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"The Terminator"
Latest Reflections from the Guild

It's been a while since I've seen this movie so I won't take a stab at a plot summary until I can rent the tape and watch it again.

Reflections from the Guild

[Note from Phil: I have not verified these but they sounded good to me!]

Alan Franzman of Valinda, CA: "When Kyle Reese steals the shotgun from the police car, he gets away with it too easily. They're held securely in place by electrically-released locks. The release switch is usually hidden under the dashboard on the driver's side of the car. (You didn't actually believe that the cops just leave those things leaning against the dash, did you?)"

"When Reese cuts off the shoulder stock of the aforementioned stolen shotgun, he tosses the hacksaw blade away and it makes no sound even though he's in an asphalt-paved alley."

"Police cars in this film have strange mottoes on them. The real motto of the Los Angeles Police Department is 'To Protect and to Serve.' The car Reese gets the shotgun from says 'To Care and to Protect' on the door he opens. Later, the same motto appears on the car the Terminator is driving while searching for Sarah and Kyle in the parking structure. But after he crashes and makes his escape, the empty car bears the motto 'Dedicated to Serve.'"

"Speaking of escape, why didn't the nearly indestructible Terminator kill Sarah while Reese was being arrested? The police couldn't possibly have had enough firepower or manpower to stop him."

"In the apartment shared by Sarah and Ginger, the lizard named 'Pugsley' startles Ginger by knocking something onto her from the top of the refrigerator. She yells and says ". . . ley, shoo! I'm gonna make a belt out of you." Bad sound editing removed the first syllable of Pugsley's name. How'd he get up there, anyway?"

"After cutting off his damaged cornea, the Terminator primps his hair."

"There has never, to my knowledge, been a radio station KFLB in range of Los Angeles. The time announcement closely mimics the style of well-known L.A. station KFWB (AM 980 megahertz). If KFLB short for K-flub? (This radio announcement can be heard right after the shootout in the police station.)"

"Reese tells Sarah Connor that her unborn son has 'your eyes.' I don't see the resemblance. If I'm not mistaken, hers are blue and in T2, John's are hazel (light brown)."

"In a flashback, Reese sees a TV being used as a fireplace. Why doesn't the cabinet melt? If it's metal, which I think highly unlikely, the paint should still burn off."

"When the man asks the Terminator, 'Hey buddy, you got a dead cat in there?' one of the 'possible responses' shown on T's point-of-view display is 'Please come back later.' Please? These terminators must be almost as sensitive as the L.A. 'Care and Protect' P.D."

"When Sarah calls her mom's cabin, she gives the number of the Tiki Motel as (408) 555-1439. Our favorite cyborg dials 555-1639 yet still reaches the Tiki Hotel."

"When Reese is about to throw the fifth pipe bomb, he is shot and drops it beside the truck. It explodes immediately. Good thing he got hit, or our heroes would have been blown to smithereens, had he held on any longer."

"When the tanker truck runs over that time-travelin' 'droid from Cyberdyne Systems, the driver stomps on the brakes, locking up the wheels. As the series T-800 model 101 slides underneath, the drive shaft still turns. (As any mechanic knows, the drive shaft can't turn unless at least one driven wheel--or pair of dual wheels--is turning.)

"When bomb #6 blows up the tanker truck, it stops suddenly for no apparent reason. This violates Newton's Law of Inertia. Did the Terminator hit the brakes? Can they possibly still work in that inferno? (I have seen an episode of 'Movie Magic' on the Discovery Channel on cable TV which featured the making of this explosion in miniature. I believe the creators may have attached a thin wire to the truck model to stop it at the desired location.)"

"This is not a nit, merely a note of realism which most people would miss. When Reese & Sarah enter the factory near the end of the film, Reese activates several switched and a display screen reads, 'FANUC ROBOT, S-MODEL 0, SERIES F30, EDITION 005". This is a genuine display from Fanuc, Inc. manufacturer of industrial robots and other equipment."

Lee Lorenz of Fenton, MI: "With regard to the Tiki Motel Phone number, perhaps Sarah was using a special code, which the fifth digit is always two more than the number she gives, and the Terminator figured this out or mabye when we was scanning the phone book earlier, we also had glanced at the page containing the Tiki Motel listing... well, enough rationalizing on that one!"

"Actually, my nit deals with his action of ripping the page out of the phone book!! He's just a mobile computer, right? Why did he need the 'hard copy' of the addresses of Sarah Conner? Also, should he have not also checked on all of the 'S Conner' entries as well??"

Daniel B. Case: "In an email exchange with someone who was a regular on rec.pyrotechnics, I learned that Reese couldn't possibly have made working plastique in a motel bathtub, at least not without running a serious risk of blowing himself up in the process, not with the ingredients they showed him using.

"My own experience just reading all those blow-yourself-up manuals tends to confirm this. Even the Anarchist's Cookbook takes pains to point out that explosives explode because they're on the edge of stability, and making them involves pushing them almost to that point and stopping.

"In order to make most bathtub explosives, you have to mix very accurate proportions and control the level of heat exactly -- things Reese certainly can't do in the bathroom."

Bob Canada: "When Arnold goes to the phone booth and looks up Sara, we see 3 Sara Conners listed, along with their addresses, which are:

Sara Ann Conner 1823 Doncaster
Sara Conner 2816 East Something (street is obscured)
Sara J. Conner 309 Calder

"We see these names and addresses very cleary, as his big cybernetic finger moves over them. Then in the very next scene, he goes to (presumably) the first house on the list, which has the address 14239 nailed up big & bold above the door. Maybe Sara Ann left a forwarding address?"

"Also, this isn't really a nit, just trivia-the cop who played Bishop in Aliens tells Paul Winfield that a Sara Ann and a Sara Louise Conner have been murdered. If we go by the names we saw in the phone book (Sara Ann, Sara, and Sara J.), then by process of elimination OUR Sara Conner must have the middle initial J." (Note from Phil: Sounds like a great trivia question to me!)

If you would like to add some comments, drop me a note at Please put the name of the movie in the Subject line and include your real name, city and state (or province and county as the case may be) in the body of the e-mail so I can give you credit if you are the first person to bring up a particular nit. (Remember the legalese: Everything you submit becomes mine and you grant me the right to use your name in any future publication by me. I will do my best to give you credit if you are the first person to submit a particular nit but I make no guarantees. And finally, due to the volume of mail received at Nitpicker Central, your submission may or may not be acknowledged.)

Copyright 1996 by Phil Farrand. All Rights Reserved.