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Terminator Vault Review

Review: Terminator Vault – The Complete Story Behind the Making of The Terminator and Terminator 2 / Author: Ian Nathan / Publisher: Aurum Press / Release Date: Out Now

The Terminator, the brilliant and violent noir time-travelling adventure from 1984, and its sequel, are the focus point of this new book that delves back into the archives and allows us a peek behind the proverbial curtain.

Packed full of facts and information, it’s a great read that covers a story that started nearly thirty years ago. Taking in everything from James Cameron’s early work to the casting of Schwarzenegger to the genre-defining effects work of the late, great Stan Winston, this is pretty good at giving you an inside look. Some of the production and model photographs on show prove just how much work went into making the original film, as well as introducing you to the painstaking and precedent-setting effects of the sequel and how they would affect the whole of the film industry.

There are soundbites from pretty much all the major players and it’s fun to hear their individual recollections on the productions. For all the horror stories you’ve heard about him, Cameron comes across well here and is more than happy to share his experiences on what was his big break.

A small section at the back deals with The Terminator's legacy, but the book sensibly keeps the focus of attention on the two core movies rather than getting distracted by the diminishing returns of the sequels. One interesting thing to consider, the rights to the franchise return to Cameron in 2019 – just keep that in mind!

There are some removable reproductions of items from the sets, of preproduction notes, sketches and even a poster. One of the really interesting things to read is a copy of the original potential casting choices for characters. To think that Rosanna Arquette and Sting almost played Sarah and Kyle is interesting, to say the least. A cute touch is the reproduction of the Polaroid picture taken of Sarah at the end of the first film – we wonder how many fans will stick that in their car’s sun visor?

This is a good book for fans of the series and Cameron’s work in general, but as there have been other, similar retrospective volumes released recently for other sagas that are so much more in-depth, you can’t help but think that this could have gone the extra mile. Overall, however, if you’re a fan of the films, this is a must-buy.

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