It should come as no surprise that I was obsessed with a lot of things as a teenager. That’s what teenagers do: they find things to obsess about, it encompasses their entire world for a short period of time, and then it’s over and they move on to something else. For example, there’s probably a large handful of teens who were once obsessed with Ricky Martin, who once thought that nothing would ever top the hip-shakin’ former member of Menudo, and who now try to deny that they ever dreamed about his bon-bon.
So every week (or whenever I feel the need) I’m going to feature one of the many things I became obsessed with during my teenage years. Keep in mind this was from the years 1992-1997, which was a long time ago, times have changed, and I have obviously have moved on from such obsessions. They hold a special place in my heart because of the impact they had on me, but you have to grow up eventually.
Teenage Obsession: The movie Terminator 2: Judgement Day
Technically this movie came out in 1991 when I was twelve years old. The first time I saw anything from this movie was on MTV – back when they actually played MUSIC VIDEOS – and I saw the video for the Guns ‘n’ Roses song “You Could Be Mine”, which is featured in the movie. As most videos from movie songs go, it showed various clips from the movie. The song was catchy, as all GNR songs are, but this is what caught my eye:
OHMYGOD, I fell in love with him. As a tween, Edward Furlong was my ideal boy. The sk8er boi hair…um…well, that’s all I can pick out about what drew me to him. I just loved him, and I thought I was going to marry him. All this without even seeing the movie! I obviously knew what I wanted when I was younger.
Then in early 1992, my friend’s brother rented the movie – on videotape! – and she invited me to sleepover so we could totally steal the movie and watch it ourselves. So we did…and I was hooked. No longer was watching MTV for 12 hours a day waiting for that stupid GNR video to come on (this was eons before the internet, so it wasn’t like I could just You Tube it) good enough for me. I had to have this freaking movie in my hands.
What a lot of younger people may not understand is that back in the day, you couldn’t just buy a movie at Target. For one thing, it took like six months for the movie to hit the shelves at Blockbuster. It then took another year or so for you to be able to even buy it. That is, if they decided to make it available to buy, and not a lot of them were. A lot of the times if you wanted to own a movie, you had to buy directly from the studios, like from the form you could fill out in the back of Premiere magazine, and they were – get this – $100. I’m serious! I could easily own T2 if I was willing to pay big money for it. Of course at the time I totally was willing – but I was TWELVE…and I didn’t have a hundred bucks lying around.
But then a miracle happened, thanks to long-closed video rental shop Titlewave. I was returning a movie I had rented there, which was odd to begin with because I never rented movies there. It wasn’t in my hometown, but they had a movie there I just couldn’t find at my local Video Update. So my dad drove me to Titlewave, I returned the movie, and saw this sign:
I discovered that day that video rental establishments can actually sell movies that have already been watched, and they can sell them for dirt cheap. And what did I see sitting on that counter?
You guessed it.
I freaked out, and apparently made such a plea for it that my dad paid the $9.99 and bought me the movie. Oh, you heard right: a father bought his 13-year-old daughter a RATED R movie on video cassette. I didn’t question it at the time, and…well…I’m not going to question it now. I was over the freaking moon.
Once I owned the movie, there was no stopping me from watching it. Every. Single. Night. Seriously, during the summer of 1992, I watched this damn movie every night, memorizing every single SOUND that came from it – though sometimes when I was crunched for time I would just fast forward to all the Edward Furlong parts. I was determined to find the same clothes that Mr. Furlong wore in the movie – a camouflage shirt over a black Public Enemy t-shirt and black Nike high-tops.
The closest I got was having the same Army watch that he wore in the movie, which was actually my dads, and which I actually took from him and wore for almost twenty years. I still have the watch and still wear it every now and then, even though the wrist band is different now (the old one was so old that it just fell apart).
This obsession with Terminator 2 lasted all summer and into my eighth grade year until around October when another obsession took its spot (more about that one next time). I was still a fan of the movie, even though it dwindled a bit year after year, until I rarely even watched it anymore. I bought it when it came out on DVD and I was replacing all my VHS tapes with DVDs, and it was cool to see the Director’s Cut with scenes I had never seen before. But it just wasn’t the same anymore. I had moved on.
I went a really long time without watching Terminator 2. Then earlier this year I saw the Blu-Ray on sale at Border for $8.00, so I bought it, and my husband and I watched it that night. We talked about how this movie came out twenty years ago, and then we talked about how good this movie actually is. Cute kid aside (and honestly, I can’t think of him being cute anymore because he’s like 13 years old in that movie), I’m able to watch this movie for what it really is, and this movie is awesome. The special effects are amazing, and they would still be amazing even if the movie came out this year. As much as people may not like him, James Cameron was WAY ahead of his time.
I’m glad I’m now at the age where I can truly appreciate this movie, and also appreciate the obsession I had with it. It’s something I can smile about now, marveling at the fact that my parents actually let me watch it at that age, and I think that’s how we should all view the silly things we did when we were kids. With a smile and a sigh of relief.