Everyone loves a good Terminator, particularly those fly-by-night movie studios whose livelihoods come from hoodwinking audience members too gullible for reality. For decades, slapping the word “Terminator” into your movie title has been all the rage — here are ten (mostly unknown, mostly unwatchable) films that have capitalized on the T-800’s fame and glory.
1.) Terminator: Part 1 &2 (~2011)
The internet isn’t teeming with information on this Ghanaian action flick, which I can only assume was produced by the same movie house that gave us the tour de force that was 2016. We can however glean that A.) the Ghanaian Terminator features an old man chiding a disembodied head; and B.) Terminator 2 may be about a singing tree.
2.) Ninja Terminator (1985)
Boy howdy, nobody knows how to assemble a motion picture quite like Hong Kong action maven Godfrey Ho. This film, which is a cut-and-paste job of more than one martial arts potboilers, features an absolutely incredible scene of mustachioed muscleman Richard Harrison arguing with rival ninjas over a Garfield phone. Here’s the transcript of the above scene, for your neighborhood summer stock production:
Toy robot: Traitor, listen! You have just three days to return the Golden Ninja Warrior to our master! Hear and obey!
Villain: [on phone] Listen to me, traitor! I believe that you’ve received the death message from our ninja empire. Ninja is supreme and you have double-crossed it! Why did you do that?
Ninja Master Harry: The ninja empire is evil! I have to reform the ninja empire! That is why I took away the Golden Ninja Warrior!
Villain: You’ve got three days in which to return the Golden Ninja Warrior, or else you die!
Ninja Master Harry: Go to hell!
3.) Lady Terminator (1989)
This Indonesian reinterpretation of the Terminator story sees an anthropology student becoming possessed by some stripe of South Seas demon and embarking upon a killing spree. The trailer here is semi-NSFW, as the first Terminator never had a scene of a serpent crawling up Arnold Schwarzenegger’s nether regions. Here’s our full rundown of Lady Terminator.
4.) Terminator II (1990)
This Italian film was released outside of the United States as an unofficial sequel to The Terminator, but it was more akin to a rip-off of Aliens set in a post-apocalyptic Venice. The poster (at top) is absolutely priceless.
5.) Alien Terminator (1995)
Did you know that five miles below the Earth’s surface lies a super-secret research base that looks like an Echo Park storage center with the lights off? And that at this unlit lab, scientists are building the perfect human? I’ve never seen this movie, but I’m guessing it’s Species without the nudity.
6.) Terminator Woman (1993)
I’ve also never had the pleasure of sitting through this gem, but judging from the trailer, I’m left to posit that three-quarters of the movie consists of junk shots.
7.) Russian Terminator (1989)
The IMDB page for this no-budget ninja film is the host to some hilariously forlorn reviews. Francis from the Netherlands was left existentially pulverized:
This is really a very bad movie. Why? First of all, the story is bad. It is an artificial story, combining all sorts of things together that make no sense. It just seems a wrong experiment. Secondly, the actors cannot play in a realistic manner. They cannot even talk as an actor should. Why did I buy this movie? And what must I do with it now?
Apparently Russian Terminator is so bad that it has sapped all the national pride out of Andy from Copenhagen:
Hello I am from Denmark, and one day i was having a film evening with my friends. One brought this movie with him “Russian terminator” and it was extremely awful. After watching less than half a minute we decided to fast forward only stopping at some laughable “highlights” or should i say “lowlights” in the movie. I was actually mostly surprised to find out that this film was produced here in my homeland Denmark…that must have been the biggest mistake this country ever made.
8.) Farewell Terminator (1987)
The plot to this 23-minute-long movie? “In futuristic Israel a special police force terminates criminals. The terminators who reach a certain killing quota can leave the country for good.” Indeed, it’s either A.) the Israeli Judge Dredd adaptation we’ve been waiting for; or B.) bizarro Munich.
9.) Hands of Steel (1986)
This Italian cyborg exploitation film was marketed as Return of the Terminator in some regions. That is hands-down (oy!) one of the most lustrous synthetic humanoid coiffures ever to grace moving pictures.
10.) Nemesis 2: Nebula (1995)
Similarly, this masterstroke from (the other) Captain America director Albert Pyun was marketed as Cyborg Terminator 2 in certain areas. And judging from the preview, it deserved to be way more popular its current historical standing. This is the garbage salad of science fiction movies.
BONUS: The Asylum’s The Terminators (2009), which probably ekes out Terminator Salvation in the replay value department. Thanks Mr. Glider!