“I actually met Jim in 1980 … he was art directing a picture for Roger Corman, called Galaxy of Terror, a real classic, and I got hired on to his night crew. At the time I was making this short film, Fishheads, and I showed it to Jim, and at the time he was writing this story called The Terminator. We’d be painting sets and I’d say, ‘Wait, let me get this straight. The Terminator comes back from the future to change something in the past because of a future war, there’s gonna be a revolution … oh, oh, I get it. That sounds pretty cool, Jim.’ And, this was The Terminator.”
– Bill Paxton
James Cameron’s classic science fiction tale of an unstoppable killing machine sent back from an apocalyptic future to kill the mother of his enemy is a taut, nonstop thriller full of unforgettable images and lines that have become part of our pop culture. (I wouldn’t swear to it, but I think this was the first time Arnold Schwartzenegger spoke his immortal tag line, “I’ll be back.”) It’s scary, poignant, intriguing, funny, and a great ride.
Bill plays the “Punk Leader,” one of three punk rockers the Terminator attacks for their clothes when he first arrives in the present. The other two guys look like posers, but Bill’s reasonably authentic. He’s got the attitude down, certainly. (Yeah, I knew guys just like that back in my punk days. They were entertaining, to a point.) None of the guys in San Francisco painted their faces like that, though. Maybe it was an L.A. thing.
Okay, his part is over in the first five minutes. But you really, really want to see him with spiky blue hair, and a tire track painted down the side of his face.
Five stars, because it’s a great movie, even though Bill’s part is teeny.