James Cameron’s The Terminator has inspired an endless parade of parodies, references, and rip-offs over the years. But of all its creative offspring I’ve encountered over the years, this fan-made poster may be my very favorite.
The poster was created by designer Ryan MacEachern. I love the retro, low-fi simplicity of it, and the concept of the tear revealing the machine inside the hand is just brilliant. It’s certainly more exciting than the standard Hollywood “Here are the stars standing in a row” poster design. I also love the tag-line, “The thing that wouldn’t die, in the nightmare that won’t end.” I think that may have been an official tagline that they actually used, but if not it’s as good as any of the ones they did.
I’m guessing this is just a coincidence, but the prominence of the hand also brings to mind one of the more ignominious chapters of Terminator history. Harlan Ellison believed that some elements of the movie were suspiciously similar to two of his Outer Limits episodes, “Soldier” and “Demon with a Glass Hand.” For some reason this poster’s hand reminds me very much of the distinctive appendage from that second episode. Like I said, probably a coincidence, but if MacEachern actually did intend it as a metafictional reference, I’d like to, well, give him a hand.