fighting off the twilit blockbuster beast
to preserve the humanity of film art
in the allegorical Zonebusters
of James Cameron
by Gary W. Wright
Like many film artists of his era, the embattled film art of James Francis Cameron sprang out of the shocked and outraged fury ignited by the helicopter crash that killed actor/director/writer Vic Morrow and child extras Renee Chen and Myca Le around 2:20 am in the early morning hours of July 23, 1982 on the George Folsey jr. produced John Landis set of the twilit and allegorical Frank Marshall executive produced, Kathleen Kennedy associate produced, Landis and Steven Spielberg produced, and Landis, Spielberg, Joe Dante and George Miller directed film, TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE (1983). Like no other film artist of his era, the film art of Cameron was eagerly embraced by audiences outraged by the TZ disaster. This enthusiastic embrace was not altogether surprising. For either sharing the outrage of viewers or simply taking advantage of the shocking tragedy to advance his own career in film art or both, no film artist was more in tune with the righteous fury of audiences after 1982 than Cameron.
Curiously, audiences-particularly younger audiences most outraged by the TZ disaster-embraced Cameron despite the fact that, unlike most other film artists, the future Avastar did not immediately embrace the enhancement of film by realistic computer generated imagery (CGI) so as to prevent fatal accidents caused by dangerous special effects sequences on film sets. Instead, the film artist who would one day be synonymous with CGI enhanced film art defiantly continued to emphasize dangerous on set effects sequences to make his films as real as possible despite the dangers of causing his own TZ disaster, not finally embracing CGI with any real enthusiasm until the first decade of the twenty-first century.
However, while it was a long time coming, Cameron’s eventual embrace of technologically advanced cyberfilm was implicitly seen in his first cliffhanging allegorical short film, XENOGENESIS (1978), co-written, co-produced and co-directed with R. L. A. Frakes. For XENOGENESIS featured an embattled attempt by Laurie and Raj-played by Margaret Undiel and William Wisher, jr., respectively-to fight off an Evil cleaning robot and pilot their spacecraft to a new planet where they would start anew like Eve and Adam with a machine enhanced humanity. An embattled struggle to begin again with a brave new cybermachine enhanced world that anticipated the equally embattled attempt of film artists to start anew with CGI enhanced film art after the TZ disaster, and also anticipated the man versus cybermachine battles in the film art of Cameron to come-particularly the hunter seekers.
Curiously, and as if presciently anticipating the arrival of Cameron and his determination to save film art and exorcise the Temple Theatre of the TZ disaster, a Good, powerful and omnisexual telepathic ‘scanner’ leader with the Cameron anticipating name of Cameron Vale-played by Stephen Lack-who faced down and defeated Evil telepathic ‘scanners’ led by Darryl Revok-played by Michael Ironside-appeared in the allegorical and implicitly George Lucas roasting David Cronenberg film, SCANNERS (1980). In fact, not content to anticipate the name of Cameron, a Good scanner who resembled Cameron was also briefly seen in one scene in SCANNERS. That same year, a tramautized and implicitly Scarecrow linked Vietnam vet named Cameron-played by Steve Railsback-on the run from the Law found himself on the embattled film set of an allegorical World War I film and battling its imperious, duplicitous and implicitly Great Oz linked director, Eli Cross-played by Peter O’Toole-in the allegorical and Ozian themed Richard Rush film, THE STUNTMAN (1980), again presciently anticipating the arrival of Cameron in the Temple Theate and his own determined battles with twilit and duplicitous film artists.
Indeed, as if to affirm that Cam and Vale presciently anticipated the future Avastar, Cameron arrived in the Temple Theatre that year as an art director/miniature design and construction man on the allegorical Jimmy T. Murakami film, BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS (1980), a low budget quickie cranked out by Roger Corman’s New World Pictures. Inspired by the allegorical Akira Kurosawa film, SEVEN SAMURAI (1954), the film saw a group of space mercenaries help the people of the planet Akira defend their planet against the implicitly Lucas linked Evildoer, Sador-played by John Saxon-and his Death Star evoking death ray, the stellar converter. Indeed, the film’s allusions to the allegorical and implicitly Spielberg roasting allegorical film, STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE (1977), affirmed the implicit intent of the film. Significantly, the deaths of the mercenaries one by one anticipated a group of explorers also dying one by one on a forbidding planet in the allegorical B.D. Clark film, GALAXY OF TERROR (1981), deaths which in both cases evoked the crashing and burning film artists of New Hollywood by 1981.
Career burnouts that were good news for up and comers like Cameron, making it fitting that he would reappear as production designer and second unit director on GALAXY OF TERROR, another Corman quickie. Doubly fitting, as the film featured a hero with the Cameron sounding name of Cabren-played by Edward Albert-who won the film’s deadly game on the forbidding planet of Morganthus to become the new Master of the Game, anticipating Cameron’s own triumphant battle to become a Master of allegorical film art with sly fi films also set on deadly and forbidding planets. How also fitting that GALAXY OF TERROR alluded to the allegorical, eerily and presciently twilit and implicitly Lucas roasting Sir Ridley Scott film, ALIEN (1979), implying that it was a roast of Sir Scott. For Cameron also implicitly roasted Sir Scott when he fittingly appeared in the Temple Theatre in the twilit and disastrous year of 1982 as a full director in his own right with the allegorical film, PIRANHA PART TWO: THE SPAWNING (1982), a sequel of sorts to the presciently twilit and allegorical Dante film, PIRANHA (1978).
‘You sure that it’s not dangerous?’
Indeed, the wreck of the U.S. Navy supply ship Dwight Fitzgerald in the bay off Club Elysium evoked the space freighter Nostromo in ALIEN. The mutated flying piranhas that were the film’s dimunitive and voracious blockbuster beasts and that festered in the wreck and attacked everyone with carefree abandon evoked the chestburster stage of the alien throughout the film, particularly during the attack on the nurse in the morgue, reaffirming the implicit ALIEN and Sir Scott roasting intent of PIRANHA PART TWO: THE SPAWING. The resemblance of leading lady Anne ‘Annie’ Kimbrough-played by Tricia O’Neil-to Sigourney Weaver’s Science Officer Ellen Ripley and the fact that leading lad biochemist Tyler Sherman-played by Steve Marachuk-had a name that created the Ridley evoking anagram ‘Retley’ and liked to smoke cigars like Sir Scott also reaffirmed Cameron’s implicit interest in Sir Scott and ALIEN in his first feature film. Thus, with the death of Sherman in the climatic underwater explosion that destroyed the Dwight Fitzgerald and the beastly blockbuster piranhas at the climatic conclusion of the film-an explosion that evoked the explosion that destroyed the Nostromo at the end of ALIEN-Cameron implicitly warned Sir Scott to beware the blockbuster beast lest the beast be his downfall-and laid the foundations for his remake of ALIEN.
Fittingly, this first allegorical Cameron feature film also showcased assertive, brainy and beautiful women and the Canadian film artist’s love of science, technology and the aquatic, all of which featured prominently in the film art to come. Curiously, while it was no doubt forced on the production by its low budget, PIRANHA PART TWO: THE SPAWNING began Cameron’s career long habit of using little known or completely unknown actors and actresses in his film art, even in leading roles. In addition, like ALIEN and many of the other films released in the final years before the TZ disaster, PIRANHA PART TWO: THE SPAWNING featured all sorts of eerie and prescient memories of the future TZ disaster. Indeed, the first three victims of the mutant flying piranhas were a twilit trio of two men and one woman-played by Captain Kidd Brewer jr., Jan E. Mannon and Jim Pair, respectively-who evoked Chen, Le and Morrow.
A shot of the full moon in a cloud scudding sky that preceded the final attack of the mutated flying piranhas on the unsuspecting vacationers at the implicitly Universal Studios linked Club Elysium in Jamaica-actually, the Mallard Beach Hyatt-also evoked a similar shot in the allegorical Landis film, AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981), reaffirming the film’s eerily anticipation of Landis. This eerie anticipation of Landis climaxed shortly before the even more explosive climax of the film when an olive green police helicopter that evoked the equally olive green Huey army helicopter in the TZ disaster was destroyed in an explosive crash. This eerie and twilit anticipation of an obsession with Landis and the TZ disaster in the post-1982 film art of Cameron and other film artists was reaffirmed by all of the just as eerie and twilit instances of characters breaking the fourth wall by looking into and even addressing the camera in the film, as this was a famous characteristic of the film art of Landis.
When it wasn’t eerily anticipating the importance of Landis and the TZ disaster in post-1982 film art, PIRANHA PART TWO: THE SPAWNING implicitly and gently roasted PIRANHA director and fellow Corman alumni Dante in the implicit form of the Dante resembling Dr. Leo Bell, DDS-played by Albert Sanders-and his tragicomically torrid romance with the Spielberg resembling Beverly-her name evoking Beverly Hills and other L.A. area haunts of Spielberg, and played by the fittingly named Tracy Berg-at Club Elysium-a fitting romance given that Dante and Spielberg collaborated that year on the creation of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE. Cameron also implicitly and gently mocked Lucas in the form of ‘Captain’ Dumont-played by Ward White-anticipating more righteously furious roasts of Lucas to come. The presence of the Tim Burton resembling Chris Kimbrough-played by Ricky G. Paull-also anticipated the arrival of Burton in the dread allegorical Zone Wars.
Of course, the year of the release of PIRANHA PART TWO: THE SPAWNING, was the fateful and fatal year of the TZ disaster. Outrage over the fatal disaster increased when it was discovered that Kennedy and Marshall had helped Landis and George Folsey jr., a longtime producer of Landis films and the producer of the Landis episode, track down, secretly hire and illegally use Chen and Le after hours near dangerous and explosive special on set effects. The righteous fury of audiences further increased when Lucas honoured a commitment made previous to the TZ disaster to work with Kennedy and Marshall as producers on a Spielberg directed sequel to the allegorical, Lucas executive produced, Marshall produced and implicitly Landis roasting Spielberg film, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981).
For audience members-particularly younger audience members-were angry and confused that Lucas, who had solemnly preached that the Force of Good must be with you, always, in the STAR WARS Classic Trilogy, was now working with film artists who had admitted to illegal wrongdoing that had led to the helicopter crash that killed Chen, Le and Morrow. The fact that Spielberg supported this decision to work with Kennedy and Marshall also enraged viewers, and made them wonder how much Spielberg knew before the TZ disaster about the decision to hire and illegally use Chen and Le. Viewers who were already enraged with Spielberg that year for releasing the allegorical and implicitly Lucas supporting film, E.T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL (1982), months before the TZ disaster, for it came across as a shameless fillmmercial for its avalanche of movie tie-in merchandise and placed products like Reeses Pieces.
Indeed, young audience members affirmed their righteous fury that Lucas would work with Kennedy, Marshall and Spielberg by launching a writing campaign to get Lucas to change the name of the eagerly awaited trimax to the STAR WARS Classic Trilogy, the allegorical, Lucas executive produced and implicitly Spielberg roasting Richard Marquand film, STAR WARS EPISODE VI: REVENGE OF THE JEDI (1983), when the name of the film was revealed in the fall of ’82. While the writing campaign succeeded in convincing Lucas to change the name of the final film in the STAR WARS Classic Trilogy to STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI, the dismal and disappointing film and its infamous Ewoks did not succeed in doing anything but enraging young audiences ever more and convincing them that Lucas was indeed Lord Stinkious, the Darkest of the Dark Lords of the Sith, cranking out shameless filmmercials for intergalactic teddy bears and other cutsey movie tie-in dreck as Spielberg had done with E.T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL.
Unfortunately for Lucas, the anti-REVENGE OF THE JEDI writing campaign and the disappointed fury over the poor quality of STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI did not convince him not to work as executive producer on the Kennedy and Marshall produced Spielberg film, INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM (1984), a ‘film’ that was also hated and furiously dismissed when it was released the following year. And with good reason, for this sequel implicitly linked enslaved Indian slave boys and girls being held in a subterranean Temple of Doom linked to twilit and disharmonious cinemas to Chen and Le and tried to convince audiences that harmony was brought back to film art land because the twilit but ‘Good’ trio of Doctor Henry ‘Indiana’ Jones jr., orphan boy Short Round and Hollywood blonde showgirl Wilhelmina ‘Willie’ Scott-played by Harrsion Ford, Ke Huy Quan and Kate Capshaw, respectively-rescued and liberated the slave children from the bondage of evil film thugs implicitly linked to the film crew f the Landis episode of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE by way of their implicitly Landis linked leader, Prince Dalim Zingh-played by Raj Singh.
An implicitly Landis linked Prince of Chaos who, furthermore, was not responsible for his human sacrifice condoning actions because his mind was being controlled by the nefarious embodiment of the Dark Side, Mola Ram-played by Amrish Puri-at the time of the sacrifices, therefore implicitly making Landis not responsible for the deaths of Chen, Le and Morrow because he was being controlled by his Dark blockbuster loot lusting Side at the time of their deaths, too. So can ya please shut up and stop furiously shouting and complaining and buy lots of popcorn and pop and all our movie tie-merchandise and placed products? After all, that’s what we want! An infuriatingly bizarre and clueless implication that mocked the intelligence of viewers, dismissed the deaths of Chen, Le and Morrow in the TZ disaster as unimportant, and caused the fury directed at Folsey, Kennedy, Landis, Lucas, Marshall and Spielberg to reach new and outraged levels.
All of which worked to the benefit of Cameron. Indeed, the stage was set for Cameron to prove that the prescient anticipations in SCANNERS and THE STUNTMAN of a cinematic hero named Cameron on the side of Good were prescient indeed, and to woe furious audiences-particularly youthful audience members-away from Folsey, Kennedy, Landis, Marshall, Spielberg, and, in particular, Lucas, and to his Zonebusting cause when he returned with Henriksen, Wisher jr.-the star of XENOGENESIS-and Gale A. Hurd and Bill Paxton-an assistant production manager and a set dresser on GALAXY OF TERROR, respectively-to the Temple Theatre with his twilit, righteously furious and Ozian themed allegorical film, THE TERMINATOR (1984), fittingly released a week before Hallowe’en of 1984.
‘I came across time for you, Sarah. I love you.
I always have.’
The twilit allusions began with the title of the film, for the terminator evoked the eternally twilit line separating the light from the dark side of the moon-and enlightenment from darkness. Open allusions to the TZ disaster itself also began immediately, for the opening prologue presented a bleak, ruinous and war ravaged world of the future-evoking the equally dark and ruinous world of Morganthus in GALAXY OF TERROR-that was trapped in a perpetual twilight. In this Twilight Zoned world, pitiless and digitally enhanced blockbuster machines-including futuristic helicopters-guided by a master computer system called Skynet finished off the job started by the helicopter of the TZ disaster by hunting down and killing the last remnants of humanity.
Significantly, this twilit and relentless battle between humanity and digitally enhanced blockbuster machines evoked the equally pitiless and relentless Rebel versus Evil Empire battle on Hoth at the beginning of the Lucas executive produced and implicitly Spielberg roasting Irv Kershner film, STAR WARS EPISODE V: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (1980). A fitting opening link to Lucas, for when this desolate and nightmarish future battle faded to black and was replaced with digital opening credits that linked T1 to the digital world emerging in 1984, a digital world reaffirmed by Brad Fiedel’s electronic soundtrack, the film began in L.A. in the early morning hours of Thursday, May 12th, 1984, only two days before the fortieth birthday of Lucas on May 14th, 1984. Significantly, the time the film began was 1:52 am, some 28 minutes before the 2:20 am nightmare of the TZ disaster.
These links to the TZ disaster and to Lucas were reinforced by the storm of blue lightning that accompanied the arrival from the twilit and machine battling future of a huge and hulking Cyberdyne Systems-101 T-800 cyborg Terminator-played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who openly linked the film to the twilit and disastrous year of 1982 via his role as Conan in the allegorical and implicitly Lucas roasting John Milius film, CONAN THE BARBARIAN (1982). For the blue lightning evoked the blue lightning that blasted from the wicked hands of Ian McDiarmid's insidious and implicitly Spielberg linked Emperor Palpatine and into Mark Hamill's implicitly Lucas linked Luke Skywalker only a year before the release of T1 at the disappointing end of STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THEJEDI. The resemblance of the Terminator to David Prowse’s equally biomechanical Sith Lord, Darth Vader, in the STAR WARS Classic Trilogy reaffirmed the implicit Lucas roasting intent of the film. Soon the Terminator killed one of a twilit trio of young punks-played by Terry Slater-by holding him high in the air and ripping out his heart with the same impersonal violence with which the TZ disaster ripped out the heart of film art, both actions fittingly and ironically performed with the same right hand that Darth Vader used to hold aloft and choke a Rebel Officer to death at the beginning of STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE, reaffirming the implicit link of the Terminator link to Vader and the Lucas roasting intent of T1.
Insidious blue lightning also accompanied the arrival from the future of the implicitly Scarecrow linked and vaguely David Lynch resembling Kyle Reese-played by Michael Biehn-reinforcing the link to Lucas and the insidious necricity at the end of STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI. The surname of Reese also openly linked T1 to Spielberg and the disastrous year of 1982 again, recalling the Reeses Pieces that were used to lure E.T. out of hiding by the implicitly Lucas linked Elliot Thomas-played by Henry Thomas-in E.T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL, as well as a minor character named Reese played by Mickey Rourke in the frenetically allegorical Spielberg film, 1941 (1979).
Significantly, shortly after the arrival of Reese, T1 was openly linked to TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE. For Dante regular Dick Miller, who had played a roadside diner owner in the Dante episode of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, returned as an ill fated gun shop owner-its address number 14329 evoking July 23, 1982-terminated by the cyborg Terminator in its quest for weapons. Weapons the cyborg needed to remorselessly fulfill its time travelling mission, which turned out to be to kill a twilit trio of women in L.A. named Sarah Connor so as to prevent one of them from giving birth to a son named John Connor who would grow up to lead the human fight against the blockbuster machines in the future, a mission that Reese was sent back to stop. Significantly, the names of John and Sarah Connor reaffirmed the film’s implicit interest in the TZ disaster. For Morrow was playing a disgruntled character named Bill Connor when he was killed, while cameraman John Connor was a member of the Landis film crew that fateful night, curiously linking John Connor to Landis.
Soon after tracking down the addresses of the three Sarah Connors in a phone book, the T-800 gleefully drove over a toy truck cab lying in the street outside the house-numbered slightly different from the gun shop at 14239, another ominous 23 openly hidden in its midst-of the first of the twilit trio of women named Sarah Connor-played by Marianne Muellerleile-that it targeted for termination. This destruction of the toy truck reaffirmed that Cameron was striking back in T1 not only against the TZ disaster but also against the attempt by Lucas and Spielberg to transform film art into filmmercials for movie tie-in merchandise and other products. Intriguingly, the T-800’s inhuman, pitiless and relentless quest to kill three women also evoked the three women killed by John Lithgow's equally inhuman, pitiless and relentless hitman Burke in the allegorical Brian De Palma film, BLOW OUT (1981), preparing us for a Burke to come in a future Cameron film. Another fitting link, evoking both the last good year of film before 1982, and Lithgow's appearance as frenzied airplane passenger John Valentine in Miller’s fourth and final episode of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, and in the Dante directed epilogue that closed that film.
Soon, the Terminator tracked down the real and implicitly Dorothy and film art linked Sarah Connor-her wistful and organic piano theme by Fiedel linking her to natural Forces in a complete contrast to the otherwise relentless and all electronic score for the film, and played by Linda Hamilton. Significantly, before it did, the Terminator shot Sarah’s friend, Ginger-played by Bess Motta-in the back as she fled the cyborg in the apartment she shared with Sarah. This scene evoked a similar scene in the eerily and presciently twilit, allegorical and implicitly Peter Hyams addressing Sir Scott film, BLADE RUNNER (1982), that had Harrison Ford's Rick Deckard shooting Joanna Cassidy's fleeing Replicant Zhora in the back, again openly linking T1 to 1982. A fitting link to the film art of Sir Scott, as the relentlessly pursuing and pitiless biomechanical Terminator also evoked the relentlessly pursuing and pitiless biomechanical alien of ALIEN, again anticipating Cameron’s remake of ALIEN.
Given this link to Sir Scott, it was also fitting that T1 saw the return of Henriksen as L.A. police detective Hal Vukovich when Connor and Reese were captured by the equally pursuing LAPD midway through the film, as Henriksen played police chief Steve Kimbrough in the implicitly Sir Scott roasting PIRANHA PART TWO: THE SPAWNING. Of course, the presence of Henriksen reaffirmed the link of T1 to the twilit and disastrous year of 1982, as did the presence of Paul Winfield as Vukovich’s boss, Lt. Ed Traxler. For Winfield played Captain Terrell in the allegorical and implicitly Spielberg addressing Nicholas Meyer film, STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN (1982).
Of course, the Terminator’s attack on the police headquarters and the failure of the police to stop it was an implicit and savagely sarcastic and embittered mockery of the Lucas conviction that the Ozian themed Force had to be with you, always. Indeed, shortly before the shootup, Connor was initially interviewed by the police in Room 4 when she was taken back to the police headquarters after she and Reese were arrested, underlining that Cameron was lashing out at Lucas and his Ozian themed film art like the STAR WARS Classic Trilogy in this sequence. This Lucas roasting implication was reaffirmed after Connor and Reese fled the shootup through door 23 when the relentless head and torso of the Terminator was finally, ironically and furiously crushed by a Good machine in the early morning hours of the 40th birthday of Lucas on May 14, 1984–fittingly, a Saturday in the film, reminding us that the TZ disaster took place early in the morning of Saturday, July 23rd, 1982-as it tried to give Connor one last Vader-like throttle. For the termination of the Terminator implicitly affirmed that Cameron believed that the Lucas era was over by 1984, and that a whole new world of digitally enhanced film art that would retain its vital humanity had begun.
Thus, these links to the TZ disaster, Landis, Lucas, Sir Scott, Spielberg and their films implied that raggedy Reese's battle to save Dorothyish Connor from the relentless and pitiless gale of the Wicked Terminator symbolized Cameron's own battle in T1 to save the art and soul of film from the equally pitiless TZ disaster and the blockbuster loot lusting machinations led in the early Eighties by Lucas and Spielberg that were robbing film of any artistry and turning them into witless filmmercials for movie tie-in merchandise, leading to reckless conditions on film sets that resulted in the TZ disaster. Nothing summed up Cameron’s implied determination to exorcise the TZ disaster and save film art from the beastly blockbuster lusts than Reese crying out to Connor ‘…come with me if you want to live!’ when he saved her from the Terminator at the Tech-Noir nightclub.
However, despite Reese’s courageous and determined efforts, he was eventually killed trying to destroy the implacable cyborg with a homemade explosive, forcing Sarah to save herself and terminate the Terminator, in the end. The failure of Reese to save Sarah reminded us of his vague resemblance to Lynch, implying that Cameron was also using T1 to warn Lynch that he would fail to liberate film art from Lucas and the TZ disaster or succeed with audiences when he returned to the Temple Theatre just before Christmas of that year with his twilit and allegorical moving painting, DUNE (1984)-inspired by the allegorical and implicitly Robert A. Heinlein roasting Frank Herbert novel, Dune (1965). A definite possibility, given that Reese’s fondness for a polaroid photograph of Sarah given to him by his son, John Connor, evoked the fondness of John ‘the Elephant Man’ Merrick-played by John Hurt-for a photo of his mother-played by Phoebe Nicholls-in the allegorical and implicitly Lucas addressing Lynch moving painting, THE ELEPHANT MAN (1980).
The possible Lynch addressing intent of T1 was reaffirmed by the film’s surreal dreams of the machine battling future, for they evoked the surreal dreams experienced by lead male characters-including Merrick-in most of the moving paintings of Lynch. The fact that a rat catching boy seen in one of these surreal dreams of the future resembled a boy seen in THE ELEPHANT MAN reaffirmed the implicit Lynch addressing intent of T1. A possibility increased by the fact that Cronenberg had already implicitly predicted that Lynch would destroy himself trying to save film art with DUNE like the implicitly Lynch linked psychic John Smith-played by Christopher Walken-died trying to save the world in the allegorical and implicitly Lynch addressing film, THE DEAD ZONE (1983).
At any rate, forcing Sarah to save herself was a somehow fitting ending of T1, given the dread allegorical Zone Wars saw the emergence of assertive female film artists like Kathryn Bigelow, a future Cameron wife who began her film art career like Cameron in 1982 with the release of the allegorical and implicitly Lynch roasting film, THE LOVELESS (1982), co-written and co-directed with Monty Montgomery. Curiously, it was also noticeable that Cameron was not necessarily attempting to terminate Landis with T1, for Connor and Reese broke the fourth wall by addressing the camera throughout the film, that famous characteristic of the film art of Landis. This linked them to Landis, implying that Cameron sympathized with Landis but hated the TZ disaster, and was trying to win audiences back to the side of Landis. Or was Cameron implying that it was time for Landis to rise up, seize the day and win audiences back with Good film art and behavior? While Cameron’s intent was uncertain, implicit sympathy for Landis soon returned in a Cameron co-written film.
Humourously, film distributor Orion Pictures did not agree with Cameron's hopeful and determined aspirations. Indeed, Orion disliked the finished film so much, they only advertised THE TERMINATOR the week before the sly fi/horror film was released in late October of 1984, as they believed that there was no point wasting money promoting a film that was not going to succeed (Keegan, 53). While Cameron was disappointed that Orion Pictures did not share his belief in T1, this lack of faith in the film actually worked to Cameron's advantage. Indeed, with its lack of massive promotion campaign and movie tie-in merchandise, and its small 6.4 million dollar budget, Cameron fittingly began his Zonebuster campaign with a film that lacked all of the accepted characteristics of a blockbuster (Buckland, 17-9).
However, luckily for Cameron, angry young audiences clearly approved of his furious and determined quest to save film art, as T1 was the surprise smash hit of 1984-85. A success made more surprising and significant by the fact that the over the top violence and intensity of the film caused little comment, perhaps due to the fact that the film's Restricted rating made it off limits to children like the poor ol’ underage madolescent Gardevil. Another lucky break for Cameron, for audiences were outraged by the milder and TZ disaster evoking violence and intensity of twilit films that children were allowed to experience like INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM and the twilit and allegorical Kennedy, Marshall and Spielberg executive produced Dante film, GREMLINS (1984). Audience outrage was increased by the fact that the latter dismal film tried to frantically exorcise the TZ disaster by blaming it on dimunitive, malicious and machine tampering monsters called gremlins linked to Landis and his crew members on his episode of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE. In fact, audiences were so outraged by the violence in GREMLINS and INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) created the PG-13 film classification to warn theatregoers of violent films aimed at children and teens that were not too disturbing to be rated Restricted.
Ironically, a month and a half after the low budget and unsupported T1 arrived with its possibly Lynch linked Reese to dominate the Temple Theatre, Lynch and his hugely expensive, massively supported, equally twilit and allegorical DUNE was released and, after starting strongly, quickly faded and disappeared. Thus, Lynch failed just as Cronenberg implicitly predicted in THE DEAD ZONE, and as Cameron possibly predicted in THE TERMINATOR. However, despite the failure of DUNE to find an audience, it was fitting that the quirky and memorable film featured a mysterious rebel leader named Paul ‘Maud’dib’ Atreides-played by Kyle MacLachlan-who embraced and led a violent overthrow of a galactic establishment led by figures implicitly linked to Kershner, Landis, Marshall and Spielberg and brought harmony back to the universe and the Temple Theatre. For Cameron soon returned to do the same, proving that he was indeed the film art messiah audiences of the world were hoping for-kull wahad! First, however, Cameron reaffirmed his implicit sympathy for Landis by co-writing with Sylvester Stallone the screenplay for the twilit, ridiculously named and allegorical George P. Cosmatos film, RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART TWO (1985).
‘I’ve always thought that the most powerful weapon was the mind.’
Indeed, Stallone’s Vietnam War haunted veteran John J. Rambo was implicitly linked to the TZ disaster haunted Landis throughout the film. As such, it was fitting that Stallone, like Henriksen, Schwarzenegger and Winfield, was linked to the twilit and disastrous year of 1982 by his role as Rocky Balboa in the allegorical Stallone film, ROCKY III (1982). A fitting link to Schwarzengger, as Stallone’s Rambo cut down his opponents with a remorseless and righteous fury that evoked the Terminator throughout RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART TWO. Indeed, in many ways Rambo was simply a Good and all too human Terminator, preparing audiences for the Good Terminator in a Cameron film to come. A Good Terminator who accepted a covert U.S. mission to return to Vietnam and, once there, ignored his orders and liberated American prisoners from a POW camp with the help of the implicitly Folsey linked Colonel Trautman-played by Richard Crenna-implying the hope of Cameron and Stallone that the film would liberate audiences and film artists from the TZ disaster. Literally, for the sight of Rambo successfully piloting a Huey helicopter in an airborne attack on a Vietnamese village to liberate the POWs at the end of the film evoked a similar helicopter attack on a Vietnamese village that preceded the TZ disaster on the Landis set of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE.
The fact that Rambo’s rescue of the POWs also allowed him to triumph over his Evil superior, the implicitly Morrow linked Marshall Murdock-played by Charles Napier-and his insidious and implicitly Spielberg linked assistant, Ericson-played by Martin Kove-reaffirmed that the film was doing its best to exorcise the TZ disaster from the Temple Theatre-although it was hardly fair to link the innocent Morrow to duplicitous Evil. Thus, Cameron implicitly reaffirmed in RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART TWO that he sympathized with the plight of Landis, wanted to exorcise the TZ disaster, was not afraid to embrace violence and was still interested in technology.
For his part, a Cameron resembling character named Banks-played by Andy Wood-also implied that Cosmatos was blasting Cameron for one of the first times in an allegorical film. The same year, another Cameron resembling character named Dean Halsey-played by Robert Sampson-appeared in the twilit, gleefully demented and allegorical Stuart Gordon film, H.P. LOVECRAFT’S RE-ANIMATOR (1985). Humourously, after being killed by an out of control re-animated corpse who resembled Schwarzenegger, Halsey was briefly brought back from the dead in turn as a mindlessly drooling corpse by the intense and determined corpse re-animator, Herbert West-implicitly linked to Screamin’ Stephen King due to the film’s allusions to the twilit and allegorical King novel, Pet Sematary (1984), and played by Jeffrey Combs-implying that Gordon thought that THE TERMINATOR was an equally mindless and tasteless film. Indeed, THE TERMINATOR was alluded to dismissively in H.P. LOVECRAFT’S RE-ANIMATOR, implicitly affirming that Gordon was not a fan of the film or of Cameron, an implication summed up by the sight of Halsey being decapitated by another re-animated corpse at the end of the film.
A dismissive roast that perhaps inspired Cameron to team up again with Biehn, Henriksen, Hurd, Paxton and Winston Stanley-who oversaw special Terminator f/x for THE TERMINATOR-and BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS composer James Horner and visual f/x men Robert and Dennis Skotak on the twilit, allegorical and Ozian themed Zonebuster, ALIENS (1986), a film that exchanged alien evoking mutant piranhas for gremlin evoking aliens and a Ripley evoking female lead for the real Ripley.
‘Looks like love at first sight to me.’
Less a sequel of ALIEN and more a righteously furious reply to GREMLINS with allusions to GALAXY OF TERROR, RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART TWO and the allegorical Peter Hyams films, OUTLAND (1981) and 2010 (1984), ALIENS began with of a lone escape pod from the Nostromo drifting through space towards the camera, evoking the sight of Connor driving a Jeep Renegade away from the camera down a Mexican highway to her embattled Zone Warrior destiny at the end of T1. This link was implicitly affirmed when the camera POV shifted inside the shuttle, for the sight of Weaver's Ripley dreaming in cryogenic sleep with Jones the cat beside her reminded us that the Dorothyish Connor drove off to her destiny at the end of T1 with a Terminator sniffing and neo-Toto German shepherd beside her in the passenger seat of her Jeep Renegade with the twilit license plate of 2APJ892. The fact that Biehn soon returned to befriend Ripley as the implicitly Lynch and Scarecrow linked Colonial Marine Corporal Dwayne Hicks underlined Ripley's link to Connor, for it evoked the friendship, love and protection Connor received from the implicitly Lynch linked Reese in T1. Thus, Cameron immediately stripped Ripley of any link to Sir Scott and his film art and linked Ripley to himself and his film art, and set us up for another desperate battle with a Biehn played character to save film art from the TZ disaster, Dante, Folsey, Kennedy, Landis, Lucas, Marshall and Spielberg and the malicious machinations of the blockbuster beast right from the start of ALIENS.
Indeed, soon after Ripley was awakened from cryogenic sleep, she was persuaded by the implicitly Dante linked Weyland-Yutani Corporation Special Director Carter J. Burke-played by Paul Reiser-to return with a group of implicitly Zone War film artist linked Colonial Marines led by the implicitly Corman linked Lieutenant Gorman-played by William Hope-to the twilit and forbidding planet of LV-246 aka Acheron on behalf of the Weyland-Yutani Corporation-implicitly linked to Spielberg via Paul Maxwell’s Spielberg resembling director, Van Leuwen-to investigate trouble at its ironically named human colony Hadley’s Hope. Of course, this reminded us that Rambo was also persuaded to return to Vietnam in RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART TWO. However, this time there were no prisoners to save. For Ripley and the Colonial Marines soon discovered that most of the colonists had already been killed or had died being used as hosts to create more gremlin evoking aliens.
In fact, as Burke and most of the Colonial Marines were also soon killed or taken as hosts by the pitiless and machine tampering biomechanical aliens, this part of the film seemed implicitly crafted by Cameron to symbolically kill off film artists for the sins of creating twilit blockbuster films like GREMLINS. This was a significant change from most films, which saw Evildoers like Burke killed for his Evil deeds by the Good Hero at the end of the film. Then Cameron moved to the implicitly real point of the film, which saw Gorman, Hicks, Ripley, Bishop the implicitly Tin Man linked android-played by Henriksen-and the implicitly Dorothy linked Rebecca ‘Newt’ Jorden-the only survivor on the colony and played by Carrie Henn-spend the rest of the film in a desperate and vicious battle against the film’s blockbuster beast, the implicitly Wicked Witch of the West linked Queen Mother of the aliens, a blockbuster beast that evoked a similar alienated beast met at the end of GALAXY OF TERROR.
Luckily, Ripley managed to save the new brave new era of digitally enhanced film art in the end when she donned a power loader exo-skeleton and defeated the Wicked Queen of the biomechanical blockbuster beasts and jealous guardian of pre-digital film art in the boffo biodigital power loader versus biomechanical fight at the end of the film. A brave newt era of CGI enhanced film art led by Cameron implicitly symbolized by Newt. For while the name of Rebecca evoked Renee and Myca, the two child extras that Morrow had tried to save on the Landis set of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE on that fateful and deadly night, her nickname 'Newt' reminded us that Cameron was the new kid on the film art block. Indeed, the resemblance of her twin brother, Timmy-played by Henn’s real life twin brother, Christopher-to Cameron reaffirmed the implicit link of Newt to the new era of CGI enhanced film art that ‘Jimmy’ Cameron was hoping to lead. Cameron’s implicit determination to kick off a newt era of film art was reinforced by the closed circuit helmet video cameras worn by the marines, which turned the marines into mobile cameraman as well as embattled soldiers. Thus, the battle of the soldiers and their digitally enhanced weapons against the hordes of non-digital but biomechanical aliens became a documentary-style film within the film that chronicled for audiences the fierce battle between pro-digital and anti-digital film artists that began to rage in the Eighties.
Significantly, the helmet cam POVs and automatic rifles of the determined Colonial Marines also linked them to the infrared eye cam POV and automatic rifles of the T-800 Terminator in T1. This began a positive transformation in the films directed by Cameron that led to the T-800 returning as a hero in a sequel soon to come, a transformation helped along by Bishop, a moral and helpful android who was the complete opposite of the pitiless and inhuman android, Ash-played by Ian Holm-in ALIEN. However, while heralding the arrival of a Good future Terminator, the link of the Colonial Marines to the T-800 also implied that Cameron was worried that the Marines-and, by implication, film artists-were in danger of losing their humanity and becoming more machine than man if they relied on digitally enhanced technology too much in their films.
Indeed, at two points in the film the Marines were ambushed and almost wiped out by aliens sneaking towards them like alienated Rambos along the ceiling or in ceiling air ducts when they relied on digital trackers to tell them where the aliens were instead of using their eyes, ears, noses, hearts, minds and intuition. This reminded us that Connor and Reese and Hicks and Ripley used wiles, determination, courage, creativity, cunning, anger and love to defeat the T-800 in T1 and the aliens and Wicked Alien in ALIENS. Clearly, and despite his use of digital technology in the film, Cameron was suspicious of that technology and worried that people and film artists would lose their precious humanity if they relied too much on digitally enhanced machines.
And so Gorman and Hicks survived along with Bishop, Newt and Ripley, in the end, implying Cameron’s hope that Corman’s love of mocking the blockbuster lusts of Hollywood in his cheap and satirical film New World Pictures would save him from being destroyed by the blockbuster beast, and that Lynch would rebound from the DUNE disaster. And so Dante, the TZ disaster, the blockbuster beast and Folsey, Kennedy, Landis, Lucas, Marshall and Spielberg were defeated yet again in ALIENS. The arresting visuals, detailed and realistic sets, memorable on set special and post-production visual f/x, all out action and relentless pace also allowed the Canadian film artist to perfect his Zonebusting anti-blockbuster philosophy and his commitment to higher minded film art, helped along by the small budget Twentieth Century Fox allocated for the film and the film's lack of movie tie-in merchandise (Keegan, 80). However, the growing size of his films and their spectacular visuals were bringing Cameron dangerously close to the beastly blockbuster world he despised, a dangerous proximity that he would have to be wary of for fear of being gobbled up by the beast.
Luckily for Cameron, despite this growing resemblance to blockbuster film and the horrific violence of ALIENS-how ironically fitting that Richard Richcreek’s implicitly Cameron linked Kevin would comically rail against violence of any kind with ‘…self-righteous indignation’ that year in the implicitly Lynch roasting allegorical Tim Hunter film, RIVER’S EDGE (1986)-the film was another big hit. This success, at a time when the trial of Landis and his four co-defendants had reignited fury over the TZ disaster, implied that audiences were even more convinced that Cameron was the Zonebusting J.C. saviour of the art of film than they had been in 1984 when they rallied to T1. John McTiernan implicitly agreed, for the implicitly Cameron linked Dutch-played by Schwarzenegger-triumphed over the Vader evoking and implicitly Lucas linked Predator-played by Kevin P. Hall-at the end of the ALIENS and RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART TWO evoking film, PREDATOR (1987). However, not everyone was unreservedly on the side of Cameron, as Bigelow implicitly made clear in her twilit and allegorical film, NEAR DARK (1987).
For Henriksen, Paxton and Jenette Goldstein-who had played Bishop, Hudson and Vasquez, respectively, in ALIENS-returned as the vampire gang members Jesse, Severn and Diamondback-the first implicitly linked to Cameron, and the third implicitly linked to Hurd, wife of Cameron at the time and producer of ALIENS and THE TERMINATOR-implying that Bigelow was sending a message to Cameron. Given this implication, and given that Adrian Pasdar’s implicitly Luc Besson linked Caleb spent the film desperately trying to free Jenny Wright‘s bewitching and beautiful Mae-her name reminding us that T1 took place in May of 1984-from the vampire gang and cure her of vampirism, the implication was that Bigelow warned Besson and Cameron and other film artists in NEAR DARK that if they did not stop obsessing over the TZ disaster in their film art, they and audiences would be trapped forever like the vampires in the Twilight Zone NEAR DARK.
Curiously, Cameron did more than heed Bigelow’s implicit warning in NEAR DARK, he also began dating Bigelow and soon married her. He also teamed up again with Biehn, Hurd and Wisher jr. and did his implicit best to return daylight to the Temple Theatre and fulfill the goal implied by the end of ALIENS by kicking off the brave new era of CGI enhanced film art with the CGI enhanced allegorical Zonebuster, THE ABYSS (1989).
‘Oh Bud, you're not alone!’
Significantly, an ominous and black screen accompanied by the ponging sound of sonar was a significant and unusual beginning for Special Edition version of THE ABYSS that immediately evoked the film art of Spielberg. For an ominous black screen accompanied only by a sound effect before an image slowly emerged, causing viewers to wake up and become a part of a Spielberg film rather than drift down into a cinematic dream when the lights turned down was a famously idiosyncratic way Spielberg began some of his allegorical films, from his student film, AMBLIN' (1968), and his allegorical television film, DUEL (1971), to JAWS (1975), CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977) and JURASSIC PARK (1993). A fitting evocation of the third film, for after the black screen disappeared, a U.S. Navy submarine, the Montana, was seen gliding towards the camera through the depths of the Atlantic Ocean not far from the Cayman Trough like the Nostromo escape pod drifted towards the camera through the depths of space at the beginning of ALIENS.
Soon the baffled captain and crew of the Montana were tracking a mysterious and unusually fast UFO evoking object on sonar in a sequence that recalled the UFO tracked on radar by airport traffic controllers in a control tower as it buzzed two passenger planes at the beginning of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND. This opening sequence also recalled the opening submarine sequence of the allegorical and Spielberg roasting Lewis Gilbert film, THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (1977), reaffirming the implicit interest in Spielberg in THE ABYSS. However, unlike the UFO at the beginning of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, which did not harm the airplanes it buzzed, this CGI enhanced unidentified submerged object (USO) caused the submarine to crash into an underwater cliff, killing the Captain and crew.
Thus, Cameron implied at the beginning of THE ABYSS that he was turning his righteously furious attention on the prime architect of contemporary blockbuster film with another determined Zonebuster that would be made in a more serious Spielberg style, perhaps in peeved response to the post-INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM resurgence in popularity of Spielberg with such twilit and allegorical films as THE COLOR PURPLE (1985) and the implicitly Cameron roasting, EMPIRE OF THE SUN (1987), both produced by Kennedy and Marshall. Indeed, the huge budget, epic scale, underwater sets, lengthy duration, spectacular visuals and innovative CGI effects in THE ABYSS allowed Cameron to be more Spielberg than Spielberg.
Curiously, however, despite these implicit nods to Spielberg, Cameron also implied that he was replying to Hyams in THE ABYSS. For the deadly crash of the Montana prompted a U.S. Navy SEAL mission to find, explore and determine the cause of the destruction of the USS Montana, a mission that evoked the American/Russian mission to rendezvous with and determine what happened to the crew and onboard computer of the USS Discovery I when in arrived at Jupiter in 2010. This link of THE ABYSS to 2010 was implicitly reaffirmed by the presence of the Hyam resembling and implicitly linked Commodore DeMarco-played by J. Kenneth Campbell-a U.S. Navy officer who commanded the SEAL unit that worked with the civilian workers of Benthic Petroleum’s nearby underwater oil drilling platform Deepcore II to find the wreck of the USS Montana. This implicit Hyams addressing intent was reaffirmed by the Deepcore II and its crew, as they evoked the massive mine on Io and its employees in OUTLAND.
Significantly, the wreck of the corpse filled and sunken sub evoked the wrecked alien spacecraft on LV-426 in ALIEN and ALIENS-as well as the wreck of the deadly and mutated piranha filled Dwight Fitzgerald in PIRANHA II: THE SPAWNING-implying that the USS Montana was now filled with alienated blockbuster menace. Indeed, we soon discovered that the USS Montana had a full complement of nuclear enhanced blockbuster missiles on board, making the sunken sub the literal symbol of beastly blockbuster bombs. However, luckily for Cameron and audiences, the wily Canadian film artist evaded falling into the abyss of money lusting blockbuster film yet again by using THE ABYSS to defeat the lure of blockbuster fortune and glory.
Fittingly, Cameron accomplished feat this by having the boss of the Deepcore II crew, Virgil 'Bud' Brigman-perhaps linked to Walter ‘Walt’ Disney, and played by Ed Harris, who was the latest actor to link a Cameron film to the twilit and disastrous year of 1982 via his role as Hank Blaine in the ‘Father’s Day’ segment of the allegorical, implicitly Ozian themed film thrashing and Screamin’ Stephen King scripted George Romero film, CREEPSHOW (1982)-and his estranged wife, Lindsey Brigman-her Christian name hiding an anagram for Disney, and played by Elizabeth Mastrantonio-lead the rest of the underwater drilling crew to a triumph over the SEAL team, led by Biehn’s possibly John Carpenter linked and increasingly demented Lieutenant Hiram Coffey-who resembled Cameron’s brother, Mike, who, curiously, provided small remote operating vehicles (ROVs) for the film. Significantly, this battle between workers and SEALs led to the death of Coffey, killed in a submersible versus submersible battle with Lindsey towards the end of the film that evoked Ripley's power loader battle with the Wicked Alien Queen at the end of ALIENS. This was an important triumph, as it prevented the SEALs from detonating one of the USS Montana's beastly blockbuster missiles so as to terminate the friendly and peace loving underwater Non-Terrestrial Intelligence (NTI) life forms that lived at the bottom of the Atlantic-the same NTIs that buzzed the Montana at the beginning of the film and Lindsey and other members of the Deepcore II throughout the rest of THE ABYSS.
Significantly, given the scruffy appearances and rough and ready but personable ways of the Deepcore II crew and the physically fit and clean cut appearances but impersonal manner of the SEALs, the battle between the two groups and the victory of the Deepcore II crew implicitly symbolized the battle being waged between self-taught indie film artists like Cameron and university film school trained film artists like Spielberg and the hope of Cameron that the self-taught, scruffy, rough and ready but human film artists like himself would triumph over the more impersonal university trained film artists to truly begin a more human and CGI enhanced film art era in the Nineties. Indeed, the omnipresent red and white baseball hat and resemblance of Catfish De Vries-played by Leo Burmester-to Cameron affirmed the implicit link of the crew of the Deepcore II to Cameron and other self-taught indie film artists. The ‘-core’ in Deepcore II also evoked Corman and his New World Pictures, reaffirming that an implicit triumph of scruffy and self-taught film artists over more polished and university taught film artists occurred in THE ABYSS.
The fact that only Deepcore II members like Bud, Lindsey and Jammer Willis-who resembled BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS screenwriter John Sayles, and was played by John B. Lloyd-saw the CGI enhanced NTIs also implicitly affirmed that Cameron wanted the self-taught film artists like himself and Disney to lead the way in the brave new era of CGI enhanced film art. Indeed, the sight of Brigman reviving Lindsey and bring her back to life after she drowned near the end of the film implicitly reaffirmed that Bud symbolized Walt and that Cameron hoped that the Walt Disney Studio would also extricate itself from the abyss it had fallen into and return to life and success in the brave new era of CGI enhanced film art.
Curiously, after Lindsey defeated Coffey, Brigman had to drop down to the bottom of the Atlantic to literally defeat the blockbuster beast by deactivating the tactical nuke Coffey had activated and that fell into the depths with him when he died, reminding us that blockbusters were originally powerful bombs designed to destroy entire blocks that the Allies dropped on German cities in World War II. This deactivation of the blockbuster beast implicitly proved that Brigman was a truly Good person and implicit film art for film art’s sake artist. For he was then embraced by the benevolent but wary and higher minded NTIs in an ending evoked the endings of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, the twilit, allegorical and CGI promoting Dante film, EXPLORERS (1985), the twilit, allegorical and implicitly Spielberg supporting Ron Howard film, SPLASH (1984) and the allegorical and implicitly Lucas and Francis Coppola addressing Stanley Kubrick film, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968), perhaps implying Cameron’s hope that he could achieve a wary but polite détente with these film artists in the Nineties. Indeed, the fact that the shocking madness and death of Lt. Coffey caused the rest of the SEAL team to put aside their differences and help the Deepcore II crew and Brigman defuse the blockbuster bomb implicitly affirmed the hope of Cameron that self-taught and university trained film artists would also put aside their differences and work together to break film art free from the TZ disaster and end the dread allegorical Zone Wars in the new era of CGI enhanced film art.
Significantly, these aquatic NTIs were not only linked to CGI enhanced film art throughout the film, but they also ushered in a new Cold War free era for Earth with their supernatural powers at the end of the film, underlining that Cameron was eager to leave behind the TZ disaster inspired Zone Wars and beastly blockbuster machinations now and warily kick off a new CGI enhanced era of film art. With the emphasis on wary, as an arm of water created with CGI that the NTIs sent in to explore the Deepcore II had started imitating the faces of the crew members it encountered, raising the dire possibility that film art could be created entirely with CGI enhancement. However, despite this dire possibility, Cameron implied his hope that CGI would be successfully used to kick off a whole new era of film art in the Nineties. For Bud successfully wooed Lindsey back to his side at the end of the film, allowing the embattled couple to head off in loving new directions, as well.
A new direction that Spielberg sourly and implicitly tried to foil, as his production company Amblin’ produced the allegorical Martin Scorsese film CAPE FEAR (1991), a thriller with a plot surrounding an unstoppable killer who hunted down specific victims in a way that evoked the T-800 Terminator cyborg in T1. Indeed, the killer’s name Max Cady-played by Robert De Niro-could be used as an anagram to spell ‘Cam’. Certainly, CAPE FEAR was linked to the twilit events of 1982 by way of co-star Nick Nolte, who played hunted and harassed father Sam Bowden, as Nolte was linked forever to 1982 by way of his role as Jack Cates opposite Eddie Murphy’s Reggie Hammond in the allegorical Walter Hill film, 48 HOURS (1982). Tim Burton also implicitly roasted Cameron that year in the form of Anthony Hall’s Jim in his twilit and Landis supporting allegorical film, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS (1990).
Clearly, the blockbuster abyss struck back, and Cameron would have to be careful if he hoped to continue to succeed with CGI enhanced Zonebusters when he teamed up again with Biehn, Fiedel, Goldstein, Hamilton, Hurd, Schwarzenegger, Winston, Wisher, Earl Boen-reprising his role as the desperately disbelieving and implicitly Tin Man linked Doctor Silberman first seen in T1-and Mario Kassar-co-producer of RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART TWO-on his next twilit and allegorical film, TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY (1991), a film that Cameron did not just direct but produced as well as co-wrote-with Wisher jr.-making him a true film auteur in the modern sense of the word, as he controlled both the external (production) side of T2, as well as the interior (artistic) side of the film (Buckland, 13-5), which he has continued to do with his Lightstorm Entertainment film production company to this day.
‘I need a vacation!’
Significantly, the newfound Canadian auteur quickly brought up the possibility that he had indeed been sending an allegorical warning to Lynch in T1. For Cameron implied throughout T2 that he was battling and, ultimately, terminating, Lynch, in T2, in the implicit form of the new, improved, CGI enhanced and shape shifting ‘liquid metal’ T-1000 Terminator-played by Robert Patrick-its shape shifting ability perhaps a sarcastic nod to Lynch’s tendency to leap from one genre to another with each moving painting. This dislike of Lynch was perhaps prompted by the implicit roast Lynch gave Cameron in the form of W. Morgan Sheppard’s gleefully evil Mr. Reindeer in Lynch’s twilit, implicitly Sir Scott addressing, openly Ozian themed and allegorical moving painting, WILD AT HEART (1990).
In support of T2’s implicit Lynch roasting intent, it was noticeable that the desperate battle against the machines that opened the film evoked the battle of House Atreides against House Harkonnen in Arrakeen on Arrakis in DUNE. The billowing flames that provided the backdrop for the opening credits of T2 also evoked the billowing flames that provided the backdrop for the opening credits of WILD AT HEART. The glowing chronospheres that brought Schwarzenegger’s implicitly Lucas linked and ironically kind and gentle T-800 Terminator and the T-1000 Terminator from the future also evoked the floating bubble that brought Sheryl Lee’s Glinda the Good gently down to inspire Nicolas Cage’s Sailor Ripley at the healing end of WILD AT HEART.
The sight of the clean cut and black leather jacket and sunglass clad T-800 tearing through the streets on a motorbike shortly after its arrival reaffirmed the interest in Lynch, for it evoked James Marshall’s equally clean cut and black leather jacket and sunglass clad biker James Hurley in the twilit and allegorical Lynch telefilm series, TWIN PEAKS (1990-1). The implicitly Landis linked young John Connor-played by Edward Furlong-that the T-800 tracked down and protected throughout T2 reaffirmed the implicit interest in Lynch, as the appearance of Connor evoked a kid named Nicky played by Joshua Harris in TWIN PEAKS. The climatic shooting death of the T-1000 at the end of T2 also evoked the climatic shooting death of Willem Dafoe’s dastardly and perhaps Bigelow linked Bobby Peru at the end of WILD AT HEART.
Curiously, despite the hopeful and Zonebusting ending of THE ABYSS, Cameron also implied that he used T2 to address and exorcise the TZ disaster. Indeed, after arriving from the future, the T-800 beat up a biker at a biker bar and stole his clothes and bike from him. Significantly, the biker was played by the Richard Matheson resembling Richard Winley, who was last seen as a regular bar patron killed by the vampires of NEAR DARK. Winley’s resemblance to Matheson was important, for Matheson was the second most prolific writer after Rod Serling on the original TWILIGHT ZONE telefilm series and a writer who had also worked on TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE. The film’s implicit link to the twilit and disastrous events of 1982 was reaffirmed by the allegorical George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers tune, 'Bad to the Bone' (1982), that played as the T-800 roared off on the stolen hog. Cameron also implicitly sympathized with Landis again on film, for in the prologue nightmare of the machine battling future the older John Connor-played by Michael Edwards-seen leading the human resistance looked like a clean shaven and battle scarred Landis.
Significantly, the CGI enhanced ability of the Evil T-1000 to transform itself into and anything it wanted due to being made of liquid metal also recalled the less powerful CGI enhanced and face forming NTI water arm probe of THE ABYSS. This link implicitly affirmed that Cameron was now worried about the growing CGI enhancement of film art and the possibility that all CGI film art could destroy the vital humanity of film art. Indeed, the CGI enhanced nightmares of a nuclear explosion that wiped out Los Angeles that plagued Sarah Connor-played again by Hamilton-throughout T2 reaffirmed Cameron’s implicit fear that CGI enhancement could wipe out the humanity of film art. Thus, the sight of the slightly CGI enhanced T-800 destroying the fully CGI enhanced T-1000 at the end of the film implied Cameron’s hope that humanity and common sense would prevail and lead to the creation of a new era of film art that was enhanced but not overwhelmed or replaced by CGI. Or did the destruction of the T-1000, in the end, imply that any misgivings that Cameron had about the CGI enhancement of film art were terminated by the end of the film? And did the stoic self-destruction of the implicitly Lucas linked T-800 soon after the termination of the implicitly Lynch linked T-1000 symbolize the hope of the Canadian auteur that the implicitly Lucas linked T-800 would also fade away like Lynch in the Nineties? Time would tell.
Unfortunately for Cameron, despite its innovative CGI and often mesmerizing visuals, T2 did not live up to the implicit hope for a new, higher minded, peaceful and harmonious new era of CGI enhanced film art free from the TZ disaster and the dread allegorical Zone Wars seen at the end of THE ABYSS. Indeed, the brutal and nasty film was a step backward for the director that dragged the Canadian auteur back into the dread allegorical Zone Wars. The film's huge budget, sprawling production and overly long length also transformed T2 from gripping and innovative Zonebuster into just another soulless and beastly blockbuster spectacle. However, despite being a step back for Cameron, T2 was another huge hit. Making it fitting that Disney, Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise implicitly responded to the implicit interest in the fortunes of the Walt Disney Studio seen in THE ABYSS by implicitly linking the cocky and all conquering Cameron to the arrogant and bad tempered Prince-voiced by Robby Benson-who was transformed by a knowing Enchantress into a blockbuster Beast in their allegorical, CGI enhanced and implicitly Cameron addressing hand animated film, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1991).
An implicit link that Cameron did not miss, for the spellbinding rose that would wither and die, leaving the Prince a Beast forever if he did not fall in love with a woman who fell in love with him in turn by the age of 21, returned as an equally spellbinding Rose in a titanic film of Cameron to come. Curiously, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST also alluded to the allegorical Gerald Potterton film, HEAVY METAL: THE MOVIE (1981), as if Disney hoped to recapture the Skyrocking spirit of the Last Good Year of film before the TZ disaster. If so, it was a good hope, for the CGI enhanced BEAUTY AND THE BEAST revived the animated film fortunes of Disney as Cameron implicitly hoped in THE ABYSS.
How fitting that BEAUTY AND THE BEAST also saw the implicitly Cameron linked Beast triumph over a group of characters linked to New Hollywood film artists like Dante and Spielberg and the arrogant and implicitly Lucas linked blowhard, Gaston-voiced by Richard White-given that Lucas would try and fail to topple Cameron in the new millennium with another STAR WARS trilogy. And how appropriate that the love of the implicitly Bigelow linked Belle-voiced by Paige O’Hara-inspired the love inside the Beast that freed him from the spell of the beautiful, blonde and implicitly Hollywood linked Enchantress, given that Bigelow had become the latest wife of Cameron. Thus, it was fitting that Cameron supported Bigelow by acting as executive producer when they teamed up for another implicit cinematic roasting of Lynch that year in the allegorical Bigelow film, POINT BREAK (1991).
‘Speak into the microphone, squid brain!’
Significantly, the mighty Pacific Ocean and its devout surfers evoked the equally powerful Atlantic Ocean haunts of THE ABYSS and the liquid metal of T2, implying that Cameron was continuing his own themes in the Bigelow film. Indeed, a monstrous blockbuster wave off the coast of Australia seen at the end of the film that evoked the monstrous blockbuster wave created by the NTIs at the end of THE ABYSS implicitly reaffirmed that Cameron continued his themes in POINT BREAK. The fact that the blockbuster wave killed Patrick Swayze's anti-establishment, free spirited and implicitly Lynch linked Ex-President bank robber/surfer gang leader, Bodhi, at the end of the film also affirmed the implication that Cameron continued the roastings he gave Lynch in T1 and T2 in POINT BREAK. The presence of Keanu Reeves as Bodhi’s lawman nemesis FBI Special Agent Johnny Utah reaffirmed the implicit Lynch roasting intent of POINT BREAK, for the eager young FBI agent recalled MacLachlan’s FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper in TWIN PEAKS.
Of course, the death of Bodhi and the film’s allusions to DUNE, TWIN PEAKS, WILD AT HEART-curiously, co-produced by Montgomery, co-writer and co-director of THE LOVELESS-and the twilit and allegorical Lynch moving painting, BLUE VELVET (1986), also implicitly affirmed that Bigelow continued her anti-Lynch campaign in POINT BREAK. For it reminded us that Bigelow had implicitly roasted and killed off a character who symbolized Lynch at the end of THE LOVELESS. Significantly, Utah’s decision to leave the FBI at the end of the film after releasing Bodhi and allowing him to destroy himself trying to surf that final blockbuster wave like a Fremen riding a blockbuster sandworm of Arrakis-a sight that reminded us that Lynch had tried but failed to succeed with DUNE-also implicitly reaffirmed Bigelow’s equal determination to leave behind the twilit Zone Wars and return to the daylight seen at the end of NEAR DARK. A daylit point that Cameron did not miss, as daylight featured prominently when he teamed up again with Fiedel, Paxton and Schwarzenegger to fuse the secret agents of POINT BREAK with the swelling romance of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and implicitly roast Lynch again in his next curious allegorical film, TRUE LIES (1994).
‘Fear is not an option.’
TRUE LIES started with a James Bond evoking prologue adventure that saw Schwarzenegger complete his journey from villain in T1 to hero in TRUE LIES by playing intrepid Agent #10024 Harry Tasker of the ultra secret U.S. spy agency Omega Sector, who rose up from the depths of Switzerland's Lake Chapeau in the snowswept winter darkness outside an expensive chateau with a video cam equipped scuba diving helmet that evoked the Colonial Marines of ALIENS. Significantly, the fenced in chateau evoked the Beast’s equally fenced in castle in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, immediately implying that Cameron was replying to Disney on one level in TRUE LIES and assuring the Mouse House that his success was not turning him into a rude and arrogant beast.
Indeed, Tasker defied his Terminator links by being unusually and obsessively polite throughout the film, reaffirming that Cameron was replying to Dis on one level in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. The arrival of a fellow Omega Sector agent named Jean-Claude-played by Jean-Claude Parachini-later in the film who looked like the twin brother of a middle aged Walt Disney implicitly reaffirmed that Cameron was replying to Disney in TRUE LIES. Significantly, however, while Cameron implied that he was replying to Dis with TRUE LIES, he did not implicitly link himself to Tasker in the film. Instead, Cameron implicitly linked Tasker to Lucas, and affirmed that implication by nods to the Lucas executive produced film, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, and the allegorical Lucas film, THX 1138 (1971), throughout TRUE LIES. Tasker’s boss back at Omega Sector in Washington, the intimidating and eye-patch wearing Spencer Trilby-played by Charlton Heston-also reaffirmed Tasker’s implicit link to Lucas, reminding us that the equally intimidating and eye-patch wearing film artist John Ford was an inspiration to Lucas.
Stripping off the scuba gear, Tasker strolled debonair and handsome in an expensive tuxedo into the opulent chateau and its gathering of wealthy and powerful people implicitly linked to film artists like Coppola and Stallone. Sneaking into an upper floor of the chateau, Tasker helped his assistants, the implicitly Morrow linked Albert ‘Gib’ Gibson and Faisal-played by Tom Arnold and Grant Heslov, respectively-steal some encrypted files from the computer hard drive of Marshall Manesh’s Khaled, the suspected Moslem terrorist sympathizer who owned the chateau. Significantly, it was noticeable that Khaled resembled Luc Besson, who had implicitly blasted Bigelow in the allegorical film, LA FEMME NAKITA (1990) and Bigelow and Cameron in the allegorical film, LEON: THE PROFESSIONAL (1992). Thus, this implied that Cameron was also replying to LA FEMME NAKITA and LEON: THE PROFESSIONAL on one level in TRUE LIES.
After stealing the encrypted files of Khaled-literally implying that Cameron was stealing a page from Besson with the LA FEMME NAKITA evoking TRUE LIES-Tasker then returned to the ground level of the chateau via a central staircase that evoked a central staircase of the Beast’s castle in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. Soon Tasker was flirting and dancing with Tia Carrere’s beautiful and curvaceous Juno Skinner-her first name reminding us that Cameron had never received a Juno, the Canadian film award at the time, for his films-in the ballroom of the chateau. This opening tango evoked a tentatively romantic dance that the Beast had with Belle in the ballroom of his castle midway through BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, and another more loving dance the two newlyweds shared in the ballroom at their wedding at the end of that film, reaffirming the implication that Cameron was replying to that film on one level in TRUE LIES. Agent Tasker then fled the chateau for the winter darkness, where he soon fought off chateau guards on skis in bullet blasting nighttime fighting that recalled the man versus machine battles in the nightmares from the future in the Terminator films. Successfully meeting up with Faisal and Gib in their specially equipped getaway van, the prologue adventure ended, and it was soon back to Washington for Omega Sector Agents Faisal, Gib and Tasker.
Significantly, it was noticeable that when Gib dropped Tasker off at his house that the Washington, DC Tasker family home looked like the Washington state Palmer family home in TWIN PEAKS and the twilit and allegorical Lynch film, TWIN PEAK: FIRE WALK WITH ME (1992). This link to the Palmers was increased by the two adults and one teenaged girl who composed the Tasker family. For Harry, Helen and Dana Tasker-the latter two played by Jamie Lee Curtis and Eliza Dushku, respectively-evoked Leland, Sarah and Laura Palmer-played by Ray Wise, Grace Zabriskie and Sheryl Lee, respectively-in TWIN PEAKS and TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME. In fact, Harry looked and dressed like Leland throughout TRUE LIES. Dana’s name also evoked Dana Ashbrook’s Bobby in TWIN PEAKS and TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME.
Thus, with all of these links to the moving paintings and telefilms of Lynch, the implication was that Lynch and not Disney was the real target of TRUE LIES-a title which looked and sounded like TWIN PEAKS-perhaps due to the nightmarish and incestuous rape of Laura by Leland in TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME. For while there was no incest between Harry and Dana, there was a love scene between Harry and Helen in a Washington hotel room-which Harry used to woo Helen back to him from Paxton’s bogus and implicitly Howard linked ‘secret agent’, Simon, with the help of a romantic tape recording of the sexy French voice of Jean-Claude, holding an enchanting rose that evoked the spellbinding rose of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST all the while to affirm Cameron’s implicit nod to Disney-that evoked the nightmarish incestuous rape scene in Laura’s bedroom in the Palmer home in TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME.
Indeed, the more harmonious and loving scene between the Taskers was shot in the same blue light as the incestuous rape scene of TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME, implicitly affirming that Cameron was replying to Lynch in TRUE LIES and using the film to exorcise and cleanse the Temple Theatre of the film art of Lynch and the film painter himself, in the implicit form of Art Malik’s insidious and cigarette smoking Crimson Jihand terrorist gang leader Salim Abu Aziz. For Abu Aziz and his bearded terrorist gang evoked Maud’dib and his bearded Fremen in DUNE, a fitting implication as 1994 was the tenth anniversary year of the release of that film.
Cameron also implicitly used TRUE LIES to assure audiences that film art had not died with the death of Laura Palmer in the quirky Washington state town of Twin Peaks as in TWIN PEAKS and TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME. For Dana was liberated from the insidious clutches of Abu Aziz by Harry before Harry terminated the Crimson Jihad leader at the end of the film, saving film art in general and the film art of Lucas in particular to live another day. Prior to that, Harry had already successfully wooed Helen away from Simon and back to his life, implying the hope of Cameron that TRUE LIES would also triumph over Howard, perhaps due to Howard implicitly linking Cameron to a con man named McGuire-played by Barry McGovern-in the twilit and allegorica film, FAR AND AWAY (1992). The numerous allusions to the allegorical and implicitly Spielberg supporting Howard film, SPLASH (1984), throughout the film-indeed, the eagerly salacious and perennially adolescent Simon evoked John Candy’s equally salacious and perennially adolescent Fabulous Freddie Bauer in SPLASH throughout TRUE LIES-implicitly reaffirmed that Cameron was also addressing Howard in TRUE LIES. Fitting allusions to SPLASH, incidentally, given that 1994 was also the tenth anniversary year of that film. In addition, the rescue of Helen from Skinner and Skinner’s death in a spectacular chase sequence near the end of the film implied that Cameron was getting back at Canada for not giving him any Junos for his films.
Cameron also implied that he was no longer as worried about CGI as he was in T2, as Abu Aziz-whose madcap fondness for illicit blockbuster nuclear bombs evoked Lt. Coffey’s equally madcap quest to detonate blockbuster nuclear bombs in THE ABYSS-was shot by a missile from a fittingly Harry and July 23rd linked Harriet VM 223 jet fighter into a TZ evoking helicopter by Tasker in the ridiculously boffo and CGI enhanced climax of the film. Last but not least, Harry and Helen's closing tango in tux and revealing black dress in another gathering of wealthy and powerful people implicitly linked to film artists in opulent surroundings that evoked the Swiss chateau in the prologue adventure that kicked off the film also reaffirmed the implicit hope of Cameron that Lucas would also succeed again with his film art. Significantly, this loving final tango in opulent surroundings again evoked the loving dance of Belle and the Prince in the ballroom of the Prince at their wedding at the end of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, and set the stage for a more boisterous dance not far from opulent surroundings in an even more memorable and titanic film to come.
For their part, co-producer Francis Coppola and actor/director Kenneth Branagh implied in the tenth anniversary year of the release of THE TERMINATOR that the beast-played by Robert De Niro-that foolish and vainglorious scientist Victor Frankenstein-played by Branagh-unleashed on the world in a storm of eel provided bioelectricity symbolized the Zonebuster beast that Cameron had unleashed on the world of film art with his Lightstorm filled Entertainment in their allegorical and implicitly Cameron roasting film, MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN (1994), inspired by the allegorical Mary Shelley novel, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818).
‘No one need ever die. I will stop this.’
Indeed, the sight of the beast tearing out the hear of Frankenstein’s beloved, Elizabeth-played by Helena B. Carter-affirmed the film’s implicit intent, evoking the sight of the CSM-101 Terminator ripping out the heart of a Hamill evoking punk at the beginning of THE TERMINATOR. Branagh and Coppola also implicitly warned Cameron that the Zonebusting beast that he had created might kill him, as remorselessly as the beast killed Frankenstein at the end of the film. All of which was a far cry from the original implicit allegorical intent of Shelley.
For her fear of using parts of old bodies to create a monstrous new one implied her fear of the United States of America, who had not been stopped by the United Kingdom in the then recently completed War of 1812 from turning bodies from the Old World into freedom loving citizens determined the wrest the entire world from the rictus and imperialist grip of aristocrats like her husband and herself. Indeed, the electricity used to create Frankenstein’s monster affirmed the implicit intent of Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus. For it evoked the famous electrical current that Ben Franklin was able to crackle down a kite string one dark and stormy day before the Revolution, a current that made him a modern Prometheus bringing literal enlightenment to the masses of the Thirteen Colonies. A modern Prometheus who inspired the education and science loving Revolutionaries to launch and win the American Revolution in order to create Franklinstein’s monster, the constitutionally protected and freedom and democracy loving American citizen.
At any rate, Cameron soon teamed up again with his now ex-wife, Bigelow-who had been replaced by Hamilton after reconnecting with her on the set of T2-Todd Graff-who had played Deepcore II crew member Alan ‘Hippy’ Carnes in THE ABYSS-and Tom Sizemore-who had a small role as an unhappy undercover DEA agent named Dietz in POINT BREAK-to implicitly send another sympathetic allegorical message to Lucas the following year in their twilit, fearless and uncompromising allegorical film, STRANGE DAYS (1995).
Significantly, STRANGE DAYS began with Ralph Fiennes’ lovable and implicitly Lucas linked lunk-indeed, Nero was as lonesome and brooding a bachelor as Lucas at this point in time-with the Johnny Utah cadenced name of Lenny Nero using a Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID) headset to playback and experience the recorded experience of one of a twilit trio of robbers of a Vietnamese, a twilit trio who evoked the bank robbing surfers of POINT BREAK, and the Fire It Up gang in the twilit, allegorical and implicitly Bigelow addressing Alex Proyas film, THE CROW (1994).
However, Nero was outraged that the SQUID recording ended with the robber who was being recorded falling off the roof of the apartment complex housing the ground floor restaurant to his death as he evaded the police. Significantly, while this death recalled another rooftop chase that led to a police officer falling to his doom at the beginning of the allegorical and Ozian themed Alfred Hitchcock film, VERTIGO (1959), it also reminded us that after being shot by the Fire It Up gang, Draven was tossed out of the main window of a loft to his death before returning to life as the implacable and avenging Crow at the beginning of THE CROW. This fatal fall also reminded us that Kathleen Wilhoite’s Michelle, a troubled patient of the implicitly Lucas linked Dr. William ‘Bill’ Capa-played by Bruce Willis-leapt out of one of his office windows to her doom at the New York beginning of twilit, allegorical and implicitly Lucas addressing Rush film, COLOR OF NIGHT (1994).
Tellingly, while supposedly miffed that the SQUID recording led to the death of the robber, Nero was not so miffed that he did not buy this ‘black jack’ snuff SQUID recording from the implicitly Landis linked and gleefully amoral Tick-played by Richard Edson-for a reduced price due to its deadly content. Leaving behind Tick, Nero then cruised the streets of Hollywood in his Benz, like the equally despondent and implicitly Lucas linked bachelor, William ‘Bill’ Capa-played by Bruce Willis-in COLOR OF NIGHT, his TZ disaster linked license plates of LN 237 throwing more doubt on his dislike of snuff recordings. Curiously, out on the riotous streets of fire, Nero initially fiddled-or was that squiddled?-while a twilit Los Angeles that was heading down the dire path leading to the L.A. experienced in BLADE RUNNER burned in the last restless and combative nights before New Year’s Eve 1999 ushered in the new millennium, reminding us that the equally dark and violent events of THE CROW took place on the All Devil’s Night on the 30th of October before Hallowe’en.
This restless driving reaffirmed his implicit link to Lucas, for the sight evoked Paul Le Mat’s implicitly Great Oz and John Milius linked John Milner cruising the equally restless and riotous night streets of Modesto in his Yellow Brick Roadster in the allegorical and implicitly Don Shebib roasting Lucas film, AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1973). Indeed, the non-stop rock and roll of STRANGE DAYS-some of it live-evoked the non-stop rockin roll of AMERICAN GRAFITTI, as well as the non-stop rock n roll of the twilit, allegorical and implicitly Lucas addressing Hill film, STREETS OF FIRE (1984), and its dark and despondent tenth anniversary rebuttal, THE CROW-some of it live in those three films, as well. Heck, even COLOR OF NIGHT featured Spoon live at the Whisky when the action switched to L.A. The sight of Nero driving alone in his car also evoked Robert De Niro’s implicitly Lucas linked Travis Bickle in his Yellow Brick Taxi in the allegorical and implicitly Lucas roasting Martin Scorsese film, TAXI DRIVER (1976). The fact that we soon discovered that Nero was an ex-LAPD officer reaffirmed his implicit link to Lucas, reminding us that the Force was no longer with Lucas in 1995.
While driving, Nero frantically peddled SQUID CDs or tried to persuade people to wear SQUID headsets and record experiences for him-particularly sexual experiences-that he could sell to squidheads and wireheads. Of course, these SQUID headsets evoked similar experience recording devices encountered in the allegorical literary art of William Gibson, including the apparent sensory perception (ASP) decks of the short story, ‘Fragments Of A Hologram Rose’ (1977), the superconducting quantum interference detectors (Squids) of the short story, ‘Johnny Mnemonic’ (1981), and the simstim of his allegorical novel, Neuromancer (1984), wistfully linking the film to the Skyrocking year of 1977 and the Last Good Year of film art-as well as one of the first years of the dread Zone Wars. These SQUID units reminded us that in 1995, Lucas was also doing his best to peddle CGI enhanced film art to the film art community so as to solve the problem of film set fatalities, reaffirming Nero’s implicit link to Lucas. Indeed, the fact that Nero was adamantly opposed to sanctioning or selling SQUID recordings of people’s deaths affirmed that he wanted SQUID recordings to enhance and promote life, like Lucas wanted CGI to enhance film art and save lives on sets.
Unfortunately for Nero, however, his friend, Iris-played by Brigitte Bako-who evoked Mackenzie Phillips’ Carol in AMERICAN GRAFFITI and Jody Foster’s Iris in TAXI DRIVER in two more affirmations of Nero’s implicit link to Lucas, was raped and murdered in her hotel room at the Sunset Regent, a brutal death that reminded us that the TZ disaster and its repercussions had killed Lucas and his film art. The rapist/murderer also recorded her rape/murder on SQUID, and sent the black jack SQUID recording to Nero to experience, a murderous first person POV recording that evoked the uncontrollable and psychic first person POV visions of the implicitly Spielberg linked John Neville-played by Tommy Lee Jones-committing murder that tormented Faye Dunaway’s Laura Mars in the allegorical Irv Kershner film, EYES OF LAURA MARS (1978). Intriguingly, Iris was murdered because she also inadvertently recorded the murders of a twilit trio of people-one of whom was Glenn Plummer’s crusading rap star, Jeriko One-by LAPD Officers Dwayne Engelman and Burton Strickland-played by William Fichtner and Vincent D’Onofrio, respectively. Significantly, these two psychotic and racist police officers who were the exact opposite of the bumbling but Good police officers, the implicitly Spielberg linked Cooley and Price-played by Rick Rossovich and Richard Lawson, respectively-in STREETS OF FIRE. Curiously, Rossovich also appeared in 1984 as Ginger’s boyfriend, Matt, in THE TERMINATOR. Making for two actors with small roles in STREETS OF FIRE to later appear in THE TERMINATOR, as Paxton also played the two fisted barkeep Clyde in that film.
These nightmarish black jack SQUID recordings slowly and reluctantly Forced Nero to leave behind his dissolute despair and track down the killer of Iris with the help of his bodyguard/chauffeur friend, Lornette ‘Mace’ Mason-played by Angela Bassett. Significantly, while sensitive and emotional, Mace was stronger, tougher and more grounded and knowing than Nero, as befitting someone with a nickname that evoked mace spray and spiked clubs. In fact, she was the most formidable and beautiful female character yet in a Bigelow film, the embodiment of the unusually masculine but heterosexual Bigelow woman. Mace also evoked the equally female, tough, knowing and indomitable McCoy-played by Amy Madigan-who helped the implicitly Lucas linked Cody-played by Michael Pare-rescue his old girlfriend, the enchanting and implicitly Marcia linked chanteuse, Ellen Aim-played by Diane Lane-who returned as the implicitly Spielberg linked singer, faithless Faith-played by Juliette Lewis-in STRANGE DAYS. Mace also reaffirmed Nero’s link to Lucas, for it had been known for years that in the original script for the STAR WARS saga there was a character named Mace Bindu, who would shortly appear as Samuel L. Jackson’s J. D. Jedi Master Mace Windu, the head of the twelve member Jedi Council in the STAR WARS Tragic Trilogy.
Significantly, Nero tracked down the killer in hotel room 2203, a fateful room number that evoked the 2:20 am time of the TZ disaster, the fateful 23rd of July of 1982, and creepy Room 237 of the Overlook Hotel in the allegorical and implicitly Lucas addressing Kubrick film, THE SHINING (1980). And it turned out the killer was his best friend, Max Peltier-played by Sizemore-a complex character, as he was linked to Dante by the SQUID recording of the rape/murder of Iris, to Spielberg due to the consensual rape of Faith, resembled Besson in his brunette wig, and was as bald as Proyas when the wig came surprisingly off in the struggle that broke out between Nero and Peltier after Peltier was revealed as the murderer.
This desperate battle ultimately led to Nero dropping Peltier off room 2203’s balcony to his doom, a fatal fall that evoked the fatal fall of one of the robbers in the black jack SQUID clip Nero experienced at the beginning of the film, bringing STRANGE DAYS full circle. The fatal fall also evoked the fall that killed Top Dollar at the end of THE CROW, a death evoked by the fact that Wincott returned as Faith’s implicitly Lynch linked manager, Philo Gant, in STRANGE DAYS. Shortly after, Nero also gave up on his ill advised dream to reconnect with his lost and lamented love, the faithless and Spielberg resembling singer, Faith, who had been in league with Peltier. Instead, Nero embraced Mace, reminding us that Cody dropped Aim and turned to the real McCoy at the end of STREETS OF FIRE.
Thus, with a symbolic Lucas finally falling down the vertiginous heights of love and holding the Afro-Queen of his THX 1138 hologram dreams as an enthusiastic L.A. crowd cheered in the new millennium in the ecstatically eucatastrophic and vertiginous end, Bigelow and Cameron implied their hope that Lucas would return to the true path and knock off Besson, Lynch, Proyas and Spielberg with an allegorical film that would break the world of film art free from the TZ disaster and the Zone forever and usher in a daylit, life affirming and Skyrocking new millennium of film art in style. However, his attempt to do just that with his STAR WARS Tragic Trilogy failed just as badly as did INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM and STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI, affirming that for Lucas, it was, indeed, over.
For Bigelow and Cameron, however, it was breaking open, allowing them to have a major influence on a new millennium of film art in open defiance of the gloomy ending of THE CROW. Indeed, with its innovative screenplay, inspired performances, striking visuals, crisp and clear cinematography, and innovative set, costume and makeup, STRANGE DAYS made clear that Bigelow and Cameron were poised to make a big impact in the new millennium.
Curiously, Bigelow and Cameron did not have long to wait for reaction to STRANGE DAYS, for 1995 saw the release of the Gibson scripted and allegorical Robert Longo film, JOHNNY MNEMONIC (1995), which struck back at the two for ripping off Gibson and implicitly roasted Cameron in the form of Dolph Lundgren’s violent J. C. cyborg messiah, the Street Preacher of the implicitly Temple Theatre linked Church of the Retransfiguration. Just as curiously, the implicitly David Cronenberg linked Johnny ‘John Smith’ Mnemonic-played by Keanu Reeves-navigated a CGI enhanced cyberspace with the help of virtual reality helmets with the cool and practiced ease of a seasoned cybernaut, and scored a victory in the end for indie film art like that of Cronenberg with his equally CGI enhanced avatar over the Evildoers of Pharmakom that anticipated the full throttle CGI, THX and 3D enhanced cyberpix and their equally triumphant avatars of the today.
That same year, Disney implicitly linked Lucas to Captain John Smith-who resembled Luke Skywalker, and was sung and voiced by Mel Gibson-and implied that Smith’s inability to fully embrace, live in harmony with and save the New World and beautiful Pocahontas-voiced by Irene Bedard and sung by Judy Kuhn-from the blockbuster gold lusting likes of the implicitly Tim Burton linked Governor Ratcliffe-his suit of armour and cape evoking Michael Keaton’s Bruce ‘Batman’ Wayne in the twilit and allegorical Burton films, BATMAN (1989), and BATMAN RETURNS (1992), and voiced by David O. Stiers-after sailing across the Atlantic on HMS Susan Constant symbolized the inability of Lucas to fully embrace, live in harmony with and save the new world of CGI enhanced film art from beastly blockbuster lusts in the allegorical and CGI enhanced Mike Gabriel and Eric Goldberg film, POCAHONTAS (1995). A curious implication, indeed, given that Burton was the one committed to film art for film’s art sake, and Lucas was the one committed to beastly CGI enhanced blockbuster profits.
To make it clear that they had embraced the new world of CGI enhanced film art, Disney and Pixar also pointedly released the first all CGI and allegorical John Lasseter film, TOY STORY (1995). The following year, Disney again implied their support for Cameron, having the implicitly Cameron linked Captain Phoebus-voiced by Kevin Kline-collaborate with the implicitly Landis linked Quasimodo-voiced by Tom Hulce-and, contrarily, the implicitly Burton linked Clopin-voiced by Paul Kundel-triumph over the implicitly Lynch linked evildoer, Justice Frollo-voiced by Tony Jay-and win the love of the implicitly Bigelow linked Esmeralda-voiced by Demi Moore and sung by Heidi Mollenhauser-in the allegorical and CGI enhanced Trousdale and Wise hand-animated film, THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (1996). For his part, Branagh implicitly allowed the implicitly Lynch linked Prince Hamlet-played by Branagh-triumph over the implicitly Cameron and Hamiliton linked King Claudius and Queen Gertrude-played by Derek Jacobi and Julie Christie, respectively-in the allegorical and DUNE and THE ELEPHANT MAN evoking film, HAMLET (1996), based upon the allegorical William Shakespeare play, Hamlet (1600).
Significantly, while HAMLET and THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME had little implicit effect on Cameron, POCAHONTAS and TOY STORY clearly did, for he implicitly replied to both films in his next two allegorical Zonebusters. In the second Zonebuster, he would remake POCAHONTAS by sailing another Caucasian gentleman to a beautiful but deadly and all CGI enhanced new world. In the first, Cameron teamed up again with Goldstein, Paxton and ALIENS composer James Horner and used the tragedy that befell another Captain Smith to implicitly dress down Disney for implicitly dismissing Lucas again in POCAHONTAS as in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, and to warn the company that its embrace of fortune and glory and CGI enhanced film art under CEO Michael Eisner could be its downfall, in the twilit and allegorical Zonebuster, TITANIC (1997).
‘What are you, an artist or something?’
Significantly, the two biomechanical and NTI evoking Mir submersibles from the Russian research vessel Keldysh seen falling through the enveloping black depths of the Atlantic Ocean accompanied by ponging sonar at the beginning of the film evoked the submarine, submersibles, deep sea aliens and Spielberg style of THE ABYSS right from the start of TITANIC, implying that Cameron was finally making good on his promise of a new, more mature and transcendent film age implied by the endings of STRANGE DAYS and THE ABYSS. But not a new age free of evil and menace, for the huge, brooding and battered mass of the blockbuster transatlantic liner, Titanic, that the lights of the Mir submersible conjured out of the darkness at the bottom of the Atlantic evoked the equally huge, brooding and battered mass of the crashed alien spaceship discovered on the twilit and forbidding planet of LV-426 in ALIEN and ALIENS, and the smaller but deadly mutant piranha filled wreck of the Dwight Fitzgerald in PIRANHA II: THE SPAWNING.
Ominous links, as exploration of these earlier wrecks led first to the face biters and face huggers-the latter of which evoked the monsters in the allegorical Arthur Crabtree film, FIEND WITHOUT A FACE (1958)-then to the chestbursters, and then to alienated and rampaging biomechanical blockbuster beasts. This implied that there was something sinister in that apparently innocent safe that the perhaps Folsey linked Brock Lovett-fittingly played by Paxton, who openly linked the beginning of the film to ALIENS via his role as the Colonial Marine Hudson in that film-and his crew of treasure hunters-including the Landis evoking Lewis Bodine, played by Lewis Abernathy-found in the remains of a First Class cabin aboard the Titanic and brought up from the twilit depths to the sunshine on the deck of the Keldysh. This sense that alienated menace lurked inside the safe was increased by the hand held video cam used to record the opening of the safe, for the video POV evoked the helmet cam POV of the Colonial Marines before they were attacked by the alienated biomechanical blockbuster hordes on LV-426 in ALIENS.
Luckily for Lovett and the viewer, however, a facehugger did not leap out and attach itself to Lovett's face when the safe was opened, leading to another desperate battle against the alienated blockbuster beast through the Nostromo-like maze of hallways and decks of the Keldysh. Instead, the opened safe lead to a wonderfully preserved pencil portrait of a beautiful and nude young woman dated April 14, 1912, the day before the sinking of the ill-fated Titanic. Significantly, an artifact technician who resembled a young Cameron was standing near the drawing as it was being cleaned off on the Keldysh. This fittingly linked the drawing to Cameron, given that he drew the picture.
Significantly, allowing television reporters to run a feature on the drawing to clear up its mystery lead Gloria Stuart's Rose Calvert to contact Lovett and his pirates. Indeed, Lovett had a gold hoop in his left ear, implicitly affirming the link of him and his people to pirates. The arrival of the older Rose also linked the film to T1, for the television report reminded us that the LA police had used television to encourage Hamilton's last remaining Sarah Connor to contact them before she was killed by the Terminator. This linked Rose to Sarah, implying that she was the latest personification of art in a Cameron film, as implicitly affirmed not only by the pencil drawing, but by the pottery that she was seen making in her art filled apartment making pottery in her first appearance in the film. Of course, the arrival of old Rose also evoked the spellbinding rose of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, implicitly affirming that Cameron was replying in part to that film in TITANIC, and setting us up for the arrival of the young, art loving and linked, Mary Pickford resembling and equally spellbinding Rose Dewitt Bukater-played by Kate Winslet, who had played Ophelia in HAMLET, an Ophelia who evoked Virginia Madsen’s Princess Irulan of DUNE.
Soon Calvert was flown to the Keldysh by twilit helicopter. Significantly, this helicopter trip implicitly reaffirmed her link to the film art of Cameron as it reminded us that Lindsey Brigman arrived by helicopter on the Explorer, a ship above the submarine Deepcore mining platform, at the beginning of THE ABYSS. Once aboard the Keldysh, Calvert revealed that she was once the beautiful young woman in the pencil portrait. Calvert also revealed that the massive diamond she was drawn wearing around her neck, the one that Lovett and his pirates had hoped to find in the safe, was known as the Heart of the Ocean.
Ominously, Calvert also pointed out that this massive neck hugging diamond was linked to death. In this case, the death of Louis XVI, an august 16th Louis who reminded us that Cameron was born on August 16th, 1954, ominously linking the Canadian auteur to the vainglorious and deadly pursuit of fortune and glory and confirming that Lovett and his men had indeed almost brought alienated Evil up from Titanic. Indeed, the deadly diamond evoked the equally fatal and hypnotizing Moonstone of the allegorical Wilkie Collins novel, The Moonstone (1868), a glittering and hypnotizing symbol of imperialist greed that brought death to all who owned it, anticipating the death that would arrive all too soon to greedily claim the passengers and crew of Titanic.
Calvert also revealed that the baneful bauble had been given to her by her wealthy, snobby, rude, arrogant and fortune and glory obsessed fiancée, the callow and Eisner resembling and implicitly linked Caledon ‘Cal’ Hockley-played by Billy Zane. Indeed, Hockley’s valet, the ironically named Lovejoy-played by David Warner-affirmed the implicit link of Hockley to Disney, as Warner played the real world Evil CEO Dillinger, his equally Evil digital doppelganger Sark, and voiced the Master Control Program (MCP) in the allegorical and implicitly Lucas and Spielberg supporting Steven Lisberger film, TRON (1982), released by the Walt Disney Studio. Seeing Hockley and Lovejoy associate in the first class section of Titanic with the Walt Disney resembling and implicitly linked Bruce Ismay-played by Jonathan Hyde-the owner of the White Star Lines that operated the ship and the man who conceived the ship, reaffirmed the implicit link of Hockley to Eisner. The central staircase of the Titanic also evoked the central staircase of the Beastly Prince’s castle in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and of Khaled’s chateau in the James Bond evoking prologue of TRUE LIES, reaffirming the implicit Disney addressing intent of TITANIC.
After affirming that she had given her the deadly Heart of the Ocean, Rose then told an enthralling tale to Lovett and his men and the crew of the Keldysh. A tale about a battle that broke out onboard Titanic during its few days afloat between the wealthy and art for money’s sake Establishment scion Hockley and the poor and art for art’s sake indie artist, Jack Dawson-his Dawson City surname implying that he naturally possessed an inner wealth, and played by Leonardo DiCaprio-for her love and hand in marriage. Given that the poor, charming and artistic country boy Dawson evoked the young Uncle Walt, one was tempted to believe that the battle between Dawson and Hockley over Rose symbolized the battle between the original art for art’s sake philosophy of Uncle Walt and Eisner’s new art for money’s sake philosophy at the Walt Disney Studio.
However, Dawson did not resemble or act like Uncle Walt, implying that another allegorical intent was at work in TITANIC. Given that Cameron in the guise of a Scottish passenger extra was often seen near Dawson in the background of the frame over the course of the film, and that his hands actually drew the pictures we see Dawson drawing in the film, there was a strong possibility that Dawson symbolized Cameron. If so, the battle between Dawson and Hockley over Rose symbolized the battle between the film art for art’s sake Cameron and the film art for money’s sake Eisner over which philosophy would prevail in the new era of CGI enhanced film art.
However, given that Dawson arrived on board the Titanic with his friend Fabrizio-played by Danny Nucci-there was also a possibility that Cameron sympathetically addressed Lucas again in TITANIC as in STRANGE DAYS and TRUE LIES in the symbolic form of Dawson. For the sight of Dawson and Fabrizio storming the Titanic after winning tickets in a card game at the beginning of the film reminded us that after attending film school at the Univesity of Southern California in the mid-Sixties, Lucas had stormed Hollywood with Coppola and their film production company, American Zoetrope, implying that Dawson and Fabrizio symbolized Lucas and Coppola. The sight of Fabrizio dying before Dawson when the Titanic sank reaffirmed that implication, reminding us that Coppola died at the box office with his allegorical film, ONE FROM THE HEART (1982), and never really recovered, a year before Lucas crashed and burned with STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI. If so, the battle between Dawson and Hockley over Rose symbolized the battle between the indie film art of Lucas and the studio film art of Eisner and Disney for dominance in the new CGI enhanced film art era.
Curiously, though, and despite the determined attempt both young men made to win the hand of Rose, neither the implicitly Eisner linked Hockley or the implicitly Cameron or Lucas linked Dawson won out, in the end. Indeed, Dawson died in the water after the sinking of the Titanic, and Rose evaded Hockley when he searched for her later amidst the survivors on the Carpathia. This implied that Cameron was now either worried that Lucas would not be able to make the transition into the CGI enhanced film art era if Dawson symbolized Lucas, or that he was worried that TITANIC would not find an audience if Dawson symbolized him. This also implied that he felt that Eisner would not be able to lead the Walt Disney Studio to success in the CGI enhanced film art era.
However, Cameron also implied his conviction that either Lucas or himself, unlike Eisner, would not be forgotten by film lovers. For in one of the film’s most memorable scenes, we discovered that it was Dawson who literally transformed Rose into a work of art with the pencil sketch that was found by Lovett and his pirates at the beginning of TITANIC. A sketch that implied that Cameron felt that Disney should not abandon their hand drawn animated film art. A work of art that also summed up Cameron's belief that his film art as well as the heart would go on long after he and his detractors-and even his supporters-were dead. For the pencil sketch of Rose not only outlived the disaster and its era, it was actually drawn by the Canadian auteur. Which again raised the possibility that Dawson actually symbolized Cameron. A possibility implicitly reaffirmed by the fact that the eighty-four year old pencil portrait reminded us that T1 appeared in 1984, implicitly reaffirming the link of Rose to Sarah and the film art of Cameron.
Given that the Titanic sank in Canadian territorial waters a 3821 metres-a twilit 23 hidden in the midst of that distance below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean-around the time of the TZ disaster at 2:20 am in the early morning of April 15, 1912 with approximately 2200 souls on board in another repetition of 220, Cameron also implied his fear that beastly CGI enhanced blockbuster lusts could also lead to more horrific film set disasters. The presence of Victor Garber as Titanic designer Thomas Andrews reaffirmed the implicit twilit intent of the film, for he linked the film openly to the Twilight Zone by way of his role as Kevin in the allegorical Philip DeGuere telefilm, ‘A Day in Beaumont’, the first half of Episode 24 of Season One of the new TWILIGHT ZONE television series in the Eighties. Dawson's famous shout "I'm king of the world!" also reaffirmed the film's link to the twilit and disastrous year of 1982, as it was the last comment made by troubled and susceptible teen Todd Bowden before he headed out on a shooting spree at the end of the allegorical novella, ‘Apt Pupil’, from the allegorical King novella quartet, Different Seasons (1982).
Curiously, several of the final lines of Rose wistfully evoked the Last Good Year of film, as they were taken from the full throttle and anti-blockbuster allegorical Miller film, THE ROAD WARRIOR (1981). This reaffirmed the film’s implicit interest in the TZ disaster, and even implied that the happy and sunlit days before the Titanic disaster equated with the Last Good Year of film before the twilit and disastrous year of 1982. Indeed, the presence of Warner reaffirmed that implication, for he played the personification of all Evil in the allegorical and implicitly New Hollywood artist roasting Terry Gilliam film, TIME BANDITS (1981), a film that had a brief segment aboard the Titanic before it sank. Curiously, the sound of Celine Dion singing composer James Horner’s ‘My Hear Will Go On’ over the closing titles of TITANIC also evoked Rita Coolidge singing composer Lee Holdridge’s ‘Love Came For Me’ over the closing titles of SPLASH in another allusion to that film in the film art of Cameron.
At any rate, audiences loved TITANIC, turning the film into the smash hit of 1997-98. The august Academy agreed with audiences, awarding TITANIC eleven Oscars, including the coveted Best Director and Best Picture awards. The astounding success transformed Cameron from film artist into international superstar, paving the way for the implicitly Cameron linked cinematic superheroes to come. Not surprisingly, as it was difficult to top TITANIC, Cameron faded from view to rest and recharge with his latest wife, Suzy Amis, who played Calvert’s granddaughter, Lizzy, in TITANIC. However, despite this absence, the spirit of Cameron returned to the Temple Theatre in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced Spielberg film, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (1998), for Private James Francis Ryan-played by Matt Damon-was implicitly linked to James Francis Cameron in that film. Significantly, given that Pte. Ryan survived the film’s final battle with the Germans while a host of other implicitly film artist linked U.S. soldiers did not, Spielberg implicitly affirmed that Cameron would most likely survive the allegorical cinematic combat and be still remembered after the end of the Zone Wars. The Zonebusting spirit of Cameron also implicitly infused the twilit and allegorical Wachowski Siblings film, THE MATRIX (1999). For the film constantly evoked humanity’s desperate battle against the blockbuster machine seen in nightmares of the future in T1 and T2 with another desperate battle between the remnants of humanity and the CGI enhanced blockbuster machine that secretly ran the world in the nightmarish present.
Curiously, two years later Bigelow and Cameron were no doubt pleased to see Lucas reward their implicit sympathy in STRANGE DAYS and TRUE LIES-and perhaps TITANIC-by implicitly linking Cameron to Anakin Skywalker-played by Jake Lloyd-the Dark Jedi who grew up to be Darth Vader, the intimidating Sith Lord puppet of the insidious and implicitly Spielberg linked Lord Sidious-played by Ian McDiarmid-in the allegorical film, STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE (1999). Indeed, the cave-like slave quarters in Mon Espa where Skywalker lived in Tatooine evoked similar cave evoking dwellings in BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS, the first feature film that Cameron worked on, implicitly affirming young Skywalker’s link to Cameron. As for the Canadian auteur, before returning to more titanic Zone War battles on the big screen, Cameron took a surprise detour into the crassly commercial television zone and implicitly responded to the implicit roasting he received from Sir Scott in the form of Viggo Mortensen’s tall, intimidating and abusive Navy SEAL Master Chief John James Urgayle-the surname Urgayle recalling T1, T2, THE ABYSS and TRUE LIES producer and ex-Cameron wife, Gayle Ann Hurd-in the allegorical and implicitly Bigelow supporting film, G. I. JANE (1997).
Indeed, John Savage’s implicitly Sir Scott linked Donald Lydecker-his surname evoking Deckard of BLADE RUNNER in an implicit affirmation of his link to Sir Scott-played a prominent part when G.I. JANE was fused with STRANGE DAYS and TRUE LIES and a dash of the Matrix Trilogy in the Cameron and Charles Eglee created and produced allegorical telefilm series, DARK ANGEL (2000-02).
‘Hey. Who ordered a pizza?’
Significantly, DARK ANGEL was not only the first telefilm venture of Cameron, and the first created in Canada, it was also the first Cameron production actually set in an apocalyptic 2019 nightmare of the future like that warned of in BLADE RUNNER, T1 and T2, a run down, edgy, corrupt and security obsessed post-electromagnetic pulse (EMP) terrorist attack Vancouver filmed future Seattle that eerily anticipated the similarly edgy and security conscious post-9/11 world. The link of DARK ANGEL to the Matrix Trilogy was increased by the eponymous Dark Angel of the series herself, a genetically created, Replicant-like and martial arts savvy Gen Next heroine and female Terminator designated X-452 and named ‘Mad’ Max Guevara-played by Jessica Alba-whose ultra fast, bullet time-style moves evoked Trinity-played by Carrie-Anne Moss-in the Matrix Trilogy. In fact, Guevara's motorcycle exploits even anticipated Trinity's motorcycle heroics in the twilit and allegorical Wachowski Siblings film, THE MATRIX RELOADED (2003).
Guevara's post-apocalyptic world, her two fisted approach to life, and her love of sending rescued people to safety in Canada also evoked Pamela Anderson's Barb Wire and her post-apocalyptic world in the allegorical David Hogan film, BARB WIRE (1996), implying that Cameron and Eglee were replying to that film on one level, too. Of course, the kick ass Guevara also evoked Demi Moore’s determined and implicitly Bigelow linked Navy SEAL trainee Lieutenant Jordan O’Neil in G. I. JANE in an implicit affirmation that Cameron and Eglee were replying to Sir Scott in DARK ANGEL. The appearance of the implicitly Lynch linked Reagan ‘Normal’ Ronald-implicitly played by J.C. MacKenzie-also made implicitly affirmed that Cameron was roasting Lynch again in DARK ANGEL.
In another first for Cameron, DARK ANGEL featured a male lead-in the form of Michael Weatherly's Logan Cale-who was confined to a wheelchair and unable to run or walk after being shot in the spine in the pilot telefilm, evoking Todd Graff’s wheelchair bound double amputee Tex Arcana in STRANGE DAYS. This confined him to his eagle eyrie, forcing this idealistic and independently wealthy Bruce Wayne-like character to rely on the full throttle Guevara to be his Batgirl alter ego and crusade against and defeat the criminals and corruption that plagued post-apocalyptic Seattle, making Guevara the first female lead hero of a Cameron production in another first for Cameron. This made Guevara seem like a wistful and super heroic crime fighting figment of the frustrated and indignant law upholding imagination of the crippled Cale rather than a real person, an unreality enhanced by the fact that Cale and Guevara were the first two male and female leads in a Cameron production to not become lovers.
The implication was that Cameron was admitting that he was struggling to find his legs in the new world of digital film, and that Guevara symbolized not just film art yet again but CGI enhanced digital film art in particular in this latest Cameron production. Indeed, Cale and Guevara first met when Cale caught her stealing some small sculptures from his condo in the pilot telefilm, immediately linking both characters to art. Cale and Guevara also combined to save an original Norman Rockwell painting-linked to twilit events as they were liked and collected by Lucas and Spielberg-from insidious criminals in the 'Art Attack' episode of Season One, openly affirming the implicit link of the two characters to art.
Hidden away in his Fortress of Solitude deep in the heart of L.A., the Canadian auteur was perhaps irritated to see himself implicitly linked to the Evil Saruman-played by Christopher Lee-in the epic, CGI enhanced, twilit and allegorical Sir Peter Jackson film, THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (2001)-buy maybe not, given that the first film in THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy was an awesome film. However, regardless of what he thought about being implicitly linked to Saruman, Cameron was no doubt pleased to see Paxton create and release his own twilit and allegorical film, FRAILITY (2001), a film that implied that he was joining Bigelow and Cameron’s anti-Lynch crusade, given that the final victim of the film’s God’s Hands killers was FBI Agent Wesley Doyle-played by Powers Boothe-who evoked the FBI agents of TWIN PEAKS and TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME. Perhaps FRAILTY inspired Cameron, for he soon teamed up with TITANIC co-producer Jon Landau and executive producer Rae Sanchini to produce the twilit, allegorical and 2010 evoking Steven Soderbergh film, SOLARIS (2002), a film that was inspired by the allegorical Stanislaw Lem novel, Solaris (1961), that implicitly commemorated the twentieth anniversary of the TZ disaster by expressing misgivings about the CGI that was developed to prevent further film set disasters.
‘Let’s pick this up on Wednesday.’
Curiously, the film started on a BLADE RUNNER evoking future Earth with the lonely and implicitly Landis linked psychiatrist bachelor, Doctor Chris Kelvin-played by George Clooney. However, after Dr. Kelvin accepted a mission to find out what happened to the personnel of a Terran space station orbiting a world called Solaris, the film soon shifted to the Solaris station. Here Dr. Kelvin found a spooky CGI enhanced world so alive and aware and powerful it could read the minds of the Terran astronauts studying it from their orbiting space station and haunt them with loved ones created from their memories. Loved ones like the implicitly Deborah Landis linked Rheya-played by Natascha McElhone-who had committed suicide before the mission but soon arrived to haunt Dr. Kelvin.
This realistic but not human copy of Rheya reminded us that CGI was in its infancy at the time of the TZ disaster in 1982, and was frantically developed so as to prevent more TZ disasters. However, CGI had become so advanced by 2002 that it was also able, like Solaris, to create realistic but not human copies of people like Rheya. Thus, there was now a worry that all CGI film art would replace human film art like the Solaris copy of Rheya replaced the real Rheya, thus robbing film of its vital humanity. This uncertainty about whether CGI enhanced film art would retain its vital humanity no doubt explained why it was also uncertain whether Dr. Kelvin and Rheya-and, by implication, John and Deborah Landis-were released from their twilit nightmare by the advancement of CGI or trapped forever in a new nightmare by that same advancement of CGI.
Significantly, the many scenes in which the Kelvins stared into the camera and out at the audience affirmed by the implicit Landis addressing intent of the film, reminding us that the only New Hollywood era film artist famous for having characters break the fourth wall was Landis. The film’s allusions to BLADE RUNNER reaffirmed that implicit intent, fittingly linking the film to the twilit and disastrous July of 1982. And how apropos that the remake of SOLARIS was an implicit meditation on a troubled film artist. For with the original cinematic Kris Kelvin-played by Donatas Banionis-resembling film artist Roman Polanski, and his dead wife, Hari-played by Natalya Bondarchuk-resembling Sharon Tate in the allegorical Andrei Tarkovsky film, SOLARIS (1972), the implication was that Tarkovsky was sympathetically musing on Polanski’s attempt to come to grips with his young American wife’s recent murder by the Manson family.
At any rate, despite the ambiguity of SOLARIS, the brave new world of CGI enhanced film art was implicitly being addressed in the film, symbolized by the sentient and mischievous CGI world of Solaris, floating in cyberspace like a massive digital brain or a CGI planet Arous. Which was fitting, for on top of being the twentieth anniversary year of BLADE RUNNER and the TZ disaster, 2002 was also the twentieth anniversary of the arrival of the brave new world of CGI enhanced film art in the form of the moon transformed into Genesis planet in STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN. A brave new CGI world also implicitly recalled in the form of the planet Geonosis in the allegorical and implicitly Cameron and Spielberg roasting Lucas film, STAR WARS EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES (2002), the second installment in the new STAR WARS Tragic Trilogy that implicitly linked Cameron to the angry and older Dark Jedi Knight, Anakin Skywalker-played by Hayden Christensen.
Significantly, the sight and sound of Dr. Kelvin being persuaded to explore strange happenings in a commercial satellite research station orbiting the planet Solaris not only evoked Rambo being persuaded to return to Vietnam by the U.S. military in RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART TWO, and Ripley being persuaded by Burke of the callous and duplicitous Weyland-Yutani Corporation to explore alienated happenings in a company town on the planet LV-426 in ALIENS, but also anticipated company officials persuading an embittered ex-Marine to explore strange other-body happenings launched from a company settlement on a forest moon of the planet Pandora in a Cameron film to come. An epic film anticipated by the equally epic, CGI enhanced twilit and allegorical Sir Jackson film, THE TWO TOWERS (2002), which again implicitly linked Cameron to Lee’s Evil Saruman. However, despite being implicitly roasted by Sir Jackson in THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, Cameron implied that year that the implicit roasting he was receiving in the symbolic form of Anakin Skywalker in the STAR WARS Tragic Trilogy was bothering him more and had changed his mind about Lucas. Indeed, he now implied that he had Lucas in his sights when he teamed up again with Henriksen and his brother, Mike, and returned to the Temple Theatre with the Cameron co-produced and co-directed-with Gary Johnstone-allegorical documentary film, JAMES CAMERON’S EXPEDITION: BISMARCK (2002).
‘It was the ultimate killing machine, the Death Star of its time. At 830 feet, it was almost as long as the Titanic.
But it was thirty feet wider, and so heavily armoured,
it weighed almost twice as much.’
Indeed, the sight of Admiral John Tovey resolutely leading the grim and relentless Royal Navy pursuit and bombardment of the massive and Death Star linked-but Star Destroyer evoking-Bismarck that led to the death of its commanding officer, Admiral Gunther Lutjens, and the scuttling of the blockbuster beast of a ship by its crew on May 27, 1941 during the Second World War implicitly affirmed that Lucas and his new and implicitly Cameron roasting STAR WARS Tragic Trilogy would be the main targets of the Canadian auteur’s next massive Zone War salvo. Indeed, the fact that the Bismarck went down on May 27, 1941 reaffirmed the implicit Lucas addressing intent of the film. For the date was very close to the famous May 25, 1977 release date of STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE, a release date so special for Lucas, that he released all of the rest of his STAR WARS and Indiana Jones films on or near that date, as well.
Cameron also implied that he was resigned to creating rather than eager to create a Zonebusting reply to the STAR WARS Tragic Trilogy, for the film long lament for the necessity for ‘…the madness of war’ implied that the success of TITANIC had mellowed the Canadian auteur. Indeed, the fact that he chose the tragedy of the Bismarck-which also sank, like Titanic, on its maiden voyage-as the subject of his first film since TITANIC implicitly affirmed that Cameron also lamented the madness of the allegorical Zone Wars. The resemblance of one of its surviving crewmembers, Karl Kuhn, to Zone War film artist Werner Herzog reaffirmed that implicit lamentation. However, despite this mellowed lament, Cameron was implicitly confident that his next Zonebuster would sink the second STAR WARS trilogy, for he chanted the magic words “…see you in the sunshine!” before he climbed into one of the Kelydysh’s ironically peaceful Mir submersibles for another long ride down to the bottom of the North Atlantic to see the wreck of the Bismarck, a huge and ominous wreck that evoked the equally huge and ominous crashed spaceship of ALIEN and ALIENS as much as it did Titanic.
Curiously, the appearance of the new mini and mobile remote operating vehicles (ROVs), Jake and Elwood, built by Mike Cameron also confirmed the twilit theme of the film and that Cameron was rooting for Landis even in his documentary films, for Jake and Elwood linked JAMES CAMERON’S EXPEDITION: BISMARCK to Landis and his allegorical film, THE BLUES BROTHERS (1980). Henriksen’s narration also implicitly reaffirmed the twilit ambience of the film, linking the documentary to 1982 via his role in PIRANHA PART TWO: THE SPAWNING, and to the dread allegorical Zone Wars via his roles in AFTER DARK, ALIENS and T1.
A fitting reminder of the latter film, given that Jonathan Mostow followed in the footsteps of Cameron by teaming up with Cassar, Hurd, Winston and RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART TWO co-producer Andrew G. Vajna and company to implicitly roast Lynch again in the form of a new, CGI enhanced and female Terminator, the TX-played by Kristanna Loken-in the twilit and allegorical film, TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES (2003), in implicit reply to the then latest twilit and allegorical Lynch film, MULHOLLAND DRIVE (2001), which was alluded to in T3. As for the Canadian auteur, Henriksen’s narration and twilit links also set us up for Paxton’s narration and supporting role with Mike Cameron in the twilit and allegorical Cameron directed and co-produced film, GHOSTS OF THE ABYSS (2003), curiously made with Disney.
‘I knew we were gonna get close to Titanic,
but not this close.’
Curiously, and unlike Henriksen in JAMES CAMERON’S EXPEDITION: BISMARCK, who narrated that film but did not go down in a Mir submersible to the Bismarck, Paxton narrated the film and went down in a Mir submersible to the silent and rusting wreck of the Titanic. These were actually his first trips down to Titanic, as the opening scenes that saw Lovett and Bodine exploring the famous wreck in search of the safe believed to hold the Heart of the Ocean had been created with movie magic in TITANIC. It was nice to see that the ‘astral projection’ like experience of gliding over the huge and awesome reality of Titanic in a Mir swept away the crass and cynical Lovett and replaced it with the awed and humbled Paxton, as awed and humbled as the audience. Indeed, Paxton was the audience and we were Paxton, and all were overawed by Titanic and the digitally enhanced technology-including the return of Jake and Elwood-that allowed the expedition to occur and be captured on film.
Of course, the sight of Jake and Elwood drifting through the wreck openly linked Landis and the TZ disaster to the Titanic disaster for the first time, confirming the twilit theme of TITANIC. Indeed, how fitting that the Landis evoking Abernathy returned for this expedition. Curiously, Landis was not the only Zone War film artist implicitly present in the film, for the presence of historians Don Lynch and Ken Marschall-who also gamely played Andrews and Ismay, respectively, in the film’s scenes of historical reenactment-linked Lynch and Marshall to the expedition. Luckily for the intrepid Cameron brothers, the ROVs and their custom designed and built cameras worked perfectly, allowing the two to explore the wreck in more detail and in a way that had been faked at the beginning of TITANIC.
Indeed, the exploration of Titanic with Jake and Elwood was such a success-a success helped along by the Medusa lighting system that was cabled down to the wreck to provide film set-style light for the roving cameras-that the Titanic and TZ disasters were both replaced with another Zonebusting triumph for Cameron. A triumph that a hopeful Cameron had done his best to help create by chanting his new magic phrase ‘…see you in the sunshine!’ before each descent in a Mir to the Titanic, as it again summed up his sunny new mood since the triumph of TITANIC. An optimism also implied in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced Wachowski Siblings films, THE MATRIX RELOADED and THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS (2003). For the Matrix Trilogy ended with a détente between the CGI enhanced machines and humanity, suggesting the new hope of the Wachowski Siblings that a balance between CGI enhancement and a vital humanity could be achieved in the new era of CGI enhanced film art.
But a triumph that was not free from criticism, as Wes Anderson implicitly blasted Cameron’s newfound oceanographic adventures in the form of the reckless and gun toting oceanographer/adventurer-film artist Steve Zissou-played by Bill Murray-in the allegorical film, THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU (2004). Scorsese also implicitly blasted Cameron the following year in his allegorical film, THE AVIATOR (2004).
‘The way of the future.’
Indeed, with a wealthy, secretive, extremely independent, film loving, full throttle, uncompromising, technology obsessed and outsider protagonist in the form of Di Caprio’s Howard Hughes, it was clear that Scorsese had picked the right historical figure to symbolize Cameron. The fact that Hughes was played by TITANIC lead Di Caprio, was briefly linked to the most expensive Hollywood film ever made-the allegorical film, HELL’S ANGELS (1930)-was also not a college graduate and shared Cameron’s love of women-including Katharine Hepburn (played by Cate Blanchett), who was implicitly linked to Kathryn Bigelow, also reaffirmed that THE AVIATOR was addressing Cameron. Thus, the implication was that Scorsese was blasting Cameron as being as reckless and uncaring as to his personal safety and as obsessive-compulsive as Hughes. A message that was clearly lost on Cameron, as sunny optimism and exploratory delight continued when he teamed up again with JAMES CAMERON’S EXPEDITION: BISMARCK producer Andrew Wight on the Cameron produced and co-directed allegorical documentary film, ALIENS OF THE DEEP (2004), co-directed by Steven Quale and, like GHOSTS OF THE ABYSS, surprisingly made with Disney.
‘That’s incredible! That’s like another planet!’
Significantly, the film showcased two historic underwater expeditions, one in the Atlantic and one in the Pacific, using four submersibles-the two familiar Mir submersibles of the Keldysh joining two new Cameron designed Rovers of the EDT Ares. The two successful expeditions explored extraterrestrial environments and real life bioluminescent NTIs beneath the waves, evoking the NTIs of THE ABYSS and pointed the way to the explosion of CGI enhanced bioluminescent fauna and flora soon to be encountered in the next Cameron Zonebuster.
Indeed, the bioluminescent aliens and their underwater city encountered by two of the documentary’s scientists at the end of ALIENS OF THE DEEP in a fictional CGI imagining of a possible future close encounter with extraterrestrial life forms-and the 3D camera work-openly gave viewers a taste of the 3D Zonebuster to come. Not that all were eager to experience that Zonebuster, for Lucas wrapped up his STAR WARS Tragic Trilogy the following year implicitly linking Cameron to an Anakin Skywalker-played again by Christensen-so weak and vainglorious he succumbed to his Dark Side and became Darth Vader, the Sith puppet controlled by the insidious and implicitly Spielberg linked Lord Sidious-played by Ian McDiarmid-at the end of the allegorical and implicitly Cameron and Spielberg roasting film, STAR WARS EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH (2005).
Luckily for Cameron, Christopher Nolan and company came to the Candian auteur’s defense that year. Indeed, they implicitly affirmed that the astounding success of Cameron had made him appear superhuman and implied their confidence that SuperCam was just recharging his batteries and would soon return to ignite the Temple Theatre in the twilit, allegorical and implicitly Cameron supporting Nolan film, BATMAN BEGINS (2005), based on the character perhaps linked to H.P. Lovecraft that was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger for DC Comics.
‘Your anger gives you great power. But if you let it, it will destroy you…’
How fitting that the film began with Christian Bale’s Cameron resembling and implicitly linked Bruce Wayne coming back from years of international travel, thought and transformation to take over as head of Wayne Enterprises, for it evoked the equally thoughtful and rejuvenating sabbatical from feature film creation that Cameron was still taking in 22005. How also fitting that after returning from his long absence, Wayne moonlighted as the uncompromising and technology loving Batman to rid the implicitly Hollywood linked Gotham City of all of its implicitly film artist linked criminals and super villains-such as Tom Wilkinson’s implicitly Francis Coppola linked crime boss, Carmine Falcone, and Cillian Murphy’s implicitly Burton linked Doctor Jonathan ‘Scarecrow’ Crane. For Wayne’s superheroic activities affirmed the implicit conviction of Nolan that it was only a matter of time before Cameron returned to the Temple Theatre to exorcise from the Temple Theatre all of the false film artist pretenders who had emerged in his absence and enfire all of the Good film artists with another Zonebusting classic, as well. A classic Zonebuster that would particularly exorcise Lucas and his Cameron and Spielberg roasting STAR WARS Tragic Trilogy, as implied by Batman’s triumph over the implicitly Lucas linked Ra’s al Ghul aka Ducard-played by Liam Neeson-and his Jedi evoking League of Shadows at the end of BATMAN BEGINS.
The emphasis on on set special effects, and the sparing use of CGI enhancement, affirmed the implicit Cameron toasting intent of the film. The wry and knowing support given Wayne by the loyal and implicitly Corman linked and resembling butler, Alfred-played by Michael Caine-reaffirmed the implicit Cameron supporting intent of BATMAN BEGINS, reminding us that Corman was a staunch and wry supporter of Cameron in his early years, as well. However, while well meant, Nolan chose the wrong hero to implicitly support Cameron. For as the proud Canadian had never exchanged his Canadian citizenship for dual or full American citizenship, clearly the real superhero needed to symbolize the real life superheroics of Cameron was the Richard Comely created all Canadian superhero, Captain Canuck.
As for Cameron, he implicitly affirmed that he was returning to CGI enhanced feature film art so as to definitely lead viewers out of twilit subjection and back to the cinematic promised land by acting as executive producer and co-narrator on the Simcha Jacobovici written and co-narrated allegorical History Channel documentary film, THE EXODUS DECODED (2006).
‘And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses.’
- Exodus 14:31
Indeed, with the documentary immediately recapping the end of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and the packing of the Ark of the Covenant in a crate that was hid in a vast warehouse of similar crates, THE EXODUS DECODED immediately evoked Lucas, Spielberg and the last good year of film before the TZ disaster in 1982, linking the fascinating and insightful reappraisal of the Exodus story to twilit film directors in the year before the TZ disaster. Thus, the ten plagues and disasters that struck Pharoah Ahmose and his fellow Egyptians symbolized the plague of the TZ disaster and its effects on Lucas, Spielberg and their followers, while the successful leading of the Jews out of Egypt to the promised land by Moses after the deaths of the Egyptian first borns symbolized the successful leading of audiences out of the TZ disaster haunted Twilight Zone by Cameron after the deaths of Chen, Le and Morrow. This reminded us of the “J.C.” initials of James Cameron and John Connor, a link to Jesus that continued in the Cameron executive produced and Jacobovici directed History Channel documentary, THE LOST TOMB OF JESUS (2007).
Curiously, implicitly supporting Captain Canuck with mistaken super identities continued when Bruce ‘Batman’ Wayne-played again by Bale-triumphed over the implicitly Bigelow linked Joker-played by Heath Ledger-and the implicitly Morrow linked Harvey ‘Two-Face’ Dent-played by Aaron Eckhart-with more help from wry and trusty Alfred-played again by Caine-and the undaunted and TIFF CEO Piers Handling evoking Commissioner Gordon-played by Gary Oldman-in the twilit and allegorical Nolan film, THE DARK KNIGHT (2008). Even more curiously, Louis Leterrier implicitly linked Captain Cameron to another superhero that same year in his CGI enhanced and allegorical film, THE INCREDIBLE HULK (2008).
‘Don’t make me…hungry. You wouldn’t like me
Indeed, the Cameron resembling and righteously furious and rampaging Doctor Bruce ‘Hulk’ Banner-played by Ed Norton and voiced by Lou Ferrigno-was implicitly linked to the righteously furious and Zonebusting Cameron throughout the film. The implicit link of Dr. Banner’s life’s love, Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Ross-played by Liv Tyler-to Bigelow and the many scenes filmed in Hamilton and Toronto, Ontario reaffirmed the implicit interest in Cameron in particular and in Ontario born and raised film artists in general. However, while the implicit link between the rampaging Banner and Cameron was understandable given that Cameron was soon to rampage in the Temple Theatre again, it was an awkward fit. Marvel clearly realized that, for they soon switched the implicit link of the Lightstorm Entertainment commanding Cameron from the Hulk to an immortal and lightning storm commanding superhero in a series of films to come. A superheroic support that perhaps inspired Captain Canuck to finish off his next opus, for he soon returned with Horner and Weaver and implicitly thrashed Lucas and Scorsese with his biggest, most embattled-and, at some four hundred million dollars, most expensive-and CGI enhanced allegorical Zonebuster yet, AVATAR (2009).
‘The Nav’i say that every person is born twice.’
Indeed, the sight of Jake Sully-played by Sam Worthington-the young and implicitly Cameron linked ex-Marine paralyzed from the waist down accepting a dangerous interplanetary mission like Kelvin and Ripley and travelling on the leonopteryx anticipating and Discovery I evoking spaceship, Venture Star, to the fecund, CGI enhanced and Genesis evoking forested moon Pandora of the brave new CGI world of Polyphemus, abandoning the Marines for the Nav’i by mastering his huge and powerful CGI enhanced Nav’i blue avatar, meeting and falling in love with a beautiful, powerful and Guevara and Pocahontas evoking young Nav’i spirit warrior woman named Neytiri-played by Zoe Saldana-and leading the Nav’i tribes like a CGI enhanced Maud’dib in a righteously furious uprising that triumphed over the dimunitive and implicitly Scorsese linked Parker Selfridge-played by Giovanni Ribisi-callous and unobtainable unobtanium lusting CEO of the branch of Resources Development Corporation (RDA), the Terran mining colony on Pandora, and Selfridge’s implicitly Lucas linked and equally callous head of security, Colonel Miles Quarritch-played by Stephen Lang-and his mercenaries implicitly affirmed that Cameron used AVATAR to reply to AVIATOR and the STAR WARS Tragic Trilogy-and top Lynch and DUNE.
Significantly, Cameron implicitly hoped that AVATAR would make 2009 the First Good Year of a new era of Zone free and CGI enhanced film art, for the flying banshee mounts of the Nav’i recalled the flying mount of Taarna in the ‘Taarna’ episode of the allegorical Gerald Potteron film, HEAVY METAL: THE MOVIE (1981), released in the Last Good Year of film. Indeed, Neytiri on her banshee openly evoked Taarna on her flying mount in an enthusiastic nod to HEAVY METAL: THE MOVIE. Of course, Worthington’s Aussie accent also recalled those heard in THE ROAD WARRIOR, reaffirming AVATAR’s interest in the Last Good Year of film. The flying banshee horses also confirmed the twilit ambience of AVATAR, for Sully's enthusiastic cry of 'Let's dance!' at the beginning of the scene where his banshee chose him as his life mount reminded us that David Bowie's comeback album, LET'S DANCE (1983), was the big hit of 1983, the year of the release of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE. Curiously, this link to LET'S DANCE also reaffirmed Cameron's links to Bigelow, for Paxton's Severen had paraphrased a line from 'China Girl' while killing a biker in a bar in NEAR DARK, confirming that film's twilit links to the twilit and disastrous events of 1982-83.
Thus, Sully's transformation from wheelchair bound human to inspirational blue Nav’i cat person warrior messiah-the Toruk Macto!-who confidently rode the wind on banshee and dread leonopteryx mounts-the name of the latter flying mount evoking both Leo Di Caprio and Leon, a Replicant played by Brion James in BLADE RUNNER-in the end, implicitly affirmed that Cameron had not only been converted to the CGI cause and had found his digital legs, but was confidently Skyrocking in the CGI digifilm age. Indeed, Sully abandoned his frail human body for his Nav’i avatar in the last scene of the film, implicitly affirming that Cameron was now indeed one with the brave new world of CGI enhanced film art.
Or did it? For from PIRANHA II: THE SPAWNING to TITANIC, the male lead in a Cameron film had always been linked to another film artist, implying that Sully symbolized another film artist, as well. This implication was reaffirmed by the fact that character that most evoked Cameron in AVATAR was Sully’s friend, Norm Spelman-played by Joel D. Moore-the tall, smart and supportive young RDA scientist who joined Sully, Neytiri and the rest of the Nav’i in the uprising at the end of the film. Perhaps the sound of Selfridge dismissing the Nav’i as ‘blue monkeys’ was the clue we needed to solve the symbolic mystery. For the comment reminded us that the fully CGI enhanced form of the infant Hellboy was dismissed as a ‘red monkey’ at the RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK evoking beginning of the twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced and implicitly Wachowski Sibling roasting Guillermo Del Toro film, HELLBOY (2004).
Thus, there was a possibility that Sully, a lone indie Marine who popped out of nowhere to achieve astounding and CGI enhanced success on Pandora symbolized Del Toro, a lone indie film artist who popped out of nowhere and in time achieved astounding success with CGI enhanced films like HELLBOY. Indeed, the prologue of the film had a cremation scene that evoked a cremation scene in Del Toro’s first twilit and implicitly Disney and Eisner roasting allegorical feature film, CRONOS (1993), implicitly affirming the Del Toro sympathizing intent of AVATAR.
At any rate, Sully’s transformative journey into hybrid cat person, in the end, was anticipated by the genetically altered animal people of the second season of DARK ANGEL-particularly Kevin Durand's tall and unusually strong dog man, Joshua. Sully’s new CGI Nav’i avatar also implicitly linked the film to 1982 via the allegorical Paul Schrader film, CAT PEOPLE (1982). Like the journey of most male leads in Cameron film art, Sully’s journey was enriched by love yet again, as Sully embraced Neytiri as well as CGI, in the end. The sight of Sully reborn as a Nav’i warrior leader, in the end, also implied the hope of Cameron that he had become one with the new era of CGI enhanced film art.
Curiously, the august Academy did not share this hope, awarding six Oscars-including Best Director and Best Picture-to Bigelow and her allegorical and implicitly Lynch addressing film, THE HURT LOCKER (2008), soon after the release of AVATAR. A snub that did not stop the Canadian auteur from returning to the Temple Theatre as co-executive producer on the allegorical and THE ABYSS evoking Alister Grierson film, SANCTUM (2010).
Curiously, the arduous but ultimately successful escape of Rhys Wakefield’s implicitly Nolan linked Josh from a deadly and twilit underground and underwater labyrinth of caves in Papua New Guinea that claimed the lives of six other spelunkers implied that Cameron and Grierson approved of the film art and success of Nolan. Significantly, the last spelunker to die before Josh swam to freedom was his own implicitly Sir Scott linked father, Frank-played by Richard Roxburgh-who was drowned by Josh as he did not want to leave the mortally injured Frank to die a slow and agonizing death in the cave system at the end of the film. This drowning scene affirmed the link of Frank to Sir Scott as it evoked the murder of Tyrell Corporation head, Eldon Tyrell-played by Joe Turkel-by renegade replicant leader, Roy Batty-played by Rutger Hauer-in BLADE RUNNER.
As for Ben Affleck, he implicitly roasted Cameron that year in his BREAK POINT evoking sophomore allegorical film, THE TOWN (2010). Indeed, his Boston bank robber character, Doug MacRay, triumphed over Jeremy Renner’s implicitly Cameron linked brother robber, James ‘Gem’ Coughlin, at the end of the film. For his part, Michael Dowse had the implicitly Spielberg linked Hamilton Highlanders enforcer, Doug Glatt-played by Sean W. Scott-try to inspire his New Hollywood linked team to a victory over the implicitly Cameron linked St. John’s Shamrocks enforcer, Ross Rhea-played by Live Schrieber-so as to win the last playoff spot at the end of their minor league season in his allegorical and Cameron roasting film, GOON (2011).
That the Hamilton Highlanders succeeded in their quest, in the end, implicitly affirmed the hope of Dowse that Spielberg would also one day succeed in his quest to topple Cameron as box office King and reclaim the crown Cameron took from him and E.T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL with the triumph of TITANIC. The link of the captain of the Hamilton Highlanders, Gord Ogilvey-played by Richard Clarkin-to Lucas, a longtime supporter of Spielberg, also implicitly affirmed the intent of the film and the link of the Hamilton Highlanders to New Hollywood.
A year later, Branagh implied his worry that the success of AVATAR had gone to the head of Cameron and implicitly and mistakenly linked the tall, confident, bearded and once blonde Captain Canuck commander of Lightstorm Entertainment to another Marvel superhero, the equally tall, blonde, bearded, cocky, confident, proud, disdainful and lightning commanding Norse god of thunder, Thor-played by Chris Hemsworth-in his allegorical and implicitly Cameron satirizing film, THOR (2011), based on the character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for Marvel Comics.
‘But you’re not King!’
Indeed, Branagh was so implicitly worried that the success of AVATAR had gone to the head of Cameron that he had the implicitly Lucas linked Odin-played by Sir Anthony Hopkins-strip Thor of his mighty and phallic hammer, Mjolnir, and banish him from Hollywood linked Asgard, eternal home of the Norse gods, to Earth to live the humbling life of a mere human. As Thor appeared to learn his contrite lesson with the help of the lovely Jane Foster-played by Natalie Portman-and become a more thoughtful god of thunder, Branagh implicitly and wryly hoped that Captain Canuck would become more humble, as well. Of course, the sight of Thor falling through time and space from Asgard to Earth in a light storm evoked the light storming and time travelling escapades of TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY and THE TERMINATOR, affirming the implicit Cameron satirizing intent of THOR. Thor’s battle with the implicitly Spielberg linked Loki-implicitly linked by Kirby and Lee to the equally mischievous MAD man Harvey Kurtzman when he first appeared in Marvel Comics, and played by Tom Hiddleston-and his frost giant allies reaffirmed the implicit Cameron satirizing intent of the film, reminding us that Cameron beat Spielberg and E.T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL when he took over as uncrowned King of Hollywood in 1997 with TITANIC. The appearance of the implicitly Sir Scott linked Clint ‘Hawkeye’ Barton-played by Jeremy Renner-also fittingly affirmed the film’s implicit interest in Cameron, given the alienated rivalry between the True Northman and the Northern Rebel. Last but not least, the appearance of the implicitly Bigelow linked warrioress, Sif-played by Jaimie Alexander-reaffirmed the implicit Cameron addressing intent of THOR.
Significantly, Disney, Marvel and Joss Whedon soon allowed the mighty and implicitly Captain Canuck linked Thor-played again by Hemsworth-to return for more humbling adventures with the implicitly Sir Scott linked Barton-played again by Renner-and to team up with the mayhem loving and implicitly Lucas linked Doctor Bruce ‘Hulk’ Banner-played by Mark Ruffalo-the implicitly Sofia Coppola linked Natasha ‘Black Widow’ Romanoff-played by Scarlett Johansson-the implicitly Clint Eastwood linked Steve ‘Captain America’ Rogers-played by Chris Evans-the implicitly Spike Lee linked SHIELD Director Nick Fury-played by Samuel L. Jackson-and the implicitly Jason Reitman linked Tony ‘Iron Man’ Stark-played by Robert Downey jr.-as the Avengers in the allegorical and implicitly Spielberg roasting film, THE AVENGERS (2012).
‘What’s the matter? Are you scared of a little lightning?’
Indeed, the Avengers continued the desperate battle begun in THOR with the pouty, petulant and implicitly Spielberg linked Loki-played again by Hiddleston-and fought him and his sinister new extraterrestrial Chitauri allies for control of the McGufferact Cube. Curiously, the same year Captain Canuck was implicitly switched from being linked to a Marvel superhero to a DC superhero when he was implicitly linked again to Bruce ‘Batman’ Wayne-played again by Bale-aided again by Alfred and Commissioner Gordon-played again by Caine and Oldman, respectively-in a desperate battle against the latest super baddies, Bane and Talia, the daughter of Ra’s al Ghul-played by Tom Hardy and Marion Cotillard, respectively-in order to again save Gotham City and Hollywood. Then it was off to DC Comics as Nolan finished off his Dark Knight Trilogy in style with the twilit and allegorical film, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (2012), which saw the implicitly Cameron, Corman and Handling linked Bruce ‘Batman’ Wayne, Alfred and Commissioner Gordon-played again by Bale, Caine and Oldman, respectively-unite with the implicitly Bigelow linked Selina ‘Catwoman’ Kyle-played by Anne Hathaway-to save Gotham City from the pernicious peril of the implicitly Sofia Coppola and Tony Scott linked Talia and Bane-played by Marion Cotillard and Tom Hardy, respectively. Allegorical superheroic exploits that no doubt inspired Cameron’s own real life superheroic exploit, diving 35, 787 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean in the Challenger Deep in the allegorical and Cameron narrated Wight, John Bruno and Ray Quint film, JAMES CAMERON’S DEEPSEA CHALLENGE (2013).
‘If you live in fear and you never follow your dreams, you’ve compromised in a much greater way.’
Indeed, the awe inspiring film saw Cameron become the first person in history to dive seven miles down to the bottom of the Challenger Deep pit in the Mariana Trench-a distance twice the depth of the Titanic-all by himself in his own upright, banana yellow, hi-tech and digitally enhanced twelve ton submarine, Deepsea Challenger, a one-man vehicle that fused sub with AMP suit. Curiously, the solo descent recalled that of Brigman at the end of THE ABYSS, as the film art and life of Cameron fused to become the art of life. Significantly, this record making descent was ominously preceded by another tragic helicopter crash south of Sydney that killed co-director Wight and film artist friend Mike De Gruy shortly before the dive, a fatal crash that overshadowed and haunted the record solo dive like the TZ disaster haunted film art. Leaving Cameron as twilit and all alone in the dark depths at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean as he was alone in the twilit cinematic firmament. Alone, but at one with the true heart of the ocean at a pressure of sixteen thousand pounds per square inch in his one man Nautilus like a real life Captain Nemo, proving for all to see that he was literally a biodigital Avastar.
Sir Scott implicitly believed so, having the God aided and implicitly Cameron linked Moses-played by Christian Bale-lead his fellow Jews into the sunshine of freedom in an epic CGI enhanced triumph over the human army aided and implicitly Lucas linked Pharaoh Ramses the Great-played by Joel Edgerton-and his implicitly Bigelow linked ally, the Viceroy of Python-played by Ben Mendelsohn-at the end of his allegorical film, EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS (2014). For his part, Alan Taylor also implied his support for Captain Canuck in the implicit form of Thor-played again by Hemsworth-in the allegorical film, THOR: THE DARK WORLD (2014), a film perhaps most noteworthy for the death of the implicitly Kennedy linked Frigga, Queen of Asgard and mother of Thor-played by Rene Russo. Indeed, Taylor reaffirmed his implicit Cameron supporting intent by returning to the Temple Theatre the following year to implicitly affirm that Cameron was the victorious progenitor of a new age of fully cyber cinema in his hyper-cyber and allegorical film, TERMINATOR GENISYS (2015).
‘Look, uh, I know I’m not what you expected, but I want you to know
I – I will do whatever it takes to keep you safe – even if it kills me.’
Indeed, the latest Terminator film was the biggest, most boffo, full throttle, time trippin’ and CGI enhanced yet, setting the bar for any more Terminator films that may come. And, in one of the film’s many unexpected twists, Taylor implied that the latest desperate and embattled mission of the new future time traveler, Kyle Reese-played by Jai Courtney-to destroy the pitiless blockbuster machine and save the art of CGI enhanced film, symbolized by Sarah Connor-played by Emilia Clarke-symbolized the equally embattled and desperate attempt of Mississauga, ON film ‘scholar’ Gary W. Wright to unravel, illuminate and terminate the dread Zone Wars. Or did he? Clearly, more ponderings were needed to solve the conundrum…
Not that Taylor and company felt that the art of CGI enhanced film needed saving by 2015. For this time it was Sarah who shouted the fateful words, ‘…come with me if you want to live! Now, soldier!’ to a startled Reese soon after he arrived from the future to save her. Implying that Taylor and company believed that with the steadfast and determined support of Cameron, the art of CGI enhanced film had also become an indomitable Avastar.
At any rate, Whedon had the implicitly Captain Canuck linked Thor-played again by Hemsworth-team up again for more humbling adventures with the rest of the marvelous and assembling Avengers to battle and defeat the implicitly Lynch linked Ultron-voiced by James Spader-in the allegorical film, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (2015). For his part, haiku lovin’ Taika Waititi had the implicitly Cameron linked Thor-played again by Hemsworth-team up for more humbling adventures with Dr. Bruce ‘Hulk’ Banner and Loki-played again by Ruffalo and Hiddleston, respectively-and the implicitly Angelina Jolie linked Valkyrie aka Scrapper 142-played by Tessa Thompson-the bibliophilic and implicitly Screamin’ Stephen King linked Doctor Stephen Strange-fittingly rewarding King for his many years of providing film artists with literary art that could be easily transformed into film art, and played by Benedict Cumberbatch-and the possibly Bruce McDonald linked Skurge-played by Karl Urban-to fight off his previously unknown and implicitly Bigelow linked older sister, Hela, goddess of Death-played by Cate Blanchett-and new queen of Hollywood linked Asgard in a desperate battle to save the eternal cinematic city in the twilit and allegorical film, THOR: RAGNORAK (2017).
‘That hammer was to have you to control your power, to focus it. It was never your strength.’
Curiously, when he was not battling Hela, Hulk or the cranky, devilish and Gardevil evoking Surtur-voiced by the John Vernon evoking Clancy Brown-Thor did his best to escape imprisonment by the wryly eccentric Grandmaster-played by Jeff Goldblum. The presence of the tall, quirky and fast vehicle and bloodsport loving Grandmaster reaffirmed the implicit interest in Canadian film artists and ‘scholars’ in THOR: RAGNORAK, for the Grandmaster was implicitly linked to Film Master David Cronenberg. Indeed, the Grandmaster’s implicit link to Film Master Cronenberg was affirmed by Goldblum’s role as the implicitly Landis linked and doomed mad scientist, Seth Brundle, in the twilit and allegorical Cronenberg film, THE FLY (1986). The Grandmaster’s omnipresent and indefatigable major domo, Savoy-played by Rachel House-reaffirmed his implicit link to Cronenberg, as she evoked Cronenberg’s equally omnipresent and indefatigable major domo, Carol Spier, production designer extraordinaire on most of his films.
The Grandmaster’s homecity of Sakaar reaffirmed the implicit interest of the film in Canada and the Toronto based Cronenberg, for the lakeside city with its tall and commanding central tower, nearby roofless stadium and construction seen everywhere evoked the perennially under construction lakeside Toronto with its tall and commanding CN Tower and nearby Rogers Centre/Skydome retractable roof stadium. In fact, long before Thor and Loki arrived in Sakaar, a quick stop on Earth had implicitly linked them to Toronto. For after Thor’s James Bond evoking prologue adventure battling Surtur and his CGI enhanced dragon protector, the two perennially quarrelling brothers had briefly wound up in New York standing kitty corner across the street from a building that resembled the permanent headquarters of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) at King and John Streets in Toronto-as if they were standing on the corner of King and John across from the Tim Horton’s coffee outlet.
At any rate, it was fitting that Thor expressed amused disdain for the red and white Canucklehead colours of the room in the commanding tower that the Grandmaster imprisoned him in with ‘Hulk’ Banner-the big green guy looking more real than ever courtesy of the new and improved Super CGI (why be merely heroic when you can be SUPERHEROIC with SUPER CGI, the FIRST CHOICE of all implicitly film artist linked cinematic superheroes!), and played again by Ruffalo. For his ‘fellow’ Canucks in ‘…the land of ice and snow’ had never given him an award for his Zonebusting film art or put any of his indomitable films in TIFF’s infamous One Hundred Essential Films list. Curiously, this lack of awards from Canada was addressed over the course of the embattled film. For after Thor lost his father, Odin-played again by Sir Hopkins-his mighty hammer, Mjolnir, the hammer of the ‘Nucks-casually crushed by Hela-and his eye of right-just as casually destroyed by Hela-the god of thunder still survived the attack of Hela and was crowned the new ruler of a destroyed and displaced Asgard instead of Loki. Thus, Waititi implied that Lucas was a spent Force by 2017, and that Cameron was the art of film’s most prominent and commanding film artist.
For their part, Disney and Bill Condon implicitly linked Cameron again to the Beastly Prince-played by Dan Stevens-in the live action version of the allegorical film, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2017). All of which worked out to the advantage of the Canadian auteur. For as with the Dark Knight Trilogy and the Thor and Avengers films, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST implicitly kept Cameron in the hearts and minds of audiences, stoking them for the arrival of another righteously furious, memorable and innovative Zonebuster. An allegorical Zonebuster that might roast the poor ol’ Gardevil as much as do its best to preserve the humanity of film art, break film art free from the Zone, bring harmony back to the Temple Theatre and end the dread allegorical Zone Wars forever, reaffirming that indeed was Cameron the Avastar.
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