Thursday, October 24, 2019

Trick or Trailers: Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Sure, I hear you: "T2 isn't a horror movie!" But with positive early word coming in on Terminator: Dark Fate, I've got Terminator on the brain at the moment. Besides, T2 got plenty of coverage in FANGORIA back in the day so that alone makes this a valid candidate for Trick or Trailers! You can't argue with a Fango cover - it makes any film legit!

And as trailers go, you've got to admit, this one's pretty awesome:

This trailer brings me back to a time that doesn't really exist anymore, back when the summer movie season was THE time of year that genre fans - with their subscriptions to mags like Starlog, Cinefantastique and Fangoria - looked forward to, the months when studios would bring out their big guns and everything else would have to step aside to clear the way for this year's blockbuster behemoths.

Now, of course, that time is year round. The summer movie season no longer is confined to the summer. We live in a world where what was once nerd fare begrudgingly tolerated by the adults in the room is now the center of popular culture.

Once upon a time, a Terminator sequel represented a genuine event that the whole movie year could legitimately revolve around. Now Dark Fate is simply one of many big budget franchise films. It's a drop in the bucket. Practically small potatoes in the scheme of things.

The world has changed so much that rather than be a summer tentpole, Dark Fate is opening at the beginning of November, on Halloween weekend. That's a release date that would have, in years past, been reserved for the low rent likes of Vampire in Brooklyn, not a new Terminator movie.

In the summer of 1991, there was nothing that could even touch T2, spectacle-wise. Absolutely nothing. It was the summer of The Rocketeer, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Point Break, if you even want to try and call that a "summer," for crying out loud. Now it's a far more competitive market where spectacle is commonplace.

Of course, that does not sit well with some people.

We've all seen the recent headlines, right?

I have to think about what Joe Dante said in Maitland McDonagh's 1995 book Filmmaking on the Fringe, talking about how his career path co-incided with the rise of what were formally B-movies to A-pictures: "All of a sudden, ideas that would once only have been considered suitable for second features or serials were being blown up to A-feature proportions. If you told someone twenty-five years ago that there was going to be a multimillion-dollar version of Dick Tracy or The Lone Ranger or The Addams Family or any of those things that were once considered cultural detritus when I was a kid, nobody would have believed you." And this is back in the mid-'90s we're talking about. It should be no surprise that, twentysomething years later, things have only gone much further down that road.

Much like the upgrade from the T-800 to the T-1000, we're always looking to build a better machine and improve on last year's model.

That's why we've gone from this:

To this:

To this:

To this:

You can't stop progress, right? You can bitch about it and you can absolutely kick and scream about it, but you can't actually fight it. Fighting the future, well, that's the kind of stuff that only happens in the movies.

No comments: