was filming Romancing the Stone . Daryl Hannah auditioned for the role, but turned it down in order to play Madison in Splash. Jennifer Jason Leigh was considered too young for the part. Gilda Radner, Susan Sarandon, Glenn Close, Rhea Perlman, Sigourney Weaver, Cybill Shepherd, Jane Seymour, Anjelica Huston, Lori Loughlin, Kim Basinger, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Christie Brinkley, Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ally Sheedy, Jessica Lange, Sissy Spacek, Kay Lenz, Liza Minnelli, Mia Farrow, Barbara Hershey, Miranda Richardson, Rosanna Arquette, Meg Ryan, Heather Locklear, Jennifer Grey, Madonna, Amy Irving, Teri Garr, Margot Kidder and Tatum O'Neal were all considered before Geena Davis auditioned, but missed out. It was offered to Debra Winger. Winger changed her mind.

It went, of course, to the brilliant Linda Hamilton.

'Aliens' owes Arnold

The beginning of production was postponed for nine months, due to Arnie's commitment to Conan the Destroyer. During this time, James Cameron wanted to be working but didn't have the time to do a whole movie, so he took on a writing assignment. It developed into Aliens.

Arnie owes 'Piranha 2'

The idea for The Terminator came to Cameron while he lay sick in a bed in Rome during post-production on his first feature, Piranha II. He had a dream about a metallic torso dragging itself from an explosion while holding kitchen knives. "I came up with the entire plotline all on one wallop," Cameron said, "pretty much as it was later filmed, though it took many months of fine-tuning to work out the characters and everything else in detail."

Introducing Franco Columbu

The terminator in the future who infiltrates the human camp in the dream sequence is played by Italian Franco Columbu who, like Arnie, is a multiple Mr. Olympia winner and a friend of Schwarzenegger's. He also appears in The Running Man and Conan The Barbarian.

Bill Facts-ton

Bill Paxton plays a punk with ludicrous blue hair. He is either knocked out or killed by the Terminator. Make up you own mind here. We're very keen to think he was killed, because that would mean he's been killed by a Terminator, a Predator and an Alien, in his career. There's a couple of spoilers in there. Whatever.

"I'll have a think about that one, boss"

The film's financial backer, Orion, suggested a cyborg canine that accompanies Reese. We can't add much more to that.

LAPD motto

There appears to be some confusion as to the motto of the LAPD, in the movie. Circa ten minutes into the film Kyle steals a weapon from a car marked with "To Care And Protect", but 55 minutes in and just after Kyle's superb "it doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear" speech, a cop wagon rolls up with "Dedicated To Serve" on the door.

Clearly within 40 minutes of the Terminator landing, the LAPD has quite shrewdly ditched their commitment to protection. Either that, or it's a tiny continuity error.


Kyle Reese steals some nasty looking trousers from a homeless dude, when he arrives in 1984, naked. Stan Yale played the 'Derelict'. Check out his IMDb page. He has no fewer than 18 roles listed as either 'homeless' or 'bum' or 'wino' or 'drunk', appearing in Dragnet, My Name Is Earl, LA Law and many more.

Gargoyle Sunglasses

The Terminator's shades are Gargoyles. You can't by the 1984 style anymore. In fact, you can't really get that close, brand new. This guy here has done a huge amount of research on it.

Check eBay if, for some reason, you want a pair. These are pretty close but there's a slight difference on the nose rim, we reckon.