Under The Terminator's Skin
- NTSC DVD-5
I was not - and am still not - sure what Dom’s purpose was with this.
For a straight up experience, it can be a challenge, any stray dialogue is muffled throughout.
The replacement audio predominates, a heavy, slow wash of industrial.
I modified my expectations and began to view this as a film from the Terminator’s POV.
It’s perspective, the soundtrack fellow robots would reference, their priorities which might differ wildly from those of fleshy humans.
If so, then this is audacious, brilliantly original.
Not that there is much in the way of narrative, yet what would an android care about narrative?
Terminator has a very basic plot, which makes it a perfect candidate for a short film. The editor has done a great job. Nothing feels rushed, there are no jarring cuts and everything flows as if the film had always been this length. The limited dialogue and choice of music serve well in maintaining tension.
I dropped a point for audio editing because I felt that the dialogue could have done with being a bit louder. The music often drowned it out, but then again, that may have been the editor's intention.
Video quality was slightly pixelated. This wasn't too much of a problem for the most part, but it became very noticeable during shots of the exploded truck.
Narratively this was generally fine, although it was slightly odd that Sarah goes from cowering and confused ("please don't kill me") to suddenly trying to save Kyle's life.
All in all though, this is a good edit. Many memorable parts of the film have been seamlessly blended into something nugget sized. Well worth a watch.
I absolutely adore Terminator 1, and I really like Terminator 2, but all the other sequels didn't do it for me.
I was intrigued to see this experiment of telling the story of Terminator 1 as a short-movie. As an experimental short-movie I think it works and I like the new music, it gives it a more ethereal atmosphere.
The narrative works for the short movie. The explanation for the terminator wanting to kill her: "I didn't do anything", "But you will", makes it work for the short-movie, but it's lacking something crucial when it isn't told what she will do that causes all this timetravel. In some way it relies on the viewer already knowing the story of Terminator.
This 15-minute-movie also shows greatly that for a real movie more time is needed to give scenes their emotional impact. For example at the end when Sarah Connor's protector Kyle died, it had no impact for her as she met him just a few minutes ago. And when the terminator was pressed down by the machine she had that exhausted look on her face and a certain hate and rage in her eyes and a triumphant feeling of accomplishment but in this movie it wasn't earned at all and so the emotional payoff was not there.
Still I recommend it because this works as an experimental short movie and the editing is done really well and because of the interesting and eery music used.
I'll start by saying that Under The Skin has been one of my favourite films of 2014. I like my science-fiction weird and my horror creepy and unsettling, and I'm always a fan of films that use music as an integral part of the overall experience, so for me it was a 3/3 hit.
This edit is a successful experiment in using the oppressively strange and almost hostile soundtrack from UTS to provide a very different feel to Terminator 1. Coupled with some seamless visual cuts, the original release of T1 is effectively condensed into a single nightmarish sequence of events.
If I had any criticisms they would lie on the audio editing front - not in how the new music is handled, but because I couldn't help feeling that either more sound effects or fewer would be required (with the latter option almost certainly involving a lot more work to try and find suitable cues in the music and match them to the on-screen events). However, this is a minor bugbear and not a big deal.
Overall, a fresher and more gripping take on the Terminator franchise than anything the official releases have provided since T2, IMO.
Terminator 1 is the first movie I ever watched, still remember the old VHS I used to rewatch a million times as a kid (with the sex scene expertly taped over with Horlicks commercials by my dad). This edit does a great job of summarizing the film into 15 mins by using ingenious cutting techniques and great scene selection. I love the foley/original audio tracks being so clear, not sure if they were recreated or if it was a clear center channel, but it sounds pitch perfect. The new music is good, certainly appropriate for the atmosphere and is a worthy alternative to Fidel's iconic score.
All in all, a great edit to revisit for a fan, an a very interesting alternate look at T1. Nice work!!